Kia’s flagship SUVs shine in 2023 South African Car of the Year competition

Kia South Africa’s flagship SUVs raised the premium value flag last night by winning in their respective categories of the 2023 South African Car of the Year awards, which were presented at a gala event held in Johannesburg on the evening of June 1st, 2023.

Presented by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) and sponsored by Old Mutual Insure, the latest, fifth-generation Kia Sportage trumped five other finalist vehicles – four of which were direct competitors – to win the competition’s Midsize category. Similarly, the range-topping Kia Sorento took top honours in the Premium category.

“It is apt for Kia to receive these awards as we celebrate our 25th anniversary in the South African market this year, but even more so as we’re also celebrating the 30th anniversary of Sportage, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Kia Sorento” comments Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa. “We are grateful for these Car of the Year accolades and believe that even more South Africans will now be compelled to experience the award-winning Kia range of vehicles for themselves.”

Since its global debut in 2003, the Kia Sorento has established itself as one of the brand’s best-loved vehicles, becoming progressively more powerful, more attractive, better engineered and more technologically advanced in each new iteration. A mainstay of Kia’s global SUV line-up, more than three million Sorento models have been sold worldwide since its launch.

“We’re delighted by the Sorento’s category win in this year’s South African Car of the Year awards,” Scott continues. “Its Premium category win validates our belief that the Sorento sets fresh benchmarks for sophistication, quality, practicality and safety in its segment, cementing its rightful place at the apex of Kia’s celebrated SUV line-up, and indeed amongst its competitors. More consumers ought to put it on the shopping list.”

Sportage is the best-selling Kia globally with more than 6 million cumulative sales over the past three decades. It has always been a car of firsts for the Kia brand and set the tone for multiple automakers to pursue the design and development of what we know as an SUV today following its debut in 1993. It is one of the first Kia models to receive multiple global design awards, spearheading advances in design, quality, technology, and reliability with each generation. Most importantly, it has never compromised on being relevant to the market.

This latest accolade by South Africa’s motoring press follows a very long list of global awards for Sportage. In the USA, it was crowned “Utility Vehicle of the Year” by Autoguide and was named the winner in the authoritative Ward’s “10 Best Interiors & UX Awards”. In the UK, Sportage won “New Car of the Year” in the AM Awards, and “Family SUV of the Year” in the annual What Car? Awards. In Australia, Drive crowned it its overall “Car of the Year”. Critically, Sportage was also declared the “Family SUV of the Year” in the Women’s World Car of the Year awards.

“The latest Sportage exemplifies what we call premium value, a balanced combination of premium quality features without sacrificing on an undeniable value proposition, underpinned by world-class design and engineering. It’s also backed-up by an industry-leading unlimited kilometre, five-year warranty, five years’ roadside assistance and a prepaid 6-year, 90,000km service plan ”, adds Scott. “It’s a true embodiment of our slogan, Movement that inspires.”