Kia has lifted the coveted Car of the Year title for the first time in its 77-year history after judges deemed its distinctive and dynamic battery-powered EV6 the standout model of the past 12 months.
The South Korean manufacturer beat off stiff competition to secure the accolade with its first bespoke electric car. It mopped up the lion’s share of the judges’ top scores with a points’ total just shy of 280.
This is the third time that a zero-emission vehicle has finished top of the pile in the annual Car of the Year competition. The Nissan Leaf was the first in 2011 followed by the Jaguar I-Pace eight years later.
“We’re still independent from the motoring industry”, said Frank Janssen, Jury President of Car of the Year at the award ceremony at Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition centre. “We’ve only one winner and we don’t provide a trophy for each of the participants, so that’s the reason why this prize is so significant.
“It’s a nice surprise to see the Kia EV6 receive this award. It was about time that the brand and the group were rewarded, as they have worked so hard on this car. Kia’s pace of progress is really impressive,” he added.
The strength in depth of the car industry right now was reflected in the EV6’s winning score. Renault’s Megane Electric came a close second followed by Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 that has much in common with the overall champion.
Peugeot’s all-new 308 hatchback was the only combustion engine car to break in to the top seven places, although a plug-in version of it is imminent. Skoda’s Enyaq Sport Utility Vehicle, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and Cupra’s Born – the sportier twin of the Volkswagen ID.3 – came fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
The Car of the Year 2022 jury consisted of almost sixty members, with these representing twenty-two countries including the UK and Ireland.
From the outset, Janssen said every member who participated in the process and cast their final vote did so with “the objective of finding the best new car on sale”.
Due to the on-going war Ukraine, the decision was taken to suspend the Russian jurors from this years’ process with the Russian flag absent from the presentation in Geneva, Switzerland.