Kia’s Telluride, Soul EV win global auto awards

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Kia’s Telluride, Soul EV win global auto awards

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From left: Kia Motors’ Telluride SUV and Soul EV. [KIA MOTORS]

Kia Motors’ Telluride SUV and Soul EV took home two out of five awards presented at the World Car Awards on Wednesday - the first ever for a Korean car brand.

World Car Awards (WCA) is one of the most renowned awards in the automotive industry, along with the North American Car and Truck of the Year and the European Car of the Year. The Toronto, Canada-based WCA is the only one that covers vehicles from all around the globe.

The results were announced online on Wednesday. The organization normally holds its award ceremony at the New York Auto Show in April, but this year the show was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Winners are chosen by an independent international jury comprising 86 experienced automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world.

The Kia Telluride SUV was named the “World Car of the Year,” the most prestigious of the five granted by the WCA. Since its launch in the United States in February 2019, the SUV has sold more than 75,430 units as of March and has swept more than 70 awards so far, including North American Car of the Year. It is exclusively manufactured and sold in the U.S. market.

The SUV Mazda CX-30 and the sedan hatchback Mazda 3 had competed with Telluride as the three finalists.

The fully-electric Soul EV was named the “World Urban Car” for its “zero-emission performance and impressive electric range,” Kia said. The Soul EV was selected over the Mini Electric and the Volkswagen SUV T-Cross.

This is the first time a Korean car brand was named a WCA winner. Last year, Hyundai Motor’s electric vehicles Nexo and Kia’s Soul had reached the top three finalists for the World Green Car segment but did not win.

“Everyone at Kia is truly honored to receive not just one, but two awards from the World Car of the Year judging panel,” said Thomas Schemera, a vice president and product division head at Kia Motors.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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