Double win for Kia at the 2023 What Car? Awards
The latest incarnation of the Sportage was launched at the start of 2022 and has proved extremely popular with drivers and motoring journalists alike, as the family car of choice.
The judging panel, made up of the motoring magazine's team of expert road testers, commented: “We've group tested the Kia Sportage extensively in various guises over the last 12 months, and it's emerged victorious every time. But when you consider its competitive pricing, all of the equipment that you get as standard and how complete a car the Sportage is, it's easy to see why.
“It strikes a near-perfect balance between agility and comfort, which gets it off to a great start against any rival. Meanwhile, the interior neatly blends practicality with style.”
Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia UK Limited, said: “We're proud to see the Sportage recognised by What Car? as the ideal family vehicle. As our best-selling model in the UK, it's incredibly popular with buyers looking for a car that covers all the bases, at a range of different price points.
“Now offering hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the model perfectly represents our leadership in electrification and also gives the customer great choice.”
At the top of the range sits the Sportage 'GT-Line S' plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The electric motor and large 13.8kWh battery work together in the PHEV system to offer a combined MPG of 252 miles, meaning greater fuel economy and lower running costs.
The Kia Sportage was the UK's sixth best-selling new car last year, with 29,655 units of the stylish mid-sized SUV finding a new home with drivers in the UK. It is the first time that the Sportage has offered Mild Hybrid, Full Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid options, to sit alongside the versions with petrol and diesel engines.
Meanwhile, the hotly tipped Kia EV9 collected the 'Readers' Choice' award. The winner of this category is determined by readers of What Car? who vote for their most highly anticipated car for 2023.
The Kia EV9 came out on top over 13 other rivals that are due to be launched this year.
What Car? said: “We asked our readers to name the upcoming model that they're most excited about from a 14-car shortlist, with each of the contenders given equal promotion via our website and social media channels. But despite this, the Kia EV9 emerged victorious after attracting more than twice as many votes as the second-placed car.
“This is the second time in three years that Kia has won this award, with the EV6 taking top spot in 2021. If the EV9 turns out to be as good as that car, it will be truly special.”
The EV9 is slated to hit Kia dealerships across the UK, including Chapelhouse Kia branches in Southport, St Helens and Warrington, in the latter half of 2023.
The large electric SUV is the next model to be launched under Kia's 'Plan S' strategy of leadership in electric cars. It follows the multi-award winning EV6, which was actually named the What Car? Overall Car of the Year in 2022, and all-new Niro EV. These are just two of nine Kia EVs that have been scheduled to hit the UK roads between 2021 and 2027.
If you're as excited about the EV9 as the readers of What Car?, you can find out more about Kia's first seven-seat electric vehicle here.