New Kia Sorento wins Golden Steering Wheel

Kia fourth-generation flagship SUV wins the ‘Large SUVs’ category, ahead of Aston Martin DBX and BMW X6. Second consecutive Kia triumph following 2019 award for XCeed.
Kia’s fourth-generation flagship SUV wins the ‘Large SUVs’ category, ahead of Aston Martin DBX and BMW X6. Second consecutive Kia triumph following 2019 award for XCeed.

IRVINE, CA – The new Kia Sorento has received ‘Das Goldene Lenkrad 2020’ award (Golden Steering Wheel). The illustrious German automobile prize is awarded each year by AUTO BILD and BILD am SONNTAG. After readers of the two publications voted the fourth-generation Kia flagship SUV into the final round of the ‘Large SUVs’ category, the new electrified model also won over the 18-strong expert jury. In the final round of the competition, vehicles were put through their paces at the DEKRA Lausitzring track. The new Kia Sorento gained the highest number of points in its category and secured victory over the other two finalists, the Aston Martin DBX and BMW X6. The full results of the test are published in AUTO BILD issue 45/2020.

This is the second consecutive triumph for Kia, having received ‘Das Goldene Lenkrad 2019’ for its XCeed compact crossover (in the ‘Best car under 35,000 Euros’ category). The fourth-generation Sorento, based on a completely new Kia platform, went on-sale across Europe at the start of the fourth quarter, and is available in several markets with diesel and hybrid gasoline powertrains. A plug-in hybrid variant will also launch in early 2021. All models boast Kia’s unique 7-year, 150,000-kilometre manufacturer’s warranty, which also covers the battery pack in hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

Tom Drechsler, Head of AUTO BILD and Editor-in-Chief Auto of the BILD group, commented on the new Kia SUV: “The predecessor was already good, but the new Sorento is an evolution. It now drives just as smoothly as it looks. There’s plenty of space, smart interior details, voice control, safety features – things that can be enjoyed everywhere. And that’s not just my opinion, but also that of the jury. Congratulations on a very well-deserved Goldenes Lenkrad 2020!”

“We are very proud of this award, and to see so many readers and experts consider the new Sorento at the top of its class”, said Steffen Cost, Managing Director of Kia Motors Deutschland. “The fact that we were able to overtake two classic premium brands in the final shows how far Kia has advanced into the premium segment with the fourth-generation Sorento.”

Modern Design, Hybrid Power, Innovative Technologies And Lots of Space

At 4.81 metres in length, the new Sorento is only one centimetre longer than its predecessor. However, thanks to its new platform and increased wheelbase, it offers much more space for up to seven occupants, depending on market. It also has one of the largest luggage compartments in its segment (up to 910 litres, depending on vehicle specification). This spaciousness is enclosed in a dynamically elegant body, which has already gained the new model the ‘All-Wheel Drive Car of the Year 2020’ (Design category) award in the renowned competition organised by all-wheel drive specialists AUTO BILD Allrad.

With the new generation, the brand’s SUV flagship also takes a leading position in the Kia vehicle line-up for its technology. The wide range of driver assistance systems includes innovative technologies such as Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Blind-Spot View Monitor (depending on specification). This not only performs steering and braking interventions if needed, but also gives the driver a direct view of their blind spots via side cameras and a fully digital instrument display.

Additionally, dependent on specification, the new model is also available with Highway Driving Assist and Lane Follow Assist, Navigation-Based Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning Function, Surround View Monitor and Safe Exit Assist. The large-format navigation system (up to 10.25 inches, depending on trim line) provides a wide range of useful information. It also includes Kia’s UVO Connect ‘connected car’ services, which, for example, offer high-precision, cloud-based online navigation and, with the help of the UVO app, vehicle location or ‘last-mile’ navigation via smartphone.

The new Kia Sorento is available in all-wheel or front-wheel drive variants. The all-wheel drive versions offer impressive traction even on mud, sand or snow thanks to its new ‘All-Terrain Mode’ function. The all-wheel drive hybrid model tested by the jury combines a 1.6-litre turbo gasoline engine with a 44.2 kW electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. With 169 kW (230 ps) total power, the Sorento 1.6 T-GDI Hybrid AWD accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds (FWD: 8.6 seconds) and features low CO2 emissions (AWD: 141-129 g/km; 2WD: 124-118 g/km).

Long-Established Competition, Jury of Prominent Experts

The ‘Golden Steering Wheel’ has been awarded annually since 1976 to the best new car models of the year. This year, 63 new vehicles were considered, across eight vehicle categories: city cars and superminis, compact cars, medium and luxury cars, small SUVs, medium SUVs, medium SUVs (plug-in hybrids), large SUVs, and sports cars. Prizes were also awarded for ‘Most Beautiful Car’, ‘Innovation of the Year’, ‘Best Car under 25,000 Euros’ and ‘Best Car under 35,000 Euros’.

In the reader survey, 24 finalists (three per vehicle category) were picked for further testing by the jury. The 18 jurors included ex-Formula 1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck, former DTM driver Joachim “Jockel” Winkelhock, Formula E driver Daniel Abt, motor sportswoman and presenter Lina van de Mars, YouTube star and racing driver Felix von der Laden, TV presenter Kai Pflaume, as well as the editors-in-chief of AUTO BILD and leading British and Dutch car magazines, Auto Express and Auto Week.

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