Before we get into the winner of the award, the World Car Awards organisers and the 86 jurors from around the world recognise the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and extend their condolences to all those affected.
The Road to the 2020 World Car Awards concluded April 8 with the declaration of a double win for Kia. The Korean carmaker's eight-seater Telluride is the 2020 World Car of the Year.
The Telluride is powered by a 3.8-litre V6 engine with 216kW and 355Nm and features all-wheel drive, it's the largest model in the company's line-up, above the Sorento.
The first time Kia or any South Korean carmaker has won the award. The Telluride is sold in North America (US and Canada), Russia and South Korea.
The Telluride beat out the other finalists, the Mazda 3 and Mazda CX-30. Kia's second win came in the World Urban Car catergory, where the Soul EV scooped the prize.
"Everyone at Kia is truly honored to receive not just one, but two awards from the World Car Awards judging panel," said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of product at Kia.
"This is one of the hardest-fought competitions in the global automotive industry, proving that the Telluride and Soul EV are both truly outstanding vehicles. These accolades are testament to the talents and efforts of a worldwide team, who all strive to create desirable, high-quality and practical cars that drivers love."
The Telluride was chosen from an initial World Car of the Year entry list of 29 vehicles from all over the world while the Soul EV was chosen from an initial entry list of eight World Urban Car contenders. Both vehicles were Top Three in the World finalists in their respective categories as announced on March 3rd.
How the process works
Vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 86 prominent automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. The international accounting firm KPMG tabulated the jurors’ ballots.
There were several stops along the road for the 2020 program, including one in Los Angeles in November for our sixth annual L.A. Test Drives event hosted by ZF.
Then, the World Car Finals were launched live in New Delhi, India from the Delhi auto show on February 5 when the Top 10 and Top Five finalists in five World Car Awards categories were announced.
The World Car Finals continued with the announcement of the Top Three in the World finalists on March 3, 2020.
The Road to the World Car Awards ends today with the announcement of the 2020 winners.
2020 marks the 15th year of the World Car Awards partnership with the New York International Auto Show. The show has been rescheduled until August 28 to September 6, 2020. The media preview days will take place on August 26 and 27.
The World Car Awards will launch its 2021 program at this time instead of in Paris. The launch will include a preliminary list of eligible vehicles for the 2021 season.