While it wasn’t exactly ideal for a number of things, 2020 did produce some of the best new cars we’ve seen in years. From the addition of Porsche’s all-electric Taycan to the new Land Rover Defender, the last 12 months have seen a host of ridiculous high-performance and luxury vehicles hit the market. But despite the prevalence for fast and flashy, one family SUV has managed to pip all to the post. The Kia Sorento has been crowned the 2020 Car of the Year by automotive platform carsales.
According to carsales, the Kia Sorento was awarded the title thanks to its unique and compelling offering – a mix of affordability, safety and driver enjoyment. Through a multi-stage judging process, carsales whittled the field down to just 27 finalists with a shortlist of 10. While there were certainly bigger and more expensive names on the ticket, the Sorento presented a holistic approach to value.
“In response to COVID-19 challenges, the process of selecting our winner worked slightly differently this year – vehicles were tested using a combination of expert opinion for carsales’ judges and data generated by car value specialist RedBook.com.au, with key factors including safety, cost to purchase, own and run,” carsales editor-in-chief, Mike Sinclair said.
“Having driven and reviewed the top 10 cars of 2020, carsales’ experts found the Sorento to be a standout option for Australians looking to buy a new car. This is a stylish and refined SUV with the latest advanced safety and infotainment systems and all the comfort a family needs.”
While you can’t knock the Sorento for value and versatility, the announcement came as a surprise to most automotive fans. The Porsche Taycan, the German icon’s first flagship electric vehicle was expected to chart well and understandably so. The first production EV with an 800-volt architecture and a multispeed transaxle, the Taycan set new benchmarks in charging speeds and acceleration times, making it one of the most lauded vehicle of the past few years. While it didn’t claim top honours in carsales’ book, it did receive a highly commended, along with the 2020 Land Rover Defender.
“The Porsche Taycan is a fully-electric vehicle that delivers zero-emissions motoring, cutting-edge technology and top-shelf luxury, yet still reflects true Porsche performance DNA,” Sinclair said. “The Defender on the other hand, takes the iconic Land Rover nameplate and brings it firmly up to date – managing to blend day-to-day convenience with unbelievable off-road competence.”
For those who have been watching the market closely, the Commission of the Toyota GR Yaris may be tough to swallow. Late last year, the performance hatch-back become just the sixth car in history to be awarded 10/10 by automotive authority Top Gear. The world’s most powerful production three-cylinder, the GR Yaris copped a 1.6-litre engine capable of pumping out 192kW and 361Nm, however, it wasn’t enough to sway the carsales experts.
Chalk this one up to value, at AUD$190,000 for the Taycan, close to AUD$100,000 for the Defender and over $50,000 for the GR Yaris, these industry leaders don’t come cheap.