Kia secures top honors in 2023 Golden Steering Wheel Awards

Kia secures top honors in 2023 Golden Steering Wheel Awards

  • Golden Steering Wheel success follows ‘German Luxury Car of the Year 2024’ win in September
  • Successive Golden Steering Wheel awards for serial winner Kia
  • The Golden Steering Wheel Awards recognize the best vehicles on the market
  • Kia’s EV9 flagship is the brand’s first dedicated three-row all-electric SUV

The new Kia flagship EV9 has continued its awards success with a Golden Steering Wheel 2023 win in the ‘Family Cars’ category. The all-electric seven-seater SUV was also named ‘German Luxury Car of the Year 2024’ at the beginning of September.

“It is immensely gratifying to receive the Golden Steering Wheel Award. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Kia team,” said Karim Habib, Executive Vice President, and Head of Kia Global Design. “This latest recognition bears further testament to Kia’s determination to continue to lead the charge towards electrification, pioneering technology and innovation that redefines the automotive industry.”

Launched in 1976, and presented by AUTO BILD and BILD am SONNTAG, the Golden Steering Wheel Awards combine a public vote with expert review and are recognized as the most important prize in the German automotive industry. A total of 57 new cars were nominated by the two editorial teams this year, before readers selected the 21 finalists.

A prominent 19-member jury put the finalists through extensive testing at the DEKRA Lausitzring race circuit. This year, for the first time, the jury revealed the result of two tests in advance in their final assessments: DEKRA analyzed the finalists’ driver assistance systems, while the editorial team at Computer Bild evaluated the finalists’ competence in connectivity.

“The Kia EV9 convinced the jury as a versatile and spacious family car with ultra-modern 800V technology, innovative features as well as excellent driver assistance systems,” commented Robin Hornig, head of AUTO BILD and editor-in-chief for the BILD Group’s automotive division. All results of the Golden Steering Wheel Awards will be published in issue 45 of AUTO BILD this year.

A successive win for Kia at the 2023 Golden Steering Wheel Awards continues a story of success for the brand in this competition. In its current model range, Kia now has four award winners: the compact crossover XCeed took first place in 2019, the SUV Sorento won in 2020, the electric crossover Niro EV claimed the ‘Compact SUVs’ category in 2022, and now the EV9 is the second Kia EV in a row to win a Golden Steering Wheel.

Kia has long been a pioneer in electrification. With its 2021 realignment, the brand has accelerated the transition to EVs to solidify its position as one of the world’s leading e-mobility providers. In Germany alone, 41.3% of new Kia cars in 2022 featured a plug (sales share EV and PHEV). Across the German market overall, this share accounted for 31.4% (according to KBA).

Perfect companion for family travel: Maximum space, variability and range

Like the multiple award-winning electric crossover, the Kia EV6, the all-electric Kia EV9 is based on the dedicated E-GMP platform. One of the first seven-seater electric vehicles on the market, the EV9 offers a spacious interior with lounge-like comfort. It is also available in two six-seater variants (optional for GT-line version).

The two individual seats in the second row are available either as relaxation seats or as swivel seats (swiveling 90 degrees toward the open door or 180 degrees toward the third row). The luggage compartment volume of up to 2,393 liters and towing capacity of 2.5 tons are unrivalled in the e-SUV segment.

In terms of range, the EV9 is the perfect companion for family trips. The rear-wheel drive version (150 kW/204 hp) can cover up to 563km on one battery charge, whilst the all-wheel-drive (283 kW/385 hp) model and its emphatically sporty GT-line variant also crack the 500-kilometer mark (AWD: 512 km; AWD GT-line: 505 km; combined range according to WLTP in each case). And thanks to 800V technology, the 99.8-kWh battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 24 minutes under ideal conditions. Within 15 minutes of charging, 249km of battery range can be delivered, offering exceptional efficiency for the class.

Integrated with V2G battery technology for bi-directional charging, the EV9 is technologically prepared for future requirements. It also leads the way in connectivity, representing the first Kia model to offer updates and upgrades via the new Kia Connect Store.

19 prominent jurors, from Ralf Schumacher to Rhea Harder

The Golden Steering Wheel is awarded to the best new models of a given year. The competition is divided into various vehicle classes, with EVs no longer judged separately to gasoline or diesel cars since 2022. As of this year, there are also no longer separate classifications for SUVs; instead, they compete in their respective categories with sedans, station wagons, coupes or hatchbacks. The current seven vehicle classes are: ‘Small Cars’, ‘Compact Class’, ‘Mid-Size’, ‘Upper Mid-Size’, ‘Upper/Luxury Class’, ‘Sports Cars’ and ‘Family Cars’.

This year’s 19-strong jury of experts included former Formula 1 drivers Ralf Schumacher and Hans-Joachim Stuck, rally driver Isolde Holderied, DTM champion Maximilian Götz. Other motorsport stars such as Sophia Flörsch, Daniel Abt, Laura-Marie Geissler alongside presenters Lina van de Mars and Sidney Hoffmann. Actors Rhea Harder and Tom Beck, TV chef Steffen Henssler, model and influencer Betty Taube joined the judging panel alongside the editors-in-chief at AUTO BILD and two leading British and Dutch car magazines, Auto Express and Auto Week”.


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