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Sorento Proves it's got Drive

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SYDNEY – Nov 29, 2012: Kia’s facelifted Sorento has swept aside a stellar field to take top honours in Drive’s annual Car Of The Year awards.

The Sorento SLi diesel proved victorious in what the Drive judges described as the most hotly contested segment of the awards, the ‘Best SUV over $40,000’ and gained the ultimate vote over five competitors including some the industry’s most prestigious badges.

It was also selected from the 13 category winners as one of the four finalists for the overall Drive COTY Award.

“From a value-for-money perspective, it isn't difficult to see why,” the judging panel said. “The Sorento SLi diesel costs $43,990 yet comes with a swag of features including all-wheel drive, seven leather-clad seats (powered for the driver), dual-zone climate control, airbag protection for all seating spots, plus most of the usual gizmos.

“Better than that, it drives really well.”

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow said the recognition by Drive was another endorsement of the growth of Kia both in the product arena and in brand recognition and acceptance.

“Kia has been working hard to offer the Australian buyer a premium experience in driving experience, safety and value,” Mr Barlow said. “The validation of these efforts comes in the exceptional growth we are enjoying in a testing market _ the fastest growing mainstream brand in Australia _ and the recognition of media experts like the Drive team.

“No small part of this success and endorsement is due to the diligent and ongoing ride and handling localisation program Kia Motors is committed to.”

The Drive award comes only 24 hours after Kia picked up a double accolade at the Australia’s Best Cars awards, the Best Small Car Under $20,000 for the Rio and Best SUV Under $40,000 for Sportage 2.4-litre petrol.

It also follows the Rio’s success as People’s Choice grand champion and best first car.

“Winning awards and the recognition it brings for the brand is very satisfying, but the ultimate reward is the knowledge that all our efforts on the Kia journey are bearing fruit,” Mr Barlow said.