Kia triumphs in Golden Steering Wheel Awards

Published | 09/11/2022


  • Kia Niro EV takes first place in ‘Compact SUV’ category; second place goes to the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid
  • High-performance EV6 GT takes second place in the ‘Mid-size and Luxury’ category
  • Golden Steering Wheel accolades follow previous wins in 2020 (Sorento) and 2019 (XCeed)


November 9, 2022 – The all-new Kia Niro EV has triumphed in Germany’s prestigious Golden Steering Wheel Awards, a competition widely seen as the most important automotive awards in Germany. The all-electric crossover, launched to critical acclaim earlier this year, was awarded ‘Golden Steering Wheel 2022’ in the hotly contested ‘Compact SUV’ category. The Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid SUV took second place; the double victory highlighting Kia’s strong showing in one of Europe’s most popular vehicle segments. Third place went to the Volkswagen Taigo.


The Golden Steering Wheel judges also praised the recently launched Kia EV6 GT, awarding the high-performance version of Kia’s all-electric crossover second place in the ‘Mid-size and Luxury’ category, behind the Nio ET7 and ahead of the Mercedes-Benz EQE.


The Niro EV, Sportage Plug-in Hybrid and EV6 GT were among 47 new vehicles across a total of seven categories that were nominated by the editorial teams of German publications ‘AUTO BILD’ and ‘BILD am SONNTAG’. Their readers then selected three finalists from each vehicle category, before a 21-strong jury of experts tested each vehicle extensively in the final round of the competition at Germany’s DEKRA Lausitzring circuit before selecting the winners.


Jason Jeong, President of Kia Europe, said: “Kia continues to expand its electrified model range with vehicles that combine efficiency, impressive driving range, and style. The breadth of our electrified line-up is highlighted in this year’s Golden Steering Wheel Awards which strengthens the brand’s position as leaders in electrification. We’re very proud that the jury has selected three of the latest Kia models as finalists in this year’s competition, demonstrating our no-compromise commitment to sustainable mobility.”


Thomas Djuren, Managing Director of Kia Germany, added: “The Golden Steering Wheel Award is highly coveted recognition of the very best models available in Germany. Each vehicle is test driven by some of the most discerning jurors and we are honored that they chose Kia Niro EV to win the accolade this year, with Sportage Plug-in Hybrid in close second. This win will help to elevate the Kia brand in Germany, providing customers with award-winning electrified products that stand out against the competition.”

The Golden Steering Wheel accolade for the Niro EV is the third time in recent years in which Kia has been honoured by the German awards. The Kia Sorento took the top honour in 2020 when it won the ‘Large SUV’ category, while the Kia XCeed won in 2019 for the ‘Best car under 35,000 euros’.


In March, the Kia EV6 claimed overall victory in the prestigious 2022 Red Dot Design Awards by picking up the ‘Red Dot: Best of the Best’ accolade for its pioneering and forward-looking design. The all-electric crossover was also named winner of the Red Dot category: ‘Innovative Products’. In addition, the EV6 has won ‘2022 European Car of the Year’, ‘German Car of the Year 2022’ in the Premium category, ‘Irish Car of the Year 2022’, UK’s ‘What Car? Car of the Year 2022’, and ‘Crossover of the Year’ at the Awards 2021.   


Electrified line-up and sales success

Kia will continue to grow its electrified line-up to include 14 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027, including a new range of small and medium-sized EVs from 2025. The company plans to sell 4 million vehicles a year by 2030, 1.2 million of which will be BEVs.


Recent sales results announced by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) highlight the growing demand for Kia’s range of vehicles. Kia’s European market share for the first nine months of 2022 rose to 5.1%, a significant increase on the 4.2% seen during the same period last year. Kia registrations across EU, EFTA and UK markets reached 425,882 units from January to the end of September, a rise of 9.8% over the same period last year. This comes as the overall EU passenger car market contracted by 9.9%. 


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