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Kia Sorento named 2020 carsales Car of the Year

March 2, 2021 / 844 /


Slick new seven-seat family SUV claims top COTY honours from Porsche Taycan and Land Rover Defender

The Kia Sorento has been crowned winner of the 2020 carsales Car of the Year, proudly presented by Bingle.

Australia’s premier annual automotive consumer award recognises excellence in the new-vehicle market and celebrates just one winner from every new model released in Australia.

From off-road icons to the ultimate family seven-seat wagon, through to a $200K electric luxury performance car, the list of vehicles in the mix for the 2020 award was eclectic.

In the final judging, the Kia Sorento was named carsales COTY thanks to its unique and compelling offering – an affordable, family-friendly package that is also smart, frugal, safe, refined and still satisfying to drive.

“The Kia Sorento claimed top honours as the 2020 carsales Car of the Year. This is a stylish and refined SUV with the latest advanced safety and infotainment systems and all the comfort a family needs,” said carsales Editor-in-Chief, Mike Sinclair.

To determine the 2020 carsales Car of the Year proudly presented by Bingle, a multi-stage judging process whittled down a field of 27 finalists to a shortlist of 10, and then one overall winner and two highly commended models (based on strict eligibility outlined below).

“In response to COVID-19 challenges, the process of selecting our winner worked slightly differently this year,” said Sinclair.

“Vehicles were tested using a combination of expert opinion from carsales’ judges and data generated by car value specialist, with key factors including safety, cost to purchase, own and run.

“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.”

carsales judges commented that the Kia Sorento is one of the safest SUVs available in the Australian market. It is also one of the few to benefit from extensive local development.

“The team at Kia are absolutely thrilled all-new Sorento has been awarded carsales Car of the Year 2020; our first carsales COTY win,” said Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer, Damien Meredith.

“We knew Sorento would be a game-changer for Kia in the Australian market and appreciate it has been recognised by the judges for the exceptional package that it is.”

In addition to awarding the Sorento, carsales judges recognised the Porsche Taycan and the Land Rover Defender as standout performers in this year’s field. Both the Taycan and Defender grabbed Highly Commended awards.

“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,” said Sinclair.

Porsche Cars Australia managing director Sam Curtis said: “The Taycan is a true Porsche sports car. It shows that the future of Porsche will continue to be both innovative and faithful to our heritage.

“The feeling of excitement and exhilaration that comes from driving the Taycan are authentically Porsche, and the technology, handling and performance are ground-breaking. We are pleased that the expert judges from carsales are as enthusiastic about the Taycan as we are.”

The born-again 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.

“The reborn Land Rover Defender has quickly captured the imagination of road testers and customers across the world and so I am delighted to be able to add this carsales Highly Commended award to a growing list of honours,” said Jaguar Land Rover Australia managing director Mark Cameron.

“The new Defender is as robust and capable as the original but now packed with technology and a level of refinement that truly sets it apart from other 4x4s.”

For 2020, carsales COTY judges included Sinclair, carsales Managing Editor, Marton Pettendy, carsales Technical Editor, Ken Gratton, carsales Consumer Editor, Nadine Armstrong, carsales News Editor, Sam Charlwood, carsales Senior Journalist, Feann Torr, carsales journalist, Alexandra Lawrence, and carsales contributor, Bruce Newton.

Value, warranty, aftersales support and projected cost of ownership are key factors considered when determining carsales Car of the Year, proudly presented by Bingle.

This data, supplied and curated by, not only sets the award apart from its competitors but, more importantly, delivers unparalleled insight into information important to Australian new-car buyers.

For the 2020 carsales Car of the Year, calculated each vehicle’s cost to run and its retained value over an ownership period of three years or 60,000km.

Cost to run factors include fuel, tyres, insurance, servicing and the like, while cost to own data comprises financing, warranty, depreciation, retail price and value for money (the latter calculated against key segment rivals).


COVID-19 Awareness Policy

April 8, 2020 / 892 /

To Toowong Kia valued customers, friends and family,

In the face of fear around the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to reassure you that our teams at Toowong Kia are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of all of our valued customers and staff.

While we have always maintained the highest health and hygiene practices, our team have implemented a number of actions to ensure the safest environment for everyone. We are taking extra precautions to regularly disinfect public areas such as restrooms, door handles, front doors, tabletops and any surfaces that may have in contact with the public.

For everyone’s safety, any staff member that displays any symptoms linked to COVID-19 or has come into contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus is asked to stay home until they have clearance from a GP. In turn, if you are planning to visit us and feel unwell or think you may have been exposed, we kindly ask that you reschedule your experience with us to a later time.

We are closely monitoring and supporting the advice from the government and all expert organizations. Our approach is to manage the situation in a balanced, calm and measured way while encouraging you to support local businesses.

Here are some links to the Australian Government Department of Health, and World Health Organisation which have some useful information on coronavirus.

We further include a link to Q&As and fact sheets the WHO has prepared. Please click here for these print resources.

Our top priority is everyone’s health and wellbeing. We highly recommend customers everywhere follow the health and travel advice of relevant authorities. We have implemented the VACC recommended practices when servicing customers cars which are Attached in an easy to read format.

Finally Staff and Customers are asked to:

  • Ensure they are regularly washing their hands with soap and warm water
  • Minimise shaking of hands
  • Cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, preferably with an elbow
  • Safely dispose of any tissues after use
  • Ensure that all equipment is properly wiped down after use

If you have any servicing or sales queries, please enquire below or contact us on (07) 3377 3700.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time

Toowong Kia

Queensland Police chooses Kia Stinger as highway patrol car

July 6, 2018 / 3030 /

As seen on

Queensland Police has chosen the Kia Stinger 330 V6 as its highway patrol car to replace the outgoing Commodore and Falcon.

QUEENSLAND POLICE will roll out 50 Kia Stinger highway patrol cars between now and December, replacing the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon pursuit vehicles.

Speaking at the handover of the first vehicles, Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said, “This is a very important day for us. We needed a special product to do a job for us, and that is what we have here. A wonderful product.”

Assistant Commissioner (Road Policing Command) Mike Keating (and Commisioner Ian Stewart pictured below) said the evaluation process had been extensive and in several parts: “It started with the desktop evaluation, then a track performance evaluation and then the operational evaluation conducted in real-world conditions.

“The final overall evaluation and review included the very important aspect of maintenance and cost. The Stinger performed very well in all areas and we had nothing but top reports from all the field officers.

“The result is a road policing first for us, the first foreign car to perform these duties.”

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith, said the policing role for the Stinger was an excellent outcome for Kia and a watershed moment for the brand image.

“This level of public exposure and endorsement from a high-profile government utility is something which wouldn’t have been on the radar just a few years ago,” Mr Meredith said. “It is just a beginning, but a very important one for us.”

The Victorian Police announced it would be purchasing the BMW 530d as its highway patrol car replacement while the NSW Police have followed suit in choosing the 530d but also the ageing Chrysler 300C.

In its statement to the media, Kia said the Stinger and the Sorento were being evaluated by other police forces around the country.

The Kia Stinger 330 runs a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 making 272kW and 510Nm of torque. While many see the Stinger as the spiritual successor to the Commodore and Falcon of yore, it isn’t, not in this writer’s opinion anyway.

Sure, it’s rear-drive and got plenty of grunt but it’s more of a cruiser than a bruiser. Still, I think Queensland Police have made the right choice…I think the other police forces around the country will be kicking themselves they passed up the Stinger.

Triple Three-Peat For Kia At Australia’s Best Cars

July 1, 2018 / 2949 /

For the third year in a row Kia has scored a triple-treat of top honours at the annual Australia’s Best Cars Awards, judged by Australia’s state automotive bodies.

Kia picked up the top accolades for the Kia Carnival SLi diesel in the Best Family Wagon category, for Sorento GT-Line diesel (Best AWD SUV $50,000-$65,000) and Stinger 200S as the Best Large Car Under $70,000 in what is widely recognized as the pre-eminent real-world Best Car awards.

“It is always pleasing to receive the sort of endorsement of the product that such relevant awards as the ABCs bestow,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said.

“To have been awarded three category wins for the third year in a row is certainly something to be proud of. The recognition of Kia’s value, quality, practicality and safety is all-important to the brand.”

The judging panel found many areas in which the Kia finalists simply stood out from the crowd. With regard to the Carnival, the judges said:“Keeping your family safe is vital and something Kia has taken seriously with the recent model upgrade … [and] ergonomics [is] where the Carnival puts its head above the rest.”

In praise of the exciting new Stinger, the judges offered: “While so many Australians continue to flock to SUVs without even considering the other options, the Kia Stinger offers almost SUV-like practicality but with the handling of a low-slung sportscar … In the large car category, and indeed the new car market as a whole, the Kia Stinger has been a breath of fresh air.”

Speaking to the strengths of the Sorento, the judges found that the new eight-speed automatic, extensive safety package and Australia-specific ride and handling package was worthy of praise. “The end result is a compliant, controlled ride that is amongst the best in class. This sure-footedness also continues off-road where the Sorento shows plenty of agility.”

Kia’s outstanding value for money equation and industry-leading 7-year transferable warranty, 7-year capped price service program and 7-year roadside assist also drew praise during the assessment process.

Unlike most of the Car Of The Year Awards, the ABC Awards are open to any car on sale in Australia, not just those launched in the consideration year.


March 1, 2016 / 2451 /

Sorento doubles up as Optima joins in the fun.

Kia’s multi award-winning Sorento has picked up another brace of accolades while the stylish Optima GT has also joined the gold rush at the annual Australia’s Best Cars awards ceremony.

Sorento was voted the best in the AWD SUV $50,000-$60,000 category and backed that up by topping the podium in the Family Wagon (2WD) category. To round out the day Kia’s new Optima GT Turbo won the judges hearts in the Medium Under $50,000 category.

Sorento doubles up as Optima joins in the fun

“The acceptance of Sorento by Australia’s new car critics has been little short of sensational,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said. “To add not one, but two, Australia’s Best Car awards to the list of awards is as humbling as it is exciting”.

“Then for the Optima GT to also finish as a winner is just the icing on the cake”.

Australia’s Best Cars is judged by experts from the motoring organisations in each state under the auspices of the Australian Automobile Association.

The judges assess each of the finalists in the various categories on their value, safety, performance and fitness for purpose among a host of other considerations.

For the Family Wagon segment, the ABC judges felt that across the entire ownership spectrum the Sorento “ticks the right boxes”.

“In Short, Kia has managed to blend the things people love about a large high-riding SUV with the functionality and versatility of a traditional people mover, the judging panel said.

In the battle for the AWD SUV $50,000-$65,000 crown the judging panel felt that Sorento’s improvements in refinement and technology, along with the class-leading running and repair costs, were the keys to an award-winning performance.

“With its increased size, refinement, equipment and powerful but efficient turbo-diesel, it’s no wonder the Platinum is the most popular Sorento, the judges noted.

For the Optima GT in the Medium Car Under $50,000 category it was again the quality and refinement of Kia’s new turbo petrol hero that won the day. “Quietness is again an element of the premium feel, and it is here that a lot of Kia’s research and development dollars have been spent to get it right, the judges offered.

“The new 2.0L turbo-charged direct injection petrol engine is powerful yet it still does well on the environment front.”

The Optima’s outstanding value for money equation was also worthy of mention by the judges: “Add an industry-leading 7-year transferable warranty and the Optima is very hard to beat in a class where the buyer is particular about what they are getting for their money.”

Unlike most of the Car Of The Year Awards, the ABC Awards are open to any car on sale in Australia, not just those launched in the consideration year.

Sorento, backed by Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year Warranty and capped price service program, had previously been named as the Cars Guide Car Of The Year, Drive’s Best Family SUV, Behind The Wheel’s Car Of The Year and OzRoamer magazines Best SUV Over $60,000.

The surprise winner of the Carsguide Car Of The Year for 2015 is a victory for families

December 4, 2015 / 2493 /

Champion … The Kia Sorrento SUV has been named the 2015 CarsGuide Car of the Year. Picture: Thomas Wielecki

THE Kia Sorento family SUV has won the Carsguide Car Of The Year for 2015, defeating early favourites including European luxury models and the world’s best-selling sports-car.

The panel of seven judges voted unanimously for the seven-seat family SUV after exhaustive testing during the year, and a final shootout over two days which included thousands of kilometres of real-world driving.

Kia, which is the sister company to Hyundai, is just outside the Top 10 sellers list in Australia but this is the second win for the brand in five years after the Kia Rio hatch won in 2011.

“Kia have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years,” said Carsguide editor Richard Blackburn.

“They’ve lifted their interior design, they’ve used Australian engineers to tune their suspension for local conditions and their diesel engines are on par with some of the best for refinement.”

The Mazda MX-5 sports car, known for its fun-to-drive character and new low price, was an early favourite to take out the top prize.

The contenders … But there can only be one winner. Picture: Thomas Wielecki

So too was the just released Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV, which is based on the same underpinnings as last year’s award winner, the Mercedes C Class sedan.

The $49,990 Kia Sorento SLi diesel took out the award because it excelled among its direct rivals in terms of value, low running costs and its industry-leading seven-year factory-backed warranty.

When the final counting was done, the judges also determined that the Kia also stood out among European SUVs costing twice the price.

“The Sorento can hold its own in any company. If you’re still put off by the badge on the nose, it’s your loss,” said Mr Blackburn.

The other contenders for Carsguide Car Of The Year in 2015 included the new Volkswagen Passat sedan, Ford Ranger ute, Jaguar XE sedan, Mazda CX-3 city SUV, Audi RS3 hot hatch, Volvo XC90 luxury SUV, BMW X1 compact SUV, and the Holden Commodore SS-V Redline sedan.

Written by Joshua Dowling, National Motoring Editor, News Corp Australia Network
The Daily Telegraph

Hail Sale On Now!

December 3, 2015 / 3661 /

Kia Sorento 2015 Review via Carsales

August 25, 2015 / 2170 /

Kia Sorento

Slightly bigger and more refined, the new Kia Sorento has arrived in local showrooms. So too has its dearer list price: the entry-spec Sorento Si now begins at $40,990 – a $2000  increase over the outgoing model. On test here is the popular mid-range Sorento SLi, complete with frugal turbo-diesel engine and on-demand all-wheel drive. The full-size family-friendly SUV arrives as standard with seven seats and a six-speed automatic transmission, and is priced from $49,490 (plus on-road costs).

When a manufacturer says its new model is more refined, it’s either marketing spin or an admission the old one wasn’t – or sometimes both.

Now I woudn’t say the previous Sorento was unrefined; in fact, it was a really good thing. But the latest Sorento is just so much better that simply saying it’s “more refined” is an understatement of the highest order.

Utilising Hyundai-Kia’s ‘N’ platform – which it shares with the new Carnival – the Sorento brings evolutionary styling changes and minor revisions to the driveline of the UM-series range. Taken at face value you’d be forgiven for thinking the changes aren’t worthwhile. But drive the car and you’ll find a revolutionary improvement in dynamism, ride comfort, road holding and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).

Kia has done well to insulate the cabin from unwanted mechanical noise, and suppressed road, wind and tyre noise to the point that the Sorento now rivals the hushed interiors of many comparably-sized prestige SUVs. The body and wheelbase are longer than before (+90mm and +80mm), which appears to have improved stability, as well as benefitting passenger and cargo space. The second-row seats are now generously proportioned, while the third-row rivals the Pathfinder for space (growing +15mm). There’s also an increase in cargo capacity, the room behind the third row growing to 320 litres.

But it’s the Australian-tuned chassis that is probably the most noticeable gain. Take away the glitz of the tech-heavy cockpit, comfortable pews and stylish body and it’s the feeling of the altered suspension geometry that gives the Sorento a noticeable edge. Compared to the current-gen Santa Fe (on which the previous Sorento was based), it’s evident the Sorento has a more supple ride, while feeling very nearly as eager in hard cornering. There’s plenty of feedback to the driver, too; though the contrast of the steering wheel’s hard plastic between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock feels awkward as it slips and grips past the softer-touch leather.

Rougher dirt roads and poorly maintained C roads also prove a pleasure in the Sorento. You tend to flinch on approach to larger potholes in SUVs spec’d with largish alloy wheels, but the Sorento SLi (on 18-inch alloys) – and for a couple of days the Sorento Platinum (on 19-inchers) – felt unfussed on such roads, taking even larger craters in their stride. I think Ken Gratton was right when he said the Sorento offered a “convincing” ride/handling blend in his launch review.

The Sorento, like many in its class, features a MacPherson strut (front) / multi-link (rear) suspension arrangement, is stopped by four-wheel disc brakes, and directed by electric steering. All are well tuned for family use, the progressive brake pedal comfortably achieving soft stops (and holding them thanks to an Auto Hold function) and the multi-mode electric steering feeling dampened to the level you might expect from a high-priced German.

Less Germanic, and indeed less American, is the Sorento’s R-Series turbo-diesel engine. With a 2.2-litre displacement the four-cylinder unit makes a competitive 147kW and 441Nm, though it’s not as gutsy as some of its competitors, like the (much dearer) new Audi Q7 (with 200kW and 600Nm) or the Jeep Grand Cherokee (184kW and 570Nm). Performance is best described as progressive or linear, yet still perfectly adequate for our draconian speed limits. The other upshot is that efficiency scores quite highly, a mix of city and freeway driving returning an average of 7.6L/100km.

The Sorento’s cabin is very presentable and appears to feature higher-grade materials than was previously the case. The use of monotone hard plastics is now less evident, broken by carefully crafted geometric lines and trim garnishes. The layout of secondary switchgear is logical and the infotainment and ancillary systems easy to use. Though I did find the lack of turn-by-turn instructions in the instrument panel a little disappointing considering how lavish it otherwise looks.

Both grades of Sorento sampled felt generously equipped for the money, the SLi being particularly good value. Dual-zone climate control, a decent audio system, seamless Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control are all very welcome, though I reckon electric seat adjustment could have squeezed in for the price.

Vents to all three rows are also a nice touch, as is third-row windows little kids could actually see out of (take note, Hyundai). On the downside, the second-row seats don’t fully tumble forward, which makes entry and exit to the third row tricky for adults. Fortunately the Sorento’s third row can be access via both the passenger’s and driver’s sides, which makes things a little safer when getting the littlies in from a kerb-side park (take note, Nissan).

Of course the Sorento also offers the expected number of cup and bottle holders, plenty of knick-knack storage, and a good number of USB ports and 12-volt outlets. It’s also good to find a matching alloy spare wheel up back, stowed under the floor so you don’t have to empty the boot in case of a flat.

As a quiet-riding seven-seater with families front of mind – and with one of the most comprehensive after-sales packages in the business – the Sorento makes a lot of sense. It’s a practical, economical and capable SUV with enough bling to satisfy even the most discerning family buyer. If you haven’t considered a Kia before, you’d be silly not to now.

2015 Kia Sorento SLi pricing and specifications:
$49,490 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo-diesel
Output: 147kW/441Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel: 7.8L/100km (ADR Combined)
CO2: 205g/km (ADR Combined)
Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP

What we liked:
>> Family-friendly packaging
>> Improved ride, dynamism
>> After-sales considerations

Not so much:
>> Slight price increase
>> Folding action of second-row seats
>> No turn-by-turn info in instrument panel

More information on the review can be found via

High praise for Kia Venga after 100,000Km test

October 22, 2014 / 2417 /

Germany’s highly very popular and highly respected car magazine Auto Bild has described the Kia Venga as “the dream of every buyer” after completing a worry-free 100,000Km long-term test.

After driving the Kia Venga 1.4 Litre CVVT EcoDynamics model over two years, the testers praised its incredibly roomy family-friendly cabin, high driving position, large entry and exit openings, practical sliding rear bench seat and very quiet engine during city driving.

Throughout the entire two year test, the Venga’s engine required no oil top-ups between servicing, the transmission was worry free and reliable and the car was still braking perfectly with its original pads and discs even after two years of city driving. Breaking the Kia Venga down into its numerous components with the help of experts from DEKRA (German motors vehicle inspection association), the magazine’s team investigated and examined the parts in detail and revealed only one prosthetic fault – a small crack in the front fog lamp socket which would cost less than 60 dollars to replace.
Of the 97 cars subjected to Auto Bild’s long-term test since 2000, the Kia Venga has been ranked an incredible second, marking its position as one of the most reliable and satisfying cars to own.

Concluding its six-page report on the Venga. Auto Bild stated, “The problem-free Kia Venga just runs, without a worry or complaint and with complete reliability. The practical Korean car scores a dream result and its easy approach to technology makes it a role model and the new benchmark – what’s not there can’t go wrong or break.

Kia New 7 Year Unlimited Kilometer Warranty.

October 22, 2014 / 3166 /

On the first on October 2014 Kia announced possibly the biggest game changer the Australian market has ever seen, they Increasing their warranty to an unbelievable 7 year unlimited kilometer warranty. The new warranty provided my Kia Motors means that new motorists from the first of October will be covered by the warranty till October 2021, on top of that customers also receive 7 years capped price servicing and 7 years roadside assist.

The capped price servicing that Kia provides is fantastic, they will not only provide their customers with a log book service but they have also included the parts and labor for a brake fluid change every two years and a map update package for the first two years as well but they have also agreed to changing the pollen filter whenever it needs to be replaced at no extra cost to the customer.

The nationwide roadside assist that Kia provides is through Assist Australia, which delegates jobs down to RACQ, NRMA and RACV on the east coast. This means that in each state of Australia you will be taken care of by the major provider 24/7 no matter how big or small the job is. The road side assist is provided to the customer for the first 12 months but will be renewed at each yearly service to insure that customer gets the benefits of the full warranty, capped price servicing and road side assist packages.

This new warranty does leave some people asking the question “what if I picked my vehicle up on the 30th of September”, Kia does understand that with a great new update to their product that they can’t update previous customers warranty but what they can do and have done is increase all current Kia customers capped price servicing and roadside assist to 7 years to help with the adjustment.

The only thing that is left to wonder is will the other manufacturers increase their warranty to compete or will they let Kia take the market by storm? All I know is that any manufacturer with a three year warranty will need to step their game up or they will be left to the side.


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