Hyundai & Kia Win A Bunch Of Awards For Their New Electric Vehicles

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Hyundai and Kia have been producing some of the best electric cars on the market for the past decade, and their newest offerings keep the trend going by improving in efficiency, features, and consumer choice yet again. As the end of the year rolls around, so do vehicle awards, but Hyundai and Kia are really racking up the trophies.

A Fatherly Family Friendly Award

As a father of two little girls myself, I thought I’d start with the fun news that Fatherly (“a leading online hub tailored for today’s dads, offering practical advice, engaging content, and valuable resources” that I’m sure I’ve never visited) named the Hyundai IONIQ 6 one of the top 10 family cars of 2023. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised with this one since I thought the IONIQ 6 was a bit small for this kind of award. Apparently, it’s considered big enough. Volkswagen writes, “The all-electric vehicle received praise from the publication for its Insurance Institute for Highway Safety TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating, impressive EPA-estimated range of up to 361 miles[i], remarkable driving performance, spacious rear seat room, incredible value, and family-friendly nature. Fatherly’s ‘Top 10 Family Cars of the Year’ awards presents a comprehensive guide to the best vehicles for families. The publication’s selection criteria focuses on safety, space, visibility, efficiency, and overall family-friendliness.”

Top Gear Thrilled By IONIQ 5 N

The IONIQ 6’s spunky younger sibling, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N, won a big award all to itself. The sporty version of the more mass-market IONIQ 5 won Top Gear‘s 2023 Car of the Year award. I’m not going to lie — when I saw the IONIQ 5 N, I thought it was a bit of a weird, funky-in-a-not-great-way take on the normal IONIQ 5. Then again, I’m not a card-carrying member of the car racing scene or sporty car club. Apparently, this model checks a lot of boxes and comes out cooler than my first impressions communicated to me. And I will say — I do love the blue color of the car (but not the red highlights). Anyway, enough about my surprise — let’s see what Hyundai has to say about it.

The IONIQ 5 N was revealed earlier this year at July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it received universal acclaim as a thrilling new option for driving enthusiasts looking to electrify their passion on both road and track, and as a pioneering technological blueprint for the Hyundai N division’s EV future.

The high-performance model combines the Electrified-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) of the standard IONIQ 5 – the 2022 World Car of the Year – with N’s motorsport-bred technologies and expertise to take driving fun to a new level. And it’s this unswerving focus on delivering maximum enjoyment and excitement behind the wheel that persuaded TopGear’s expert team of judges to name the car the best of the past 12 months.

There you go.

Paul Horrell, a Top Gear writer and a juror for the Car of the Year award, got a little more poetic and a little more technical with his praise while also providing a hint of context on the car’s development. “Hyundai’s engineers set out to make the IONIQ 5 N feel like a lairy petrol car, but became converts to what electrification could do. They took advantage of an EV’s digital domains to give a vast extra set of adjustable parameters. As a result, on road and track it does what you’d never expect of a big EV… overdelivers to a staggering extent. Forget any ‘for an EV’ qualifiers — it’s huge fun full stop. It turns a page for electric cars, which means a new page for cars.”

Hyundai also provided plenty of technical details on the car here.

Kia Wins Different “Family Car of the Year” Award

Fatherly may have put the IONIQ 6 on its top tier of family-friendly cars, but its distant cousin, the Kia EV9, won the award outright from another publication. We’re coming right back to Top Gear for this one. Top Gear named the EV9 the Family Car of the Year.

Clearly, the EV9 has a lot more space inside than the IONIQ 6. But it’s not just about space, range, and the latest infotainment tech. It’s also about vision, feel, extra comfort, and cubbies. “We like the EV9’s relaxed attitude and breezy, surfin’ USA demeanour,” said Ollie Kew, Deputy Editor of Top Gear. “We like the nothing-to-prove reverse snobbery of its badge and that it’s less irritating to operate than a VW ID.Buzz, and travels significantly further on a charge. We like its Bentayga-esque massaging, heated, ventilated seats, its multitude of stowage cubbies, the simplicity of its automatic seat folding, and how it looks a bit like Iron Man’s head. It’s one of 2023’s most interesting cars not because of what it can do, but because of what it represents. Twinning going green and upmarket isn’t easy, but the EV9 pulls it off with style.” They also highlight the car’s ultrafast 800V charging, allowing one to charge from 10% to 80% in 24 minutes if the charging station is powerful enough.

One of the Greatest Innovations of the Year

Popular Science was also enthralled by the Kia EV9. So much so that it named the vehicle one of the 50 greatest innovations of the year!

2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line

“The EV9 SUV is accelerating the EV revolution through a holistic commitment to innovation, including our ’10 Must-Have Items’ that establish a new paradigm in color, material, and finish,” said Steven Center, COO and EVP, Kia America. “With a starting price under $55,000, ultra-fast charging capability and room for up to seven passengers, the EV9 represents the pinnacle of our lineup of award-winning vehicles. This accolade from Popular Science boldly underscores what a game changer the EV9 really is.” And note that Kia has never before had a vehicle make this list.

“Inside and out, the EV9 exemplifies the Kia design philosophy of ‘Opposites United,’ which masters the creative tension generated by the divergent values of nature and modernity to create a harmonious whole,” Kia writes. “In keeping with the tenets of Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ ethos, the interior of the EV9 infuses cues from nature through creative contrast, innovative use of materials, and the interplay between humans and their environment. This post-industrial approach introduces a new level of refinement of craft to Kia.” I’m not sure if that fluffy language is really what did the trick, but the overall intentions and bold steps forward infused the Kia with enough pizzazz to win it this special award.

Car of the Year

With the awards above, it’s not surprising that the EV9 also won a car of the year award. DrivingElectric named it both “Best Premium Electric Car” and overall “Car of the Year.”

“The Kia EV9 alters the electric landscape, offering huge space and a premium feel – all at a sub-premium price. No EV offers this kind of practicality for the money,” the panel of judges noted.

“The EV9 was already one of the most anticipated cars of 2023, and our UK dealer network has received more interest in this car ahead of launch than almost any other Kia vehicle to date,” Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia UK, added. “Our new flagship EV takes Kia into a new segment and puts us up against some very keen competition. But our established reputation as an electrification leader makes this an entirely natural — and hotly awaited — next step for the brand, and we’re delighted to see the car recognised already by DrivingElectric for what it offers customers.”

Top Safety Rating for EV9

The EV9 was also recently awarded the highest possible safety rating in Europe, a 5-star Euro NCAP rating. “Results include an 84 per cent score for adult occupant protection and 88 per cent for child occupant protection,” Kia notes. “High-strength Electric-Global Modular Platform and intelligent safety features combine for outstanding overall safety credentials.”

“Euro NCAP praised the EV9’s passenger compartment for remaining stable in the frontal impact test and providing good protection of the knees and femur of all occupants – regardless of their size and sitting positions. Tests revealed that the EV9 would be a moderately benign impact partner in a frontal collision. In the side barrier test the EV9 scored maximum points, providing strong protection of all critical body areas of driver and passengers. The SUV was also praised for its advanced eCall system which alerts the emergency services in the event of a crash.”

Performance Car of the Year

There’s one more model that deserves a win, though. Over in Scotland, the Kia EV6 GT won the “Performance Car of the Year” award.

“We were bowled over by the high performance and handling prowess of the EV6 GT, but also its abundant quality and all-round ease of use,” the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers jurors wrote. “It’s a powerful car that you can realistically use every day. This potent combination makes the EV6 GT an obvious winner of the ‘Performance Car of the Year’ award.”

Congratulations to Hyundai and Kia for collecting a slew of awards this holiday season.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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