The 2020 Kia Telluride, the largest SUV in the Kia Motors lineup, sure made quite the splash didn’t it? Although still going strong, the likes of the Kia Seltos have quickly garnered this compact SUV attention. Earlier this year, the Kia Telluride succeeded in winning “Triple Crown” of Prestigious Automotive Awards, locking in MotorTrend SUV of the Year, a place on the Car and Driver 10 Best list, and winning the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award during the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards. January is still some time away, but 2021 NACTOY has just released the vehicles that made it to the semifinals, and Kia Motors appears more than once.
“Many of the new models on our semifinalist list make bold statements that are intended to distinguish them within their segments…Several are all-electric, while others have groundbreaking designs or off-the-charts capabilities. It will be fascinating to see which risks pay off this year as our evaluation process continues.” – NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg
Because the NACTOY awards focus on vehicles available to consumers this year that are either all-new or substantially new, the Kia Telluride was not in this competition. Instead, out of the 27 new vehicles that made it to the semifinals for the 2021 awards – out of eight passenger cars, 15 utility vehicles, and four pickup trucks – the Kia K5, Kia Seltos, and Kia Sorento all made the cut.
But wait, the Kia Sorento isn’t new. True, the model itself isn’t new, but the Kia Sorento for the 2021 model year is the next generation for the lineup. Ergo, the Kia Sorento is all new for 2020. The Kia Seltos makes perfect sense – having landed a spot on the WardsAuto 10 Best UX list for 2020. This compact SUV has already captured the hearts of many, but nothing is going to get blood pumping like the Kia K5 sports car. Also known as the Kia Optima reborn, the old vehicle entered its next generation and is now donning its Korean birth, k name, henceforth known as the K5. Kia has shown us the true capability of the K5 with death-defying stunts twice already.
So, how did the NACTOY Awards come to the conclusion for the semifinalists list? Made up of a judging panel consisting of respected jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada, vehicles are judged based on innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for price. We’ll know if any of the Kia Motors vehicles make it to the final round soon enough. This week in October, 5-8 2020, jurors will get a second chance to re-evaluate semifinalists and pick three winners for each category of the 2021 NACTOY Awards.
The finalist winners will then be announced during an event that will take place in December, during the 2020 Los Angeles Auto Show, assuming it is actually going to be in function this year. Official winners of each category will then be announced in January 2021 during the following auto show TBD, the 2021 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Can Kia Motors make it to the winner’s circle again this year?