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 "The West Australian"'s Car of the Year
 Posted: Dec 16 2017, 05:16 PM

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Kia Stinger voted The West Australian’s Car of the Year

Sam Jeremic Saturday, 16 December 2017 2:00AM

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There was a time not too long ago when Korean cars were seen in a decidedly negative light: cheap, unsafe, unreliable and undesirable.

But how things have changed.

Both Kia and Hyundai are in the top 10 selling brands in the country so far this year.

The Hyundai i30 is one of the biggest-selling vehicles in the land, with this year’s all-new version universally praised, while the Kia Stinger was so good we’ve named it The West Australian’s Car of the Year.

Perceptions of the brands changed over the past 20 or so years, with models such as the Excel and Getz selling in large numbers and showing buyers Korean cars may be affordable but, thanks to a drastic improvement in quality, they were often also very easy to live with and offered great value.

Kia hired Audi’s design chief Peter Schreyer in 2006 and started pumping out some genuinely attractive, desirable cars, while Hyundai reached such a level of esteem in Australia that the company felt comfortable enough to launch its Genesis luxury sub-brand here a couple of years back.

Kia also put any reliability concerns to bed with an industry-best after-sales program offering a seven-year warranty, seven years of roadside assist and seven years of capped-price servicing.

Our judges were won over by Kia’s staggering performance, refinement and value — plus its continuing of the affordable large performance car segment in Australia after the demise of the locally made Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.

Some of its lustre was lost this week with news ANCAP had given the entry-level Stinger S a three-star crash-safety rating. Though all other variants were awarded five stars, the absence of autonomous emergency braking and lane support systems in the S saw it receive a lower score.

Part of the issue is the Stinger’s results were based on a Euro NCAP crash test rather than being tested locally, something that will be changed in January when Euro NCAP and ANCAP fully align their protocols.

Kia responded to questions with “no comment”, though given it was quick to address issues when its Carnival people mover only received a four-star rating in 2015, there’s every chance the Stinger S will soon be updated with the necessary tech.

Korean cars have definitely come along way since we were introduced to them. European influences have definitely lifted their standards.

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Winston Churchill
 Posted: Dec 16 2017, 06:43 PM

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Sure looks better than the new Commodore from Germany.

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