The Kia Rio has been voted Continental Irish Car of the Year 2012 by the Irish Motoring Writers’ Association.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony in the Convention Centre Dublin attended by leading figures from the motor industry. It marks the first time a Korean car brand has taken the title in the 35-years history of the awards.
The top three in the results were as follows: 1. Kia Rio, 181 points; 2. Ford Focus, 176 points; 3. Peugeot 508, 165 points.
The Irish Motoring Writers’ Association judges awarded points on the basis of criteria that included innovation and safety, space, comfort, build quality, driving quality, and value for money.
Presenting the award to James Brooks, managing director of Kia Ireland, Paddy Murphy of sponsor Continental Tyres Ireland, commented: “From a great crop of entrants for this year’s award, the Irish motoring writers have selected an exciting model to carry the 2012 title and no doubt the Continental Irish Car of the Year accolade will provide a great badge of honour for the Kia Rio to help it in the competitive Irish market next year. The Rio’s victory is a measure of the progress which Korean manufacturers have made on the car market in a very short time.”
Awards were made in five categories, reflecting the diversified nature of today’s car market in Ireland.
Continental Irish Small Car of the Year: Kia Rio.
Continental Irish Compact Family Car of the Year: Ford Focus.
Continental Irish Family Car of the Year: Peugeot 508.
Continental Irish Executive /Luxury Car of the Year: Range Rover Evoque.
Continental Irish Performance Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz SLK.
The Kia Rio succeeds the Nissan Juke which took the prestigious title last year. The Continental Irish Van of the Year 2012 title was awarded to the Volkswagen Crafter.
The Irish Motoring Writers' Association has organised the Irish Car of the Year Awards each year for the past 35 years.
VW Crafter is Van of the Year
The Volkswagen Crafter has been voted the Continental Irish Van of the Year 2012 by the Irish Motoring Writers’ Association.
The Crafter, with 44 points, finished just ahead of the Fiat Ducato EU5 on 38 points, with the Fiat Doblo Workup in third place on 29 points.
Value-for-money, reliability, versatility and lasting residual value were among the attributes sought by the judging panel.
Presenting the award to Niall Phillips of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland, Paddy Murphy of sponsor Continental Tyres Ireland, said: “The VW Crafter is a worthy winner of the Irish Van of the Year title, ideally suited to the needs of Ireland’s commercial vehicle operators. In the current tough market conditions for commercial vehicles, we are sure that the award will contribute in no small way to the ongoing success of the Crafter.”
There are 260 versions of the Crafter available to suit a range of requirements and prices range from €22,000 excl VAT.
The Crafter succeeds the Mercedes Benz Vito, last year's winner. And, at the same ceremony, the Kia Rio was voted Continental Irish Car of the Year 2012.