Kia has won the Northern Group of Motoring Writers Car of the Year award for the second year in a row, with the all-electric e-Niro scooping the 2019 prize.
The e-Niro represents a landmark in the NGMW’s COTY award as, although not the first nominated, it’s the first fully electric car to ever win.
As with the 2018 award, the Kia was selected in a two-stage process. Firstly the Group’s 30-strong membership voted for the cars they’d driven over the previous 12 months to generate a shortlist of six category finalists.
These six cars then headed to a driving day, this year held at the Coniston Hotel near Skipton. A panel of judges spent all day with the six cars, poking, prodding, and — of course — driving them.
It was a close-run thing though, as the Kia won by three points from the highly rated Alpine A110, with the Mazda 3, Peugeot 508, Toyota Corolla, and Volvo V60 making up the rest of the final field.
As is traditional, the members of the Group attending the SMMT Test Day North presented the winning manufacturer with the trophy.
Chairman Andy Harris and general secretary Alan Domville handed Kia’s press relations manager Dan Sayles with a celebratory bottle of Taittinger champagne and the famous “Arthur”: a miner’s lamp named for famous Yorkshire miner Arthur Scargill.
It’s the fourth time in the last nine years that Kia has won the NGMW’s gong, with the Picanto victorious in 2011 and the cee’d in 2012, making it the only manufacturer to have defended its award twice!