Sure, the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards get most of the attention at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but there’s also another pair of (unrelated) prizes that put more of an emphasis on the event’s global nature: That would be the International Car and Truck of the Year Awards, of course, presented annually by Road & Travel Magazine and sponsored by Bridgestone Tire.
The honors here are based on “the emotional connection between the car and consumer,” but do take into account factors like styling, handling, public reaction, diversity marketing, and advertising as well.
As far as this year’s winners, the International Car of the Year (ICOTY) was the 2014 Kia Cadenza. Per Martha Hindes, writing for Road & Travel, the Cadenza is today’s “optimal new luxurious sedan, with must-have amenities, a tuxedo-crisp interior, handsome and shapely exterior with just the right touch of pizazz, a soft touch in how it treats the driver, but unrelenting compliance in its road manners.”
But what sealed the deal for Hindes is the fact that the 2014 Kia Cadenza delivers all these features with relative affordability and an MSRP that starts at $35,100.
The win also sets up an interesting possibility for next year’s International Car of the Year Award. With the Kia Optima winning the prize in 2013, the brand is in line for a hat trick with the even more upscale Kia K900 for 2015.
“This year marks Kia’s 20th anniversary in the U.S. market, and in that time, we have become known for taking bold steps. The 2014 Cadenza is another leap forward for the brand and has brought new and affluent customers into our retail showrooms, people who had never considered Kia before,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of Marketing & Communications for Kia Motors America. “To win the prestigious ICOTY award two years running is a clear indication that our products continue to offer a world-class balance of design, amenities and value for today’s discerning car buyers.”
Road & Travel also recognized three other vehicles during press days for the Detroit auto show …