Officially speaking, the event known as the “Detroit Auto Show” is titled the “North American International Auto Show,” so it makes sense that not only is the North American Car of the Year trophy presented in the Motor City, but so is the International Car of the Year (ICOTY) prize—which this year went to the completely redesigned 2013 Kia Optima.
The recognition comes from Road & Travel Magazine, with the winner chosen by a panel of automotive experts gathered from some of the country’s top industry publications. And according to Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of Road & Travel: “The Kia Optima rose to the top of the list as the most emotionally compelling vehicle above all others. Its functional yet sleek design as well as advanced features intertwines effortlessly with consumer lifestyles on many levels, qualities we look for when considering contenders for the ICOTY awards.”
Now being built in the U.S., at Kia’s manufacturing complex in Georgia, the Optima leveraged many of those exact characteristics to become the brand’s best-selling vehicle of 2012. In fact, in 2012 the Optima became the first Kia vehicle to deliver more than 150,000 units in a single year in this country, while also enjoying an 80 percent increase in volume.
“We are thrilled that our best-selling Optima has earned the distinction of being named International Car of the Year by Road & Travel Magazine, further elevating its status in the midsize segment," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of Marketing and Communications for Kia Motors America. "The Optima continues to attract new customers to the Kia brand by offering an impressive combination of design, performance, comfort and technology. All of this while still maintaining Kia’s unmatched value proposition."