The ABC judging panel, drawn from experts from each of the state motoring clubs, found that the Sportage: "has a solidly constructed feel and comes with the reassurance of an excellent five-star ANCAP Safety rating.
"The build quality and finish of Kia vehicles has improved dramatically in the last couple of years and the Sportage is now as good if not better in this area than many of the highly credentialed Japanese and European models in this class"
Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow was proud of the award, which was one of two Australia's Best Car gongs won by Kia this year.
"This is a wonderful result _ a genuine endorsement of the work Kia has been doing to provide cars to Australian buyers with the key qualities of safety, quality and enjoyment," Barlow said.
The award for Best SUV over $40,000 went to Hyundai's recently-launched 'santa Fe Elite'.