Electric vehicle named car of the year

An electric vehicle has been named Australia's car of the year, beating a competitive line-up of petrol, diesel and other electric cars for the title.

The Kia EV6, a battery-powered SUV, won the title from Carsales on Wednesday, defeating a field of 12 vehicles in what one judge said should prove a point to "anyone who doubts the ability of EVs to be engaging to drive".

The car is the second electric vehicle to take out the top title after the Hyundai Ioniq 5 won the award in 2021.

Carsales editor Mike Sinclair said top cars were chosen in an exacting process that began with 30 vehicles, saw them narrowed down to 12 finalists, and judged on "key cost-to-own measures" by RedBook.

Measures included the ticket price, fuel or electricity usage, standard inclusions, and service and warranty costs over three years.

Mr Sinclair said the opinion of 10 judges accounted for half the scores awarded to each vehicle, and five judges ranked the Kia electric SUV in top place.

The vehicle, he said, had a "great mix of performance and practicality," and demonstrated cutting-edge technology for which electric vehicles were becoming known.

"Increasingly, EVs are driving innovation in the automotive space," he said.

"That's where most manufacturers are putting the lion's share of their development money. It's because markets like Europe are going to an all-EV platform."

Carsales chief car-of-the-year judge Marton Pettendy said the Kia EV6 had earned its place for accurate steering, high performance, "strong tech and safety credentials" and could silence some electric vehicle critics.

"Anyone who doubts the ability of EVs to be engaging to drive, intuitive to operate and user-friendly in all manner of environments needs to drive the Kia EV6," he said.

"The Kia EV6 isn't a cheap car but the lowest cost of ownership over three years suggests EV6 buyers will recoup a lot more of their initial outlay over the life of the car compared to other vehicles."

The Kia EV6 starts at $72,590 plus on-road costs in Australia.

A lower priced petrol-powered vehicle, the Cupra Formentor ($50,690), won second place in the Carsales contest, followed by luxury electric car, the Genesis GV60 ($103,700).

Mr Sinclair said the contest winners would not suit every driver but were about providing guidance.

"It's about giving consumers a starting point," he said. "With the car of the year, we hope we can give people a shortlist they can use."