The all-new Mitsubishi eK X EV has won the 2022-2023 Japan Car of the Year and the K Car of the Year.
In awarding the Japan Car of the Year, the organizing committee recognized the eK X EV for adopting Japanese kei-car standards, lowering the hurdle to owning a battery electric vehicle (EV) at a realistic vehicle price, and increasing the potential for battery EVs to spread in Japan.
Also, before the full-fledged decarbonization era, the combination of kei-car and battery EV not only ensures freedom of mobility for many people including the elderly, but also shows the possibility of solving social issues in a situation where gas stations and public transportation are expected to decline. In terms of driving performance, many commented that its handling and dynamic performance surpass those of conventional kei-cars. It was also highly evaluated for its safety equipment including the 360 degree safety assist (all-around driver assistance system), which provides driver assistance features comparable to those of a luxury car.
In awarding the K Car of the Year, the organizing committee acclaimed the eK X EV as good value for money as an entry-level battery EV even within the category of kei-cars. It was also highly recognized for its driving range of 120 to 150 kilometers (km) in real terms, considering the expected usage environment, as well as for balancing handling stability and quietness at a high level, which many members of the selection committee also pointed out as the reasons for the Japan Car of the Year award.
This is the fifth time4 that Mitsubishi Motors has won the Japan Car of the Year, following the Galant and Legnum in 1996, and the third time5 that it has won an award in the kei-car category, following the eK X space and eK space in 2020.
Reacting, Takao Kato, president and chief executive officer, Mitsubishi Motors, described the award as an evaluation of the electrification technology that his company has honed over the years as well as its underlying strength in car manufacturing.
He said: “We will continue to deliver vehicles that embody Mitsubishi Motors-ness – a combination of safety, security, comfort and environmental-friendliness – and that make driving even more fulfilling for our customers, while contributing to the realization of a carbon-neutral society.”
The eK X EV is a new EV model in the eK X series6, Mitsubishi Motors’ kei-car series with an SUV flavor, offered at an affordable price yet with a driving range of 180 km (in WLTC mode)7, 8 on a single charge that is sufficient for everyday use. It has been well received for its spacious and pleasant cabin, user-friendliness, the smooth and powerful driving experience of EVs, a quiet and comfortable ride, advanced driver assistance systems, and connectivity. Since the premiere in May this year, around 7,500 orders have been received as of the end of November 2022.
The awards of the 43rd Car of the Year Japan were given to models which premiered or started sales in the Japanese market from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022. This year, the 10 Best Cars were selected on November 4, and after the 10 Best Test Drive on November 24, the jury voted for each award. The results were announced on December 8, and winners were selected for the 2022-2023 Japan Car of the Year, Import Car of the Year, Design Car of the Year, Technology Car of the Year, Performance Car of the Year, and K Car of the Year.
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