The Hyundai Kona and RAM 1500 also secured gongs in the award.

Hyundai's luxury brand, Genesis, has snagged a coveted North American Car of the Year gong with its G70 sedan.

The G70 outshone the Honda Insight and Volvo S60/V60 for the title, winning favour among a panel of 54 journalists from some of North America's largest automotive print, online, radio and broadcast media.

“The Genesis G70 doesn’t just go toe-to-toe with segment mainstays like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class—it beats them all in driver engagement while positively slaying them on value for the dollar,” said Chris Paukert, vice-president of the award.

They vote based on segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value. As if the Genesis win wasn't enough for Korea, the Hyundai Kona won SUV of the Year, while the RAM 1500 won Truck of the Year.

Erwin Raphael, executive director of Genesis, said the award will give the brand a "presence boost in the marketplace".

We're still waiting for Genesis to launch locally, after the original plan to start selling cars in the fourth quarter of 2018 was scrapped in favour of a March 2019 on-sale date.

REVIEW: Genesis G70

Speaking with CarAdvice in December 2018, local COO Scott Grant said the brand is planning to "create an ownership experience like people have not seen before" when it finally rolls out.

“Both the purchase experience and the ownership experience will be quite unique in the industry," he explained.

Central to the experience will be boutique, luxury-inspired showrooms in desirable locations like Pitt Street Mall in Sydney. Cars will be sold and contracts signed at the stores, but test drives will happen off-site, at the potential buyer's house or workplace.

Servicing will be remote as well, with Genesis claiming it has no plans to open a traditional dealership Down Under.

The company isn't expecting the rollout to be flawless, but Grant is confident the "very high-quality motor cars" will speak for themselves.