• Kia Keeps ‘Em Coming With Swoopy Future Models

    Kia Forte five-door (Source: Kia)
  • 2011 Kia Optima sedan (Source: Kia)
  • 2011 Kia Sportage (Source: Kia)

Back in 2006, Korean car manufacturer Kia pulled a masterstroke: It nabbed former Audi design chief Peter Schreyer from Volkswagen AG. Now that four years have passed, Schreyer’s influence on Kia’s design teams can been seen in a lineup of elegant cars. In this article we will take a look at what to expect from Kia over the next few years.

Already on the road is the new 2011 Kia Sportage, and it presents a vastly more elegant look than the preceding model. Besides dripping with style, the Sportage is dripping with available features like a navigation system with Sirius traffic data, LED daytime running lights, heated and ventilated front seats, backup sensors, rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, and push-button start. The standard 176HP engine will be joined by a turbo offering in the not so distant future.

Next up is the 2011 Kia Optima sedan. Dramatic styling propels this mid-sizer into the big leagues. Like its sister, the Hyundai Sonata, look for naturally aspirated, turbo, and hybrid variants. A configurator is already online for those of you who want to play with the sedan a little early. Could other Optima body styles such as a wagon or coupe be in the wings?

Hit the jump for the full read.

The Kia Soul has sold well with over 36,657 units sold in the USA during the first seven months of the year. The Soul might receive some powertrain and minor exterior tweaks, but mostly it will be steady as she goes until about mid-decade.

The Kia Forte will see a five-door hatchback body style join the coupe and sedan here in the USA. The 6-speed automatic in the five-door should spread throughout the lineup.

The small Kia Rio will get a complete redo next year. Not that much is known about the appearance of the next model with Kia followers clamoring for spy pictures. Will the upcoming Paris Motor Show have any clues?

The Amanti name will disappear when the Kia Cadenza appears next year. The new model will be longer and wider. Is dropping the Amanti name in the USA a necessary move?

As we recently covered, the current Rondo appears to be a goner in the USA. On Kia’s website, they seem to be steering people towards the new Sportage as a replacement. However, the crossover doesn’t have the same people hauling capacity as the Rondo. Is Kia just going to walk away from this segment in the USA? This is unlikely as AutoExpress recently ran photos of sister company Hyundai testing some swoopy new people movers, one being a Honda Fit/Jazz sized vehicle and the other going after the larger Ford C-Max and Opel Zafira. We would be shocked if Kia’s USA management doesn’t reenter this space with another people mover.

The sock monkey loving Kia Sorento is likely to keep things status quo given its recent restyle. As most manufacturers do, Kia will undoubtedly tweak its appearance and option packages to keep the model fresh.

The Kia Sedona minivan lost its near twin sister the Hyundai Entourage and there is knife fight between Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan for major volume. With all these competitors either brand new or seriously revised, how will Kia respond? Is a shrinking segment worth chasing or is Kia bullish on the fact that minivans will rebound? We don’t know, but we’d like to see the company take another shot.

The body-on-frame Kia Borrego SUV just might be eligible for the worst timed market entry in recent memory. The well-reviewed truck arrived just as everyone was heading for the exits. If you visit Kia’s USA website, you’ll notice that every model shown is either 2010 or 2011. However, the Borrego page says 2009. That is because the Borrego took the year off in the U.S. market. Some rumors have it that there will be a 2011 Kia Borrego in the USA, but this has not been confirmed.

Michael Sheena
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  (380) posted on 08.25.2010

Starting from Soul, I hope they make a more sporty.

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