2021 Kia K5
It’s been almost a decade since Kia introduced the 2011 Optima in the U.S. and the time has come for a generation swap. Call it a model swap, actually, as the new 2021 Kia K5 mid-size saloon is here to take over from where the Optima left off.
Kia will assemble the K5 next to the crisp-looking Telluride SUV at its plant in West Point, Georgia. Before the first cars roll off the production line, let’s look at what customers will be getting from the 2021 K5 sedan.
2021 Kia Seltos - Driven
The subcompact crossover class has so much potential. Best-selling “compact” models like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox have gotten fantastically spacious, refined — and expensive. A modern CR-V or RAV4 is just as big, fancy, and costly as midsize models used to be. For lots of people, they’re still a great deal: for as little as $25,000, you get ample space for four or even five adults and their stuff, all the latest advanced safety features, a fully featured touchscreen infotainment system, and great gas mileage. But lots of people don’t need or even want something this big, or at least aren’t eager to pay for it. So most automakers now offer a subcompact model that’s smaller and less expensive than their compact.
What’s puzzling, though, is how flawed most of these subcompact crossovers have proven to be. Many of them are polarizing styling statements, sometimes with looks that compromise their utility even more than their scaled-down dimensions do. A surprising number of them offer no all-wheel-drive. Some suffer from execution flaws like underpowered yet inefficient engines, compromised interior layouts, or clumsy driving dynamics. Each model that gets a lot right has also had at least one serious flaw — whether it’s the fun-to-drive but cramped Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 and CX-30; the spacious but slow, noisy Honda HR-V; the pleasant but overpriced Nissan Rogue Sport; the off-road-ready, on-road-jerky Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek; or a host of other would-be contenders. That’s to say nothing of the ones that, well, don’t get a lot right. Why, oh why, couldn’t someone just take everything that people love about a compact crossover and simply make it a little smaller and less expensive?
At long last, that call has been answered. The all-new 2021 Kia Seltos is a mechanical cousin to the Hyundai Kona, but it’s taller and longer. And that’s just what was needed to address the Kona’s lower, more car-like seating position and its tight rear seating. This makes the Seltos the first truly well-rounded subcompact crossover, delivering all-around competence with no disastrous downsides. It’s handsome, functional, fun to drive, fuel-efficient, and affordable. While no car is perfect — certain buyers will gravitate toward the specific advantages of some Seltos competitors — this is the only subcompact crossover that has something for just about everyone.
2020 Kia Telluride - Driven
The Telluride joined Kia’s lineup for the 2020 model year as its biggest SUV yet. It’s positioned in the midsize class, despite the fact that it’s not much larger than the Kia Sorento. As is the usual case, it shares a lot of core DNA with a Hyundai product – in this case, the Hyundai Palisade – but it still features its own distinct styling. It’s only available with a V-6, but it does provide ample power, towing up to 5,000 pounds, and it comes at a price that gives it a competitive edge over models like the Honda Pilot and Volkswagen Atlas.
As Kia’s newst SUV, we’ve been itching to see what it’s like to live with the new Telluride, and we finally got out chance. This is what we’ve learned after a week of driving the Hyundai Telluride.
If you didn’t realize that there was a gap between the Kia Soul and the Kia Sportage, well, don’t feel bad because we didn’t either. But, it’s all good, because Kia has managed to fill that gap with a model known as the Seltos. It celebrated its U.S. launch at the 2019 Los Angels Auto Show after being introduced a couple of months before that in India. Naturally, there are some minor changes to make it meet U.S. regulations, but for the most part, we’re looking at a compact SUV with some Telluride-inspired design cues and enough ground clearance that you could actually take it off the beaten path if you really wanted to.
The real highlight of the Seltos is its cargo capacity. In relation to its size, the capacity is rather respectable at 26.6 cubic-feet with the rear seats in place and 62.8 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded down. It also comes with a decent list of technology, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that looks like it came out of yesteryear’s BMW parts bin, and there’s even an 8-speaker Bose audio system. The latter is actually a first for a Kia, so it has that going for it.
The Seltos is available with your choice of two different engines. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The smaller, but turbocharged 1.6-liter mill delivers 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s also a small model, so it should be adequate. Kia is promising an impressive starting point of “below $22,000,” so expect it to start out around $21,990 and climb closer to the $30,000 range in top trim.
2020 Kia XCeed Crossover
For those who want the Ceed hatchback, but wrapped in a higher-riding, crossover-like package and with a hint of extra sportiness to its design, then the Kia XCeed is what you’re looking for. Its underpinnings are pretty much identical to those of the regular Ceed, but for some buyers, the fact that you sit higher off the ground in combination with the more rakish design will make it an irresistible proposition.
Kia markets it as “a sporty alternative to traditional SUVs” and while it’s certainly sportier than typical, tall SUVs, it’s not actually a sporty car. I will grant Kia this, though - this is the best looking member of the current Ceed family, which to my eyes is even more handsome than the Proceed wagon, thanks to its unique fascias and that very well executed fastback-style hatch.
And if at first glance you’re thinking “this looks quite different to all other Ceed models,” you are actually right. The only body panels the XCeed shares with the rest of the Ceed lineup are the front door panels - everything else is bespoke and really quite distinctive. The automaker has also tried to spruce up the interior, although here it only changed a few bits of trim to match the car’s more lively exterior - the dashboard, controls, seats and, well, pretty much everything is identical to what you see in the Ceed hatch.
2020 Kia Telluride - Driven
As I photographed the 2020 Kia Telluride in a Maryland park, a fellow visitor peeled off from his family to ask about the car. It made sense. Full-size crossovers like the Telluride are the chariot of choice for many families today, thanks to their three rows of seats and long lists of amenities. And the all-new Telluride had just hit the market. But as it turned out, the man wasn’t eyeing the Telluride for himself. It was his teenage daughter who’d sent him across the parking lot to check out this newly released SUV. It looked cool, she told him, kind of like a Range Rover. And she wanted one.
2020 Kia Sportage
Proudly sitting as the main attraction at Kia’s 2019 Chicago Auto Show stand, the new 2020 Kia Sportage introduced us to a number of novelties, most important of which is its amazing standard safety pack. The subtle facelift touched the 2020 Kia Sportage’s front and back end and gifted low-end models with even more tech. While this is basically all that’s important on the newest Sportage, it seems that this compact SUV really doesn’t need more improvement. It is a value-centered compact SUV, and it does all it should really well. After all, it does have some legacy to defend. Believe it or not, the Sportage was the first car with a knee airbag back in 1998. Heck, it is even the first vehicle to complete the Paris-Dakar rally and the Baja 1000. It did it in 1993 and 1995, respectively. While Kia is not really big on promoting these facts, I can tell you that the new Sportage really does epitomize the safety proves and the sporty character of its predecessors.
2020 Kia Telluride
Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2020 Kia Telluride is the company’s largest SUV yet and the first vehicle the Korean brand developed specifically for the U.S. market. It is based on the Telluride concept shown in 2016 but the two share very few features inside and out. It shares underpinnings with the 2019 Hyundai Palisade, introduced in 2018.
Although it’s the largest Kia yet and it can seat up to eight people, the Telluride isn’t much bigger than the Sorento. However, the few extra inches it has in the wheelbase and width enable it to compete with the popular Honda Pilot and the newly introduced Volkswagen Atlas. Like most midsize SUVs, the Telluride comes with just one engine in the form of a V-6, but if the concept before it is any indication, a hybrid drivetrain will be offered soon.
2020 Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV
Kia has finally embarked on creating hybrid systems for its popular hatchbacks. The Ceed Sportswagon PHEV should be the first one from the Ceed family to benefit from the new technology, and I am reporting on this because we have actually caught the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV testing in the wilderness. The Hyundai-Kia duo does wonders in the hybrid world right now. The Kona Plug-in hybrid prototypes roam the streets, and a few interesting production hybrids found their place in Hyundai and Kia showrooms. However, the unavoidable introduction of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV basically announces something very important - the coming of the Ceed hatchback hybrid and, far more importantly, the Sportage hybrid. Now, that will be really important. Yet, let’s start with the basics - the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV.
2020 Kia Forte GT
The GT version of the Forte was to arrive soon, but we expected it to make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show early next year. The South Korean automaker caught us by surprise by releasing the updated Forte GT for the 202 model year. It carries the good looks but adds more grunt and pace to the standard Forte.
2019 Kia Niro EV
The Kia Niro EV is the all-electric version of the Niro subcompact crossover that the Korean automaker launched for the 2017 model year. Unveiled in Autumn 2018 as the e-Niro for the European market, the Niro EV is the U.S.-spec model and broke cover at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Virtually identical to its European sibling, the Niro EV and e-Niro share the same features and specification, save for the less powerful base model. Kia chose to bring only the more powerful version to the U.S., where it will compete against its platform sibling, the Hyundai Kona Electric (or EV on this side of the pond). The Niro EV is Kia’s first all-electric crossover and among the first battery-powered SUVs for the non-premium market.
2020 Kia Soul
It ain’t easy standing out in the overly-saturated subcompact crossover segment, but the Kia Soul does exactly that with its mix of unique and attractive styling, equipment, and overall value. Now the Soul enters its third generation for the 2020 model year with a debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and its bringing a fresh take on the boxy goodness of the outgoing model, plus loads of gear, fun features, and a stout turbo engine option.
2020 Kia Soul EV
Ever since the Kia Soul first broke into the auto scene in 2009, it has carved its own path unique path in the auto industry. Almost ten years later, the Soul is entering its third-generation, and it includes an improved EV model as well. The 2020 Kia Soul EV has arrived, and it’s a far departure from what we know of the Soul’s all-electric model. It has a fresh new look and, more importantly, a bigger battery pack to go with a more potent electric motor. You think that the 2020 Soul EV is the still the same electric crossover from year’s past? You’d be wrong. The 2020 Kia Soul EV will launch sometime in mid-2019 but pricing figures have yet to be announced.
2019 Kia e-Niro
After unveiling the Niro EV at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in South Korea, Kia has also revealed the European version, dubbed e-Niro, at this year’s Paris Motor Show. It comes with two battery pack options, a range of up to 301 miles (or 485 km) on one charge, and it even comes with a system called Coasting Guide Control which informs the driver of the best times to coast calculated based on a planned route.
You may also have noticed that its name sounds like the surname of Robert DeNiro and Kia has gone ahead and embraced this and featured the movie star in its TV, digital and print adverts.
2019 Kia Ceed GT
This is the new Kia Ceed GT - something called a warm hatch and is destined to reach Europe in an effort to upscale the entire Ceed family there. It will do so along with the new Proceed Shooting Brake. None of these cars will ever be available in the U.S., but they do show rather impressive effort focused on Kia’s reimagination of its brand. Kia isn’t a super-cheap car producer anymore. It has a coupe-like sedan with 373 horsepower, a grille called Tiger Nose, and now the Ceed GT that is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine that develops 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Yup, the very same engine you can get here in the Veloster. Actually, imagine that I am whispering to you now - the Ceed GT is really, really similar to the Veloster Turbo R-Spec. Only, it has a normal number of doors.
The Kia e-Niro Electric Crossover Has an All-Electric Range of 301 Miles
The Kia e-Niro is all set to debut in its Euro-spec avatar at the Paris Motor Show next month. Essentially, it’s the same car as the U.S.-spec model, but there are quite a few differences apart from the name. For starters, the e-Niro has 65 miles of extra range over that of the Niro EV. Jealous? Don’t be. It’s because of the difference in the measuring cycles as well.
Kia has chosen to reimagine its next-gen ProCeed as a five-door fastback-like wagon, ditching the three-door layout of the previous model. Called a shooting brake by the company, and set to be revealed to the public next month at the Paris motor show, it is essentially a more rakish looking version of the load-lugging Ceed Sportwagon for those looking to blend practicality with making a more dramatic entrance.
This new ProCeed is slightly longer than the Sportwagon (by 5 mm) and a fair chunk shorter too (by 43 mm) and it even has a lower ground clearance too (also by 5 mm). Kia promises it’s still almost as practical as the actual wagon, though, offering only 30 liters less load volume.
Proceed will sit at the top of the Ceed lineup and Kia actually calls it “the most emotionally engaging car in the range.” It will, however, carry over all the engines found in the regular Ceed and also be offered as a sporty-looking GT Line model or warmed up GT..
2019 Kia ProCeed GT
There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the arrival of the Kia Proceed, and new spy shots of the sporty GT model has given rise to more speculation that the five-door fastback model is getting closer to its launch date. Kia hasn’t confirmed when that’s going to be, but all signs point to the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October. If that ends up being the case, these spy photos of the five-door Proceed are arriving at just the right time.
2019 Kia K900
The Kia K900 was launched in 2012 as the company’s most luxurious flagship sedan ever. Designed to replace the Amanti, a four-door which had moderate success in the U.S., the K900 brought Kia closer to its goal: to provide a solid competitor for the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. After almost six years on the market, the K900 was redesigned from the ground up and introduced to the North American market at the 2018 New York Motor Show.
Unveiled for the first time in its home market in South Korea, the new K900 looks significantly more modern than its predecessor. And, although it sports the brand’s current design language, it also boasts a few styling features of its own. It looks like Kia wants the K900 to stand out in the lineup, which is a good strategy in a market where sedans from different segments share too many features. The interior is a big step forward too, with the stylish design and the numerous convenience features putting it on par with the German sedans. Let’s have a closer look at what’s new in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Kia K900.