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2019 Kia Ceed GT-Line

2019 Kia Ceed GT-Line

Hot hatches are big business in Europe, but not everybody wants the stiffer ride, or the higher associated fuel bills, which is why Kia has made the Ceed GT-Line which it revealed at the Paris motor show.

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2019 Kia Ceed GT

2019 Kia Ceed GT

A Warm Car That Does Not Try To Be Hot

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.

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2018 Kia Ceed

2018 Kia Ceed

New-generation hatchback comes with new tech and a new name

After six years on the market, the second-generation Kia Cee’d is getting ready to retire at the end of the year. Replacing it is the third-generation model, a more modern hatchback updated to the company’s new design language and fitted with Kia’s latest technology. On top of that, the Cee’d name was replaced with Ceed. The hatchback makes its global debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Also designed, developed, engineered, and built in Europe, the new Ceed aims to account for an even greater proportion of Kia’s European sales. Specifically, the Korean brand is hoping to sell more than 700,000 units and more than 16 percent of its European sales. Kia didn’t say why the Cee’d badge was replaced with Ceed, but it points out that it consolidates its reputation as "a car for the Community of Europe, with European Design." Well, I guess they finally realized that car names and badges need to be simple as possible, so I happy to see the apostrophe go.

As until now, the Kia Ceed will go against tough competition in Europe. Although both the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus are fairly old, they’re still highly popular and in line to get redesigned versions soon. Then there’s the Hyundai i30, a solid proposition in this niche. Let’s see what the new Ceed has to offer.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Ceed.

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2018 Kia Rio GT-Line

2018 Kia Rio GT-Line

Prepare to meet Kia’s new sporty B-segment hatchback

They say great things come in small packages. In Kia’s case, that may well be true in the form of the Rio GT-Line, a "punchier" version of the company’s best-selling B-segment compact hatchback. According to Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, the new Rio GT-Line offers a “range of comfort and safety features, superb versatility, and confident, sporty styling.” We normally take comments like this with a grain of salt due to their self-serving nature, but we’re making an exception this time because the Rio GT-Line does have all those qualities, and then some.

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2018 Kia Rio - Driven

2018 Kia Rio - Driven

The humble hatchback goes highbrow for 2018

Ask anyone to think of the Kia Rio, and first recollections generally include its overall cheapness and lack of desirability. Well, Kia has worked hard to changes that for 2018, moving the humble hatchback up-market while actually dropping its base price. Is it too good to be true? To find out, I spent a week with the new 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door equipped in its range-topping EX trim.

It’s worth knowing the 2018 Rio isn’t technically new. In fact, it rides on the same platform as before and uses the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder. However, that’s where the similarities stop. The car has been slightly lengthened and widened, and the naturally aspirated engine gets improvements in efficiency and drivability. Of course, the 2018 Rio’s appearance is different, too. The new car looks more upscale than before, both outside and inside.

Let’s have a look at Kia’s most affordable model.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door.

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2017 Kia Rio

2017 Kia Rio

The fourth-generation hatchback is quite the looker!

Introduced in 2000 as the company’s affordable, global subcompact, the Kia Rio is already in its fourth-generation as of 2016. Redesigned from the ground up for the 2017 model year, Kia’s small hatchback made its public debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show went on sale in Europe and the United States in the first quarter of 2017. Much like its Hyundai-badged sister model, the i20, the Rio received a thorough makeover, now featuring a sportier exterior with styling cues borrowed from its larger, newer siblings.

Longer, wider, and lower, the fourth-gen Rio aims to draw more customers into dealerships, particularly those who would rather purchase a Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo. Kia promises "class-leading practicality and safety technology," and more "engaging ride and handling characteristics" to go with the more aggressive design. The Korean brand also aims to improve global sales of the Rio, which is the manufacturer’s best-selling model, with more than 473,000 examples delivered in 2015. The fourth-generation model entered production at the end of 2016 at the company’s Sohari manufacturing facility in South Korea.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Rio.

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Kia Rio 5-Door

Kia Rio 5-Door

In 2015, Kia gave the Rio a mild facelift that gave the compact a fresh appearance, a few extra soft-touch materials on the inside, and a quieter cabin. As expected, that didn’t help much in regard to the nameplate’s sliding sales, but things should get better once the fourth-generation model arrives. Rumored to debut in late 2016 and go on sale in 2017, the redesigned compact is already being tested on public roads.

Our trusty paparazzi just sent us a batch of fresh spy shots of the upcoming Rio, and even though the hatchback is camouflaged to the teeth, we do have an idea about what it might bring to the table. And, as we always do, we will discuss the new Rio in a speculative review based on the information provided by the photos, as well as the recent changes in the automaker’s lineup.

Although we only have photos of the hatchback, known as the Rio 5-Door on these shores, the model will also be joined by a sedan, enabling Kia to compete with big boys such as the four-door Ford Fiesta. Keep reading for more details and stay tuned for updates. We’ll be back as soon as we have them.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Rio.

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2017 Kia Forte5

2017 Kia Forte5

The eye-catching Soul isn’t the only five-door subcompact on offer from Kia’s showrooms. The more conservative Forte range also includes a hatchback model. The Kia Forte5 is an extension of the Forte sedan and is designed to appeal to buyers who might not be in love with the Soul’s polarizing boxy design. A major facelift for 2017 gives the Forte5 increased curb presence and a new family face.

If it seems like you’ve seen the Forte5 before, that’s because it’s been restyled to more closely resemble the mid-size Optima. Kia has also updated the amenities list, with items more traditionally found on premium cars, to enhance the Forte5’s wallet appeal. As Kia’s strategy seems to be to get the engineering down first and worry about the styling second, the facelift suggests that the underpinnings have reached world-class levels.

The better-looking Forte5 goes on sale later this year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Forte5.

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2017 Kia Picanto

2017 Kia Picanto

The tiny Picanto moves onto the third generation with a new exterior and new tech

Launched in 2003 as a city car based on a shortened platform of the Hyundai Getz, the Kia Picanto soldiered on unchanged until 2011, when the second-generation model was introduced. Redesigned from the ground up under the direction of Peter Schreyer, the new model shared underpinnings with the Hyundai i10 and was larger than its predecessor. A significant facelift followed in 2015, but right after that Kia began working on the third-generation hatchback, which just broke cover ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

As expected, Kia aimed to retain the second-gen model’s main feats, such as low running costs and compact dimensions for city driving, and spice things up with a new design language and an updated, more upscale interior. Not surprisingly, the Picanto received Kia’s latest design features seen on larger models, but also an array of much-needed apps and gadgets on the inside. The big news is that Kia decided to discontinue the three-door version, leaving the five-door as the only option available. Under the hood, the Korean brand revised the previous engines, while also adding a new turbocharged option.

Much like its predecessor, the Picanto won’t cross the pond to North America, where the Rio 5-door will remain Kia’s smallest hatchback. The new Picanto, however, will be offered in most markets in Europe and Asia, where it will compete against the likes of [Toyota Aygo, Ford Ka, and Hyundai i10.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Picanto.

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2014 Kia Forte

2014 Kia Forte

Much like its sister company, Hyundai, Kia has been designing cars that not only offer its customers low-cost options to higher-priced brands, but also cars that offer high-quality workmanship and stylish appearances. We all knew that the Kia Forte is going to be up for a significant redesign when its 2014 model year debuts at the 2012 LA Auto Show, but we were not too sure what direction Kia would take it.

But now that the covers have been officially pulled and we have our answer.

We want to say that the Forte blew us away, but that just wouldn’t be fair to it. Sure, there are things about it that we like, but some elements of the car still leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, a car like the Forte, or any other in this segment for that matter, isn’t subject to an all-or-noting affection level.

There are things about it we liked. There are things we didn’t like. At the end though, the Forte received good marks from us because the things we liked outweighed the things we didn’t like.

Not by much. But hey, that’s still worth some salt to us.

Updated 02/24/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, spent a week with a Kia Forte EX with all sorts of goodies installed. Did he love it? Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump.

Find out what we think of the new 2014 Kia Forte after the jump

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2014 Kia Soul

2014 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul was introduced in 2008 as a concept, and later as a production model for the 2009 model year. It didn’t come to the states until 2010, where the first generation lasted through the 2012 model year. For 2014, Kia brought us the second-generation Soul that included design elements from the Tack’ster Concept from 2012. On the outside, the Soul received new exterior light units, a slightly revised front and rear fascia, and new side view mirrors. Inside, the interior was fitted with softer materials on the dash, center console, and door panels to help improve its “premium” appearance. Other interior features included a round shifter knob, push-button start, and revised steering wheel controls. Under the hood, consumers had the choice of a 130-horsepower 1.6-liter or a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. A six-speed manual came as standard equipment, but a six-speed automatic was available at a premium. To round out the new Soul, it had an all-new chassis that was stiffer than before, heavily revised suspension, and a one-piece steering system.

In all reality, the Soul really didn’t change all that much, and to the untrained eye, the subtle changes that came with the second generation may not even be noticeable. Then again, Kia put a lot of work into the chassis and suspension, so ride quality and overall structural rigidity were increased significantly. Unfortunately, the second-generation model didn’t come with the cool hipster hamsters either, but that didn’t make the boxy little SUV any less fun to drive. With that said, check out our full and detailed review below to learn more about the second-generation Kia Soul.

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2014 Kia Rio 5-Door

2014 Kia Rio 5-Door

In a market rife with competition from some notable models, the 2014 Kia Rio 5-Door is determined to make its mark.

Over the years, the Rio has done just that, keeping pace with its rivals with a package that can best be described as pleasant. But with the new generation Rio only a year old, Kia is becoming more aggressive in its desire to be a player in the compact hatch market.

That’s where the 2014 Rio comes into the picture. Mixing attractive aesthetics with a comfortable interior and an impressive powertrain, the 2014 Rio is bent on making waves. To its credit, it’s got all the tools to do sol; the only caveat is whether it can topple some of the more established models already in the fold.

Legitimate questions that the 2014 Rio has answers for. And if you’re still not sold on the model, maybe its high time you introduce yourself to Kia’s little hatch-that-can. Besides, it’s ready to show you what it’s got — and then some.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Rio 5-Door.

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2014 Kia Forte5

2014 Kia Forte5

The Kia Forte5 is the forthcoming hatchback variation of last year’s new Forte sedan but packs some interesting and timely updates that make this one of the few hot hatches offered in the U.S. market. The highlights include a powerful turbocharged engine, sophisticated front and rear LED lighting, and a cabin with some boy-racer appeal via carbon-fiber-style surfaces and a six-speed manual box.

Let’s face it: hot hatches just aren’t sexy here. As much as our Euro counterparts get excited about the Fiesta ST, there’s a collective “huh?” in U.S. showrooms over the same car. It just seems too tall, too narrow and diminutive for someone to commit to years of payments. The Honda Civic Si is about as close to the recipe as possible and even this is only offered in staid sedan or also-staid coupe bodywork.

This is set to change with the new Forte5. The name is the dorkiest part: the style of low, crisp and wide proportions makes this car look more like a slammed Sportage or Cayenne than an econobox. The mechanical packages on the Kia show a half-step improvement versus corporate sibling Hyundai, with the turbo engine finally delivering some of the sportiness Kia says defines its products.

So where does the Forte5 site within the Forte line that also includes sedans and coupes? Right in that hot-hatch sweet spot, just moved a little further toward “cool” from the embarrassing current hatchbacks: the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark.

Click past the jump for the full review of the Forte5 ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealers at the end of summer 2013.

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2014 Kia pro cee'd GT 1st Edition

2014 Kia pro cee’d GT 1st Edition

Kia is celebrating the launch of the new pro_cee’d GT with a special 1st Edition. This special edition will be limited to only 500 units and will bring a series of updates to both the exterior and the interior.

The new pro_cee’d GT 1st Edition will be distinguished by a series of unique features, like: high-gloss door mirror housings, stainless steel scuff plates with red illuminated GT badging and unique numbering. Additionally, this special edition will be offered with 18-inch wheels painted in high-gloss.

On the interior, customers will get red foot-well lighting and premium-quality velour floor mats with red double stitching. The list of standard equipment will include: adaptive xenon headlights, automatic air conditioning, satellite navigation and a large sunroof.

The new Kia pro_cee’d GT 1st Edition will be making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will be put on sale in May 2013; prices will be announced closer to market launch.

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2014 Kia pro cee'd GT

2014 Kia pro cee’d GT

Shortly after Kia unveiled the new generation pro_cee’d at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, everyone started to talk about the potential of a more powerful version of it. It looks like the talk was more than just lip service, as Kia has just unveiled the first teaser image and some details on its first-ever hot hatch.

The new pro_cee’d GT will be based on the standard 2013 pro_cee’d and has been described as "a hot hatch perfectly aligned with Kia’s sportiness and "fun to drive" positioning. An aggressive body kit highlights the aesthetic program for the pro_cee’d GT, particularly the addition of a new front bumper with larger air intakes, new LED headlamps, a honeycomb grille with a "GT" logo, larger side skirts, and a redesigned rear bumper. Adding to that program are a new set of 18-inch alloy wheels with a lower suspension and front brakes measuring 300x28 mm with rear brakes measuring 262 x 10 mm (10.3 x 0.39 inches)

Find out more about the Kia pro_cee’d GT after the jump

UPDATE 01/27/2013: The first set of photos of the pro_cee’d GT have been released ahead of its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

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