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.
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.
At the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled its new, rear-wheel-drive flagship. Aimed at German luxury vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series, the sedan went on sale in the first quarter of 2014.
The K900 rides on the same platform as the Hyundai Equus, from which it also borrowed the powerful, 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that hooks up to an eight-speed transmission with three driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport.
According to the company, the K900 "is the next logical progression for Kia. It demonstrates what Kia is capable of and will help redefine what the Kia brand stands for." The flagship went on sale just in time to celebrate Kia’s 20th anniversary on the U.S. market.
Updated 11/25/2015: Kia announced details on the 2016 K900 - a model that adds a new V-6 engine. Unlike the 2015 model year, the 2016 K900 will be offered in three trim levels: V6 Premium, V6 Luxury and V8 Luxury, with prices ranging from $49,000 to $61,900.
Continue reading to learn more about the Kia K900.
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
The first-gen Kia Sorento hit the market in 2003, and the second-gen model followed for the 2010 model year. After a few years on the market, Kia decided to update the Sorento for 2014, presenting what was believed to be – at the time – the third-generation Sorento. In all fairness, the update was pretty comprehensive, bringing an all-new chassis, a new direct-injected V-6 gasoline engine, redesigned interior and an all-new infotainment system. In addition to all of this, the Sorento also started out 2014 with a new top-of-the-line trim level called the SX Limited. The new engine delivers 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque and is backed by a “smooth shifting” six-speed automatic transmission. As part of the 2014 redesign, the car also came standard with electric power steering for the first time in its history.
Kia might have been a little confused about the difference between a facelift and a new generation. Surely, it is one of the most comprehensive refreshes we’ve seen, but Kia went on to usher in the real third-generation for the 2016 model year with even more updates. Even if Kia was a little confused about what it was doing in 2014, it still came correct with the Sorento at the time and helped to raise the bar in an otherwise bland segment.
Either way, it’s obvious that Kia went to great lengths to give the Sorento significant improvements. In the words of Michael Sprague, Executive Vice President of marketing and communications for Kia Motors America: "With more than 80 percent of the 2014 Sorento including new or significantly redesigned parts, it’s obvious that the improvements are not just skin deep; including technological enhancements such as UVO eServices, the next generation of our voice activated telematics system, and Kia’s first-ever blind spot detection system.2"
Kia might have been better offer waiting another year and bringing these changes together with the new styling of the 2016 model, but the market compact SUV market is extremely competitive and to keep up with the Honda CR-Vs and the Toyota Rav4s, Kia had to act quickly. Did it do enough to keep Kia customers happy until the 2016 model debuted? Read our full review below to find out for yourself.
Find out the latest digs on the new 2014 Sorento after the jump
The debuts are coming fast and furious at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show so we’re going to be on our toes to stay on top of the action as more cars are unveiled.
One that got our attention was the Kia Optima SX World Challenge GTS Race Car. Given the fact that Kia is a relative neophyte in the world of auto racing, we’ve been pleasantly surprised in the company’s aggressive stance in building race cars. Last month at SEMA, they even introduced their new Rio B-Spec Racer and an Optima USTCC Pace Car. Now, it’s the Optima’s turn to be tuned to racing specifications, this time for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships.
One possible explanation behind Kia’s sudden enthusiasm in auto racing was born out of the success they’ve had in the sport, despite only being active in competitive racing for the past two years.
"As a brand with no previous racing experience in America, for Kia to win two motorsports championships in just its second year is an incredible accomplishment, and expanding our motorsports footprint with the turbocharged Optima entering World Challenge will continue to build passion and enthusiasm for the brand with an entirely new fan base at different race tracks across the country," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA.
The cars were built as a collaborative project between Kia Motors America and Kinetic Motorsports where they will be competing in a racing series that features race-prepped versions of production vehicles from many of the world’s most popular manufacturers. The pair of Optimas that were unveiled at the LA Auto Show have been tuned with aerodynamic styling and outstanding driving dynamics that should make them well suited to handle the high-octane, steel-scraping world of World Challenge racing.
Kia has unveiled the company’s first ever hybrid model at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Optima Hybrid will go on sale early next year and targets models like the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
The 2011 Optima Hybrid features a Transmission-Mounted-Electric-Drive (TMED) layout with the electric motor separated from the transmission gear-set. The new model will also be among the first full hybrid systems on the market to use a typical step-ratio automatic transmission.
The Optima can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 mph or in blended gas-electric mode at any speed. As for the look of the vehicle, the hybrid model will have many features that the standard Optima lacks. For starters, the front of the car will get a new front grille with a completely new design, as well as a new front lower bumper and new headlamps. There will also be new fog lamps, heated outside mirrors, chrome accents on the exterior door handles, and side sills. The back of the car will see a new rear lower bumper, LED tail lamp design, and a rear lip spoiler. The wheels will be a 16-inch alloy wheel design. Customers will also have the option for a Premium Technology Package that will add extra features to their model.
Press release after the jump.
The 2011 Kia Sorento made its North American debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Sorento will be the first vehicle to roll off the new assembly line at Kia Motors’ state of the art manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia and will start to arrive in dealer’s showrooms starting in January of 2010.
For 2011, the Sorento CUV will be offered with a choice of two power plants, the first is a 2.4 Liter four cylinder that delivers 175 HP and 169 lb-ft of torque while a more powerful 3.5 Liter V6 making 276 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque, both coupled to Kia’s new six speed automatic transmission that provide the driver with effortless shifts.
The new car will be both longer and roomier than the previous generation Sorento, with an overall length of 184.4 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches.
A first for Kia, the 2011 Sorento comes with a panoramic sunroof. While standard equipment includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities complete with three months of complimentary service. Your iPod can be hooked up via auxiliary and USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel mounted voice activation controls that allow you to safely communicate with loved ones while driving down the road.
At the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show Kia revealed the 2011 Sorento SUV. Now the Korean maker announced sales will begin in early next year, with prices starting from $19,995 for the entry level version which is powered by a 175-hp 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. Prices will go up to $27,195 for the top of the line V6 version.
Customers will be able to chose between three additional packages: Limited Package, priced at $2000 (navigation system with real-time traffic, Infinity sound system, 18-inch chrome wheels, interior accent lighting and high-style interior color theme), Premium Package priced at $1500 (roof-rails, leather-seats, heated front seats and a rear-view backup camera) and Third Row Package priced at $700.
Press release after the jump.
Kia unveiled the all-new Kia Borrego FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
Available with two and three tank systems with 70MPa pressure, the Borrego FCEV’s power plant is located under the center floor and boasts an additional 47 hp of power to produce a peak output of 154 hp (a 44-percent increase compared to the previous generation) and propel the vehicle to a top speed of 100 mph while boasting a best-in-class system efficiency of 62 percent. With a 202-liter hydrogen storage tank located underneath the vehicle and ahead of the rear wheels, this latest Kia Motors research vehicle has a range of about 426 miles.
With the use of lightweight aluminum body shell components, the Borrego FCEV has a power-to-weight ratio that is similar to the new production model SUV. The FCEV also retains the roomy cabin, low noise levels and overall driving refinement of its new gasoline/diesel-powered sibling.
Press release after the jump.
Kia Motors America today added a fresh face to its vehicle lineup by unveiling the all-new 2007 Kia Rondo, designed to completely change the way consumers think about the crossover segment, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. A brand-new model for North America, Rondo encompasses Kia’s “Power to Surprise” tag line and fits perfectly into the company’s evolving image as a leader in safety and value.