Success doesn’t happen overnight. Big companies usually start from humble beginnings. They work hard, failing at times, bounce back up again and start over. Working hard on something you are passionate about then eventually making it is something one can be proud of. “Making it” doesn’t mean it stops there. Their passion is to keep improving and be better than they were before.
Kia Motors started as a steel tubing and bicycle parts maker in 1944 and years after, built the first locally-made bicycle in South Korea. With their passion to produce different means of transport, they then produced scooters, Honda-licensed motorcycles and Mazda-licensed trucks. Kia did all that through the years gaining experience, saving up resources until such time they began making their own cars.
The first car that Kia built was the subcompact, medium car named Brisa. Kia also manufactured cars for other automakers like the Fiat 132 and Peugeot 604. Ford also rebadged and marketed some of Kia’s models that were sold in the United States. Along the way, difficulties happened and Kia became stagnant and was unable to make new models. In 1997, they filed for bankruptcy.
With the help of their co-South Korean car maker Hyundai, who now owns parts of their shares, Kia managed to recover and became one of the fastest growing brands in the global market today. Kia’s portfolio offers a wide variety of automobiles to choose from. They have sedans, crossovers, hybrids, hatchbacks and minivans. Kia’s vehicles have been applauded for its simplicity, affordability, and its superb quality. Here is the list of the car models that Kia makes.
SUVs or Crossovers
- Kia Soul – Kia Soul is a subcompact crossover SUV that debuted in 2008. It has gone through many updates and revisions since its first generation release. This year, the third generation 2020 Kia Soul has been totally redesigned and restyled. It is bigger in inches and has a new bold face but still has the same boxy profile. It is available in 7 trim levels with a 2.0L 4-cylinder (147 hp) engine for the first 6 trims while the highest trim, the GT-Line 1.6T, has a 1.6L turbocharged (201 hp) engine. The Kia Soul is perfect for everyday ride and its compact size makes it easier to drive in crowded cities.
- Kia Seltos – Its name is derived from Hercules’ son Celtos from the Greek mythology. Kia Seltos has been marketed to the youthful, younger drivers looking for a car that stands out. It is a stunner, a good looking crossover that looks expensive but is still affordable. It has five trim levels with two engine options. The base trims have 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque while the premium trims have a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It is a good car with a great handling and lots of advanced features.
- Kia Sportage – Kia Sportage ranked number one in the 2019 Affordable Compact SUV category and a finalist for the2019 Best Compact SUV for the Money award by the US News and World Report. It has an exterior look that seems more expensive than its given price. The interior boasts of its comfort, appeal, and useful features. Overall, it is a well-rounded vehicle that offers great ride quality and reliability.
- Kia Sorento – This family-friendly SUV can offer up to seven seats even with its compact size. It has a great interior and a long list of features that your family will enjoy. It has a base engine of a 185-horsepower four-cylinder that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission or you can upgrade it to a 290-horsepower V6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission. For its class, the Kia Sorento has an efficient fuel economy for its base engine and an almost similar rating for its V6 engine.
- Kia Telluride – This compact three-row SUV was honoured as the 2020 World Car of the Year – selected by a panel of 82 international automotive journalists from 24 countries. It stood out against its rivals thanks to its excellent driving characteristics, luxurious design, and great value. Kia Telluride is offered in four trim levels. All trim levels offer many features that are optional in some of its rivals. It includes an infotainment Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, leather-trimmed seats, advanced driver assistance technologies, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and all are powered by a 291-horsepower, 3.8L Lambda II gasoline V6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is the largest SUV that Kia has ever produced.
- Kia Rio – Now in its fourth generation, Rio was in the market since 1999. It is available today as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Its engine is less powerful but it is very fuel efficient ideal for everyday driving. It has been refreshed for a bolder appearance. The interior is spacious and it has useful technologies that ensure your comfort and safety.
- Kia Forte – US News and World Report named Kia Forte the 2020 Best Compact Car for the Money award winner. It is one of the lowest starting prices in the compact cars category but is loaded with a lot of standard safety features and technologies. It has two engine choices and both are fuel efficient.
- Kia Optima – Also named by the US News and World Report as the 2020 Best New Cars for Teens award winner under the Midsize Cars category and a finalist for the 2020 Best Midsize Car for the Money award. The 2020 Optima also earned excellent ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It offers a lot of standard safety features including the Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, and Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. It has a stylish interior and offers spacious cargo storage.
- Kia K5 – Kia K5 is the new and improved new-generation Optima. It has been overhauled thoroughly that Kia had to change its name. The 2021 Kia K5 is the brand’s new offering under the midsize category. It is longer, stronger, wider, and lower than the Optima. It is offered in two engine choices, the base 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and the optional 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. All trims are equipped with automatic emergency braking, and a touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It has a lovely, spacious interior that can fit four adults and has a decent cargo space.
- Kia Stinger – Kia’s entry for the luxury small car category, Kia Stinger sports a stylish appearance that stands out. Stinger offers two engines, the 2.0-Liter Turbocharged 4-Cylinder engine that makes 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and the 3.3-Liter Twin-Turbo V6 engine that makes 356 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Stinger has a clever design of a large rear hatch that can offer an impressive cargo space.
- Kia Cadenza – The 2020 second-generation Kia Cadenza falls into the luxury full-size sedan department. Its exterior styling has been refreshed and now equipped with a redesigned dashboard. Kia also updated its models’ safety features that include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. It is offered in two trim levels, the Technology trim and the Limited Trim – both equipped with a 3.3L V6 engine with 290 horsepower. It has a very luxurious feel with its exterior and interior designs. One can enjoy a silent ride as the outside noise is muffled thanks to its specially engineered adhesives.
- Kia K900 – Kia K900 is Kia’s flagship sedan. It only has a single trim, the Luxury trim. While Kia is not really a luxury car brand, the K900 can definitely compete with other luxury cars. It comes with a 3.3L V6 Twin Turbocharged engine with 365hp, 8-Speed Automatic Transmission, and a standard All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control. It rides in 19-inch alloy wheels and is equipped with exterior features like the rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic LED headlights, daytime running lights, fog lamps, and heated power-folding side mirrors that have integrated turn signals and an auto-dimming capability. Its inside details are lavishly made from premium materials like the rich leather-trimmed interior and the metallic accents. It also promises a quiet ride. It has a long list of premium safety features that can help prevent accidents while you are on the road.
- Kia Niro, Niro Plug-In Hybrid, and Niro EV– Kia Niro is a 2016 Guinness World record holder for the lowest fuel consumption by a hybrid vehicle. It has been in the market since 2016 under the hybrid subcompact SUV category. The 2020 Kia Niro with its updated design gives you an SUV-inspired performance with an extremely efficient fuel economy. It is also affordable and is applauded for its practicality. The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers an EPA-estimated 26 miles of electric range with a fully charged battery. When its battery runs out of power, the car can still go on by using its gasoline engine. The Niro EV on the other hand is a fully electric car with an EPA-estimated 239-mile range.
- Kia Optima Hybrid and Optima Plug-In Hybrid – A 2011 Guinness World record holder for the lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid gasoline vehicle, Kia Optima Hybrid still boasts its great fuel efficiency until now. 2020 Optima Hybrid and Optima Plug-in Hybrid belong in the fourth generation of this model. Through the years, they have received several enhancements and updates. In the 2020 models, both are equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a 192 horsepower for the hybrid, and a 202 hp for the plug-in hybrid. Both have a long list of features that include an 8.0-inch infotainment display, wireless charging pad, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning.
- Kia Sedona – Kia Sedona is now in its third generation and is marketed globally under many names. Some parts of the world probably know it as Kia Carnival. Kia Sedona offers a gentle and quiet driving experience. The 2021 Kia Sedona is equipped with a 3.3-Liter V6 engine that offers an impressive 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It is dubbed as an ultimate passenger vehicle. It has a spacious cockpit, a seating capacity for eight, an easy third row access, and a space of 33.9 cubic feet behind the third row. The Kia Sedona minivan is easy to drive as it has a soft suspension, well-controlled body roll, and firm brakes. It is a great family car as it provides three complete sets of LATCH connectors for your child car seats. The interior has an upscale vibe and has intuitive infotainment controls. As for the safety rating, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Sedona a score of five out of five stars.
Although there are many successful models that Kia produced, there were some who had disappointing sales revenue. In turn, Kia made a choice to discontinue these models like the Kia Amanti, Kia Borrego, Kia Forte Koup, Kia Rio 5, Kia Rondo, Kia Sephia, Kia Spectra, and Kia Spectra 5. As the line-ups keep on evolving, the work never stops for Kia. They keep on working to improve and discover more ways to provide the best vehicles they can offer. It is no secret that Kia is working on a discovery that will create a safer mobility. Recently, Kia released a video about its future technology – the R.E.A.D. System or the Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving System and the V-Touch or the Virtual Touch. It is a fantastic era to live in as the technology keeps on moving upwards. Making our lives easier, making our travels faster and safer, thus, making us spend more time on things that matter most. As for Kia Motors, we do hope that they will fulfil their promise that more great things are coming.