Kia has been on a rampage in the last few months with new mid-cycle refreshes, new vehicle launches and reveals. These cars range from small urban cars to large SUVs. Below is a synopsis of each car.
The K9 (K900 in the US) is the most expensive vehicle in KIA’s lineup aimed at the large car luxury market (think BMW 5 series). Originally launched in 2012 in Korea the K9 (which is also based on the RWD Hyundai Equus/Genesis platform) is rumored to be released in 2018 with significant exterior, interior and engine updates.
In spy shots it appears that the new K9 will have a slightly longer wheelbase, revised front fascia, redesigned grill, new LED headlights and brake lights. Current engine options are expected to be the same (V6 3.8l 333 horsepower and V8 5.0l 420 horsepower engines) but it is very possible that the Stinger twin turbo V6 365 HP engine makes it the lineup as well as an AWD option.
The latest generation Sorento was launched less than two years ago but it appears that a mid-cycle refresh is already on the way based on recent few spy shots. Updates include a redesign of the front areas such as the front fascia, grill, hood, fender changes, LED headlights and brake lights plus fog light updates. There are also rumors of additional engines options and a hybrid model. This would include the twin turbo V6 engine being used in the Stinger and a new 400 HP hybrid based off of the KIA Telluride concept vehicle that was showcased at the 2016 North American Auto show. The Telluride utilizes a 270 horsepower 3.6l V6 mated to a 130 horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Also expect major improvements to the interior to better compete with SUVs that feature more luxury features and comfort.
The smallest car in Kia’s lineup is the Picanto now in it’s third generation which was just revealed at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. The Picanto is mainly sold In UK, Europe and Asian countries (also known as the Kia Morning). The previous generations have been hugely popular having almost a cult following with great reviews and this new generation is likely to only make this following larger.
There is a much bolder aggressive styling to this urban street fighter and includes the addition of many new technology and safety features such as a floating infotainment screen that will be Android and iOS CarPlay compatible and come with autonomous emergency braking safety systems. Additionally, a new torque vectoring handling system is available an addition to a new turbo ~100 horsepower 1.0-litre T-GDI engine. The turbo engine will be the most powerful engine ever in the Picanto. We only wish that Kia brought this over the the US as it would be a sure hit here.
The new Kia Pride (Rio in the US) was first revealed back in 2016 at the Paris Auto Show and will now be in it’s fourth generation. Coming from humble beginnings the new Pride/Rio will be a force to reckon with in the sub-compact market. It takes a few design cues from the latest Optima such as the tiger nose front grille, has a more aerodynamic body and revised headlights and brake lights.
Gas engine options range from a three cylinder 1.0l kappa turbo engine that makes ~98 HP to the 1.6l engine that makes 138 HP. Diesel variants are also available in in Europe and Asia only. Transmission options will be either a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic with overdrive. Interior room grows slightly with technology upgrades including the ability to interface with Android and Apple devices.
The Kia K3/Forte got a mild mid-cycle refresh for 2017 which included some exterior updates such as a new front fascia, a new trim line and some interior improvements. Like the Rio the Forte now includes the tiger nose grille and updates to the headlights and taillights. The new sportier S-trim sits between the LX and EX models. This trim adds a sport tuned suspension, 16 inch alloy rims, rear spoiler and LED headlights.
For engines KIA is now offering a 2.0l Atkinson engine that can be mated to a 6 speed manual or a new second generation 6 speed automatic transmission that promises better fuel economy and smoother shifting experience. Technology and safety improvements include the ability the interface with Android and Apple devices as well as autonomous emergency braking systems and forward collision warning systems.
Back to crossovers, it has been revealed that Kia will be releasing a new small compact crossover called Stonic. We don’t have many details on the Stonic but it appears it will be a direct competitor to vehicles such as the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. It has been confirmed that the Stonic will be based on the Rio so we expect similar engine and drivetrain choices which includes the 1.6 138 HP engine and 6 speed automatic transmission.
Last but not least we have the Kia Stinger which was recently unveiled at the 2017 North American Auto show. The Stinger is one of the first cars that has been directly influenced by Albert Biermann, former BMW M Division VP and now head of Kia’s Vehicle Test & High Performance Development. The Stinger is based off the GT Concept car and is designed to be a true GT (gran turismo) or sports sedan. Think long luxury comfortable but spirited drives. Sleek aircraft styling cues with all of the technology goodies you can think of on the inside (including Android Auto and Apple Carplay integration) to an eye catching sporty exterior that was designed to be bold and aggressive at all four corners.
The Stinger will come in two drivetrain layouts and two engine choices. For drivetrain layouts you will get either a rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. Your first engine choice is a 2.0l turbo four cylinder engine, that will satisfy most buyers with 255 horsepower and 265 ft-lbs. However, for those of us with an appetite for more speed the Stinger will also come optional with a twin turbo 3.3l V6 making well over 360 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. Kia estimates the turbo V6 engine will propel the Stinger in just 5.1 seconds from 0-100 kmh (0-62 mph) and have a top speed of about 167 mph. For those who live in colder climates the awd option will make the Stinger feel right at home to make sure you can put all that power down to the ground without any problems. Both engine choices will be mated to a second generation 8-speed transmission that will provide improved fuel economy and a smooth shifting experience.
So what do you think of these Kia vehicles? Tell us in the comments below.