With the arrival of the K900 (you can read our first impressions here), his first luxury sedan car, Kia Motors America had to prepare and attract new buyers to the new market with the new price range . We’ll learn more how Kia has introduce us to the SXL trim and luxury.
The Sorento SX-L starts at $40,795, a huge jump from the base version, at $24,995. Likewise, there is a lot of distance between the $36,100 Optima SXL and $22,300 entry model. Those prices all include shipping. “We wanted to introduce the K900 to the USA, so we needed some bridge,” Lee said. “Otherwise, the price gap is too high.”
The SXL packages come with standard everything: heated, D-shaped steering wheels, drive mode select, HD radio, rearview camera, surround-sound speakers, rear spoiler, chrome accents, panoramic sunroof and LED head- and taillights, for starters.
Cho Sang-un, general manager for overseas product marketing, said the SXL packages have tapped a new customer base that is less dazzled by brand and more focused on content and value. “People see now that luxury means a full, complete package of content, styling and value. Not just brand,” Cho said.
Indeed, Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car-Brand Perception Survey rank-ed Kia No. 4 among value brands, behind Toyota, Honda and Ford. Hyundai was No. 4 last year but didn’t make 2014’s top five. Kia will extend SXL packaging to other nameplates above the Forte compact sedan and to markets outside the United States, Lee said. This year’s redesigned Sedona minivan also gets SXL.