For a supermini to be successful, it needs to perform a seemingly impossible task: it must appear larger on the inside than it does from the outside. Rather encouragingly, we’ve seen with the Optima that Kia has a history of performing minor packaging miracles, so it was with raised expectations that the new Rio arrived for a week’s testing, accompanied by a press pack that described Kia’s global best-seller as a ‘big little car.’
At last year’s Geneva Motor Show, Kia confirmed that their well-received Sportspace concept would enter production as the Optima Sportswagon. This piqued our interest for several reasons, not the least of which was how the thing looked. So has Kia's first attempt at a Mondeo-rivalling estate car been a success, or merely a case of style over substance?
The new Kia Stinger, unveiled this week at the Detroit Motor Show, gives us further evidence that Kia's new-found levels of confidence are being put to good use.
Imagine your CEO stands up in front of the world and bravely declares: "by 2020, we will reduce the average CO2 emissions of our range by 25 per cent." What do you do? If you work for most car companies, you’ll probably be forced to hunt through your existing range to find something into which you can shoehorn an electric motor and a stack of batteries. Kia's engineers, however, decided to do it differently. The result is the Niro.
The eagerly-awaited (at least by us) new Kia Optima Sportswagon is set to go on sale in the UK from 15th September, with prices starting from £22,295.
The new Kia Optima PHEV plug-in hybrid is available to order now, with prices starting from £31,495 after a £2,500 Government grant.
Watch our video review of the 2016 Kia Sportage.
I'll be honest – when the new Kia Sportage was unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, I wasn't entirely convinced by the looks. In fact, there were some angles where it bore a passing resemblance to a frog that's been, shall we say, anally surprised. Thankfully, in the flesh it's quite a handsomely proportioned thing, particularly in the new GT-Line spec. That's just as well, because the Sportage is an important car for Kia.
Watch our video review of the 2016 Kia Optima.
If you judged a car entirely by its sales figures, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Kia Optima was a bit of a clunker. In 2014, Kia UK shifted just 736 of the things, but if you look further afield to the US market, you'll discover last year's Optima was the brand's best-selling car, racking up nearly 160,000 units all by itself. So do the Yanks know something we don't?
Kia used the 2016 Geneva Motor Show to show off two new models - the Kia Niro and Optima Sportswagon - as well as announce their new plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The new Kia Sorento is on sale in the UK now, with prices starting from £28,795. All models are powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel which meets Euro 6 emissions regulations.