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Kia Makes Big Splash with Little 2017 Sportage

Next-gen compact SUV ready to run in tough segment.

by on Nov.18, 2015

The fourth-generation Kia Sportage gets a new exterior look as well as improved capability.

Kia’s longest running nameplate, the Sportage, is getting a major makeover inside and out to compete with what may be the most difficult segment in the industry these days: compact sport-utility vehicles. The new ute made its U.S. debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show today.

The South Korean maker produced a fourth-generation ute that not only gets contemporary, stand-out exterior styling, but also the performance capabilities and technology to live up to the look.

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“Simply put, the Sportage is a breed apart in the compact CUV segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “Instead of bland utility, the Sportage combines distinctly European and sporty styling with thoughtful design and functionality, including innovative packaging, premium materials, a turbocharged engine and surprising features. (more…)

Kia Recalling 260,000 Late-Model Soul Crossovers

Steering system can fail unexpectedly, maker tells NHTSA.

by on Nov.16, 2015

The Kia Sould is one of the Korean automaker's most popular product lines.

Kia has announced the latest in a string of major recalls plaguing the auto industry this year, this one impacting nearly 260,000 late-model Soul crossovers.

The maker says that a faulty steering gear assembly could cause the vehicle’s steering system to fail, the steering wheel itself even coming lose.

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It’s just the latest in a string of six- and seven-figure recalls that are pushing the industry close to a new record, potentially topping the all-time high 64 million vehicles affected by safety-related issues n 2015.


Kia Just Latest to Face Rollaway Problems

Korean maker recalls 377,000 Sorento CUVs because of transmission problem.

by on Oct.16, 2015

The recall covers 2011-2013 Kia Sorentos.

Kia has announced a recall covering nearly 400,000 late model Sorento crossover vehicles because the vehicles can unexpectedly pop out of the “Park” position and roll away.

The move comes in the wake of numerous complaints about the problem and the report of at least three injuries, including one in which a 10-year-old was hospitalized for three weeks as a result of a rollaway Sorento.

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Kia is just the latest in a long list of manufacturers who have faced rollaway problems, most due to defective transmissions that can unexpectedly jump out of Park – though Ford recently recalled nearly 500,000 vehicles at risk of rolling away because their engines wouldn’t shut off.


Kia Remains Hungry as Sales Continue to Rise

Brand grows in era of strong truck sales – with no truck in line-up.

by on Oct.16, 2015

Kia's Michael Sprague noted the company is growing sales in the U.S. despite not having a pickup truck in its line-up.

Despite a dramatic surge in truck sales due to lower fuel prices and the revival of Japanese brands, Kia has managed to grow sales – despite not having a truck – and is looking forward to more success in the future.

Michael Sprague, Kia Motor Sales chief operating officer, said this week that the South Korean brand continues to expand its sales despite the challenges it faces.

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Kia sales increased by while 22% during September and are up 7% so far this year while sales in the U.S. market, Sprague noted during a briefing as the South Korean automaker rolled out 2016 Kia Optima, midsized sedan that will replace one of most important models. (more…)

Kia Making a Splash with All-New Sportage for 2017

Upscale interior matches redesigned exterior in Frankfurt debut.

by on Sep.15, 2015

The 2017 Kia Sportage gets an exterior redesign giving it a more aggressive look.

Realizing the importance that midsize crossovers and sport-utes mean to the bottom line of automakers, Kia’s looking to make a splash in the segment with the redesigned Kia Sportage for 2017.

The Korean maker promised a substantially different look for the new model, which is now in its fourth generation, and it appears from early pictures that the company’s design chief, Peter Schreyer, has been putting in some time on the CUV.

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The new model not only adopts Kia’s uniform front end, like that of the new Sedona, but also the headlights are higher up on the hood than the previous model. It also has longer rear doors and a higher beltline giving it a more aggressive stance while also improving access to the back seat. (more…)

Kia Reveals New Sportage

“The new face of Kia.”

by on Aug.28, 2015

New headlights and a modified "tiger nose" grille distinguish the gen-four Kia Sportage.

Kia is giving us a more detailed look at the next-generation Sportage, following up on the early renderings it released a couple weeks ago.

Set to make its formal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the 2016 Kia Sportage will pick up on some of the cues we first saw in the form of the Niro Concept two years ago. The overall look offers a strong hint of where Kia’s global design chief Peter Schreyer will be taking the look of the brand in the years to come.

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The biggest changes to the design of the fourth-generation Sportage can be seen in its face, notes Kia, “with the car’s headlamps no longer integrated with the grille for the new model, instead sweeping back along the outer edges of the more sharply-detailed (hood) and bolder wheel arches.”


Kia Co-Pres Schreyer “Addicted” to Change as He Reshapes Hyundai, Kia

“I want to make the brands strong…fresh,” says design chief.

by on Aug.18, 2015

The Hyundai HCD16 Vision-G gets a second showing at the Pebble Beach Concours.

Parked on a field off the well-manicured greens of the Pebble Beach golf course, the big coupe almost glows in the late evening sun, drawing admiring stares from the crowd that surrounds it.

For now, the HCD16 Vision-G is just a concept vehicle, but Peter Schreyer is quick to tell you that it will have a significant role in the Hyundai brand going forward. And he should know. The one-time Audi stylist who now serves as co-president of both the Korean carmaker and its sibling brand Kia, Schreyer has won wide praise for transforming two econobox brands into design trendsetters.

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“I want to make the brands strong, while keeping them fresh,” said the 62-year-old Schreyer during an interview with


Kia Gives First Peek at New 2016 Sportage

Official debut set for September 15 in Frankfurt.

by on Aug.18, 2015

Kia offers a tease of the new 2016 Sportage.

It must be the start of auto show season, as manufacturers begin releasing teaser images of new products to come. That includes Kia, which has offered up some renderings of the fourth-generation Sportage SUV it plans to introduce at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

The new Kia Sportage design includes an interior that the maker has dubbed its “most refined high-quality cabin yet.”

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Overall, the new Sportage appears to adopt a more refined and sophisticated take on the “tiger nose” styling theme first penned by Peter Schreyer, now head of design for both Kia and its sibling Korean carmaker Hyundai.


Koreans Score Big Again in Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Big Kia K900 sets all-time high.

by on Jul.08, 2015

The premium kuxury Kia K900 sedan was the highest-ranked vehicle ever in the VSA.

Step aside, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, there’s a new king-of-the-hill. Make that two of them, Korean siblings Kia and Hyundai together nudging aside European manufacturers with the high-score in the new Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

The big Kia K900, a Korean alternative to such premium luxury models as the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series, scored an all-time high in the annual VSA study based on ratings submitted by over 66,000 U.S. new car buyers. But General Motors had more winners in individual vehicle segments than other manufacturer.

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“2015 represents a year of diversity,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc., the California research firm that conducts the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. “Competition is fierce and no one automaker dominates the results.”


Japanese Automakers Slide, Koreans Surge in New J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Japanese brands, as a group, post worst performance in 29 years.

by on Jun.17, 2015

Hyundai has scored major gains in quality with products like the 2015 Tucson, according to Power.

This story contains updated information.

If the latest J.D. Power survey is any indication, you might need to re-think just about everything you thought you knew about automotive quality.

The latest Initial Quality Survey, or IQS, finds that Japanese automakers, on the whole, have suffered a significant slide in the quality charts, with only three brands in the Top 10 this year. But the real shocker might be the surge in Korean quality. Kia, a brand long known for cheap, mediocre products, was second, behind top-ranked Porsche, with Hyundai ranked fourth. Jaguar, also struggling to reverse a reputation for poor quality, was third.

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For the Korean brands, which are caught up in a ferocious battle for market, the survey results represent a measure of vindication.  “We are extremely proud of the results,” said Mike Ofiara, a spokesman for Kia, which finished second in the overall ranking. “We’ve come a very long way. It’s representative of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.”