The popularity of South Korean manufacturer, Kia, has been on the up for the past few years now, with new UK models earning their place next to some of the most popular market new cars on sale today.
As popularity has increased, Kia’s reputation has moved from ‘budget manufacturer’, to desirable, sporty and affordable. Kia’s increasing range of vehicles has been integral to its recent success as a car in each segment has made it more available to drivers, promoting the Kia name further.
But as always, some fail to see the attraction of certain models and manufacturers just by reading about them, especially a rising brand like Kia.
For this reason, we have complied a guide to Kia using our video reviews as well as facts and figures of the models, which will tell you all there is to know about one of the world’s fastest growing brands.
The release of the compact Sportage SUV back in 2010 was Kia’s mainstream move into the market.
Although it doesn’t seem a likely model to kick start a manufacturers range, the Kia Sportage was the first model to feature the acclaimed ‘tiger face’ front end, which has become a new stylish trademark for Kia.
Kia Sportage road test
The Kia Sportage is available with a range of both diesel and petrol engines, one of which is an efficient 1.7-litre diesel unit emitting just 135g/km and returning 54.3mpg.
As well as offering a fresh compact SUV design, the Kia Sportage also offers a surprisingly spacious interior, with plenty of leg room and up to 1,353-litres of storage space. The Sportage is also available in a 4WD model.
Its combination of vast storage space and 4WD availability makes the Sportage both a great family car and sporty off-road SUV.
Kia Sportage prices start from just £17,300.
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The Rio is one of the more popular Kia vehicles as it sits in the supermini segment, which is the most lucrative in the automotive industry.
The Kia Rio also benefits from the tiger face design featured on the Sportage, but offers a much more muscular appeal due to its snug size.
Kia Rio road test
With both three and five door availability, the Kia Rio is a key competitor to all other lucrative superminis, including the Ford Fiesta.
The Rio offers Kia’s EcoDynamics technology in the form of a frugal 94g/km 1.1-litre diesel engine. It also offers a range of generous trim levels – adding to its much renowned young buyer appeal.
Kia Rio prices start from £9,495.
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The Picanto is the smaller brother to the Kia Rio as it offers similar style and emission credentials, yet in a smaller city car package.
The Picanto has been praised for its low emissions and affordable price tag on many occasions, some of which have lead to prestige’s accolades like BBC Top Gear ‘bargain of the year’.
With its similar muscular Rio appeal, the Picanto’s style has become one of its most desirable features and has earned it the ‘iF product design award’ for 2012.
However, the Picanto’s headlining feature has got to be its ultra-efficient 1.0-litre petrol engine, which emits just 99g/km of CO2 emissions.
Kia Picanto prices start from just £7,545.
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With the Rio and Picanto succeeding in the supermini and city car segment, Kia revamped its ageing Cee’d hatchback model earlier this year, giving Kia another foothold in the car market.
As well as offering the new Kia design language, the second generation Kia Cee’d offered a new engine line-up and more extensive trim levels – making it a practical and luxurious family car option.
Kia Cee’d road test
The new trim level specifications and engine line-up of the second gen Cee’d perfectly complement each other as low emissions and generous entry level equipment both mean value for money – which is essential in a family car.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine is particularly impressive as it delivers low CO2 emissions of just 97g/km and returns up to 76mpg.
The entry level ‘1’ trim for the Cee’d includes steering wheel mounted controls, daytime running lights, flat-folding 60:40 split rear seat, air conditioning and iPod compatibility. The Cee’d has also had its boot made bigger as it now houses up to 380 litres of storage space.
Kia Cee’d prices start from £14,395.
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The Kia Optima was another leap for the Kia brand as it was the very first saloon model they released in the UK.
The Optima was a much more luxuriously driven model as it was designed to compete with the markets saloon competitors – which isn’t an easy task.
This prompted Kia to introduce a stylishly well-equipped saloon with a punchy, yet efficient, diesel engine.
Kia Optima road test
The Optima’s 1.7-litre diesel ticks both the efficient and powerhouse boxes as it produces 134bhp and emits just 128g/km, with fuel economy as high as 57.6mpg. This engine is also available with both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.
In terms of luxurious equipment, the Optima offers three trim levels, with entry levels offering cruise control, a leather steering wheel and air conditioning.
The Optima also offers a 505-litre boot and a cockpit inspired cabin, enhancing its luxurious saloon appeal.
Kia Optima prices start from £19,595.
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The Venga offers the snug body shape of the Rio, but with the credentials of a compact MPV.
With a slightly boxier shape, the Venga is able to offer more storage space and convenience than a supermini, ultimately acting as a more practical choice than the Cee’d hatchback and Rio supermini.
Kia Venga road test
When it comes to practicality, the Venga offers a range of seating configurations, which in turn allows it to offer up to 1,253 litres of storage space when its rear seats are folded down.
The Venga also delivers in terms of low emissions as its 1.4-litre CRDi diesel engine emits just 117g/km, thanks to Kia’s fuel saving stop/start technology.
Kia Venga prices start from just £9,995.
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Perrys Kia dealerships
Kia vehicles are available from Perry’s dealerships. For a quick behind the scenes look at Perry’s dealerships, check out our Perry’s of Preston video below:
Inside Perrys Kia of Preston
For more insight into Perry’s dealerships, check out our other videos on our YouTube channel.