Kia News

In this section of Torque News you can find the latest news from Kia and news about Kia vehicles. Keith Griffin is the Hyundai/Kia news reporter at Torque News and can be followed on Twitter at IndepthAuto.

Kia became a company in the 1940s but didn’t sell its first car in the U.S. until 1992. It now sells in over 180 countries. Since joining forces with its Korean rival Hyundai in 1998, Kia models have come a long way from what they used to be and are now well-designed vehicles with the latest the industry has to offer.

The combined Hyundai – Kia operation is the fifth largest automaker in the United States. Kia has a manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia where it produces three models: the top-selling Telluride CUV, Sorento CUV, and the new K5 midsize sedan. It also ships vehicles for sale in Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean and Pacific nations.

Here’s a little bit of trivia for you. The word “Kia” is derived from the Chinese characters Ki, meaning to “arise or come up out of” and a, referring to Asia. So when put together, Kia means to “arise or come up out of Asia.”

Kia’s extensive lineup includes sedans and SUVs of all sizes, hatchbacks, a minivan, an all-electric model, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, a quick and sporty four-door hatchback, and a large and very luxurious sedan.

Unlike Hyundai’s more conservative lineup, Kia offers sportier designs and driving dynamics. The quick Stinger GT and Forte GT are fun-to-drive examples while models like the Optima, Sportage, and Telluride offer sleek and sporty looks.

The Telluride, K5 and Forte models are some of the brand’s top sellers. Other models include the Soul hatchback, the Niro hybrid SUV, the Rio, the Sedona minivan, and the Niro EV. The Stinger is Kia’s rear-drive sports car and the Cadenza and K900 big sedans are the brand’s luxurious offerings but have some of the poorest sales in the lineup.

New models include the big three-row Telluride SUV, the compact Seltos SUV, the the Soul EV, and the sporty K5 that replaces the Optima for 2021.

Below is a list of Kia’s models with starting prices (excludes delivery charges):

  • 2021 Kia Seltos – $21,990
  • 2021 Kia Soul – $17,490
  • 2020 Kia Niro – $24,590
  • 2020 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid – $29,400
  • 2021 Kia Sportage – $23,990
  • 2021 Kia Sorento – $29,390
  • 2021 Kia Telluride – $31,990
  • 2020 Kia Rio – $15,850
  • 2021 Kia Forte – $17,890
  • 2021 Kia K5 – $23,390
  • 2021 Kia Stinger – $33,090
  • 2020 Kia Cadenza – $37,850
  • 2020 Kia K900 – $59,900
  • 2020 Kia Niro EV – $39,090
  • 2021 Kia Soul EV – Discontinued?
  • 2021 Kia Sedona – $30,400
Kia EV5 concept (exterior, profile and interior views)

Kia Unveils EV5 Concept SUV Days After Its Stunning EV9 Reveal

Kia seems like it may be trying to take things up a notch with EV reveals this month, showing off two striking new designs, one in production form and the second in concept. We could reasonably surmise Kia is trying to compound on the buzz its new electric vehicles are creating. Afterall, churning out new models quickly isn’t something the leading brand of EVs does that well (sorry Tesla), but it is something legacy car brands typically do, at least for gas powered cars.
Silver 2023 Toyota Prius

Hybrids That Don't Plug In Have A Murky Future In The US

Standard, “self-charging” hybrid vehicle sales are higher than they have ever been in the US. Automakers are planning on making many more of them, branching out to include new pickup, SUV and minivan hybrid offerings in recent years. But there’s a big problem brewing for hybrid vehicle sales in the US: several states have already committed to selling only new plug-in vehicles by 2035.
Mazda CX-90 in red and CX-60 in white

Mazda May Have Swung And Missed On Its First Plug-In Hybrids

I want to be completely upfront, I have not yet driven any of Mazda’s new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs. I have a lot of respect for Mazda as a brand; their designs, reliability, and engaging driving dynamics have consistently been top notch. European and US media outlets are sounding some sour notes on the range and driving experience of at least one of Mazda’s new PHEVs though. It has me wondering: might Mazda have swung and missed on its first attempts at making its own PHEVs?
Kia EV 9 exterior and interior photos

Kia Reveals Their New Flagship Electric SUV That Will Help Redefine Its Segment

Yesterday, Kia officially unveiled its new all electric flagship vehicle, the 3 row EV9 SUV. It’s stunning looks and innovative interior design are sure to cause a stir among the EV shopping public. I will go so far as to say that I think it may drive new customers to Kia who may have never considered an EV before. It is a truly exciting design.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV in front of snow bank

Plug-In Hybrids Still Get Great Fuel Efficiency When Using Gas For Heat

Do you own a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV)? Are you one of the few that has electric heat instead of gasoline powered heat (from your internal combustion engine)? I have owned both, but my current PHEV whip is a Kia Sorento PHEV and in order to supply heat to the cabin, I have to run the gas engine. For many PHEV drivers, this reality is the ultimate let down. But I am here to tell you, while not ideal, it really isn’t that bad.
Torn Between Toyota RAV4 Trail and 2023 Kia Sportage X-Line, Focus on Towing

Torn Between Toyota RAV4 Trail and 2023 Kia Sportage X-Line, Focus on Towing

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle that is capable of towing, it is important to carefully consider the options available. What do you do if you are torn between a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Trail and a 2023 Kia Sportage X-Line, with you main focus being on towing capacity. It is important to understand the differences between these two vehicles in order to make an informed decision.
Red Kia EV6 at sunset

Kia EV6 Seems Like It Is Headed Toward Compliance Car Status

What is a compliance car you ask? I’ll link to a definition later in this article but basically it is an alternative fuel vehicle that is either designed or intended for limited sales. The Kia EV6 electric crossover almost certainly is not intended to be a compliance vehicle, however its sales in the US are beginning to make it look more and more like one.
Nissan LEAF, Nissan Ariya, Kia EV6 and Kia Niro EVs

Facing US Federal Subsidy Loss, Manufacturers Begin Steering EV Supply Elsewhere

Nissan and Kia are two auto manufacturers that may have begun shifting their electric vehicle (EV) market focus away from the United States to Europe, Asia and South America instead. There is a strong likelihood that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its resultant loss of EV subsidies for many brands or models that are not built with or assembled with batteries and materials sourced from the US or countries the US has free trade agreements with is the main reason this is happening.
Kia Telluride, Niro, Sorento, Sportage

Kia US February Sales Are Best Ever But Hybrids Are Winning Out Over EVs

Kia had phenomenal growth last month in the US market, again, if you take their sales information at face value (which we should absolutely do, initially). February 2023 marks seven straight months of sales records for Kia, and that is unquestionably an accomplishment. However, as usual, there are some interesting details in the numbers that speak to the challenges Kia still faces and will continue to face in its upward sales trajectory in the US market.
Kia Sportage PHEV and HEV next to Kia Niro HEV, PHEV and EV models

Feature Set Side By Side: Electrified Kia Sportage Vs. Electrified Kia Niro

At first glance, this probably seems an odd comparison piece because I am going to compare a larger SUV to a smaller crossover. They aren’t exactly in the same class, but because both offer electrified, lower emission trims and implement their features sets similarly, it is likely that people might cross shop these vehicles. The reason I am doing this is actually because someone near and dear wanted me to, as she is considering all of them.
Kia Sportage HEV to the left of Sportage PHEV

Plug-In Hybrid Vs. Standard Hybrid: Kia Sportage Makes It Easy For The Budget Conscious

Many car shoppers may consider buying a standard hybrid (HEV) versus a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). They may not know which will have a lower operating cost, or smaller carbon footprint. Only some brands offer both HEV and PHEV compact SUV options (one or more from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, Mazda, Subaru, Jeep, Hyundai and Kia plus some luxury brands). Someone near and dear to me asked me to help her decide whether a PHEV might make more sense (or cents). When it comes to the Kia Sportage, the choice may be clear.
Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V side by side in the outdoors

Feature Set Side By Side: Kia Sportage Hybrid Vs. Honda CRV Hybrid

Over the weekend, a dear friend of the family asked me whether she should buy an EV or some kind of hybrid. She’s a recently widowed older woman that lives alone and does mostly short to medium distance drives around the greater Seattle and Puget Sound region. She lives in a rural part of the county Seattle is in (down a dirt road) and strongly prefers to avoid the gas station as much as possible (if not completely). She is looking at SUVs or crossovers.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV with black crossbars on roof

Yakima JetStream Roof Rack On Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid Minimally Impacts Fuel Efficiency

Last month, one of my favorite car magazines did an article on the fuel efficiency impacts of the factory crossbars for a Kia Carnival. It turns out that in the testing done, the factory crossbars had a fairly significant impact. I have aftermarket Yakima cross bars on my Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and I decided to test them against these findings to see if they held up for the Sorento.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV plugged into 110V wall outlet

Why We Need To Rethink 240V Charging Etiquette

The other day I plugged in my Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV) at a free, public 240V charging station while I met up with old friends over a bit of nosh. Since I have a PHEV, I don’t need the electric charge, technically, to get around. I can always just burn gas. But there tends to be a notion, among drivers of electric vehicles and those responsible for charging infrastructure, that PHEVs should not use public charging (since they have a gas engine too). I think that idea couldn’t be more wrong.
2023 KIA Sportage PHEV

The 2023 KIA Sportage PHEV Delivers Impressive Fuel Efficiency and Performance

This week Torque News reviews the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV in X-Line Prestige AWD trim. With the Sorento and now the Sportage, Kia now has two PHEV SUVs. But note that there are also regular and hybrid versions of the Sportage. The Sportage PHEV has an estimated electric range of 34 miles.
Kia Sorento PHEV, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and Mazda CX-90 PHEV

Mainstream 3-Row Plug-In Hybrid SUV Options Are Slim But New Mazda CX-90 Spices Things Up

Do you want a 3-row plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV to pack around lots of people and stuff while lowering your carbon footprint on your daily drives? Are you frustrated by the relative lack of options, and or the prices, for 3-row PHEV SUVs? 2023 is going to see the arrival of at least one new 3-row PHEV SUV and the beginnings of a real competition among the few brands that offer such vehicles.
Kia Niro, VW ID.4, Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Kona EVs

Kia Niro EV Standard Features Outclass All Under $40K EV Competitors

The Kia Niro EV Wind is the most expensive “entry level” EV on the market. I am using the base MSRP of $40,000 as the upper limit of what defines “entry level” considering that is about the price point where the more expensive EVs with larger batteries and higher performance start showing up and it is also below the current average price of a new car. EV’s in this category start at $26,500 MSRP (excluding destination and other fees) for the Chevy Bolt.
White Kia Niro EV and Light Blue Kia Seltos

Kia Sets New January Sales Records In the US, Off To Roaring Start For 2023

Kia just had its best ever sales results in the US for January, 2023. This is Kia’s sixth consecutive monthly sales record and a pretty good sign that the global supply chain issues that plagued all car manufacturers are no longer (much of) a problem. There are some details in Kia’s January sales figures worth investigating in order to study how their model lineup is doing and where it may be on track to grow the most.
2023 Kia Niro EV and 2023 Chevy Bolt EV

The Kia Niro EV Is Not Selling As Well As Its Competitors In The US, That May Change Soon

Or it may not, it all depends on Kia. But I have recently tested the 2023 Kia Niro EV and came away thoroughly impressed with its standard kit and the overall driving experience. I want to dive a little deeper into the Niro EV’s standard feature set and compare it to other EVs costing under $40,000 which sold in higher volume last year to try and explain why that trend may be about to change.
2023 Kia Niro HEV review

I Think The 2023 Kia Niro Is The Most Interesting Hybrid of The Moment

The second generation of the 2023 Kia Niro is set to make its mark, with an updated exterior and interior design, improved technology, and a focus on preserving the main values of its first generation - to be the most competitive hybrid in its segment. Torque News reviewed the 2023 Kia Niro HEV and we think this is perhaps the most interesting hybrid vehicle of the moment.
Gray Kia Niro front end view

Comparing The 2023 Niro EV Wind To Its Under $40k Competition

Earlier this week I promised a follow up on my initial review of the 2023 Kia Niro EV Wind. This good looking, well equipped, and enjoyable to drive EV deserves more attention than I could give it in a single article. It also deserves some comparison to other EVs that are closest to it in price since it is currently priced a little higher than its closest competitors, but that is no reason to discount this excellent entry level EV, especially considering its standard features are better than most.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV and white Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the snow

Torque News Staff Compare The Mitsubishi Outlander And Kia Sorento PHEVs

At a reader's request, John Goreham and Justin Hart agreed to “combine” their assessments of two competing 3-row plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs: the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Kia Sorento PHEV. John knows the Outlander better and Justin the Sorento, but both are fans of PHEVs. Because it may be hard to pick a winner without arranging a side by side comparison, the two have answered a set of questions about each vehicle and will make recommendations that our readers will hopefully find useful.
Silver Kia Sorento in the snow

How I Keep Fuel Costs For My Plug-In Hybrid SUV So Low

I have been driving plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and full electric vehicles (EVs) for 12 years. In that time I have learned ways to maximize the efficiency and decrease fueling costs of both my PHEVs and EVs in similar ways. But PHEVs, since they use both gasoline and electricity in hybrid mode on longer distance drives, will typically cost more per mile and be less efficient in terms of energy use as even the most thermally efficient gas engines can’t match the efficiency of equivalently electric motors.
Gray 2023 Kia Niro EV exterior and rear seats

2023 Niro EV Wind Review: Kia's Entry Level Electric Car Is Excellent

My father in-law just purchased a new, 2023 Kia Niro EV Wind and I had the chance to take it for a 20 mile test drive this weekend. I came away from my test drive solidly impressed and feel the Kia Niro EV is worth every penny of its slightly higher starting point compared to other EVs with MSRPs below $40,000 considering its standard features, roominess, and the quality and comfort of the ride. It makes a perfect first EV!
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV facing blue Chevy Volt

Why Kia Makes A Better Plug-In Hybrid Than Chevy Did

I’ve owned two plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). They are fascinating vehicles. Though they are not the same class (one: the compact 5 door liftback Chevy Volt, the other: the 3 row midsize Kia Sorento SUV), as PHEVs they both could run in electric only mode for significant distances and consume far less gasoline than equivalent gasoline only vehicles. My two PHEVs behaved differently when driven and while I definitely prefer how Chevy implemented its electric drive mode, I believe that Kia has made a more effective PHEV.
Silver and white Jeep Wrangler 4xe and Kia Sorento PHEVs

Americans Favor One Of The Least Efficient Plug-In Hybrid SUVs Around

Many of us have family and friends that we like to bring with us on journeys far and wide. We load up our companions and equipment and hit the road for: exploration, (re)discovery, togetherness, solitude, (re)connection. How we get there, what we drive, is an important part of the trip. While I don’t really know what’s right for anyone else’s needs other than my own, I can’t help but feel there’s something wrong with our priorities when it comes to plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in the U.S.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV

We're Doing It Wrong; Here's What It Takes To Be A Better Plug-In Hybrid Driver

There’s been a decent amount of attention in the news lately about how plug-in hybrids (PHEVS) are not living up to their potential. Primarily, blame gets assigned to drivers for not plugging in enough, then to manufacturers for not designing their vehicles to support intended use in better or easier ways, and also to governments for not aligning incentives appropriately. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that is all true even if it isn’t, exactly.
VW ID.4, Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ionic 5, Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, and Kia EV6

Top 5 EV Makers In The U.S. Hold Approximately 92 Percent Market Share In 2022

Some may say that 2022 was the year that electric vehicles (EVs) really took off, saleswise, or (finally) began to rapidly increase market share in the U.S. It is certainly true that electric vehicles sold in larger numbers than ever before in the U.S. last year, and almost every automaker is hurriedly bringing new EVs to market too. But how big are these increases really, and which automakers are capturing the most EV market share?