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 Sportage, Sorento, Niro and EV6

Kia Sets Second Best Monthly Sales Total Ever, Hybrid Sportage And Sorento Lead Electrified Surge

Kia continues its hot streak with another month of record US vehicle sales. Interestingly, their electrified vehicle sales continue to be dominated by hybrids, and just two models are responsible for their 33% year-over-year monthly sales increase: the Sportage and the Sorento.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV and photos of wineries in Walla Walla, WA

Tasting Notes: The Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid Sips Gas While We Sip Wine

With 4 dear friends in tow, we completed a weekend wine tasting getaway in the beautiful Walla Walla and Red Mountain American Viticultural Areas. The wine was amazing (see some of my notes and recommendations below) and the Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sipped gas while our party sipped wine; we managed to get about 37 MPG round trip, which included 3 full charges of the battery.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV and author sipping wine at Kiona Vineyards

Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid Sport Mode Long Distance Test: Inconclusive But Interesting

Yesterday I drove a little over 200 miles in my Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) with 4 adults plus our stuff for a weekend wine trip getaway and in doing so tried to prove more definitively whether using the vehicle’s Sport Mode could result in a more fuel efficient drive. My results were inconclusive.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV and landscape images from the Red Mountain AVA

Revisiting A Road Trip Using Sport Mode In Our Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid

Last year, I had an interesting debate with another Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) owner re: the drive modes it offers and how to maximize fuel efficiency on a long road trip. I devised a number of tests, which I’ll link to below, but one thing I never really did was to repeat a long road trip but this time use his proposed method to see whether I am right about the most efficient way to drive this PHEV.
Silver Kia Sorento PHEV with custom mag wheels

Sun Is Out, Range Is Up: Warmer Weather Means Plug-In Vehicles Can Go Further On A Charge

I own a Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and live in the Pacific Northwest. We have recently seen unseasonably warm weather here and that was my cue to swap my winter tires out for my all season tires. As soon as I switched to the factory Continental Cross Contact tires, my all electric range increased. The warmer weather and lower rolling resistance tires make a noticeable difference.
Kia EV9, Kia EV5, Kia Niro EV, Kia EV6

Kia To Encourage Leasing Of Its Electric Vehicles In Order To Stay Competitive

Kia confirmed it plans to encourage people interested in its electric vehicles (EVs) to consider leasing instead of purchasing. Why is Kia doing this? It is a way for Kia to effectively offer customers a $7,500 discount on the vehicle (by applying the US federal tax incentive toward lowering the monthly lease payment). It is intended to help Kia’s vehicles be more price competitive with EVs that are eligible for the tax credit as a purchase.
Kia EV6 and Niro EV

Kia Electric Vehicle Sales Still Sliding While Full Lineup Sales Keep Surging

Kia’s hot streak hit its 9th consecutive month in terms of US sales, with 68,205 units sold in April. However, despite it being another excellent sales month for Kia, their electric vehicle sales continued a negative trend with sales of the EV6 and the Niro both down, again.
Kia Sorento PHEV external views and dashboard display showing 496 miles of range

How To Get Kia Plug-In Hybrid SUVs To Beat Their EPA Estimated Range

I have read more than a few posts on social media from people complaining about the fuel efficiency of Kia’s Sorento and Sportage PHEVs. More specifically, I have seen several complaints about the estimated range remaining being far below the advertised EPA ranges of 460 miles (Sorento) and 430 miles (Sportage). I’ve cracked the code and I’m going to tell you how you can too.
Kia Niro, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Kona EVs

Kia And Hyundai Are Losing EV Market Share In The US As GM Sales Rise

A year or so ago, the competitive landscape for electric vehicles (EVs) in the US auto market looked a little different than it does now. This was before the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) revised which plug-in electric vehicles are subsidized by the US federal government. The key brands leading rapidly increasing EV sales have shifted somewhat in the months since, and the top 3 sellers in the US are now: Tesla, General Motors (GM) and Hyundai (if my estimate for Kona EV sales is accurate).
Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6

Tesla's Price Cuts May Not Significantly Impact Kia, Hyundai And Other EV Makers' Sales, Long Term

You have probably already read about Tesla’s significant price cuts this year, and being the largest seller of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. by a large margin, this means the cuts put a lot of pressure on other EV manufacturers to lower their prices too. But like for like price cuts are not the only way (or the most important way) that competing EV makers are responding.
Kia Sportage and Sorento HEV and PHEVs

Kia Plug-In Hybrid Q&A With Torque News Readers Continued

Last time on Torque News’ Kia plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Q&A, I wrote up responses to a reader’s questions and provided several links to earlier articles I wrote that address similar questions. Now, I am completing my responses to the remainder of the questions. Will this sway their opinions or anyone else’s? That isn’t my point; I am simply trying to provide useful feedback people want to make good decisions. Some of my guidance may simply be circumstantial, but I always try to remain objective.
Kia Sorento hybrid, plug-in hybrid and Sportage plug-in hybrid plus instrument panels

Kia Plug-In Hybrid Q&A With Torque News Readers

The other day, a Torque News reader asked me a series of questions about Kia’s plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) vs hybrids (HEVs). I own a Kia Sorento PHEV and have written several articles about my experience with it, comparing it to other similar vehicles, and what kind of fuel efficiency results I get from it. This piece will address the reader’s questions by linking to other articles I have written and also includes new information I haven’t previously written about or that weaves the articles together.
Kia Sorento Hybrid Ex and PHEV SX-P side by side

Kia Sorento Hybrid EX Review Continued: Competitive Features, Reasonable Price, And Great MPG

I just completed a one week rental of a Kia Sorento Hybrid EX on the island of Kauai. As Kia’s lowest price hybrid 3-row SUV (at around $36K MSRP), I immediately noticed it delivers excellent fuel economy for such a large, heavy vehicle. For the 300 miles of driving we did, our average fuel economy was 41.6 mpg. But how did the Sorento hybrid feature set and performance stand-up?
Kia Sorento Hybrid (HEV) in gray

Kia Sorento Hybrid Is Amazingly Fuel Efficient

I’m on vacation with my family in the beautiful state of Hawaii and I happen to have rented a Kia Sorento Hybrid (HEV). I also happen to own a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the same vehicle and I think it may be useful to compare the fuel efficiency of the two versions as it may help those considering which makes more sense for their specific needs and driving habits.
Kia Sportage, Sorento, EV6 and Niro

Kia America Has Best Ever Q1 Sales

Kia America has announced its sales results for March 2023 as well as for Q1 and the results are quite impressive. The first quarter of 2023 represents Kia America’s best sales quarter, ever! March 2023 was Kia’s second best monthly sales total ever as well. It is undeniably good news for the brand and as usual the sales numbers reveal some interesting trends.
White EV9 (exterior)

Kia Releases Juicy Details About Forthcoming 3 Row EV9 SUV

Earlier this week, Kia released much anticipated details about its stunning, all electric 3 row EV9 SUV that will go on sale in the US sometime in the latter half of the year. There is quite a bit to sift through, and yet some may wish for more information still. I’ll summarize what I think are some of the most important details about what we might consider the first reasonably priced all electric, mid size 3 row SUV to be sold in the US.
Red Rav 4 Prime with Silver Kia Sorento PHEV

As An EV, Kia’s Sorento Plug-In Hybrid Is Probably A Little More Efficient Than Toyota’s Rav 4 Prime

It recently occurred to me, after my neighbor bought a Toyota Rav 4 Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV), to research certain differences (mainly in efficiency and performance) between it and my Kia Sorento PHEV. This has led me to a somewhat surprising supposition: I think the larger and heavier Sorento PHEV is a little more efficient, on battery power, than the Rav 4 Prime (note: the Toyota gets 4 mpg better, combined, on gas).
Silver Kia Sorento in front of vineyards with SUP board on roof

How I Get Over 1,000 Miles Per Tank In My Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid

People who own plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) often like to talk about how infrequently they have to buy gas, or how far/how long they can go on a tank of it. The truth is that this can vary widely depending on how one drives their PHEV, but it can be relatively easy to do this if you don’t frequently drive distances that greatly exceed the maximum distance a full charge of the hybrid battery provides.
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.