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
Future Kia Purpose Built Vehicle Designs

Kia to Build its First Electric Purpose Built Vehicle Plant in South Korea

Kia has announced plans to begin construction of its first electric Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) plant in South Korea in 2023. This plant is part of their Plan S strategy and will be located within their existing Hwaseong plant. Kia’s goal in Plan S is to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions.
Kia Niro, Sorento, Sportage and EV6

Why some Kia Shoppers Would be Better off Buying a Hybrid vs. an EV

So, you have decided you want to buy a Kia SUV or crossover (or for the sake of argument I’ll pretend you did). You also want this purchase to be electrified, because you care about air quality, climate change, the bottom line, or just efficiency. So which of Kia’s electrified options might suit you the best?
Kia Niro PHEV, Sorento PHEV, Sportage HEV, and EV6

Kia's U.S. April Sales Decline, but Electrified Sales Still Break Records

Though Kia’s overall U.S. sales were down last month, the silver lining is that Kia’s electrified vehicle sales continue to set records, month after month. What’s more, Kia’s electrified sales records were not just narrowly exceeded, they were absolutely shattered.
2022 Kia Niro PHEV and 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV, multiple angles

Kia PHEV Q1 Deliveries for the North American Market (Estimated)

The Korea Herald recently reported Q1 “eco-friendly” car exports for Kia and Hyundai. As far as I can tell most (but not all) of Kia’s new plug-in vehicles exported outside of South Korea are destined for either Europe or North America. At least some percentage goes to other parts of the world (Australia, for example). What I want to know is: how many plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) is Kia delivering in North America?
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV and Telluride models side by side

Comparing Kia ADAS systems in the 2022 Sorento and Telluride, flaws and all

Kia, via its sister company Hyundai, is ranked among the best automotive brands for its Lane Keep Assist features according to Consumer Reports. Kia uses the same or similar systems as Hyundai. Two of Kia’s best selling family vehicles, the Sorento and Telluride, offer a suite of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), but there are differences in feature availability between them. These models are often cross-shopped and safety feature availability/performance may be a key decision factor for some.
Benton City, WA double rainbow

Kia Sorento PHEV Road Trip: Outbound to Wine Country - Red Mountain, WA

Today we set out on a weekend road trip in our 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV to visit Washington State’s warmest AVA (American Viticultural Area), Red Mountain, for a weekend of wine tasting. This AVA is located near Benton City, WA (which isn’t so much a city as it is a small community located just outside the greater metropolitan area known as the Tri-Cities of Washington - Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick), itself a “mid-sized” urban area of roughly 300,000 people, according to Wikipedia.
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV in the forest near Bend, OR

Kia PHEV Road Trip: the Perks and the Jerks

Owning a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) comes with some special perks including the ability to utilize two forms of fuel, one of which is sometimes available for free and allows the blissful experience of all electric driving. We just spent a week at a resort on the Deschutes River near Bend, Oregon which also offered the luxury of free 240V charging.
2022 Kia EV6, Niro and 2023 Niro

Kia's Q1 U.S. Sales Down Overall, But Electrified Model Sales Jump 238.7%

For Kia, overall U.S. sales are down about 5% for the first quarter of 2022. However, there is actually some very positive news in Kia’s first quarter figures that this one statistic doesn’t reveal. Let’s dive into the numbers and compare them a bit to other sales data from competing makers to put things in perspective.
Deschutes River

KIA Sorento PHEV Road Trip: Bend, Oregon or Bust

Day 2: We load up our rig in my brother’s driveway in Olympia, Washington and head out for Bend, Oregon with our KIA Sorento PHEV via a lunchtime stop at a winery in Hood River, Oregon (more on that in a moment). Gray skies threaten rain, and it's a cool 52F as my wife takes the wheel for the next leg of our journey (about 170 miles).
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV

Sorento PHEV Road Trip: Outstanding MPG or Just Outstanding Beer

It’s finally time to take our first family road trip in our new 2022 Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV)! We have 800-1,000+ miles (round trip) of driving in store, between our home in the Seattle area and Bend, Oregon and its environs for a week spent basking in the sun, imbibing some of the best craft brews in the U.S. and taking in some of the breathtaking natural beauty of the landscapes of central Oregon.
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV in front of Seattle Public Library

2022 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid fuel cost per mile: 5 cents, so far

I bought a 2022 Kia Sorento because I wanted an SUV large enough to haul up to 6 family and friends along with our stuff. My Sorento also happens to be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), because I know my 3 row SUV’s ability to travel 32+ miles on a full charge means I will be able to cover the majority of the miles I drive on electricity, and burning less gas matters.
Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E

Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 both Outsold Ford Mustang Mach-E in February

In the short time that Kia’s EV6 has been on sale in the U.S. (since early February), it is already outselling the best selling non-Tesla EV from 2021, the Ford Mustang Mach-E. To be clear, that is for only a single month of sales, so far. But Kia’s EV6 isn’t the only Korean EV outselling Ford, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 also outsold the Mustang Mach-E last month. Note, February was only the second month the Ioniq 5 was on sale in the U.S.
Washington State capital building and Mt. Rainier

Washington State aims for all new Passenger Vehicles Sales to be Electric by 2030

Last week the Washington State legislature passed a bill, now heading to Governor Inslee’s desk, that bans the sale, registration, and purchase of new gasoline powered vehicles, beginning with model year 2030. An earlier bill proposing the same, though also including a controversial road usage fee, was rejected last year. This time the bill doesn’t include the fee and is likely to pass. If it does, Washington State’s ban will go into effect before all other states.
Mining vehicles

Nickel Prices Spike, Price Increases or Production Halts for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Likely

This week, the price of nickel has jumped up significantly. This almost certainly will lead to significant price increases, and or production halts, for electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles from most manufacturers since nickel is commonly used in most propulsion batteries in these types of vehicles. In fact it already seems to be happening.
Kia EV9 concept SUV

Kia Announces Additional EVs, Including Pickups And Entry Level Models

Last week, Kia held an Investor Day event and announced additional EV models for its 5 year roadmap, including not one but two pickups and an affordable “entry level” model as well. Note that Kia’s news refers to its global strategy and at least one of these models is intended for emerging markets (and as such would not likely be sold in the U.S. or Western Europe).
Kia EV6 at charging station

Kia's EVs Mark Best-Ever U.S. Monthly Sales, Nearly Doubling Previous Record

Kia’s total February sales increased 2.3% year over year. That may sound like only modest growth. But it is important to note that last month Kia’s 2 EV models, the brand new EV6 and the returning Niro EV, also beat their previous best ever month, September 2021, by 181%.
Kia Sorento PHEV off road version for Rebelle Rally Builds

Love Anyway: A Response to Car and Driver's Review of the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV

Let me be direct, I love Car and Driver because, as a magazine, the writing and editorial skills of its staff are second to none. These folks can write (even better than they can drive, I dare say), and Ezra Dyer who penned a recent review of the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV, is certainly no exception. But I think he has missed the mark, a little, when it comes to his conclusions in reviewing the Sorento PHEV.