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

2023 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid Gets Bigger Battery And Stronger Electric Motor

On Kia’s Swedish website some interesting information has been revealed about the forthcoming 2023 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Turns out, it will be getting a larger battery and a more powerful electric motor than the current 2022 model too (along with a completely restyled body that is slightly larger and more striking in appearance). This is more than a little bit surprising.
2022 Kia Soul Interior

2022 Kia Soul Review: The Choice Is Still Yours

I have decided to review the Kia Soul because I have always been a fan of small, sporty (or quirky) and practical wagons and wagon-like vehicles. Perhaps that is because my first car, a Datsun 710 station wagon which was about as sporty as a raging case of athlete’s foot, imprinted something on me. I later owned a pair of late 1980’s Honda Civic wagons (with mad AWD capability!), a 2007 Honda Fit, a 2011 Nissan LEAF, and I still have a PT Cruiser Hot Wheels. One of those statements is totally false by the way.

Why Kia Will Slowly Ramp Down PHEV Production Starting Next Year

Kia has recently expanded its U.S. plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) range with the introduction of the 2022 Sorento PHEV and the forthcoming 2023 Sportage PHEV, which join the Niro PHEV already on sale for several years. But Kia may not be planning to offer any additional PHEV models after these, and that begs the question: Why?
2023 Kia Sportage PHEV

Kia Announces 2023 Sportage PHEV For The U.S. Market For Q3

Earlier this week, Kia announced the release of its 2023 Sportage PHEV scheduled for the 3rd quarter of this year. The Sportage PHEV follows last year's 3rd quarter release of the Sorento PHEV and introduces a few interesting features for the U.S. market that are not available, yet, on the larger and more expensive Sorento PHEV.
Kia EV6

New U.S. Owner of Kia EV6 Says It Challenges Tesla as the Pinnacle of EVs

Kia’s new EV6 is one of the most exciting EVs on the market and it has only recently gone on sale in the U.S. I managed to get in touch with one of the first U.S. owners of the new EV6 to ask him some questions about Kia’s newest electric vehicle and his experience with it so far.
Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6, Hyundai Ionic 5 and Ford F-150 Lightning EVs

Kia, Hyundai and Tesla Stand to Gain as Ford Halts 3 Production Lines

Beginning earlier this week, Ford is halting production on 3 different production lines, including the Cuautitlan, Mexico plant that produces the Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle. Is this only a brief pause, or is it the first sign of an impending miss for Ford as it attempts to massively ramp up EV production to compete with Tesla and out-sell other mainstream rivals vying for leadership in the race toward an electrified automotive future?
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV and 2018 Tesla Model 3

Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid Gets Impressive EV Mode Efficiency

Like any good fuel efficiency data nerd, I keep my own record of my vehicles’ energy use, be that from electricity or gasoline. I own both a 2022 Kia Sorento AWD Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and a RWD 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range and I have approximately 800 miles worth of mixed use data regarding the efficiency of my Kia Sorento PHEV. Comparing information about the two vehicles’ respective efficiency has revealed something quite interesting.
Cadillac Lyriq, Kia EV6, and Toyota Prius Prime

Battle for 3rd place: Kia vs Toyota vs GM In 2022 U.S. Plug-In Vehicle Market

After Tesla and Ford, GM had the best selling fully electric vehicle in the U.S. in 2021, the Chevy Bolt, at 24,803 combined for the two different models (EV and EUV). Thus, GM has set a precedent and may be able to compete for one of the top spots in 2022 BEV sales too, depending.
Kia Niro plugged in to charge

Kia January 2022 Sales: Best-Ever For Niro Model Line

Kia has confirmed January 2022 sales figures for their entire lineup and though combined overall sales were down slightly compared to Jan 2021 figures, with 2,477 fewer units sold in January 2022, multiple models saw better sales this year. For the Kia Niro model line specifically, which includes only HEV, PHEV and BEV models, sales were up over 78% compared to January 2021.
2022 and 2023 Kia Niro

Kia Niro EV outscores all other mass-market EVs in JDPower's Electric Vehicle Experience Study

The Kia Niro EV just topped the ranks of JDPower’s 2022 Electric Vehicle Experience study as the highest rated mass market EV for the second year in a row. What might that indicate for Kia and Niro sales in comparison to its competitors, especially with the updated 2023 Niro soon going on sale?
Kia EV6 closeup

Kia EV6 Pricing Revealed, Beats Almost All Currently Available EV Competitors

Kia has revealed the pricing of their new EV6 for the U.S. market and the good news is that it has a lower starting MSRP, at $40,900, than almost every other compact EV SUV currently for sale. Only the VW ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 (when the RWD base model goes on sale) are priced lower than the EV6, and only a tad lower at $40,760 and $39,700 respectively.
Ford F-150 Lightning and Kia EV6

Battle For 2nd Place: Kia vs Ford In 2022 U.S. Plug-In Vehicle Market

Kia will offer more plug-in vehicle models in the U.S. than Ford for 2022. Ford will offer 3: Mustang Mach-E, F150 Lightning and the Escape PHEV (and technically a 4th, but it is a commercial cargo van and isn’t really a factor in the consumer market). Kia will offer at least 4 models: EV6, Niro EV, Niro PHEV and the Sorento PHEV, but more choices doesn’t mean Kia will sell more units. So which automaker is more likely to take 2nd place in the U.S. market for 2022?
Kia Sorento driver’s display showing 45.2 miles per gallon

Testing Kia Sorento PHEV Winter Driving Performance: The Road Trip Continues

I am testing out the efficiency and range of my 2022 Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, among other things, and this piece concludes my two part review of its performance on a 210 mile road trip. The Sorento PHEV, once again, impresses me with just how efficient it is for a heavy, three-row, mid-sized 6 passenger SUV.
White Kia Sorento PHEV with sailboats in background

Testing Kia Sorento PHEV Winter Driving Performance: Road Trip, 1st leg

I finally took a longer trip in my 2022 Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid and I was able to test several important capabilities and features. My primary question was: what kind of fuel economy can I expect in colder temperatures on a long drive? For this test, that long drive was 210 miles. But I also tested a number of things people have been asking about on social media.
Kia Forte and Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia And Hyundai Combined Outsell Honda In The U.S. For First Time

Honda is losing ground to South Korean brands Kia and Hyundai and it is in part due to Honda’s lackluster investment in electrified vehicles. While it may not seem fair to compare the combined sales of two brands to Honda alone, I would argue it is. Kia and Hyundai are essentially the same family and share engineering, platforms and technology similar to the way other brands share nameplates.
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV charging in Seattle

Another EV Advantage For Kia: A Lot More Federal EV Tax Credits Left

With the Build Back Better act stuck in limbo (which would expand and increase federal incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles), as far we know there will be no replacement to the existing federal tax incentive for the purchase of new plug-in electric vehicles. Some automakers, like Kia, have more credits left than others and this gives them an advantage.
Kia EV6 and New Kia Niro

Kia's 2021 U.S. Sales Lead The Way To A More Electrified 2022

Kia had a very solid sales year for 2021, best ever in fact, despite some slow down in sales toward the end and despite the global supply chain and semiconductor shortages that are plaguing the entire industry. Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of Kia’s 2021 sales figures though is the growth of their electrified sales.
White 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV

Testing Kia Sorento PHEV Winter Driving Performance: Slushing Down Range

What I really want to know about my Sorento PHEV is: how good will my EV range be in the cold? I’ve owned and driven several EVs and PHEVs, driven them long distances in below freezing weather, braved mountain passes and snow packed city streets and I know plug-in vehicles handle well in harsh weather (especially when equipped with good snow tires!). But range always suffers when it's cold, period.
Kia Sorento engine temperature gauge

Testing Kia Sorento PHEV Winter Driving Performance: Grocery Getting

The Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is a competent, flexible, efficient sport utility vehicle. But how well does it do in the snow? I tested my new 2022 Sorento PHEV in the most basic of scenarios, wintertime errand running, and I am happy to say that the Sorento PHEV performed very well in this limited test.
Kia Soul, Rio, Stinger and Carnival

Kia Electrified: From the fringes, considering other Kia models’ near term electrification

Kia still sells sub $20k economy cars, a “minivan”, a performance sedan (seriously!), and a quirky tall wagon when other carmakers, for the most part, have abandoned these model types. Sure, Honda, Toyota, and Chrysler still sell minivans too; Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Chevy (at least) still sell under $20k economy cars, and there are other sports sedans and boxy/quirky models out there as well. But will Kia electrify any of these models anytime soon (or in the case of the Soul, “re-electrify”)?
Kia K5 and Forte sedans

Kia Electrified: HEV sedans may not round out Kia’s U.S. electrification plans, near term

Kia doesn’t offer electrified versions of any of its sedans in the U.S., while sister company Hyundai offers two: the Elantra and the Sonata hybrids. Might this mean that Kia is more likely to hybridize one or more of its sedans for the U.S. market, in the near future? It seems a distinct possibility considering that Hyundai and Kia are tightly coupled and generally share platforms and technology.
Kia Seltos

Kia Electrified: Seltos HEV may be in the works, for some markets at least

Kia aims to significantly increase the production and sale of electrified vehicles in the coming year. Electrifying more of its best selling vehicles is the surest way to accomplish this goal, but for U.S. model year 2021 Kia only offered one of its five best sellers with an electrified option (the Sorento Hybrid). This begs the question: which Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. are most likely to be electrified in the next few years?
2022 Kia Telluride

Kia Electrified: Speculating on a future HEV Telluride

Kia, and its sister company Hyundai, are poised to be among the top market share holders in the U.S. electrified passenger vehicle market in 2022 and beyond. Right now, the Kia Telluride SUV is one of the best selling Kia models, but it has no electrified versions on offer. Might we expect some form of electrified Kia Telluride in the next year or two?

Kia + Hyundai may take second place in U.S. plug-in vehicle sales in 2022

Kia and Hyundai have done something extraordinary in the European market recently. November 2021 was the worst sales month on record in Europe. Yet, Hyundai and Kia managed significant sales increases while almost every other manufacturer saw significant sales declines due to the ongoing global semiconductor supply issues.

VW is the closest to catching Tesla, but it isn’t alone

My best friend, whose first car (a 1985 VW Jetta) was my first aspirational vehicle, had me over to speak with his parents. While chatting with them about their next vehicle purchase, they said something provocative: “what if I don’t want a plug-in vehicle?” As a plug-in vehicle enthusiast, it is a question that is hard to hear but also an obvious indicator of the profound change the act of plugging into an electrical outlet, instead of a gas pump, represents in people’s lives. Change is hard!
Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mustang Mach-e, Tesla Model Y

How Electric Vehicle Manufacturers Are Vying for The Lead in U.S. Market

Everyone should know electric vehicles are rapidly taking more market share from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. But which manufacturers will lead the way in EV sales? The answer varies by region, of course, and much depends on the global supply chain, geo-political landscapes, the rippling impacts of the pandemic, etc. I will focus on the U.S. market since there should be rapid acceleration in U.S. EV sales, soon.