Kia Seeks To Gain Ground With Up-Market Offerings

As the follow-up hitter of the South Korean automotive juggernaut, Kia has a tough act of Hyundai successes to follow.

Under Design Chief Peter Schreyer, trained in the studios of Audi and VW, the newest Kia models certainly are distinctive.

The so-called “tiger’s nose” front grill now brands all the Kia models and projects a bold image.

The slick freshly updated Optima sport sedan — with 4 engine variants including a hybrid — comes basic to fully loaded for $22,000 to $35,000.

In its brief stint as flagship of the Kia line the Cadenza has been highly praised for overall quality, contemporary looks, gentle road manners, and an energetic 3.3 liter 293 horsepower V6, offering good value in the $34,000 to $41,000 price range.

The new top of the line $66,000 Kia K900 couples ultimate luxury and weighty seriousness with a powerful direct injection V8 that can do 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds.

In the modest $16,000 to $20,000 range, the all new Forte sedan with the EX edition 2 liter 173 horsepower, 16 valve 4 cylinder engine, sporting a lower, longer and wider stance, offers a great fun to practical value equation.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.