It is not that long ago I can remember standing on Immingham Docks looking at some new Kias that had just arrived after their long journey from South Korea. The cars were, just alright, but not up to the standard of European or British cars, but they were trying their best in a tough market.
Move on seventeen years since the viewings at Immingham, and the models Kia is making now are unrecognisable from years ago.
I recently tested two of the latest models from Kia, the ever popular Sportage that has been a huge success for them, and the full-Electric EV6.
The EV6 is a great looking five-door crossover-coupé with some very nice, and bold lines to make the exterior design look very attractive, and stand out in a crowded car park.
As with most electric-cars the 0-100kph is pretty amazing, the EV6 is capable of doing this in 3.5 seconds, but the car I drove was a more leisurely 7.3 seconds, still quick though. With a full battery, and on a good day, it has a range of up to 328 miles, but on a bad day when the heating, or air-con is needed you can generally knock up to 25% of this range.
The interior is equally as impressive as the exterior, it is very modern, almost futuristic, like something out of a sci-fi movie. But everything seemed easy to use and intuitive.
Prices OTR in the UK start from £41,695.
The second Kia I have driven recently was the all-new Sportage, and although the previous model was really good, this new one is a massive improvement in all departments. The exterior design is sharp and crisp and looks great from every angle.
The interior has been changed dramatically, for the better, and the quality throughout the cabin is very high. The materials used, and fit and finish is up to a very high standard.
The car I had on test from Kia UK PR was the GT-Line Hybrid, that was ‘self-charging’, so like most hybrids, it charges the batteries when slowing down or going down a hill, stores the energy, so you can use it to power the electric motors; and that saves using the petrol engine to save fuel, and hence reduce emissions. This Kia technology is excellent and really does work, and saves precious and expensive fuel. During the time I had the car it averaged over 50mpg/4.7 litres per 100km.
I was expecting the new Sportage to be good, but was so much better than I expected.