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Kia owner jumps the start with all-new Rio

October 14, 2011 / 1338 /

The first person in Australia to buy one of Kia’s all-new Rios was so quick off the mark his local dealership had not yet received stock and most of its staff were in a training session to learn about the new model.

Derek Brookes from the southern Adelaide suburb of Aberfoyle Park, has owned Kia’s exclusively for the last decade purchasing two Ceratos and two Rios during that time.

As he walked onto the showroom floor of his local dealer, Wayne Phillis Kia, he had no idea a new Rio was about to be released until a salesman showed him the brochure.

“Every two years or so, Mr Brookes comes in and trades in his current Kia for a new one,” said Luke Varnas, Sales Manager at Wayne Phillis Kia.

The lack of a demonstrator model didn’t deter Mr Brookes who ordered a new Black Kia Rio S automatic with 16 inch alloy wheels.

“After my years of purchasing motor vehicles, I have now bought my fifth Kia, because when you’re on a good thing you stay with it,” he said.

Mr Brookes’ new Rio S comes standard with a raft of safety features including six airbags, electronic stability control and vehicle stability management with hill-start assist.

Entertainment is at his fingertips with audio and Bluetooth controls mounted on the steering wheel for driver convenience.

Manufactured for the first time with a choice of 3-, 4- and 5-door bodystyles, new Rio is set to completely redefine its position as a serious member in one of the most competitive sectors – the light passenger vehicle segment.

Rio sets a new benchmark in the segment. Cruise control from the Si model up and daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, projection front headlamps, static cornering lamps, auto light control and an enhanced brake package in the range topping SLi, makes Rio one of the most feature packed models in its category.

Kia Rondo a real star in Wheels Award

September 30, 2011 / 1303 /

Kia’s pint sized people mover, Rondo has finished at the top of its category in the recent Wheels Magazine Gold Star Awards.

A wide range of criteria was assessed as part of the award including purchase price, warranty, safety, retained value, service intervals, insurance costs, drivability and fuel economy.

The Rondo Si valued at $27990 out pointed Nissan’s Dualis ST and Honda’s Odyssey due to it’s purchase price, fuel economy, reasonable insurance costs and 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

“We are delighted with Rondo’s latest achievement, particularly in such a competitive market,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“Rondo is just one of many vehicles in the Kia range which sets the bar for value pricing without compromising safety, comfort, performance or style. All existing and future models will satisfy these requirements to ensure Kia customers receive the best value for money proposition available.”

Kia Rondo comes standard with 15” alloy wheels as well as front, side and curtain airbags. Other safety features include ABS with electronic brake force distribution and electronic stability control with traction control.

Bluetooth connectivity is standard across the range offering hands-free mobile phone connectivity and media streaming, all controlled by steering wheel mounted controls.

The Rondo Si is powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine with DOHC and VVT, which meets the stringent EURO IV emissions requirements and is matched to either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.

Rondo is available in seven colours including Clear White, Black Cherry, Tomato Red. Moonlight Blue, Titanium Silver, Vanilla Shake and Bright Silver.

The recommended retail price for the Si manual is $25,990 with the automatic priced at $27,990. The range topping Rondo SLi is priced at $31,390.

Kia supports Tour Duchenne

September 30, 2011 / 1156 /

Kia Motors Australia provided valuable support for Muscular Dystrophy Australia’s annual fundraising bike ride, Tour Duchenne, by supplying four vehicles to assist with logistics and rider support.

Tour Duchenne, now in its third year, has raised over $1.3 million, including $125,000 raised by riders in 2011.

This year’s event started at State Parliament in Macquarie Street on Monday 12 September.

The next day was a 156km epic from Kiama to Goulburn via Jamberoo Mountain Rd. The final day saw the riders pedal the 110km through Bungendore and Queanbeyan where they met up with Tony Abbot who rode the last 20km with the group to the front doors of Parliament House.

Kia Motors supplied the event with four support vehicles including a Sorento, Grand Carnival, Rondo and Soul. Driven by event officials they provided riders with invaluable support and in some cases protection from traffic on the busier roads.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy affects one in 3500 new born males. The degenerative disease often sees the young boy confined to a manual wheelchair by the age of eight, and to an electric one by his early teens.

Life expectancy for this disorder is usually early adulthood with only a small percentage surviving to celebrate their 21st birthday.

The money raised from the 2011 Tour Duchenne will help families living with the disorder through support programs, research into a cure and advocacy.

Kia Optima Hybrid sets new Guinness World Record® for fuel economy

September 30, 2011 / 1385 /

Kia Motors is one of the automotive industry’s current fuel economy leaders and today the brand is celebrating the setting of a new Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid gasoline vehicle, while driving through all 48 adjoining U.S. states.

Drivers Wayne Gerdes from Wadsworth, Illinois, and Chris Bernius from New York City, successfully piloted a factory-standard 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid sedan through a 7,899 mile route across America and achieved an incredible average fuel consumption of 64.55 mpg US (3.64 l/100 km), beating the car’s official EPA highway fuel consumption figure by 61.37 per cent.

Kia’s 48 state challenge was completed in 14 days driving an average of 564 miles per day.  The Optima Hybrid used just over 5.5 tanks of gasoline to complete the route, recording an average distance of 1,418 miles between fill-ups. To comply with Guinness World Record guidelines, the Optima Hybrid had to carry two people and their luggage throughout the journey.

The record attempt was verified by Philip Robertson, Adjudicator at Guinness World Records, who also presented the drivers with their Guinness World Record certificate at an official handover ceremony at Kia Motors’ manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia on September 12.

The record set is officially titled “Lowest fuel consumption driving through all 48 contiguous U.S. states in a gasoline hybrid car,” which is a new category created by Guinness World Records.  In order to qualify for a new record, the Kia Optima Hybrid was required to achieve a minimum of 52.27 mpg, which the fuel-sipping Optima Hybrid exceeded by 23 per cent.

After a send-off by local dignitaries and Kia team members on August 26 at Kia’s manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, the drivers departed on their epic journey in a clockwise direction, with the two drivers averaging approximately 564 miles per day.  They finished their route in the city of Greenville, South Carolina, just over two weeks later on September 9.  After a rigorous accreditation process by Guinness World Records, the drivers and car were transported to West Point for the closing ceremony and celebration.

Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, commented, “Kia Motors is deeply proud to have set a new Guinness World Record.  It is testament to the quality of the design, engineering and production methods of the Kia Optima Hybrid.  The drivers had to complete their unsupported drive through all kinds of American terrain and weather conditions and they did it without a single hitch from the Optima Hybrid while setting what is such an impressive fuel consumption figure.

“While travelling across the United States the Optima Hybrid experienced temperatures ranging from more than 118 degrees Fahrenheit to less than freezing point.  The team climbed through the formidable Rocky mountain chain and negotiated rush hour traffic in Chicago, New York City and Las Vegas – which makes the Optima Hybrid’s fuel consumption figure all the more impressive,” added Mr Oh.

Record-breaking driver, Wayne Gerdes, said, “The Kia Optima Hybrid was the perfect vehicle for this long road trip.  It is spacious, comfortable and fun-to-drive, and the parallel gasoline-electric powertrain provided considerable efficiency at highway speeds and the car performed flawlessly throughout the 7,899 mile drive.

“The remarkable economy figure we achieved included driving in all kinds of conditions, from straight open highway and deserts to gridlocked city traffic, so this really was the ultimate demonstration of the real-world fuel economy that any Optima Hybrid owner can achieve with attention to the details of their driving style.”

Followers and fans interested in exploring the route in more detail can view daily blogs, plus photo and video uploads via a specially-developed Facebook app at, where driver Wayne Gerdes has also shared his top tips for achieving better fuel economy.

Two World Premieres for Kia at Frankfurt Show

September 30, 2011 / 1327 /

Kia Motors celebrated two world premieres at the 64thInternationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) today (Tuesday) in Frankfurt, Germany.  The powerful, dynamic and forward-looking Kia GT concept car, which signals the company’s distinctive new design direction, was unveiled alongside the new three-door hatchback version of the all-new Rio.

The Kia GT took centre stage on Kia’s stand as Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer revealed the sleek and muscular four-door sports sedan with a rear-wheel drive layout – a first for Kia.

“No matter from which perspective you look at the Kia GT, it is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Peter Schreyer.  “I believe this concept car is a strong statement from Kia that we are ready to fast-forward to an all new chapter.”

The 4,690 mm long concept has the classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout of a high performance sedan which ensures very different proportions from a front-wheel drive car.  The new concept allowed Kia to explore exciting new visual paths – with an extended bonnet, the front wheels pushed to the very front of the car, the cab-rearward stance with powerful rear shoulders and a truncated rear end.

Beneath the extended bonnet, power is provided by a 3.3-liter turbocharged Lambda V6 GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine generating 395 ps and 54.4 kgfm of torque (534 Nm).  The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

The front doors and rear-hinged back doors open at a slight upward angle ensuring easy access to the spacious and airy interior which provides generous, uncluttered cabin accommodation for four – thanks in part to the Kia GT’s unusually long wheelbase (2,860 mm) and despite its low stance, overall height is just 1,380 mm.

Under Schreyer’s guidance, Kia’s European design team set out to create a concept car that was graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing.  The focus on dynamism and pace was enhanced by the aeronautical theme adopted for many of the GT’s features.

Sporty three-door to expand appeal of all-new Rio

Around the world, the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of Kia’s all-new Rio are already generating positive reviews in the press, and strong demand from customers.  Now, the appeal of Kia’s latest model will expand even further with the introduction of the company’s first-ever three-door hatchback Rio in selected markets.

Designed primarily to attract younger buyers to Kia for the first time, the three-door Rio will boost conquest sales after its introduction during the first quarter of 2012.  Ultimately, Kia expects the three-door Rio to account for between 20 to 25 per cent of total Rio sales.

New Rio three-door has the same dimensions as the five-door model (length 4,045 mm, width 1,720 mm, height 1,455 mm and wheelbase 2,570 mm) and retains the same low roofline, emphasizing its sporty stance.  In most markets, it will be available with the same range of powertrains, equipment and options as the five-door model.

With a total of three bodystyles for all-new Rio, plus the already-popular five-door refreshed Soul and five-door Venga (in Europe), Kia is confident of capturing an even larger share of the increasingly popular global compact car market.

Kia back in the Top 10 club

September 9, 2011 / 1675 /

Kia has broken back into the Top 10 for August with a sales increase of almost 10 per cent over the previous year, according to official industry figures released by VFACTS.

With sales of 2102 cars in August Kia has stepped back into 10th position amongst Australia’s top-selling automotive manufacturers.

“In what has been a challenging environment this is a clear indication that Australian buyers are willing to look closely at the new Kia range,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“With the launch of the all-new Rio due in September and stocks of the superseded model dwindling it was always going to be a difficult month for us in the marketplace. However, the fact that other models in the range stepped up to the plate to keep Kia’s momentum going is exciting and satisfying.”

While stock shortages saw sales of the run-out Rio tumble by more than 67 per cent, the Cerato continued its stellar climb up the numbers with an increase of 92.3 per cent over the same month in 2010. For the year, Cerato sales _ boosted by the arrival of the well-received 5-door Hatch _ have jumped 73.1 per cent.

Kia’s dominance of the People Mover under $55,000 market increased in August with a 43.5 per cent share, giving a dominant year-to-date share of 35.8 per cent. The increased demand for Carnival in August was driven by the arrival of the segment-leading 3.5-litre petrol V6 and the widely-praised 2.2 R series diesel.

Soul enjoyed a popularity revival from a small base with a jump in sales of 192.9 per cent for the month over 2010 while Rondo also picked up ground for the month with a 91.3 per cent rise in sales.

Sportage and Sorento continued their strong demand and with improved supply for the month increased sales by 7 percent and 91.8 per cent respectively over last August. Optima maintained its popularity on supply-constrained demand.

“With almost universal growth in model demand Kia is continuing to track on target for our business plan,” Mr Barlow said. “With genuine market excitement over new Rio we are confident that will continue through the second half of the year.”

All New Kia Rio Sets Light Car Packaging Benchmark

September 9, 2011 / 1660 /

Kia Motors Australia has launched its fourth-generation Rio setting a new packaging benchmark in the light passenger vehicle category and introducing a choice of 3-, 4- and 5-door body styles across the range.

The new Rio, which is available in S, Si and SLi trim levels, combines European flair, Australian drivability with Korean spice and starts at just $16,290. The range topping SLi comes standard with LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with a low profile, high performance 205/45/R17 Continental tyre as standard, making it one of the most feature packed vehicles in its class.

“Rio is a crucial member of the Kia family,” said Kia Motors Australia President and CEO Mr MK Kim. “As the car that introduced so many Australians to Kia, its role as an ambassador cannot be overstated.

“The new Rio will continue that role, but as the beneficiary of all Kia has learned and refined since the journey began. It will do so with a new level of refinement, a new maturity and a new richness.”

Like the Sportage, Cerato and Optima before it, the new Rio’s suspension and running gear has benefited from a stringent program of local optimisation. The Ride and Handling Dynamic Program included comprehensive local testing and fine-tuning to ensure responsive handling while maintaining stability, ride quality and refinement – in line with the discerning Australian customer’s expectations.

The three bodystyles will be available with a choice of two engines matched to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with manumatic (manual and automatic) shift gate in the Si and SLi trims and either a 6-speed manual or 4-speed manumatic transmission in the base model S.

The 1.6L Gamma GDi petrol engine is fitted to both the midrange Si and top of the range SLi Rio models. The Gamma is the smallest Kia engine yet to benefit from the application of GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) technology and develops 103kW at 6300rpm and 167Nm at 4850rpm – a 13 per cent improvement in power over a conventional Gamma 1.6L MPI fed engine.

The base model Rio S comes with a 1.4L MPI 4-cylinder petrol powerplant with DOHC and CVVT and produces 79kW of power at 6300rpm and 135Nm of torque at 4200rpm. That is a power boost of 9kW and a torque increase of 10Nm over the outgoing model.

Safety is a non-negotiable subject at Kia. Five-star crash integrity is the target of every new car while the standard inclusion of six airbags and electronic stability control across the range is designed to keep Kia customers and their families as safe as possible.

An all-disc braking system with 256/262mm (front/rear) diameter discs (S and Si models) and 280/262mm diameter discs (SLi), HAC (hillstart assist control), ESC (electronic stability control), ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD (electronic brake distribution) and BA (brake assist) systems ensure all new Rio owners have the latest in vehicle control systems.

This comprehensive array of electronic safety acronyms are overseen and monitored by the new Vehicle Stability Management program. VSM utilises the computing power of a central ECU to seamlessly integrate the operation of all the traditional active safety systems.

If required, six front, side and curtain airbags offer protection to occupants in the event of an accident while night time driving is made safer by the availability of projection headlamps and new front ‘cornering’ lamps.

Cruise control from the Si model up and daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, projection front headlamps, static cornering lamps, auto light control and an enhanced brake package in the range topping SLi, makes Rio one of the most feature packed models in its category.

All models come with Bluetooth® connectivity and a radio CD player with MP3 compatibility plus AUX, iPod and USB connections – all controlled remotely from the steering wheel for added convenience and safety. Electric heated side mirrors are also standard across the range.

The 5-door Hatchback is the first body shape to be launched in Australia. The 3- and 4-door variants will hit Australian roads in early 2012.

Target CO2 emissions for the model range start at just 133 g/km making it a top contender in the government’s Green Vehicle Guide.

Kia gears up for fuel economy record attempt

September 2, 2011 / 1372 /

(SEOUL) August 26, 2011 — Two motorists are preparing to drive a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records this week as they aim to set a new record for lowest fuel consumption (in a petrol hybrid car) while driving through all 48 adjoining states of America.

Taking on the epic 8000 mile (13,000km) fuel economy driving challenge will be experienced fuel economy driver Wayne Gerdes and his colleague and friend Chris Bernius, who will be completing the journey in a factory-standard Kia Optima Hybrid four-door sedan.

The record attempt will see the drivers depart from Kia Motors’ manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, on August 26, travelling through the 48 adjoining states in a clockwise direction, before finishing in South Carolina just 16 days later, on September 10.

Kia fans wishing to track the drivers’ progress will be able to receive live updates via Kia’s Twitter feed (@Kia_Motors) and a specially-developed Facebook app on Kia’s Worldwide page:

Photos, video footage and a written blog will be uploaded to the page on a daily basis from August 26.  The Facebook app will also enable visitors to explore the drivers’ route in detail, find out further information on the Kia Optima Hybrid and will also offer some best practice tips for motorists to achieve better fuel economy in their own vehicles.

Senior Executive Vice-President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, said, “Fuel economy is becoming increasingly important to car buyers all around the world, and the Kia Optima Hybrid is one of our latest models to address this consumer requirement.

“Driving through all 48 adjoining US states is the ultimate ‘real-world’ challenge, but the Kia Optima Hybrid gives the drivers the very best chance of setting a Guinness World Record, as it has been specifically designed to achieve maximum fuel economy in all driving conditions, not just in the city.”

The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first hybrid vehicle in the US market and went on sale in East- and West-coast regions in June 2011, priced from US$26,500, with national availability by the end of 2011.  A European version – which mates the electric motor to a smaller, 2.0-litre gasoline engine – is expected to go on sale in some markets in 2012.

The 2.4-litre Optima Hybrid employs a unique and innovative parallel petrol-electric hybrid powertrain developed by Kia that delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, a top speed of 195 kph (121 mph), plus highly-competitive fuel economy equivalent to a 40.7 per cent fuel consumption improvement over the standard Optima EX model in the USA.

Kia to unveil four-door sports concept at Frankfurt Motor Show

August 26, 2011 / 1300 /

Powerful, dynamic and forward-looking, Kia’s new concept car signals the company’s distinctive new design direction. This rear-wheel drive four-door sports sedan marries sleek and muscular proportions with a sophisticated and elegant four-seater cockpit.

“No matter from which perspective you look at it – this concept car is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Chief Design Officer.

“I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter.”

Visitors to the Kia stand in hall 3.1, booth A21 will also see the world premiere of the all-new three-door Rio and a refresh of the Kia Soul.

Model Refresh for Australia’s Top People Mover – Kia’s Carnival

August 3, 2011 / 1405 /

Australia’s most popular people mover under $55,000, Kia Carnival, has just received an upgrade resulting in four long wheel base models, Bluetooth across the range and the introduction of the legendary “R-series” CRDi turbo diesel engine to the line up.

Most significant to the model refresh is the discontinuation of the short wheelbase Carnival S, replaced by a long wheelbase Grand Carnival S model. The Grand Carnival Si, SLi and Platinum remain.

“Carnival is a signature model in our range,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow. “It is a good value proposition, which is why one in three new people movers under $55,000 sold so far this year have been Kia Carnivals.

“The latest refresh has allowed us to add new technologies to the existing long list of features and maintain Grand Carnival’s position as a great value people mover”.

The most noteworthy change to the entry level Grand Carnival S is the replacement of the 2.7-litre petrol engine with the more powerful and more efficient 3.5-litre V6 DOHC powerplant with continuous variable valve timing.

Buyers of the Grand Carnival Si, SLi and Platinum models will have a choice of either the 3.5-litre petrol or Kia’s latest 4-cylinder, 2.2-litre CRDi R-series diesel engine. The R-series diesel offers improved power and greater efficiency than the 2.9-litre predecessor and is the driving force behind Kia’s Sorento and Sportage.

The 2.2-litre R-series diesel produces an impressive 143kW of power and a massive 429Nm of torque.  Torque is up 86Nm or 25%, while fuel consumption is down 3.7% compared to its predecessor.

The entire range has now received the transmission upgrade with both the petrol and diesel engines matched to Kia’s 6-speed automatic transmission. Compared to the 5-speed, the 6-speed automatic has 62 fewer parts, is 41mm shorter and 12kg lighter, making it one of the most compact and efficient 6-speed transmissions available.

New to the line up is the addition of Bluetooth functionality with remote audio controls located on the steering wheel. Buyers of the Si model and above will benefit from the standard fitment of roof rails, power third row windows, rear air conditioning controls, interior metal finish and heated outside mirrors. The Si model has also received sporty looking 16-inch alloy wheels.

Safety continues to be a priority across the eight-seater range with ABS and ESC with traction control standard throughout. Front, side and curtain airbags and side door impact beams also offer peace of mind for passengers in all four models.


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