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Kia Optima drives into design finals

August 3, 2011 / 1350 /

Kia’s stunning Optima sedan has been given the judges’ tick of approval as a finalist for the prestigious Australian International Design Awards.

The Optima is one of 10 finalists for the Automotive and Transport category, one of eight categories with a record total of 127 finalists.

“Our esteemed judges spent a week assessing each entry against a common set of criteria, focussing on innovation, form, function, quality, safety and sustainability,” said Brandon Gien, Managing Director of Good Design Australia. “Judges played with, tested, pulled apart and reassembled products to create an accurate user experience and understand each product’s design qualities.”

Mr Gien said that with a very high calibre entry field, the panel had a tough task choosing the finalist products.

“To be named a Finalist in the Australian International Design Awards is a significant achievement,” Mr Gien said.

The all-new Peter Schreyer designed Optima has won praise for its head-turning styling from both consumers and design experts since its international launch last year.

The car was awarded the “Best Of The Best” accolade from the international judges at Germany’s famous Red Dot awards earlier this year.

The Australian International Design Award winners will be announced at a gala event in Melbourne on July 22.

Sportage adds to the Honour Roll

August 3, 2011 / 1509 /

The multi-award winning Kia Sportage has added another accolade to its growing Honour Roll by winning the OzRoamer 4WD & SUV Guide’s award for Best Small AWD SUV.

“The Kia Sportage Platinum has both the design elements of form and function brilliantly executed,” OzRoamer Editor Rob Fraser said. “It just shows how far Kia has come.”

After extensive testing the Sportage scored maximum points for Performance, Practicality, Fit for Purpose and Value for Money. The stylish little SUV dropped only a single point in the categories of Comfort and Behind The Wheel feel.

Judge Anthony Hood described the Sportage as “the outstanding choice in this price segment” while fellow judge Stephen Lawson said: “That combination of powerful yet economical 2.0L diesel and 6-speed automatic is hard to fault.”

In assessing the Sportage, Mr Fraser paid tribute to the work Kia has done in localising the suspension for optimised performance on Australian roads while finding a pleasing combination of ride comfort and SUV ability.

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said the recognition of the Sportage’s range of attributes was particularly pleasing.

“Our customers and those who review and comment on cars for a living have been telling us how much they like Sportage since it was launched in the middle of last year,” Mr Barlow said.

“It is always pleasing to have the work you have done as a company recognised in open forum. This latest award is another example of that recognition.”

OzRoamer 4WD and SUV Guide is a bi-annual magazine published as part of the Auto Alliance Group. Mr Fraser said the aim of the publication is to review both 4WDs and SUVs in a manner that helps the reader to understand the concept of “fit for purpose”, a key criteria in the judging process.

Kia keeps making the hard yards

May 17, 2011 / 1384 /

Kia Motors Australia has punched in a record monthly market share as the world’s fastest-growing manufacturer continues its month-on-month sales growth in a contacting Australian new car market.

Kia’s April market share of 2.71 per cent is the highest the company has recorded since the formation of the KMAu organisation in 2006.

“That is a wonderful result for Kia in what is, and is likely to remain, a difficult market,” KMAu Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow said. “It is not only pleasing that we were able to maintain growth in a  new car market that is down 8.8 per cent on the same month last year, but the growth was across almost every model in the range.

“There is no doubt the rest of the year will have its own challenges, but with an all-new Rio on the horizon and the promise of a slight freeing-up of supply for the second half of the year it augers well for Kia.”

Cerato was one of the stars of the month with demand for the new hatch pushing sales up more than 48 per cent year-to-date while buyers have also started to rediscover the Rondo compact people mover with a steady 22.7 per cent rise in year-to-date sales.

Kia’s Carnival, the perennial market leader in the large people mover segment, made it business as usual with a 41 per cent share of the market and a healthy 35.4 per cent year-to-date growth.

Other members of the Kia garage to punch above the market rate were Sorento (up 11.9 per cent), Sportage (up 9.3 per cent) and Soul (7.4 per cent increase).

Kia’s latest style hero, the mid-size Optima, continued with demand outstripping supply as has been the case since the car was launched to rave reviews in January.

“Increasingly we are seeing evidence of the purchase of Kia vehicles becoming desire driven rather than simply price driven,” Mr Barlow said. “That has been the case with Sportage, Sorento and Optima in particular _ and with the arrival of the all-new Rio in the second half of the year it is a trend we believe will only gather momentum.”

Kia helps Ben 10 move his time machine around Australia

May 17, 2011 / 1553 /

One of Australia’s most popular people movers, the Kia Carnival, will help one of Australia’s most popular heroes, Ben 10, move his famous time machine around the country.

Cartoon Network’s BEN 10 LIVE: Time Machine features the world’s favourite boy-hero Ben Tennyson on an adventure through time and space to keep the Omnitrix and the Ultimatrix safe from the clutches of his foes.

Keeping the tour staff and crew safe is a fleet of Kia Grand Carnivals and a Kia Soul. Over the next four months and 25 shows, the Kia vehicles are going to play a key role in shifting performers and staff around the country, travelling more than 20,000km in the process.

“Last year we helped Dora the Explorer. This year it’s Ben’s turn,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“These shows are so up-close and exciting and the stunts are spectacular.  We are proud to be associated with such a professional outfit and understand the value in bringing these young kids and live theatre together in such an electronics dominated world,” he said.

With great special effects, awesome costumes and super-cool stunts, Cartoon Network’sBEN 10 LIVE: Time Machine sees Ben Tennyson on a mission to save the past, present and future of the universe!

The live tour which officially started on April 12 in Melbourne, will spend the next four months touring Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and NSW.

Ben 10 is one of Cartoon Network’s most popular TV programs viewed in over 2.9 million homes in Australia and New Zealand.

All-new Rio sedan at New York Show

May 17, 2011 / 1498 /

(SEOUL) April 22, 2011 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today celebrated the world premier of the all-new 2012 Rio sub-compact sedan at the New York International Auto Show.

Scheduled to join the KMA line-up this fall – along with its 5-door hatchback sibling unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March and shown today for the first time in North America – the all-new Rio sedan ushers in the next chapter of Kia Motors’ ongoing design-led transformation with eye-catching design, advanced technologies and sophistication in the small car segment. With all-new ISG (stop-start) technology and class-leading horsepower and fuel economy up to 40 miles per gallon (5.8L/100km), Rio promises consumers impressive fuel efficiency without sacrificing power or fun-to-drive performance.

“The all-new Rio brings Kia’s successful combination of world-class styling, outstanding fuel economy, advanced technologies and tremendous value to the smallest and most economical vehicle in the Kia line-up,” said Michael Sprague, vice-president, marketing & communications, KMA.  “With gas prices rising, sub-compacts are becoming increasingly popular and with more power, up to 40 miles per gallon fuel economy and stunning design, the all-new Rio sets the standard in the sub-compact class and becomes a vehicle that is not only affordable, but one that people will aspire to own.”

Class-Leading Fuel-Efficiency and Horsepower

Available in the USA with a choice of three trims – LX, EX and SX – the 2012 Rio is powered by a 1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder engine with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.  One of only two vehicles in this segment to offer a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine, the 2012 Rio offers consumers that elusive combination of power and impressive fuel efficiency, achieving class-leading 135HP (100kW) power and class-leading fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg city/highway (7.8-5.8L/100km). Rio also offers ISG technology, new to the Kia line-up, where the engine turns off when the vehicle is not in motion.  The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake pedal, resulting in lower levels of fuel consumption in stop-start urban traffic.

Sleek and Streamlined Exterior

Conceived at Kia’s design studios in Irvine, California, the all-new Rio sub-compact sedan and hatchback exhibit highly sculpted sloping shoulder lines and wedge-shaped exteriors, projecting an athletic profile that conveys power and agility.  It also echoes the aggressive lines found on other recently launched Kia vehicles such as the 2011 Optima and Sportage.  Both Rio models sport their own interpretations of Kia’s signature grille, slimmed down to connect to the dynamic headlamp design, providing a new twist on the Kia family look that includes a bigger air intake to exude a youthful persona.

Luxuriously Equipped Interior

Inside, the 2012 Rio envelopes driver and passengers in a bold and modern cabin, centred on Kia’s characteristic horizontal three-cylinder instrument cluster and finished in two-tone trim to emphasize a feeling of spaciousness and comfort.  The extended wheelbase (2570mm) greatly enhances passenger and cargo capacity for additional comfort.

In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS®Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service and auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players.  The range-topping SX trim offers consumers UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and entertainment system, complete with rear camera display.

Presenting buyers of sub-compact cars with more choices than ever before, 2012 Rio will offer a selection of optional upgrades with numerous features collected into Convenience, Eco and Premium Packages.

All-New Advanced Platform

The 2012 Rio brings with it an all-new platform – longer, wider and lower than the previous generation.  Its aggressive and playful stance is reinforced by an overall length of 4366mm (Rio sedan) or 4046mm (Rio5) with a platform measuring 1720mm wide and 1455mm high.  Employing high-tensile-strength steel (63 percent), Rio’s lightweight design offers increased torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement, plus increased crash safety capabilities while reducing overall weight.

Safety-Minded

The 2012 Rio is equipped with a high level of standard safety features, including six airbags, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), which coordinates the car’s ESC and ABS to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle at all times.

Upgraded Kia Soul at New York Show

May 17, 2011 / 1474 /

Kia Motors America (KMA) today celebrated the world premier of the comprehensively upgraded 2012 Kia Soul at the New York International Auto Show.

The product that began Kia Motors’ design-led transformation returns to New York with a fresh and updated look, more power, and the same funky demeanour that consumers all around the world have come to love from this compact crossover.  The hugely successful Soul is fine-tuned for 2012 with a significant number of technology and powertrain enhancements to deliver more power and improved fuel efficiency.

“After just two model years, we’ve given the 2012 Soul significant improvements in power, style and fuel economy, making this iconic vehicle the perfect package for consumers looking for something a little outside the box,” said Kia’s Michael Sprague.  “The Soul has always stood out from the crowd and is responsible for bringing new customers to the Kia brand and positioning the company for a series of record-breaking successes.  With gas prices on the rise, this refresh adds even more style and fun-to-drive performance, while also improving fuel economy by 10 percent.”

More Power, Less Fuel

The 2012 Soul will amplify the fun-to-drive factor with significant horsepower increases, new six-speed transmissions and the ability to deliver up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway.  A new 1.6-litre GDI engine produces 135HP (100kW), an 11 percent increase from the previous engine).  For buyers looking for a greater boost in power, a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission – advanced technology that is rare in this segment.

This engine, which produces 160HP (119kW), a 13 percent increase from the previous engine,  and 143 pound-feet (194Nm) of torque, is standard on the three Soul models.

Kia calculates that fuel economy for the 1.6-litre is an impressive 28/34 mpg city/highway (8.4-6.9L/100km), 10 percent more efficient than the previous engine, while the 2.0-litre offers a fuel-sipping 27/33 mpg (8.7-7.1L/100km) for both the automatic and manual transmissions.

More Style & Refinement

In addition to the 2012 Soul’s performance upgrades, the new model also introduces a number of significant design improvements.  On the outside, Soul is freshened with newprojector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, a redesigned hood and new front and rear bumpers.  New and modern LED rear light clusters enhance the Soul’s unique design, while the overall shape of the vehicle has been finessed to give Soul a smoother and more streamlined silhouette.

Spacious, State-of-the-Art Interior

Soul envelopes its passengers within a more high-tech, futuristic cabin for 2012, featuring a generous blend of technologies at tremendous overall value.  Soul was a recipient of theWard’s AutoWorld “Grooviest Interior” award for 2010, and passengers in the 2012 model will find genuine comfort in the roomy cabin.

New for 2012, an Infinity premium audio system is available on Soul+ models and standard on Soul! and Soul sport models for a more robust listening experience.  Also new for 2012 is the UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and infotainment system.  A Premium Package is also available with heated front seats, leather seat trim, automatic climate control, and a navigation system among its upscale comforts.

2011 Kia Optima named to the “Ward’s 10 Best Interiors” list

May 17, 2011 / 1310 /

Continually praised for its head-turning exterior design, fun-to-drive performance, and long list of standard safety features, the all-new 2011 Kia Optima has been included as part of “Ward’s 10 Best Interiors” list.

Kia’s midsize sedan was picked for being able to connect with midsize buyers in the US with its upscale and aesthetically pleasing interior packaging, features and overall value.

In Australia, the Optima offers an unbeatable list of standard features that sets it apart from the mid-size sedan market.

This prestigious accolade follows a slew of awards, including earning an overall five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), being named a Consumer Guide® Automotive “Best Buy,” a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an Edmunds’ InsideLine.com “Editors’ Most Wanted” and “Best New Model” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Kia register another increase in Sales

March 21, 2011 / 1310 /

(SEOUL) March ten, 2011 — Kia Motors Corporation has informed its international sales mathematics for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales and sales from abroad plants), recreational vehicles (RVs) andad vehicles for February 2011, registering a gross of 169,727 units sold.  This figure portrays a year-on-year increase of 18.5%.

In February, Kia posted year-on-year sales grows within everybody regions of the earth – 35.6% within North America (36,676 units sold), 18.6% within Europe* (29,644 units sold), 17.5% within Korea (39,029 units sold), 15.3% within general markets* (37,576 units sold), and 5.4% within China (26,802 units sold).

Cumulatively, during the former two months of 2011, Kia’s international sales possess increased via 18.9% year-on-year towards extend 349,136 units. North America and general markets possess experienced the highest benefits towards date within 2011 of 30.9% (67,514 units sold) and 23.1% (77,950 units sold), respectively.

The remaining regions possess everybody indicated powerful cumulative replicate digit year-on-year sales increases: 18.3% within Korea (79,531 units sold), 12.7% within Europe (56,563 units sold) and 10.2% withinChina (67,578 units sold).

Kia’s greatest marketing theory within abroad markets for the month of February was the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Forte’ within a number of markets) with 30,688 units sold. The Sportage compact CUV and B-segment Rio pursue with 22,275 and 15,851 units sold, respectively. The Sorento mid-size CUV arrives withinfourth with 14,460 units sold and the Soul urban crossover vehicle rounds out the top five with 12,722 units sold.

Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Kia Motors Corporation, Thomas Oh, remarked, “Although theinternational auto market scene for 2011 appears questionable due towards rising oil prices, we at Kia areoptimistic that our completely redesigned and re-engineered A-segment Picanto and B-segment Rio, which premiered last week at the Geneva Motor Show, shall enable ourselves towards maintain powerful positiveincreases within everybody regions thank you towards their distinctively fashionable novel designs andgasoline efficient powertrains.”

Class-leading performance from all-new Kia engine

March 7, 2011 / 1600 /

kia engine brisbaneMaking its international debut on Kia’s Geneva Motor Show stand alongside the new Picanto and Rio models is an all-new version of Kia’s popular ‘Kappa’ gasoline engine, which promises an appealing blend of performance and economy.

The innovative 998 cc engine is Kia’s first three-cylinder unit fitted with a turbocharger to deliver impressive performance for its capacity (81kW), while retaining the key fuel economy benefits of a small displacement engine.

Carefully tuned by Kia’s engineers, the new unit delivers its maximum torque (137Nm) from just 1500rpm up to 4500rpm, for excellent ‘real-world’ driveability, and the turbine design has also been optimised to ensure smooth and responsive operation at all engine speeds.

The new engine is expected to be fitted to Kia production vehicles from June, 2012.

Attention to small details reaps large benefits

Painstaking attention to detail by Kia’s engineers has resulted in a series of small but clever developments which all make their contribution to enhancing efficiency, while also reducing weight, complexity and cost, compared to Kia’s normally-aspirated 1.0-litre Kappa unit – itself already a highly-efficient engine.

A Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating – a material typically reserved for application in professional motorsport and high-performance motorcycle engines – is applied to this Kappa’s tappets to reduce friction, and thereby improve efficiency.  This improvement is augmented by other changes, including the use of progressive rate ‘beehive’ valve springs, an optimised CVVT programme, low friction piston rings and an off-set crankshaft centre to reduce the horizontal force acting on the piston head, and therefore cut power loss.  In total the changes result in an 8.8 per cent fuel economy improvement, while enabling the engine to also deliver an increase in power.

Weight reductions and packaging improvements have also been achieved through the use of an aluminium block with a cast iron liner (15kg), by integrating the cylinder head and air filter (500g) and the turbine housing within the exhaust manifold (500g), and by integrating the engine support bracket with the timing chain cover (1kg).

Designed for long-life, low-maintenance motoring

In addition to reducing running costs through efficiency savings, the new engine will also offer Kia owners low maintenance costs throughout their vehicle’s lifecycle.  Like other Kia Kappa powertrains, this unit is fitted with a chain-driven timing system to ensure low maintenance – with a 10 year / 160,000 kilometre guaranteed lifespan.

Kia Service Brisbane

Kia Sportage Ancap Safety rating achieves 5 Stars!

February 14, 2011 / 1776 /

The diesel left-hand-drive European model was tested by Euro NCAP. Australasian specifications may vary and therefore models sold in Australasia might provide different levels of protection to those described on this page

Kia Sportage Safety

Occupant Protection Score 36.10 out of 37
Variant: Diesel 4WD
Eng: 2 litre diesel
Kerb mass 1630 kg
Category: SUV – MEDIUM
Vehicles built: 2010 Tested by Euro NCAP

The tested model of Kia Sportage was introduced in Australia during 2010. This rating applies to four-wheel-drive variants of the Sportage with 4 cylinder diesel or petrol engines. Dual front airbags, side airbags and head-protecting side curtains are standard equipment. Antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) are also standard. Intelligent seat belt reminders are fitted to both front seats. A rearview camera is available. Pretensioners are fitted to the front seat belts to reduce slack in the event of a crash. A three point seat belt is fitted to the centre rear seat.

5 star. The Sportage scored 15.1 out of 16 in the offset crash test. The passenger compartment held its shape well. There was a slight risk of serious lower leg injury. All other body regions had good protection. The vehicle scored 16 out of 16 in the side impact crash test and a further two points in the optional pole test.

Important note: The  diesel left-hand-drive European model was tested by Euro NCAP. Australasian specifications may vary and therefore models sold in Australasia might provide different levels of protection to those described on this page. Model History and Safety Features The tested model of  Kia Sportage was introduced in Australia during 2010. This rating applies to four-wheeldrive variants of the Sportage with 4 cylinder diesel or petrol engines.
Dual front airbags,  side airbags and head-protecting side curtains are standard equipment. Antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) are also standard. Intelligent seat belt reminders are fitted to both front seats. A rearview camera is available. Pretensioners are fitted to the front seat belts to reduce slack in the event of a crash. A three point seat belt is fitted
to the centre rear seat.
OCCUPANT PROTECTION: 5 Stars The Sportage scored 15.1 out of 16 in the offset crash test.
The passenger compartment held its shape well. There was a slight risk of serious lower leg injury. All other body regions had good protection. The vehicle scored  16 out of 16 in the side impact crash test and a further two points in the optional pole test.
FRONTAL OFFSET CRASH TEST
Body region scores out of 4 points each: Head/neck 4 pts,chest 4 pts, upper legs 4 pts, lower legs 3.1 pts.
The passenger compartment held its shape well  in the offset crash test. The brake pedal moved rearwards by 60
mm and upwards  23 mm. The steering wheel hub moved 28mm  forward,  5  mm upward and  4  mm sideways. The front (“A”) pillar  had no rearward displacement. All doors remained closed during the crash. After the crash all doors could be opened with normal effort. The airbag cushioned the head of the driver and contact
was stable. There were no knee hazards. The passenger’s head was cushioned by the airbag.
SIDE IMPACT CRASH TEST
Body region scores out of 4 points each: Head 4 pts, chest
4 pts, abdomen  4 pts, pelvis 4 pts.
The vehicle was eligible for an optional pole impact test, since it had head-protecting side airbags. The
manufacturer decided to go ahead with the pole test and the vehicle earned a further two points.
PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION:
Marginal The bumper provided mixed protection to pedestrians’ legs. The front edge of the bonnet provided predominantly poor protection. In most of the areas likely to be struck by a child’s head, the bonnet offered good levels of protection. However, for an adult’s head, most of the areas tested showed poor protection.
Kia Sportage Safety Technical Data

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