Kia Sportage – The power to surprise

December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Sportage – Love at first sight

Kia Motors introduces Kia Forte (Cerato)

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia introduces the new Kia Forte (Cerato)

Detroit 2009 concept cars

December 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Various concept cars from BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Toyota, Chevrolet, Kia and more

New Kia Koup – first commercial released (+video)

December 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia confirmed its status as a style driven manufacturer when it introduced the good-looking production Koup at the New York Motor Show. The Koup is a stylish, fun-looking two-door that will likely draw the attention of the younger car buyer demographic. To get inside the minds of younger customers, Kia is embarking on a pre-launch ad blitz that starts with a single commercial.

Below is the first commercial offering to show off the wares of the all-new Kia Koup. The commercial’s theme? Two. As in two doors. For many calling the vehicle the Koup is a fairly big clue that the Koup is, in fact, a coupe. But there is no denying the Koup looks as good in moving pictures as it does in photos. Check out the commercial below and judge for yourself.

Kia Soul gains momentum in NZ

December 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia’s new crossover the Soul is already recording strong sales, just a few weeks after making its debut in major markets.

The quirky five-door Kia Soul is doing well in Europe and the US as the Korean manufacturer is working hard to keep up with demand.

Company officials in the North American markets are already working on plans to increase their orders by 20%, after sales of the Soul in the first two months following its launch beat predictions. Kia had planned on selling 40,000 Souls in the US and Canada in its first full year but are now looking at adding another 10,000 to that total.

And in Europe sales of the Kia Soul are around 13% higher than predicted in its first two months, in spite of the recession that has seen car sales in general slump by more than 35%.

Here in New Zealand consumer interest in the Kia brand is increasing, with dealers reporting that the launch of the Soul in April is driving significantly increased numbers of people into showrooms to see the highly styled model, even though the car industry locally reported its worst sales month in 34 years.

“All car brands suffered in April in New Zealand, including Kia, but we are fortunate that we have two exciting new models in the Soul and Cerato that are boosting enquiries with our dealers and although it is taking longer for deals to be closed we are confident of turning the increased interest into sales,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand Ltd. “People are now talking about Kia in terms of ‘freshness’ and being a ‘design-led brand’, which is creating a real buzz that can only be good for us in the long term.”

Mr McDonald says that now Easter, the school holidays and the disruption of having two new models launching very close together are behind them, Kia dealers are back in the groove and May sales are already looking significantly better than April.

Kia reworks design on new 2010 Rio

November 23rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Rio 2010 fq

The 2010 Rio is the latest Kia model to receive an injection of design dna from Kia Motors’ German-based chief designer Peter Schreyer.

The new tiger nose grille that is the focus of the re-styled front of the new Rio which is just arriving in New Zealand showrooms. The five-door Rio hatchback is the first to appear and will be joined within weeks by the four-door Rio sedan.

The rear of the Rio has also received treatment, a new bumper complete with a plastic diffuser and exposed chromed tail pipe and new eight-spoke alloy wheels, body-coloured mouldings and re-designed side mirrors with LED turn signals built into the housing round off the exterior changes.

Inside, the 2010 has a brand new dashboard featuring a textured surface, plus new grey colours and upholstery materials. A revised centre stack with new audio system, redesigned instrument clusters with new orange-red lighting (including a trip computer) and new climate control knobs are also new.

The 1.6-litre CVVT (Constantly Variable Valve Timing) petrol engine has been kept and puts out 82kW of power and 145Nm of torque with an average 6.5L/100km fuel consumption for the 5-speed manual model — an automatic transmission is optional.

The 1.5-litre Common Rail Diesel (CRD) engine, which is among the most frugal power plants in New Zealand with an overall economy figure of 4.5L/100km, continues to be available in the new 2010 Kia Rio and comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard.

One thing that has not changed with the new Kia Rio is the pricing, which starts at $21,990 for the 1.6-litre petrol, five-speed manual, five-door hatchback.

To find out more click here to visit the Kia website.

Latest new cars ready to delight at Speedshow

August 26th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Batmobile Speedshow

A significant aspect of this year’s Speedshow will be an exciting line-up of brand-new motor vehicles, says Speedshow organiser Keith Sharp.

“It’s great to have such a fantastic range of new cars to add yet another dimension to Speedshow,” says Sharp. “We’re thrilled to be showcasing the very latest models from Mercedes Benz, Ford, Mazda, Kia, Nissan, Suzuki, BMW, Peugeot, Chrysler and others at this year’s Speedshow which takes place at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland over the weekend of 19 and 20 September.

“It’s particularly exciting that several of the new vehicle distributors have elected to use Speedshow to debut their 2010 models, cars never before seen in New Zealand. And with all the vehicles actually for sale at the show, we could probably say the Speedshow motor show will be the country’s largest new car showroom for that one weekend.

“I’d love to say what these new models are, but obviously the fact these cars are being debuted at Speedshow means we can’t talk about them beforehand! Expect to see some very interesting and exciting new models in our dedicated Speedshow motor show.”

Speedshow ‘09 also includes the world’s fastest NASCAR, Roary the Racing Car in the new Speedshow 4 Kids area, fantastic new motorcycles from some of the world’s leading manufacturers, a wide array of motoring and motorsport-related exhibitors and the Batmobile from the original Batman movie courtesy of Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast.

Tickets are available from Ticketek and more information about the event can be found on

Kia release details of new Venga hatchback

August 25th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Venga (front)

Kia is about to push the design envelope again when it unveils an all-new small car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September.

The new Kia Venga is a 5-door car that claims it can squeeze the interior passenger space of a larger C-segment vehicle within the confines of a smaller B-segment footprint. Much like a mini MPV, although the Venga will not have the three rows of seats seen in traditional people-movers.

Instead, the extra space derived from the long wheelbase and tall cabin allows for additional passenger space for up to five and increased room for their luggage.

Based on the Kia No. 3 concept vehicle unveiled at the Geneva Auto Salon earlier this year, the Venga (Spanish for moving from one place to another) is as much about style as it is about function. The car was created at Kia’s European design studios in Frankfurt, under the guidance of top designer Peter Schreyer and will be built at the Slovakian factory for the market in Europe. Plans for its introduction in other markets around the world, including New Zealand, are yet to be announced.

The Venga is the next stage in a rapid style make-over launched by Kia Motors with the goal of creating 20 new vehicles over four years that display the new design-led focus of the company. Venga is the fifth brand new model to be released this year, following on from the Soul, Cerato, Koup and Sorento (the last two have yet to appear outside Korea), along with a refreshed Magentis.

All have been praised for their stylish good looks and the new Venga is no different, with the signature Tiger Nose grille sculptured into a shape that will certainly stand out on the road.

“It’s a remarkably good looking car,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand