autoevolution
KIA logo

32 production models

6 discontinued models

history
Kia sounds surprisingly playful for a car manufacturer's name and as the brand's tag line reads, they really are all about the power to surprise. In fact, the Korean car builder has done so from its very inception in 1944 when it began as a steel tubing and bicycle parts producer. Six years later, Kia would reveal Korea's first bike.

Once the first step was made, Kia rushed through the process of developing light means of transport, such as scooters and fast forwarded through motorcycle building upon the point of reaching the necessary resources and experience to start building cars. The whole conversion process took Kia about two and a half decades to complete.

Bigger, richer and propelled by the enthrallment of having their own car brand, Kia poured a considerable amount of cash into a plant to accommodate its assembly lines.  By 1973, the new facility at Sohari saw completion, becoming Korea's first of its kind. Fully integrated and equipped with the latest cutting, bolting and welding machinery, the plant ulteriorly became the womb in which Kore's first internal-combustion gasoline engine would develop. The first Kia built car was unveiled one year later, a medium passenger car named Brisa.

Kia's sounding debut and modern technology caught the eye of different foreign producers(e.g. Peugeot and Fiat) with whom it partnered to house production of some of their models such as Peugeot's 604 and Fiat's 132.

By the 80's Kia had expanded to almost the size of its main competitor, Hyundai who was still the no. 1 Korean producer. Some of Kia's newer models at the time were rebadged and marketed abroad such as the Pride which sold overseas as the Ford Festiva. Only a few years later, Ford would manifest interest in the Avella, a subcompact car available in a 5-door hatchback version and a 4-dour sedan powered by either a 1.3 or a 1.5 liter engine. The Avella was rebadged as the Ford Aspire on the North American market.

The Korean manufacturer had not yet reached US shores on its own but it was only a few strokes away. In 1992, the brand was incorporated into the US and timidly started business through a tiny four-dealership network that sold its first vehicles in 1994. Ever since, Kia has been methodically expanding, reaching every state except north Dakota.

The main selling point of Kia cars was its affordability which was later supplemented by Kia's expansion into other market segments through the introduction of their first sport utility vehicle in 1995, the Sportage. From that point on, Kia suffered a fate very similar to that of Hyundai, company it would  later blend into due to unsuccessful management of financial difficulties.

Trouble began in the late '90 when the company became stagnant and thus unable to rollout new models. That's when Hyundai came into play. The major Korean car-builder got rid of  competition by means of merger. Both companies have experienced trouble and low sales due to reliability complaints over their vehicles.

The somewhat bland styling was not exactly what buyers were looking for in a car either so both had to undergo costly restructuring stages. Kia found itself rejuvenated by 2001 when, following its owner's example, it started working on a new vehicle line-up with an emphasis on quality and long-warranty offerings. Ever since, Kia has been steadily conquering segments of the European market, especially through the Cee'd, Sorento and Rio models. The development of newer, bolder designs is also among Kia's priorities, predating a future line-up with the announcement of concepts such as the Soul, unveiled at the Montreal auto show in 2006 and the Kee, a fresh coupe boasting strongly appealing style elements.
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production models:
sort:yearname
KIA Telluride specs and photos

KIA Telluride

suvs

Gasoline

2 generations

2022 - present
KIA Soul specs and photos

KIA Soul

hatchbacks

Diesel · Gasoline · Electric

5 generations

2022 - present
KIA Carnival / Sedona specs and photos

KIA Carnival / Sedona

vans

Gasoline · Diesel

6 generations

2021 - present
KIA Stinger specs and photos

KIA Stinger

sedans

Gasoline · Diesel

2 generations

2021 - present
KIA Ceed  specs and photos

KIA Ceed

hatchbacks

Gasoline · Mild hybrid diesel

2 generations

2021 - present
KIA Sportage specs and photos

KIA Sportage

suvs

Gasoline · Diesel

7 generations

2021 - present
KIA Forte specs and photos

KIA Forte

sedans

Gasoline

5 generations

2021 - present
KIA Sorento specs and photos

KIA Sorento

suvs

Gasoline · Diesel · Hybrid

7 generations

2020 - present
KIA Picanto specs and photos

KIA Picanto

hatchbacks

Gasoline · Diesel

8 generations

2020 - present
KIA Optima / Magentis specs and photos

KIA Optima / Magentis

sedans

Gasoline · Diesel · Hybrid gasoline

8 generations

2020 - present
KIA Niro specs and photos

KIA Niro

suvs

Hybrid gasoline · Hybrid · Electric · Gasoline

4 generations

2019 - present
KIA Optima Sportswagon specs and photos

KIA Optima Sportswagon

wagons

Diesel · Gasoline · Hybrid gasoline

2 generations

2018 - present
KIA Rio Hatchback specs and photos

KIA Rio Hatchback

hatchbacks

Gasoline · Diesel · Mild hybrid

6 generations

2020 - present
KIA Pro cee'd specs and photos

KIA Pro cee'd

hatchbacks

Gasoline · Diesel

3 generations

2018 - present
KIA K9 specs and photos

KIA K9

sedans

Gasoline

2 generations

2018 - present
KIA K7 / Cadenza specs and photos

KIA K7 / Cadenza

sedans

Gasoline

2 generations

2016 - present
KIA Forte 5 Door specs and photos

KIA Forte 5 Door

hatchbacks

Gasoline

3 generations

2016 - present
KIA Forte Koup specs and photos

KIA Forte Koup

coupes

Gasoline

2 generations

2013 - present
KIA Rondo specs and photos

KIA Rondo

vans

Gasoline · Diesel

2 generations

2013 - present
KIA cee'd SW specs and photos

KIA cee'd SW

wagons

Gasoline · Diesel

2 generations

2012 - present
KIA cee'd specs and photos

KIA cee'd

hatchbacks

Gasoline · Diesel · Hybrid

5 generations

2018 - present
KIA Rio Sedan specs and photos

KIA Rio Sedan

sedans

Gasoline · Diesel

3 generations

2011 - present
KIA Stonic specs and photos

KIA Stonic

suvs

Gasoline · Diesel

1 generation

2017 - present
KIA pro_cee’d GT specs and photos

KIA pro_cee’d GT

hatchbacks

Gasoline

1 generation

2013 - present
KIA Seltos specs and photos

KIA Seltos

suvs

Gasoline · Diesel

1 generation

2019 - present
KIA K5 specs and photos

KIA K5

sedans

Gasoline

1 generation

2019 - present
KIA Picanto X-Line specs and photos

KIA Picanto X-Line

hatchbacks

Gasoline

1 generation

2017 - present
KIA Borrego / Mohave specs and photos

KIA Borrego / Mohave

suvs

Diesel · Gasoline

1 generation

2009 - present
KIA EV6 specs and photos

KIA EV6

suvs

Electric

1 generation

2021 - present
KIA Stonic GT-Line specs and photos

KIA Stonic GT-Line

suvs

Gasoline

1 generation

2020 - present
KIA Cerato/Forte specs and photos

KIA Cerato/Forte

sedans

Gasoline

1 generation

2013 - present
KIA XCeed specs and photos

KIA XCeed

suvs

Diesel · Gasoline

1 generation

2019 - present
 
discontinued models:
sort:yearname
KIA Carens specs and photos

KIA Carens

vans

Gasoline · Natural gas · Diesel

5 generations

2016 - 2018
KIA Cerato / Spectra specs and photos

KIA Cerato / Spectra

sedans

Diesel · Gasoline

4 generations

2007 - 2009
KIA Joice specs and photos

KIA Joice

hatchbacks

Gasoline

1 generation

1999 - 2003
KIA Opirus / Amanti specs and photos

KIA Opirus / Amanti

sedans

Gasoline

2 generations

2007 - 2010
KIA Shuma specs and photos

KIA Shuma

sedans

Gasoline

2 generations

2001 - 2004
KIA Venga specs and photos

KIA Venga

hatchbacks

Gasoline · Diesel

2 generations

2014 - 2019