Kia Sportage, cee'd Facelift and Optima GT Make Kia a Sporty Brand in Frankfurt

Kia's spectacular rise might have slowed down a little lately, but that was to be expected given how quickly it moved up the automotive ladder during the last decade.
Kia Sportage in Frankfurt 40 photos
Photo: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Kia at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
From an obscure Korean manufacturer, Kia now sits among the respected mainstream car brands on every important global market.

In fact, its position is so well established, that the Koreans are now thinking about taking things even further. Where to? A sportier image backed up by matching performances.

Don't worry, Kia isn't launching a supercar just yet, but it's gently entering the warm-hatch/sedan/SUV area with the GT versions of its main three models present in Frankfurt.

First off is the all-new Sportage, an SUV that sold well and didn't really seem to get old as the time passed by. The new generation brings a bold - if a little funny - new design for the car's front end that has been met with a split reaction. However, the split doesn't fall down the middle, and more people seem to like it, which is good news for Kia.

Power to the petrol

While the previous model was being offered with more potent petrol engines in the States, Europe only had moderately powered gasoline versions and relied mostly on diesels. Now, though, to back up this newly found sporty nature, Kia might (and should) be offering the fresh Sportage with a 2.0-liter turbo engine developing 250hp. As we said, not quite Bugatti Veyron-threatening numbers, but still...

That same engine, however, has already found its way under the new Kia Optima's bonnet. In this configuration, the saloon gets an added "GT Line" particle at the end of its name. It also gets some discreet visual trinkets that make it visually stand out, but alongside a Sportage GT Line and a cee'd GT Line, not so much...

Finally, we have the facelifted cee'd which brings minor stylistic modifications visible mostly on the lower part of the front and rear bumper. Keener eyes will also spot the new LED taillights. In terms of motivation, the big news is the 1.0-liter turbo engine developing 98hp and 127lb-ft of torque that was launched in March, but only now found its way onto the compact hatchback.

The usual tech updates are also in place, but you've probably grown tired of reading about connectivity, safety and prevention systems and the like.

The facelift affects all models in the cee'd range and will become available for ordering immediately.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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