This year in review: Kia

2018 has been an excellent year for Kia, so we have put together some of the highlights of their year to celebrate what they have achieved as an automotive brand.

January Highlights​


Following on from a successful 2017 which saw over 93,200 models sold, and four new model launches, Kia has received yet more good news to celebrate – winning two awards at the 40thanniversary What Car? Awards, held in London.

Impressing the What Car? judges and winning ‘Best City Car’ was the all-new Kia Picanto. Launched in April 2017, the third generation A-segment Picanto has huge appeal for customers – cutting-edge in-car technology such as Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ smart phone integration and wireless smartphone charging, a bold new design both inside and out, as well as a high level of safety features.

Commenting on the win, What Car? Editor, Steve Huntingford said, “Knocking the Hyundai i10 off its perch in this class was never going to be easy, but Kia has managed it, creating a car that’s more spacious inside and better to drive.”

Since being officially unveiled in January 2017, the Kia Stinger has changed the brand perception of Kia to many and shown the world what it is capable of. It went on-sale in January 2018 and feedback from consumers has been exceptional. Now cementing that good news for this ground-breaking product is another What Car? award win, with  ‘Best Executive Car for more than £35,000’ for the Stinger. In its range-topping twin-turbo V6 guise, the Stinger GT S is the fastest-accelerating Kia ever, with a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 165mph.

Following a successful introduction to the UK last year, the Kia Stinger has been awarded ‘Best Performance Car’ in the UK Car of the Year Awards 2018.

Evaluated and compared by a well-respected panel of UK journalists, the Stinger came top of its class, fighting off stiff competition in a segment normally associated with more premium brands. The Stinger impressed judges with its striking styling, excellent handling, high levels of equipment and appealing value for money.

Commenting on the Stinger win, Paul Barker – UK COTY judge, said: “A brave move by Kia to produce a great-looking grand tourer and an interesting addition to the sector. The 3.3-litre petrol engine is an absolute stormer.”

Echoing Paul’s comments was UK COTY judge Alex Grant, “The Stinger is a sign of how far Kia has come in the last decade; a genuine rival to the compact executive sports saloon, with a competitive choice of engines and striking styling. The accessibility makes it the best in this class.”

Introduced to the UK media in November 2017, the Kia Stinger encapsulated the company’s slogan of ‘The Power to Surprise’ boasting a twin-turbo V6 with the capability to launch the five-seater gran turismo from 0-60pmh in a time of 4.7 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating Kia ever. 

February Highlights​

Kia Motors revealed the all-new Ceed, ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. 

Now in its third generation, the Ceed – designed, developed, engineered and built in Europe – strengthens Kia’s presence in the European C-segment with innovative new technologies, a mature and athletic new design, and a more engaging drive.

Kia Motors Europe has introduced a range of design enhancements and new engines for the new Kia Optima. 

Sold in Europe as a saloon or Sportswagon, the car makes its debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, and is due on sale across Europe in Q3 2018.

The Optima range benefits from two new powertrain options: Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) diesel engine, and a 1.6-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine. As well as refreshed exterior and interior design, the new Optima also features Kia’s latest active safety and in-car connectivity technologies.

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March Highlights​

Kia Motors won a global vehicle provision bid held by the United Nations Procurement Division (UN/DP) to provide vehicles to the UN and UN Entities. 

Kia won the bid against competition from various leading global car manufacturers and will provide vehicles and maintenance services for the next three years.

​April Highlights

Kia launches it's seven year service plans

Re-named ‘Kia Care’ they have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicles life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.

The new service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first three and five services, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty.

May Highlights​

Kia Motors has manufactured its three millionth car in Europe since production began in Žilina, Slovakia in 2006.

The three millionth car to roll off the production line is a Kia cee’d. The car is a fusion white five-door hatchback in ‘GT-Line’ specification, built for a customer in Iceland. It is fitted with a 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbo Gasoline-Direct injection) engine.

Kia Motors has supplied 424 vehicles to assist in the smooth running of the long-awaited FIFA World Cup Russia™.

The provision of a Kia World Cup fleet demonstrates, once again, Kia’s ongoing support and passion for the world’s most popular football tournament. 

The vehicle handover ceremony took place on May 31 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow – where the World Cup Final was held on July 15.

June Highlights​

Kia Motors revealed its all-new Niro EV at the 2018 Busan International Motor Show in Korea. 

With a range of 450 kilometres, the all-electric Niro EV combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, and crossover utility with a zero-emissions powertrain.

Kia’s star of the Busan show, the Niro EV occupies a unique position in the market as an all-electric compact crossover. Intelligent packaging, high practicality, and a long-distance driving range mean the Niro EV offers fewer compromises than other electric vehicles. Buyers will also benefit from a range of EV-exclusive in-car technologies, new safety features, and stand-out exterior and interior design.

Kia Motors (UK) Ltd has won Manufacturer of the Year at Car Dealer magazine’s prestigious Car Dealer Power Award. 

This is the third consecutive year and fourth time overall Kia has picked up the prize with dealers across the UK voting for the award.

Collecting the award, Paul Philpott, President and Chief Executive of Kia Motors (UK) Limited commented: “We are thrilled to win this award as it is voted for by dealers. To win for the third year in a row shows our dealers are confident and happy to be part of our brand. The strong partnerships we have built with our dealers are hugely important to our continued growth.”

James Baggott, founder of Car Dealer Magazine and CEO of its parent company, Baize Group, said: “This is an astonishing achievement by Kia. To win this award for a third consecutive time shows that the manufacturer is 100 per cent committed to maintaining great relationships with its dealers. Quality cars and an industry-leading warranty are helping Kia enjoy continued success despite the uncertain times in which we find ourselves."

July Highlights​

Following the arrival of the Picanto in Kia showrooms last year, the range is now complete with the debut of the flagship 1.0 T-GDi engine. 

The new powerplant develops 99bhp and 171Nm of torque, making it the most powerful Picanto ever. It can accelerate to 60mph in just 9.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 112mph.

The latest engine to join the Picanto range is available exclusively in ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ grades and further broadens the appeal of Kia’s city car. Larger sports bumpers and red highlights within the upper grille, side air intakes and side sills deliver a sporting edge, with the dynamic look completed by a rear diffuser, twin exhaust tailpipes and 16-inch alloy wheels with 195/45 R16 tyres. Bi-function projection headlights deliver a racier look, alongside LED daytime running lights at the front and LED lamps at the rear. Inside, the sporty appearance continues with black and red faux leather upholstery, stainless-steel pedals and satin chrome interior door handles.

 ‘GT-Line S’ models also feature an electric sunroof, heated front seats and steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, a smart key with engine start/stop button and cruise control with speed limiter, while satellite navigation, Kia Connected Services with TomTom® and a wireless mobile phone charger are also standard.

September Highlights​

Kia Motors kicked off its role as Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League, as the 2018-19 tournament began.

Kia’s three-year sponsorship agreement runs through to the UEFA Europa League final in 2021, and sees the introduction of a series of new programs and initiatives to bring fans closer to the tournament than ever before.

The UEFA Europa League is the world’s largest professional club football competition, involving 48 clubs from 27 countries. A total of 205 matches will be played during the 2018-19 tournament, attracting a cumulative TV audience of around one billion fans. As an Official Partner, Kia Motors will help UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) to strengthen its engagement with fans across Europe and around the world.

October Highlights​

Kia Motors revealed the all-new Kia ProCeed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. 

The shooting brake makes its public debut alongside the all-new high-performance Ceed GT and ProCeed GT, as well as the Ceed ‘GT-Line’. The all-new Kia e-Niro electric crossover also makes its European premiere at the show.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The new cars on display underline the level of ambition and design passion that defines Kia’s cars. The ProCeed offers buyers stunning and emotional design, the Ceed GT provides maximum driver engagement, and the e-Niro helps to break down the barriers to electric car ownership, making it easy, fun and reliable.”

All four models unveiled by Kia in Paris will be sold with the company’s unique 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard. Kia’s warranty also covers the lithium-ion polymer battery pack in the e-Niro.

As a key part of Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Motors is innovating with robotics technology through development of the Hyundai Vest Exoskeleton (H-VEX) wearable industrial robots. 

Following the Hyundai Chairless Exoskeleton (H-CEX) demonstration conducted at the Hyundai-Kia North American factory last August, the company plans to verify H-VEX’s success through extensive testing at the end of 2018.

Kia Sportage celebrated it's 25th birthday!

It was the first Kia model to be built in Europe, has been the best-seller in the UK for the past six years, and is currently tenth in the UK sales charts for 2018. But most importantly, it celebrated its 25th birthday, in the same year that the five millionth example rolled off the production lines. 

Yes, it’s the multi-award-winning Kia Sportage, a vehicle that has recently been updated with fresh exterior and interior design, with new safety and infotainment technologies, as well as efficient new powertrains and cutting-edge EcoDynamics+ 48-volt mild hybrid technology.

Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor announced plans to introduce ‘solar roof’ charging technology on selected Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. 

Electricity-generating solar panels will be incorporated into the roof or the hood of vehicles, and will support internal combustion, hybrid and battery electric vehicles with additional electrical power, increasing fuel efficiency and range.

November Highlights​

Kia and Hyundai Motors entered a new pan-European strategic partnership with Vodafone to provide customers in the UK and across Europe with fully-connected in-car infotainment and connected car service.

The strategic partnership enables both car manufacturers to tap into Vodafone’s technical expertise, and offer connected in-car infotainment services to their European drivers. Kia and Hyundai will use Vodafone’s IoT network to deploy their proprietary service across Europe, enabling customers to benefit from the latest in new telematics technology.

All new Kia E-Niro named Electric Car of the Year at the DrivingElectic Awards

Before it hits Kia showrooms across the UK, the all-new Kia e-Niro has won two DrivingElectric awards including the inaugural Electric Car of the Year award. The first all-electric crossover by Kia also picked up Best Compact Electric Car.

Each category winner was decided by DrivingElectric’s judging panel who considered factors such as overall value for money, performance and practically. From the six category winners, one was then crowned the DrivingElectric Car of the Year.

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