Owned by Hyundai, also of South Korea, Kia Motors shares the company's platforms and overall philosophy: quality cars with lots of standard features, low prices and a generous warranty. Though the two brands seem redundant, both are enjoying increased sales and market share.
Like Hyundai, Kia has advanced so much with each passing generation that its most recent redesigns and introductions are substantially higher quality than the older models. Among the stragglers are the Rio subcompact sedan and Rio5 hatchback, the Sedona minivan and the recently discontinued Rondo, a vanlike crossover. Though these models are passable, they show how strong the newer vehicles are.
The brand's high points include the compact Forte sedan and coupe (Forte Koup), the Optima midsize sedan and the Sportage compact crossover. The boxy Soul has also enjoyed early success in a subsegment that had seemed played out. Kia wisely changed the midsize Sorento from truck-based SUV construction to the more space- and fuel-efficient crossover style, which now seats five in two rows of seats or seven in three rows. Following the Hyundai Sonata, Kia plans a hybrid version of its Optima sedan.
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Kia Motors is part of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. Hyundai owns a controlling interest.
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