News & Events

New Kia Sportage and Optima win new design awards

 

•All-new Kia Sportage and the Optima receive the prestigious Red Dot international design prize - for second time each

•Best of the Best award for Optima sedan in its category

•Every model in the current Kia range has now won a "Red Dot"

•15 Red Dot awards earned by Kia since 2009

Kia Motors has once again reinforced its reputation for the highest design standards, picking up two prizes at the 2016 'Red Dot Awards' for Product Design, one of the most prestigious international product design competitions.

The new Kia Sportage compact SUV and Optima sedan - the carmaker's two latest models - both received coveted 'Red Dots'. The independent judging panel even honoured the Kia Optima with a 'Best of the Best' award, the competition's highest distinction, for which only the most ground-breaking designs in a category are eligible.

The new generations of the Optima and the European Kia bestseller, the Sportage, were launched across Kia's global markets earlier this year. These new prizes have seen both models defending their Red Dot Awards - both the previous generations of the Kia Sportage and Kia Optima also received Red Dot awards in 2011, while the Optima retains its 'Best of the Best' prize. Since 2009, when the first-generation Kia Soul won the carmaker's first award in the competition, Kia's design teams have gone on to achieve a total of 15 Red Dot Awards. Now, in 2016, every model in the current Kia product range has a Red Dot.

Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Designer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Group, commented: "Our international design team has every cause to be exceptionally proud of these most recent awards. The first Red Dot Awards for the Kia Sportage and the Kia Optima were already great successes. It is a very special achievement to further develop a first-rate, prize-winning model so that the new design also convinces the expert jury of this globally respected and prestigious design competition.

"The two award-winners are important models for our brand. The Sportage has been the brand's bestseller in Europe for many years. The Kia Optima, which is one of the strongest selling Kia models worldwide, also embodies the development of brand in a very special way: the third generation, which arrived on the global stage in 2010, acted as the catalyst for the design-led transformation of Kia's product range in the following years. Both the new Kia Sportage and the new Kia Optima stand out very strongly from their rivals in their respective categories on account of the clarity, distinction and sporty elegance of their exterior design. Both cars also feature a completely redesigned, premium-standard interior with modern, horizontally aligned and very 'clean-looking' design."

The new Kia Optima was developed by the international Kia design teams in Namyang (Korea), Irvine (California, USA), and Frankfurt (Germany), under the creative direction of Peter Schreyer, who was also responsible for the design of the previous-generation Kia Optima. The 4.86-meter long new model, whose dimensions have been altered only very slightly, features modern surface details, sharply drawn lines and edges, and a longer silhouette, giving it an even bolder on-road presence than its predecessors. This is partly due to the elongated window line, with the addition of a third side window behind the rear door. The characteristic profile with the swept-back A- and C-pillars has been retained, both of which give the model the appearance of a sports sedan. At the rear, the back lights sweep around to the side, giving the Kia Optima a new, modern light signature.

The new design of the Kia Sportage was developed under the leadership of the European Kia Design Center in Frankfurt with the support of Kia's Design Centers in Namyang and Irvine. The most striking change to the exterior design is the distinctive new 'face' of the compact SUV. The headlights, which used to form a visual unit with Kia's signature 'tiger-nose' grille are now noticeably separate from the grille, making the front view broader and more stable. The compact SUV has retained its characteristic profile, and the side view - partly due to the 40 mm longer body, at 4.48 meters - is now even more dynamic in its design. The new 'GT Line' model presents a sportier appearance, with a number of exclusive design elements, including a redesigned grille, 'ice cube'-style fog lamps, under-body cladding at the front and rear, and twin exhaust tailpipes.

Both models are available with highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines, and can be ordered with state-of-the-art assistance systems (depending on market) - including Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition. In the European safety test Euro NCAP, both models received the highest rating of five stars.

The 'Red Dot Design Award', one of the world's most prestigious design competitions, is divided into the three disciplines: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept. For the 2016 Red Dot Awards, companies from 57 countries registered 5,214 products and innovations. The competition, which has been held since 1955 by the Design Centre of North Rhine-Westphalia, attaches great importance to the impartiality of its high-calibre jury.

To avoid any bias, none of the jury members may be an employee of the manufacturing industry. This year the 'Red Dot' jury was larger than ever: The 41 experts from all over the world - freelance designers, design professors and trade journalists - included Chris Bangle, Jimmy Choo, Professor Lutz Fügener, Hideshi Hamaguchi, Kristiina Lassus, Raj Nandan, and Ken Okuyama.

All members of the jury travelled to Essen, Germany and judged the products according to criteria such as degree of innovation, formal quality, functionality and ecological compatibility. The official presentation of the Red Dot Awards will take place on 4 July 2016 in Essen at the Aalto Theater.


ALL-NEW 2017 NIRO HYBRID UTILITY VEHICLE MAKES CANADIAN DEBUT AT THE 2016 CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW 

 

Kia's Hybrid Utility Vehicle boasts a number of firsts for the brand, including an all-new, dedicated eco-car platform and unique hybrid system

Niro is a no-compromise package, maintaining the style and appeal of a utility vehicle while offering outstanding fuel economy 

Niro challenges the hybrid-electric segment with an innovative hybrid system that directly contributes to a dynamic driving experience 

(Toronto) February 11, 2016 - A key component to Kia Motors' Green Car Roadmap was unveiled at the Toronto Auto Show today as Kia Canada hosted the Canadian debut of the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). A no-compromise vehicle that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility and hybrid efficiency, the all-new Niro strikes the perfect balance for today's consumers and stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments.

"The Niro will be an important vehicle for Kia Canada, offering Canadian consumers a hybrid-electric vehicle that will provide dynamic driving characteristics, exceptional fuel economy and a stunning design." said Ted Lancaster, Vice President and COO, Kia Canada Inc. "With the importance of the CUV market in Canada, the Niro will certainly make a statement within its segment as a distinctive and practical hybrid-electric vehicle."

The Niro is yet another vehicle introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics environmentally friendly sub-brand and represents a number of firsts. While it was preceded by clean mobility products such as the Optima Hybrid and Soul EV, Niro is the first Kia to make use of an all-new, dedicated eco-car platform and is an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand's global green car line-up by 2020. 

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An 'Un-Hybrid' design

Designed at Kia's design centers in Irvine, California, and Namyang, Korea, the Niro demonstrates that owners don't have to sacrifice emotionally engaging design or functional utility in the name of efficiency. The HUV's design language is atypical of a hybrid, appearing strong and confident with subtly sculpted surfaces offset by robust styling cues. The Niro sports wide and low proportions with a long roofline and short overhangs that give it an overall athletic profile. Up front, the Niro bears a familiar front fascia highlighted by Kia's signature grille and flanked by aggressively shaped headlights that accentuate the Niro's strong shoulders. Contours on the hood lend visual interest and, along with voluminous wheel arches, rocker cladding, roof rails, and rear skid plate, contribute to a sporty look. Although the Niro has a cohesive crossover theme, it was designed with aerodynamics in mind, with its carefully shaped bodywork contributing to a relatively slippery coefficient of drag of .29. 

Stepping inside the Niro reveals an inviting, modern, and high-tech interior. Glossy white or black accents underline the HUV's straightforward theme. The instrument panel is uncluttered and clean, with colorful and informative gauges at the forefront and perfectly positioned primary and secondary controls falling readily to hand. Interior roominess comes by way of the Niro's 106.3-inch wheelbase, body height, and wide stance, which affords ample leg-, head- and shoulder-room. Seats with increased pad density in the cushions ensure a comfortable ride, helping to prevent fatigue on longer trips. With its crossover-like proportions, the Niro boasts an elevated seating position much like the Kia Soul, providing drivers with a more commanding view of the road as well as easy ingress and egress. While the clever packaging of the high voltage battery assists in delivering a desirable driving experience, its location underneath the rear seats also increases cabin and cargo space and allows a flat load floor. 

In addition to spaciousness and comfort, ensuring a quiet interior environment was also a key development focus for engineers. Copious insulation in the Niro's front structure, optimized suspension bushing stiffness, careful body sealing, and application of expanding foam inside the A- and B-pillars all prevent road and tire noise from entering the cabin. Furthermore, acoustic windshield glass and carefully shaped side mirrors mitigate wind noise. 

Engineers also worked hard to address the innate issues often associated with hybrid powertrains. To that end, they minimized system noise and vibration at the source with specially designed engine mounts, equal-length driveshafts, and even added a damper inside the steering wheel hub to minimize vibrations felt in the steering wheel. Other NVH measures include a special embossed foam in the floor (under the carpet), and a dense insulating pad underneath the hood also help to keep unwanted noise to a minimum.

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Strong and light core

The platform underpinning the Niro has been specifically engineered to accommodate the unique gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, and with 53 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), including reinforcement in the A- and B-pillars as well as the roof rails, it is both a lightweight and durable structure. Extensive use of hot-stamped components and industrial joint adhesive increase torsional rigidity and structural integrity. As such, engineers are targeting the Niro to earn top honors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). 

Weight reduction was a critical Niro development aspect, and in addition to the body, AHSS was also used to engineer other elements, including novel lightweight seat frames. Further, engineers were able to bring down the overall weight by using aluminum for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, and in the brake calipers. Even the parking brake pedal contributes to the weight savings through the use of fiber-reinforced plastic construction.  Finally, the engineers eliminated the traditional 12-volt battery to reduce weight, instead, utilizing the high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery.

Uniquely engineered hybrid powertrain

Motivating the Niro is a highly efficient and engaging powertrain starting with an all-new, state-of-the-art Kappa 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, engineered specifically for hybrid applications. Making 103 horsepower, the new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson Cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), GDI and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to maximize efficiency[i]. Efficiency and emissions are further improved via the Niro's exhaust heat recovery system, which speeds engine warm-up by routing coolant to a heat exchanger in the exhaust system. A 43-hp tractive motor, known as the transmission-mounted electric device (TMED), works in tandem with the gasoline engine to produce a robust 146 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. 

That power is transmitted through a newly developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which not only boosts efficiency but is also a key factor to the Niro's great driving experience. The transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts for a natural and spirited feel in stark contrast to that of other hybrids equipped with continuously variable transmissions. Bringing the whole system together is a compact and lightweight 1.56-kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery located underneath the rear seat. Because the high-voltage battery is both power and energy dense, engineers were able to use the downsized gasoline engine to maximize fuel economy and reduce emissions.

With its unique combination of the lightweight TMED, proven GDI and Atkinson Cycle technology in the internal combustion engine, along with the DCT providing a dynamic driving experience, the Niro offers enjoyment and efficiency all in one, targeting a combined fuel efficiency rating of 50 mpg.


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Driving Fun

The Niro's parallel and simplified hybrid system creates seamless transitions of power delivered to the front wheels, resulting in a very un-hybrid-like driving experience. The hybrid system is neither intrusive nor obvious. The Niro accelerates quickly off the line and continues its smooth power delivery, inspiring driver confidence in everyday driving maneuvers like merging onto the highway. 

Special attention was also paid to brake feel. Applying lessons learned through development of two generations of Optima Hybrids as well as the fully electric Soul EV, Kia engineers designed the Niro's regenerative system to seamlessly blend in hydraulic friction braking. Consequently, deceleration feels more consistent and linear than other hybrids.

Advanced hybrid tech

Like the rest of Kia's lineup, the Niro will be offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies. Familiar features that will be available on the HUV include Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist; Advanced Smart Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning; and Autonomous Emergency Braking. 

All-new Eco-DAS (Driver Assistance System) features Kia's first application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. The Coasting Guide aims at maximizing fuel economy by essentially coaching the driver on when to coast and brake. Predictive Energy Control, meanwhile, uses the navigation system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes on the road ahead and actively manage energy flow, seamlessly determining when its best to recharge the battery and when its best to expend stored energy to optimize overall efficiency.  Similar systems have been seen on German luxury makes, but Kia's system is the first in the industry to monitor and adjust for both ascending and descending scenarios. Other notable features include Smart Air Intake, which reduces drag by carefully managing the intake of outside air for the HVAC system, and also an accompanying Auto Defog system that prevents condensation from building on the glass by monitoring cabin air conditions to manage the cycling of the A/C compressor. 

Editor's note: All technical specifications and standard/optional features in this press release refer to the North American models and may differ from models marketed in other regions.


Kia Soul wins third consecutive Canadian Residual Value Award from Automotive Lease Guide (ALG)


Soul Urban Hatchback takes 2016 Subcompact Utility Segment

ALG serves as the industry benchmark for projecting future vehicle values


(MISSISSAUGA, ON) February 10, 2016 - Kia Canada announced that it has received its third consecutive Canadian Residual Value Award for the Soul Urban Hatchback from ALG, the industry benchmark for projecting future vehicle values and depreciation data. 


The ALG Residual Value Awards determined the Kia Soul as the top choice in the Subcompact Utility segment. These awards honour the vehicles and brands that are predicted to retain the highest percentage of their original price after a four-year period for Mainstream brands.


"We are very proud and thrilled by this important acknowledgment from ALG today" said Ted Lancaster, Vice President and COO, Kia Canada Inc. "Receiving this award for three consecutive years is a true testament to the world-class design, quality and value that the Soul offers to Canadians." 


ALG recognizes 27 vehicles with segment awards, along with two brands representing the Mainstream and Premium sectors of the industry. This year's awards are based on 2016 model year vehicles. 


"The 2016 Kia Soul earned its third consecutive ALG Residual Value Award in the Subcompact Utility segment by offering the economy of a small hatchback with increased utility and premium feel for the price," said Geoff Helby, Canada Regional Director for ALG. "Infused with a distinctive personality, the Soul is successfully positioned to retain its value over time."


Award winners are determined through careful study of the competition in each segment, historical vehicle performance and industry trends. Vehicle quality, production levels relative to demand, and pricing and marketing strategies represent key factors that impact ALG's residual value forecasts.  




Christopher Walken adds "Pizzazz" to Kia Motors' Super Bowl commercial for the All-New Optima Midsize Sedan


 

IRVINE, Calif., February 2, 2016 - There's no one quite like Christopher Walken - he is an original. And in Kia Motors America's (KMA) 2016 Super Bowl commercial, the Academy Award-winner employs a colorfully stylish sock to demonstrate how the next generation Optima stands out in the midsize sedan segment filled with entries that look and drive the same.

Premiering today on YouTube.com/Kia - and set to air in the fourth quarter of the big game - "Walken Closet" is the centerpiece of Kia's multiplatform campaign spotlighting the all-new 2016 Optima as the vibrant alternative for those searching for more in a vehicle segment whose hallmarks are basic, boring and uninspired. As Walken explains in the spot, "There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who are content to blend in … then there are those who expect more. They're exciting. They have pizzazz."

"No one is cooler or as instantly recognizable as Christopher Walken, and on advertising's biggest stage Kia is out to show the world the all-new Optima delivers a level of refinement and sophistication unlike anything else in the midsize segment," said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, KMA.

Before and after the Super Bowl, the fully integrated campaign - created by David&Goliath, KMA's advertising agency of record - brings the spirit of "Walken Closet" to life across multiple channels and breaks new ground in digital engagement, as Kia is the first brand to utilize a new technology solution from Influential, a Mobile First influencer platform, using IBM Watson to connect brands to some of the most highly engaged influencers on social media.

By tapping into IBM Watson's Personality Insights API, Influential helped Kia select and activate the most relevant social media influencers for the #AddPizzazz campaign. Influential has gone beyond assessing typical metrics (like demographics and social reach) and is now able to analyze unstructured data pulled from an influencers' social media feeds. This technology has enabled Kia to identify influencers based on previously hard-to-measure metrics - like how they are perceived by their followers and how well their specific personality fits the personality of the brand.

In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, nearly 100 of these influencers received a pair of the colorful Stance socks featured in "Walken Closet" and were encouraged to share how they "add pizzazz" to their lives on their social media channels. The content was then pulled into Kia's Tumblr page, allowing people to find, connect, create and share additional content. In addition to the individuals Influential identified by personality, social media talent agency, Niche, and lifestyle apparel brand, Stance, also helped identify and engage select influencers.

"2016 marks Kia's seventh straight appearance in the Super Bowl, and each year our goal is to deliver something upbeat, fun and memorable that aligns with Kia's forward-thinking vision," said Sprague. "We are never afraid to challenge conventional thinking and go our own way, and our #AddPizzazz efforts are the latest example of what makes Kia, and the Optima, stand out."


Coveted Design Awards for All-New Kia Sportage and Optima

  • 29-JAN-2016 / Seoul


Kia Motors has been awarded two new awards to add to its growing collection of prestigious prizes for the outstanding design of its cars. Both of the Korean brand's newest models - the Kia Sportage compact crossover and Kia Optima sedan - have received prestigious iF Design Awards, making 2016 the seventh year in succession that Kia has won this coveted prize.

The new generations of both the all-new Optima and Sportage are going on sale globally during the first quarter of 2016, but have already received awards in iF Design's 'Product' category. As well as overall design quality, the independent jury evaluated the cars on their finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety.

Steffen Cost, Managing Director (COO) of Kia Motors Deutschland, commented: "We are delighted to accept these awards for the all-new Kia Sportage and Optima as proof of our design teams' consistent efforts to develop prize-winning designs. The new Sportage features a distinctive new face, and the elegant Optima sedan highlights other, different facets of Kia's design. These are important flagship models for us, clearly demonstrating the design-led transformation of the Kia model range in recent years."

With the latest generation of the Sportage, Kia has created an innovative, highly developed compact SUV, with a powerful new exterior design. Its redesigned, high quality interior combines modern elegance with high-quality materials and practical features, and offers owners the latest comfort, connectivity and safety technologies. A revised and extended range of engines results in greater efficiency and performance, while ride comfort and handling are also enhanced. The Kia Sportage is now available with a new 'GT Line' specification for the first time, aimed at customers seeking a more dynamic driving experience and looks to match. Just as versatile as the standard Sportage upon which it is based, the GT Line model offers the same practical qualities, but stands out on account of its sporty appearance and even more engaging driving characteristics.



 


•The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento earns title as AJAC's "Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 - $60,000)"

(Toronto, ON) November 24, 2015 - Kia Canada was presented today with an Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Car of the Year category award. The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento was announced this morning as the winner of AJAC's "Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 - $60,000)" category during the organization's annual award press conference

The Sorento faced tough competition throughout AJAC's week-long comprehensive testing period, known as TestFest, which occurred in October at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville Ontario.

"Kia Canada is thrilled with the category win of the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento, stemming from AJAC's comprehensive testing program." said Ted Lancaster, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kia Canada Inc. "Facing fierce competition within its category, the Sorento's victory is a true testament of the vehicle's strong value offering to Canadians, modern design elements and high quality attributes."

This prestigious award automatically qualifies the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento for consideration as the 2016 AJAC "Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year" title, which will be awarded on February 11th 2016, at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto


 

•The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento earns title as AJAC's "Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 - $60,000)"

(Toronto, ON) November 24, 2015 - Kia Canada was presented today with an Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Car of the Year category award. The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento was announced this morning as the winner of AJAC's "Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 - $60,000)" category during the organization's annual award press conference

The Sorento faced tough competition throughout AJAC's week-long comprehensive testing period, known as TestFest, which occurred in October at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville Ontario.

"Kia Canada is thrilled with the category win of the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento, stemming from AJAC's comprehensive testing program." said Ted Lancaster, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kia Canada Inc. "Facing fierce competition within its category, the Sorento's victory is a true testament of the vehicle's strong value offering to Canadians, modern design elements and high quality attributes."

This prestigious award automatically qualifies the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento for consideration as the 2016 AJAC "Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year" title, which will be awarded on February 11th 2016, at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto


Kia Richmond Steveston Salmon Festival Parade & Trade Show

  

Kia Richmond attended the Steveston Salmon Parade this year, and it was a huge success. Much of our staff volunteered that day, and days before, preparing for this big Canada Day Parade. Our staff, family, and friends that attended had loads of fun, handing out candy, coupons, and spreading the excitements of the festivities.

  

The trade show was a great success as well, having our knowledgeable staff there to guide trade show attendees around our magnificent vehicles. As an added bonus, we allowed all our guests a chance to win a $500 Gas Card by entering our raffle draw that day!

Overall, the experience was great, and we hope to see everybody next year!

 

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