Founded in 1944, Kia has been known for making affordable vehicles. However, the company has caught up with its competitors, now manufacturing several award-winning options. The Kia Telluride was new for 2020 and the Kia Soul was redesigned for 2020, and both have been well received. The Kia K5, which joins the lineup for 2021, is expected to be a success as well.
The automaker’s recent successes
Kia has launched a number of new vehicles recently. The Telluride and Soul were new or redesigned last year. This year saw a new Seltos. Next, the Kia K5 will arrive. MotorTrend points out that these models now stand out for their “superior design, quality, and attention to detail.”
The Kia Telluride won the 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year, the first Korean crossover to do so. The Kia Soul came in third in MotorTrend’s 2020 Car of the Year. The 2021 Kia K5 looks like it will be a strong contender as well.
The 2020 Kia Telluride
The 2020 Kia Telluride is a comfortable, spacious, award-winning SUV with three rows. In addition to the MotorTrend SUV of the Year, the Telluride was also awarded the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year from North American Car of the Year (NACTOY) and a Car and Driver 10 Best placement.
MotorTrend points out that the Telluride offers fantastic value, including plenty of standard features, along with good design and nice handling. There’s one engine, a 3.8-liter V6, generating 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The exterior design “is both confident and sophisticated,” according to MotorTrend. The interior offers top-quality finishes and features on all trim levels. The 8.0-inch touchscreen is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 2020 Kia Soul
In its review, MotorTrend called out the 2020 Kia Soul’s “excellent CVT tuning,” “iconic styling,” and “surprising riding and handling.” It didn’t love everything about the 2020 Soul, though, mentioning “lots of wind noise” caused by its boxy shape, “weakening value proposition,” and “slightly cheap interior materials.”
The 2020 Soul sports a new platform and an updated exterior design. The base trim features a 2.0-liter inline-four engine, paired with either a six-speed manual or an excellent CVT. That engine has 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The second engine option, a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four that generates 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. MotorTrend was very pleased with the Soul’s ride quality.
The interior provides plenty of space for four passengers and their cargo. It also features a 10.3-inch touchscreen. Plenty of quirky character helps define the Soul, including, in the top configuration, red trim and contrast stitching and pulsating ambient lighting. It doesn’t have the top-quality materials though.
The 2021 Kia K5
The 2021 Kia K5 is getting noticed for what MotorTrend describes as “its aggressive styling, two powertrain offerings, and the latest technology.” The K5 is Kia’s new midsize sedan, replacing the Optima.
While the Optima had three engine options, the K5 will have two. The 1.6-liter turbo-four continues but now has more power, the same torque, and lower emissions. It produces 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. It has an eight-speed transmission paired with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. A new 2.5-liter turbo-four engine is also available, generating 290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. It has an eight-speed dual clutch transmission along with front-wheel drive.
The comfortable sedan offers four different drive modes: Normal, Smart, Sport, and Custom. The K5’s cabin is quite upscale with nice materials. The acoustic glass and sound-dampening materials keep the cabin quiet. The K5 has a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen or an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen.
Kia’s reputation has seen a rise in recent years. The company now produces the award-winning and award-nominated Telluride and Soul. The K5 arrives for 2021 and is expected to be a third “can’t miss” for Kia.