Skip to main content
Kia booth

Did Kia Make Their New Logo so Illegible That It’s Unrecognizable

It isn't very often that major automotive manufacturers opt for a complete rebranding, but it seems to be the right move for the Kia, which recently changed its name and logo in a rather underwhelming reveal. The new badge is slightly crooked, but more annoyingly it's slightly crooked, and even hard to read or recognize.

As new Kia vehicles begin to roll off of the dealership lots and onto the roads, more drivers may notice that the badging looks just a bit different — actually, a lot different. It came with the underwhelming rebranding and minor name change that came from Kia in the past year, and, in an attempt to make the badge more modern, they may have accidentally made it less recognizable because it is a bit hard to read. Regardless, it still may have been the best move for the manufacturer.

The Kia brand gets a facelift

Kia booth
Kia booth | VCG, Getty Images

The new Kia logo is a bit off-putting to some drivers, and yes, we also see that it is slightly crooked. But, what really stood out to me was the past few weeks of seeing new 2022 Kia models on the road, but even more so, the people contacting me to ask exactly what the badge was, one, in particular, asked, “what manufacturer has a K and a backward N for a logo” — which, although comical, wasn’t an incorrect description of how the Kia log appears, and, if you weren’t familiar with the vehicle you were looking at, it could definitely be confusing.

A new look for a new reputation

The change in name and badging was intentional from Kia as they began to turn a new leaf in the automotive community. Once unpopular and disregarded at the hands of the generally disliked — especially by social media — Kia Soul, newer, more popular models haven’t just taken the stage; they’ve completely stolen the show. This couldn’t be more true for the Kia Telluride, which has been at the top of the headlines since its original debut and has stolen the favor of many buyers who may have previously disregarded Kia as a brand worth buying.

The new Kia badging will just take time to get used to

More than likely, it will just take time for us to get used to the new Kia logo, and, although it is less legible than the previous badging choice, it is still easier to recognize than some brands that don’t include their name in the badging, such as Subaru. As the 2022 models begin to make their way to the dealerships and onto the roads, the new logo will slowly become more and more common, and, perhaps along with its change, will come a new public favoring of the brand that has managed to not only reinvent itself but also dominate certain market niches with new vehicles, such as the Telluride.

It isn’t very often that major automotive manufacturers opt for a complete rebranding, but it seems to be the right move for the brand. When the brand became most well-known, it was for the Kia Soul, which isn’t a very popular or even well-liked vehicle — and the Kia Soul is somehow considered an SUV. In the past few years, the manufacturer has developed and released better, higher quality, and more popular vehicle options that has completely shifted public opinion in a positive way, making some of their vehicles the most sought-after choices in several vehicle segments, and with the release of the Kia Carnival, it shows that the up and coming manufacturer isn’t planning on stopping any time soon.


Finally, a Market Niche Kia Doesn’t Dominate According to Edmunds