The field of mid-range station wagons is highly competitive. There is a suitable option for every budget, regardless of whether it is “very expensive” with the Audi A4 Avant, “very practical” with the Skoda Superb Combi or “very classic” with the VW Passat Variant. Not to forget the alternatives to the Ford Mondeo or Opel Insignia and that closes the circle with the new Kia Optima SW. What the Korean Sportswagon can and cannot do better than the competition, more about that in the test.
With just under 7,000 new registrations to date, the current Kia Picanto brand internal ranks third behind the cee’d and the front runner Sportage. So it’s time for a revision. The Koreans show a few first sketches of the new Kia Picanto, which will be presented shortly after the turn of the year.
The new Kia Picanto: youthful and dynamic
According to Kia, the new Picanto shows a “youthful, dynamic exterior and interior design”, which, according to the manufacturer, can also be further individualized later. How exactly this should be done is of course not yet known. The design sketch as such shows the Picanto from the rear rather unchanged. The light graphics, as well as the entire back, are largely unchanged compared to the current model. If anything, the GT Line optics catches the eye with the double-flow exhaust system and the red trim.
The Kia XCeed can now also be ordered with the alternative drive as a plug-in hybrid. The system behind it is known to friends of the brand. But what does the XCeed Plug-in Hybrid do in everyday life or, more importantly, how far does it get purely electrically and what fuel does it use afterwards. More on this in our test including a video driving report.
We know this plug-in hybrid
With its system output of 141 hp (265 Nm), the XCeed plug-in hybrid is actually an old friend. Because the combination of 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine with 105 PS (147 Nm) and an electric motor of 44.5 kW (170 Nm) is used in almost every PHEV from Kia. Shifting takes place via a 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which sometimes cannot hide the shift changes, especially when it is cold. Apart from that, the combination of the two worlds is particularly efficient.
Kia has announced prices for the new Kia XCeed. The crossover model is available from 21,390 euros in Edition 7 with the 120 hp turbo gasoline engine. The basic equipment is even better than that of a comparable Ceed in Edition 7.
Better basic equipment and brand new extras
The XCeed is generally better equipped thanks to the standard LED headlights, plus 16-inch alloy wheels, the front collision warning system, an active lane departure warning system, the drowsiness warning system and the high beam assistant. In addition to the five petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid will follow at the beginning of 2020, which will also move into the Kia Ceed SW. The XCeed also stands out visually. Not only because of the 18.4 cm ground clearance and the wider body, but also because of the coupé-like roof line. In addition, the driver’s position is 42mm higher than in the Ceed, and the trunk, at 426 liters (max. 1,378 liters), is 31 liters larger than in the Ceed five-door.
For Kia, the Stonic is an absolute newcomer to the product portfolio. Nevertheless, it will be a success story, simply because of the highly competitive segment. The Renault Captur leads it inexorably and yet for the last 18 months almost all manufacturers have tried their hand at a B-SUV. A crossover that is only slightly larger and more usable than a small car.
Kia Stonic with four engines on offer
Technically, the Kia Stonic is closely related to its small car counterpart Rio. He also steals the engines from him. Three petrol and one diesel. Two well-known Kia naturally aspirated engines without turbocharging with 84 or 99 hp. For the Rio two ideal engines, for the Stonic a little bit of “bang” if you have a little more in mind with the crossover. The turbo three-cylinder, or T-GDI for short, engine with 120 horses is advisable. In terms of torque and acceleration from the lower speed range, it is a little inferior to the diesel, but overall it is economical and powerful at the same time.
The Kia Ceed family has it all. A station wagon, a sports station wagon, a compact and the crossover that has fallen into hype. But as it turns out in the test, the Kia XCeed is significantly less of a crossover or SUV than its looks. Because basically he is so close to the Ceed that all crossover problems have been eliminated.
The advantage lies in the chassis of the Kia XCeed
Crossover problems means, for example, the boring type of locomotion with the soft and indirect chassis. Not so with the Kia XCeed 1.6 CRDi. The chassis gives the crossover significantly more ground clearance than the classic five-door, but the set-up is direct, even a bit tight. This can be felt not only in the chassis, but also in the steering. In short, the Kia XCeed is amazingly fun for a crossover.
A little less than a year ago, the South Korean automaker Kia released the Soul EV. A purely electric car that received little media attention compared to other electric vehicles. But the Korean has to hide from his competitors?
In August alone, a total of 360 new registrations of the Kia Soul EV, the mini-van (as classified by the Federal Motor Transport Authority) were recorded. This clearly confirms that the solid electric car doesn’t have to hide. In terms of price, it starts at 30,790 euros (including VAT) and if you want the full equipment, you only pay 990 euros on top.
The Kia Stinger GT is an absolutely exceptional vehicle. With the price-performance ratio, the Gran Tourer makes it really difficult for the established competition. In addition, the 2019 model year has added a little extra and keeps the sports sedan fresh. You don’t even wonder why the V6 petrol engine is the first choice of Stinger customers. More about this in our video driving report.
Video driving report Kia Stinger GT
The Kia design leader with new options
The Kia from which all current models copy their design. The Stinger is the source of inspiration for all current models, especially seen on the Ceed. This is by no means bad, because even a few years after its official introduction, the Kia Stinger still looks fresh. Unmistakable and not as interchangeable as almost all of its competitors. Most of them only start at the price where the Kia Stinger GT is already fully equipped. The GT version already offers almost everything in series production. There are hardly any options, except for the paintwork or the sliding glass roof. What is new, however, is the possibility of having a coilover kit developed with KW Automotive installed. It brings the bodies 35 millimeters closer to the asphalt and is therefore something for the sporty locking point of customers.
The Kia brand has worked its way up from a cheap home to a conqueror in recent years. Anyone who prefers a more expensive, but still equivalent product to the charming South Korean should urgently take the basic math course again. With the new Kia Sorento, however, the Koreans are really overdoing it. A mid-range SUV, which makes full-fledged luxury bodies look old at two or even three times the price. A first test of the new Kia Sorento Diesel.
Kia Sorento Diesel can compete with luxury models
In Europe, the Sorento is the flagship. It’s logical that a few new technical highlights are packed into the model. A new, higher level of assistance is one topic. In addition to compulsory topics such as 360-degree cameras, head-up displays, blind spots assistant with steering correction, you also go one step further. The exit warning, for example, not only warns, but also actively locks the doors if something rustles in and you try to get out anyway. The active Blind Spot Assistant with monitor even makes the blind spot visible in the driver’s display and the Remote Parking Assistant (only for the diesel) lets the big man park and unpark without a driver at the wheel at the push of a button. And best of all, everything works as it should. Incidentally, the new Sorento has a central airbag between the driver and front passenger as standard. And from the second version, everything essential is on board, everything above is pure luxury.
The new Kia Sorento should still roll on the streets in Europe in the third quarter of 2020. Kia is now releasing another detail of the new flagship, which takes its name from its name. How to introduce the blind spot assistant monitor display. This also reveals further details of the new digital instrument cluster.
The flagship in Europe
The new Sorento will be the first Kia in Europe that allows the driver a direct view into the blind spot. The Blind Spot Assist is supplemented by cameras in the exterior mirrors. The system is offered as a supplement to the active blind spot assistant. This is particularly intended to prevent collisions. The cameras in the exterior mirrors are necessary for this. Depending on the version, the system will be standard or offered in an optional package together with the all-round camera and the Parking Collision Avoidance Assist.