Kia Make Overview

Kia Questions

For Mountain Driving Or Towing Which Is Better, Four Wheel Drive Or All Whe...

Looking for a good car for mountain or towing use.

Fuel Test

How to test fuel pressure

Life Span Mileage

2006 Kia Sorento Stalls

My 2006 Kia Sorento would stall from time to time. Took to shop and code that came up was P0016. Said I needed to replace timing belt. I did that along with water pump, cam shaft sensor and pulleys...

2001 Kia Sportage Keeps Dying

my 2001 kia sportage keeps dying when i drive it the dash lights will shut off then head lights then the engine.. Ill try starting and it wont start but all lights will work.. Ive put a new starter...

Older Kia Models

Kia Borrego Kia Potentia Kia Sephia

Kia Overview

"Arise from Asia," the translation of Kia's name, is exactly what Kia did in the early 1990s, seemingly out of nowhere. But the South Korean automaker has been in existence since 1994, as a bicycle and later truck manufacturer. In the 1970s, it was the first Korean automaker to produce the internal combustion engine, and the first to produce a passenger car.

Second only to Korean rival Hyundai, Kia's motto was quality cars, with a strong emphasis on safety and low-cost affordability. Its first appearance in the U.S. was as the Ford Festiva in 1987, essentially a rebadged Kia Pride. With a growing Korean economy, Kia decided to launch its first car in the U.S., the Sephia sedan. Its marketing strategy was to introduce the car gradually, starting in the West Coast and moving across the country. Word of mouth about the economy cars quickly enhanced Kia's reputation and the carmaker soon introduced its compact Sportage SUV, which went on to win several awards and a spot on many top ten lists.

Kia was looking to take over Japan's slot in the compact economy car segment, and in some markets the Sephia even outsold the Protege. However, labor problems, Korea's new openness to foreign imports, and the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s led to Kia declaring bankruptcy. It was acquired by Hyundai in 1998, with a renewed emphasis on quality and reliability.

With Hyundai's guidance, Kia introduced more sedans, including the mid-sized Optima and subcompact Rio. The Spectra was a small, but sporty little hatchback and sedan. The Sportage continues to be a popular SUV choice, especially now that it's moved into the crossover segment, and the Sedona minivan was rated as one of the safest minivans by the Insurance Institute. In 2003, Kia had sold over one million vehicles in the U.S., and it is continuing to expand its lineup today, with the recent Sorento SUV and the new 2007 Rondo, a small crossover with three rows of seating.

Kia Experts

  • #1
    COMETGUY61
    Reputation
    2,480
  • #2
    T_S_T
    Reputation
    1,840
  • #3
    James Warner
    Reputation
    1,790
View All