Kia is South Korea’s oldest and second largest automaker. They also own the world’s largest car assembly factory which is stationed in Seoul, South Korea. Their manufacturing plant in Hwasung produces 114 cars per hour or two cars per minute.
Kia in Korean means “one that came out of the east” or “rising out of Asia.” It started out as a bicycle manufacturer in 1944 under the company name Kyungsung Precision Industry. They started manufacturing small motorcycles in 1957 and made their first car in 1974.
5. 2018 Kia Forte5 (0-60 in 6.6 seconds)
Price: $18,300 to $23,900
The fifth-fastest Kia produced by the car brand is the 2018 Kia Forte5. This car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds with a top speed of 140 mph. The 2018 model is a member of the second generation that features upgrades in the engine, from a 1.6-liter turbo 204 in older models that achieved a 0 to 60 rating in 6.9 seconds to a new 2.0-liter inline-four, accompanied by a six-speed manual that generates 147 horsepower and a .3 second faster acceleration time in ratings.
This variant is also available with an automatic transmission. A hatchback version of the Forte5 features your choice of a 2.0 liter 164 horsepower in a six-speed automatic or a 1.6 liter 201 horsepower turbo with a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual.
The Forte5 has remained similar to the 2017 model in its interior design with a few upgrades. A UV03 system has been made available in the LX variant with the addition of a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a new wheel design, and LED taillights. The interior for 2018 also offers a horizontal dashboard layout that has been simplified from earlier editions with an 8.0-inch touchscreen in tablet-style, placed in the center.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard features and buyers can opt for a wireless phone charging pad. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring are available safety features. Leather seat trim is standard on the SX edition.
The 2018 Forte5 SX features Halogen fog lights surrounded by LEDs and a rear spoiler that is both aesthetically pleasing and designed to add to the aerodynamics of the vehicle. This compact car is a four-door sedan with the 5 door hatchback variant available.
The premium technology package is an upgrade that adds HID headlights, a variety of driver-assistance features, heated and ventilated front seats and a power sunroof. The cost of the upgrade is approximately $3,600.
New 2019 Kia Forte5 to be released in late 2018
The 2019 Kia Forte5 is scheduled to be available later in the year. It will feature a redesign and a new look. It’s been reported that the new model will be the first in the third generation and will feature an upgrade to the turbocharged engine, a possible departure from the current SX moniker, and it will feature a more chiseled exterior appearance.
We’ll see a car that is 3.2 inches longer with a half-inch increase in height, cleaner detailing with a tiger-nose grille, and a full width LED accent light. The trunk space will increase from 14.9 cubic feet to 15.1. In addition, it will feature an improvement of 3 mpg in fuel economy, from 32 combined to 35 with a brand new CVT (continuously variable automatic) six-speed transmission.
4. 2018 Kia Soul (0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds)
Price: $16,200 to $20,400
The 2018 Kia Soul is powered with a 1.6 liter 201 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 131 horsepower. This is standard, however; buyers have a choice of three power train options. The 2018 Soul is also available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 161 horsepower, matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2018 Soul has come a long way with enhancements to the engine that decreased the zero to 60 mph acceleration time in 2014 from 9.1 to a much faster 6.5 seconds. It is also offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
A version of the engine has been modified to push the horsepower up to 201, and it offers enough power to spin out the front wheels with a heavy throttle start for Kia customers who enjoy power and speed. Although the top speed is only 125 mph, this car beats the Forte5 in acceleration time, making it the fourth-fastest Kia in production today.
The interior features a well equipped and roomy cabin that is designed for practicality and comfort. The 2018 model has a few new additions with the base model being equipped with the previously optional convenience package. This includes automatic climate control.
Buyers can upgrade with a Primo Lit package adding Soul Plum trim for leather seats that are equipped with heat and ventilation in the front with the option of heat in the rear seats and power controls for both front passenger and driver.
A heated steering wheel, digital gauge cluster display, and LED interior lighting are also features included in the premium optional package. The cargo space remains unchanged from the 2017 edition with a collapsing 60/40 split-folding rear seat, with a one lever latch release. The seat folds to a nearly flat state to offer additional cargo capacity.
The major change in the exterior of the Kia Soul is the introduction of a new paint color the automaker calls “Wild Orange. Aside from this change, the 2018 model maintains the same outward appearance of the 2017 edition with a short and boxy appearance. The shape is a deliberate design feature made by engineers to increase the room on the interior for greater driver and passenger comfort.
The base Soul Convenience package has been upgraded to a UV03 infotainment system that includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and automatic climate control. Emergency braking, leather seats with heat and ventilation, and a panoramic sunroof are optional features that are available. Other new additions to the 2018 Soul are high-intensity discharge headlamps in the new LED exterior lighting system and additional safety features.
3. 2018 Kia Cadenza (0 – 60 in 6.2 seconds)
Price: $32,290 to $44,690
The 2018 Kia Cadenza is a larger option in the midsize sedan style that is powered with a 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 290 horsepower and 253-pound feet of torque with a fuel efficiency rating of 20 mpg city and 28 on the highway. It beats the fourth fastest Kia for 2018 in zero to sixty acceleration speed testing by three-tenths of a second. The transmission is a Sportmatic 8 Speed Automatic with manual mode and mode select features.
Customers who choose the Cadenza Premium option to enjoy 19-inch alloy wheels, which is an upgrade from the standard 18-inch alloys in the base model, rain-sensing windshield wipers, LED headlights, a power-operated steering column adjuster, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, and a 12 speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The luxury package offers a one-inch upgrade in a 7.0-inch base model touch screen, along with a panoramic sunroof, a power rear sunshade, and Nappa leather upholstery.
Standard features of the new Cadenza Premium include a head-up display, a 360-degree view camera system as an additional safety feature, rear parking sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The outside appearance of the 2018 Cadenza is unchanged from the 2017 model. It retains the larger midsize qualities of a handsome and stylish sedan with enhanced luxury features on the inside and a range of color choices. The Silky Silver Metallic and Platinum Graphite Metallic colors are combined with Black Nappa leather seats.
The Aurora Black Pearl, Snow White Pearl, and Gravity Blue Metallic paint color options are available with a choice of Black Nappa leather upholstery, White Nappa Leather, or Brown. Granite Brown Metallic paint is paired only with Brown Nappa leather upholstery.
2. 2018 Kia K900 (0-60 in 5.5 seconds)
Price: $51,900 to $61,900
The new Kia K900 is the flagship automobile of the second generation of K900s which were first introduced in 2015. Each new generation in autos marks a time of redesign by engineers, that sets the editions within the grouping apart from all others. In its home country of Korea, this vehicle is comparable to a Lincoln Town car was during the 1970s and ’80s in America.
This model is powered with a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that generates 311 horsepower. It is available in only an eight-speed automatic transmission choice. The United States version comes in all-wheel drive with a longer wheelbase and it is wider than previous editions to make it more spacious for driver and passenger comfort.
The cabin is quieter than previous editions because of thicker glass, and this is a plus when it comes to listening to the enhanced 17 speakers Harman/Kardon audio system installed. The dashboard clock is a branded Maurice Lacroix which lends an exclusive tone to the interior. Open-pore wood trim is now a trim option for the dash, door panels, and center console. Wood-look trim is also used for the rim of the steering wheel. The rear seats feature 14 position adjustments.
Second Generation redesign
The new K900 has undergone a variety of changes and one is that it is available in a 5.0-liter V8 engine that generates 420 horsepower for fast acceleration. The suspension is finely tuned to provide a smooth ride with fast bump recovery. The car is a luxury edition and although it doesn’t have a sporty appearance, it’s highly responsive for smooth and accurate handling.
The helm is weighted for the prompt response and it is equipped with a Sport Driving Mode feature that increases engine noise with more torque sent to the rear wheels. New safety features include forward collision avoidance, a driver attention monitor, lane-keeping assist, and a Blind Spot View Monitor system.
1. 2018 Kia Stinger GT (0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds)
Price: $31,900 – $51,400
The 2018 Kia Stinger GT is the first model in the new line, and it’s also captured the title of the fastest Kia in production. The car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 167 mph. The Stinger GT is powered with a choice of two engines.
The first option is a Twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 365 horsepower and 376-pound feet of torque, paired with an automatic eight-speed transmission. The second choice is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 255 horsepower with 260 pound-feet of torque, accompanied with the same transmission option as the 365 hp version.
The brand new Kia Stinger GT comes with the in-house UVO infotainment system, a Harman/Kardon premium edition audio system, a head-up display, a multi-information display that is located between the gauges and leather upholstery.
The Stinger is a four-door mid-sized sports car with a large hatch and fastback roofline.
The 2018 Kia Stinger is a midsize sports four-door that features a fastback roofline and a large hatch. Rear-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The inspiration for the exterior design of the Stinger GT was taken from Kia’s GT Concept car that made its first appearance at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011.
New design features
The 2018 Kia Stinger GT is the flagship edition of its first generation with no predecessors. Engineers designed it with a series of firsts. It is the first Kia to feature an adaptive suspension system as well as the first sports sedan for the auto manufacturer.
Rear-drive editions feature a standard mechanical limited slip differential, with torque vectoring control in the all-wheel-drive versions. Safety features include rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, driver attention assist, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist. This vehicle has been rated as #1 in the Best Luxury Small Cars with J.D. Power.