Every year, CAR magazine features an annual 12 Best Buys competition in its March edition of the magazine. All vehicles launched to the South African market during the year are judged against rivals in various categories and awarded accordingly.
Vehicles in each category are debated by CAR’s team followed by a vote for the winners. The judging criteria for this competition is quite strict and only vehicles driven by CAR’s team are eligible. Complete vehicle ranges are considered, and an in-depth analysis and comparison is conducted around the vehicle’s personality, price and performance. Careful consideration is also given to public perceptions, and is highlighted in the process.
On 4 March 2014 the Kia Rio Sedan was announced as the overall winner in the Light Sedan category at CAR magazine’s TOP 12 Annual Best Buys awards function. CAR magazine describes the Rio sedan as a vehicle that represents great value with high specification levels. Over and above the result, the Kia Rio Sedan was also the reader’s choice by a margin of 30% in its category. Kia was also well represented in some of the other categories, with both the Rio hatch and Cerato Sedan as runners-up in the Light Hatchback and Compact Sedan categories respectively.
“This is a special accolade for the Kia brand and shows the hard work that Kia Motors and the South African operation has put into the Kia products”, comments David Sieff, Marketing Director, Kia Motors South Africa.
Since its initial launch to the South African market in November 2011, the Kia Rio has received numerous awards. On 15 December 2011, Independent Newspapers South Africa, holding group for Star Newspaper, IOL and The Cape Times among others, announced the Kia Rio hatch as the overall winner in the “Best small/budget car” category in their Motoring Car of the Year competition. The publishing group described the Rio hatch as a car “that blends trendy styling with impressive ride quality and neat handling” and as a B-segment car with a “larger than average” interior.
On 13 December 2012, the Kia Rio sedan took the top honours in the Motoring Car of the Year competition, resulting in a second consecutive win for this model range. The publication describes this vehicle as a sedan that has a “spicy look that should attract young buyers”. Its interior is also described as very spacious, offering good leg- and headroom, with finishes and built quality described as “German-rivaling”.
When asked how he felt about the Kia Rio’s award winning history, Sieff had the following to say: “The Kia range sells itself, and for consumers in the market looking for a vehicle, the Kia brand has a lot to offer. We realise that it’s not just about our great cars, but we have to keep our Kia owners happy. We are working tirelessly to grow our dealer network and provide and exemplary level of service ”.
To date, the Kia Rio has been one of Kia Motors South Africa’s best sellers with demand for the vehicle remaining at high levels since its launch in November 2011.
“The style, design, features and overall value offering of the Rio is hard to beat and it makes my job that much easier when a product can compete on all levels”, Sieff concludes.
- European debuts for new Kia Soul EV and GT4 Stinger concept car
- New hybrid powertrain technology and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission on display
- Enhanced Sportage and upgraded Optima Hybrid also shown
- All-new pedelec Kia Electric Bicycle promises up to 40 km range
The new Kia Soul EV made its European debut at the 84th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva, Switzerland, today alongside a special technology exhibit of the brand’s next-generation hybrid powertrain. These debutants were joined on the stand by the enhanced Kia Sportage and upgraded Optima Hybrid for the European market, as well as the GT4 Stinger concept car, which made its global debut at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, and a new pedelec Electric Bicycle.
Embodying the iconic design of the recently-launched second-generation Kia Soul, the new Kia Soul EV will become the brand’s first globally-sold electric vehicle when it goes on sale globally later in 2014.
The Soul EV is a front-wheel drive electric vehicle with a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and class-leading 200 Wh/kg battery cell energy density. Power comes from an 81.4 kW electric motor producing a generous 285 Nm of torque. The vehicle will appeal to city commuters thanks to a driving range of around 200 km on a single charge.
Buyers of the Soul EV will benefit from its accomplished ride and handling and high level of refinement thanks to the car’s low centre of gravity, revised platform and chassis and new materials designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.
To maximise the efficiency and potential range of the Soul EV, the vehicle features a number of energy-saving technologies that reduce load on the battery and increase maximum driving range. These include new advanced heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technologies, including a world-first ‘driver-only’ individual ventilation system, four-mode regenerative braking and a battery heating system.
The Soul EV will also be one of the most practical EVs on the market as a result of minimal intrusion by the battery pack into the cabin and cargo space. As with every other Kia model sold in Europe, the Soul EV will guarantee owners peace of mind thanks to Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty.
As well as showing new production-ready low emissions vehicles at Geneva, Kia is displaying a a new hybrid powertrain technology, developed by the brand’s European R&D center for use in future Kia models around the world.
The hybrid system consists of a 48V lead carbon battery connected to a small electric motor, increasing the internal combustion engine’s power output. The battery also supplies energy to an electric supercharger, which increases torque and power at low engine speeds.
Under the right conditions, the new hybrid powertrain can drive a car in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising, while the battery is recharged under deceleration. And when the car is stationary, the technology also acts as a zero-emissions stop-start system, performing this function with almost no noise or vibration as it is a belt-starting system. The technology also enables Kia engineers to reduce the size – and weight – of its vehicles’ existing 12V battery.
Lining up alongside the new hybrid powertrain system, Kia also revealed details of its all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
The first seven-speed transmission from the Korean manufacturer has been engineered to deliver both greater fuel efficiency and improved performance. Engineers have been targeting a seven percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a five percent improvement in 0-100 kph (62 mph) acceleration. NVH has also been a key focus for the team behind the DCT’s development, with an external damper ensuring a high level of refinement for the new transmission.
Unveiled earlier in the year at the North American International Auto Show, Kia’s stunning GT4 Stinger Concept appears in Europe for the first time at Geneva. The GT4 Stinger, created by Kia’s California design team, moves Kia in a bold new styling direction and has maximum driving enjoyment central to its appeal.
Powered by a 315 ps 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) four-cylinder engine, the eye-catching 2+2 sportscar seeks to involve the driver as much as possible, with a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. As a statement of the concept’s dynamic intent, the car is fitted with all-round independent double-wishbone suspension, a high-downforce carbon fibre front splitter and front-brake cooling vents. The signature Kia grille sits low to the ground for maximum engine cooling and cold-air induction.
While there are currently no plans to bring the concept to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concepts that precede them, and the GT4 Stinger provides an enticing glimpse into Kia’s possible future.
Responding to customer feedback and developments in the increasingly-competitive European marketplace, Kia also showed the enhanced Kia Sportage. The compact crossover, the brand’s best-selling model in Europe with more than 89,000 sales in 2013, receives small but significant upgrades to its modern exterior, as well as a refreshed interior design and new materials throughout the cabin.
Also making its European debut, the upgraded Kia Optima Hybrid receives a number of visual changes and is fitted with a range of new features, including Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system with greater braking feel and response, a new touchscreen interface specific to the Hybrid system and a new (optional) High Tech Pack of driver assist systems.
Production of the upgraded Optima Hybrid is scheduled to start in Korea during April 2014 and the new model will go on sale in Europe and other markets later in the year.
Kia unveiled two prototypes of its latest zero-emission vehicles to a specially invited media audience, a pedelec Electric Bicycle, which is designed to appeal to commuters thanks to a range of around 40 km on a single charge and a four-hour recharge time. Two models are shown at the salon – the City model, for urban use, and MTB, for tougher terrain.
The Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB) concept is propelled by a 250 Watt electric motor producing a generous 45 Nm of torque, and powered by a 36 volt, 10 amp lithium-ion polymer battery pack which is easily detached for recharging. The KEB weighs around 20 kg in total, and has a top speed of 25.0 kph (15.5 mph) to comply with EU regulations.
Designed and engineered by at Kia’s Namyang R&D Center in Korea, the KEB features an innovative monocoque metal frame, produced by an advanced metal stamping technology and a robotic welding process – resulting in automotive industry quality control. The two prototype KEB models are made using a frame, electric motor and power pack manufactured in Korea, together with brake and gear components from Shimano in Japan. Final assembly was carried out in Germany.
Media and public reactions to the prototype KEB will be monitored closely by Kia Motors Corporation, 70 years after it first manufactured bicycles in Korea during 1944.
Natalie Chapman is embarking on a journey that will see her perform 90 gigs in 90 towns over the course of 90 days. Kia has lent support to this initiative by providing Natalie with a Kia Sportage which will transport her over the length and breadth of South Africa. This is her diary.Read More
Kia’s third generation Sportage was originally launched to the local motoring media on 31 August 2010 and has proven to be one of Kia Motors South Africa’s most popular models. To date, the Sportage has received numerous design awards including an IF-design award, a Red Dot design award, as well as an award in the Automotive Brand Contest. On the international front, the Sportage has been awarded numerous Car of the Year titles, while locally it was announced as a finalist for the 2011 Wesbank South African Car of the Year competition. Its most recent accolade was awarded in December 2013 where the Sportage was crowned as the overall winner in the SUV and Cross-over category in the Annual Standard Bank People’s Wheels Awards.
“The third generation Sportage was very well received by both the public and the South African motoring media”, comments David Sieff, Marketing Director, Kia Motors South Africa. “The Sportage has been one of our best selling vehicles in the range and this can be attributed to its stylish looks, competitive performance, state of the art features and overall value proposition.”
On 18 February 2014, Kia Motors South Africa will launch the newly enhanced and upgraded Kia Sportage. The Sportage receives small but significant upgrades to its modern exterior as well as a refreshed interior design and new materials throughout the cabin.
The upgraded Sportage will be available in two engines: a smooth 2.0 D-CVVT petrol engine and a more powerful 2.0 VGT CRDi diesel engine. The petrol engine is more refined than before and is now paired with a six-speed manual and automatic transmission, resulting in improved fuel consumption.
The steering on the diesel models change from hydraulic assisted steering to motor driven power steering. The enhanced Sportage is more refined than the current model, with a number of changes designed to minimise noise, vibration and harshness. Sportage will be available in three packages: the entry level Ignite model, only available in petrol, along with a 2WD package and the top of the range, full house AWD package, both available in petrol and diesel.
A refreshed exterior
Various changes have been made to the exterior. The front grille has been re-moulded resulting in a high-tech and stylish appearance, while changes to the front fog lamps and lower bumper amplify the vehicle’s dynamic proportions. The newly designed 17” – and 18” alloy wheels improve vehicle rigidity and contribute to a refined driving experience and enhanced N.V.H levels. The re-designed rear combination lamps are striking and add a touch of sportiness to the rear.
An improved driver space: comfort and convenience features enhancements
The newly upgraded Sportage’s driver space is improved and features many enhancements. The door upper trim features soft padding with newly developed IMG (In-Mould Graining) processed textures and offers a higher quality finish. Tweeter speakers are repositioned from the door upper trim to the quadrant cover to offer better sound reproduction.
The AWD models feature a new supervision cluster, newly designed centre fascia and a state -of-the-art Infinity sound system. The supervision instrument cluster features a new 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen which provides digitally displayed vehicle information. The dot-matrix centre fascia display on the previous Sportage AWD model is replaced with a 4.3-inch TFT LCD touch screen, which doubles up as a rear-view camera display when reverse mode is activated. The Infinity sound system has a sub woofer, external amplifier and built-in hard drive that has music storing functionality.
The centre console storage binnacle now features a detachable tray which can accommodate small items.
Engine line-up and transmission
The Nu 2.0 CVVT gasoline engine offers a more refined driving experience. The engine generates power of 116kW @ 6200 rpm and 192 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. The old 5-speed manual gearbox on this model is replaced by a smoother and more refined 6-speed transmission, which results in improved fuel consumption. The diesel 2.0 VGT CRDi engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW @ 4000 rpm and 382 Nm of torque between 1800-2500 rpm. Both engines are available in 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
Improved driving experience and NVH levels
The new Sportage offers a quieter and smoother driving experience thanks to multiple improvements on the core areas of the body structure. The soundproof windshield glass helps to reduce wind noise, while improvements to the core areas of the body structure, such as the bush-mounted sub-frames reduce the penetration noise caused by acceleration. The new transmission mounting brackets enhance the rigidity of the mounting system. Compared to the previous model, road noise has been improved by 1.3 dB while wind noise is improved between 1 and 4 dB.
“Its always a challenge improving on a vehicle that has significantly raised the bar in the SUV space, but the areas of focus for this facelift have again pushed the Sportage into the spotlight as a great car to live with and enjoy”, Sieff concludes.
At launch, the upgraded Sportage will be available in eight colours: Clear White, Bright Silver, Mineral Silver, Sand Track, Black Cherry, Vintage Blue, Signal Red and Sage Green. All models come standard with a 5-year / 150 000 km warranty (up from 100 000km), a 5-year / 100 000 km service plan and a 3-year / unlimited roadside assistance plan.
Automotive fever hit the Windy City this week with the Chicago Auto Show (CAS), calling all car lovers to admire the latest motor industry trends. Our theme for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show was “eco-friendliness.“ The 2015 Kia Soul EV, Kia’s first mass market electric vehicle, made its grand debut at the CAS today, along with the world premiere of the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid and the first North American showing of the Niro hybrid concept.
Kia goes electric
The Soul EV is Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car to be sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV offers an expected 120-160 kilometres in range when fully charged, and integrates more than 20 bio-friendly materials on the interior.
It comes with a new individual ventilation system, which reduces energy consumption by only providing ventilation and heating to the driver. This is different from current electric vehicles on the road, in which closing the vents merely diverts hot or cold air through other vents in the car while energy consumption remains the same.
The Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12% of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the car is coasting and braking. The Soul EV plugs into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger.
From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the Soul EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. The Soul EV is another innovation showing Kia’s commitment to increasingly efficient mobility.
Kia fans can share their thoughts on the Kia Soul EV vehicle by tweeting their opinions along with the #SoulEVBuzz tag. The best tweets will be shared will be used at the Geneva Motorshow.
Songstress Natalie Chapman is embarking on a journey that will see her perform 90 gigs in 90 towns over the course of 90 days. Kia has lent support to this initiative by providing Natalie with a Kia Sportage which will transport her over the length and breadth of South Africa. During this time, Natalie will be sharing her adventure with guest blogs right here on Kia Buzz.
#90Days 90Towns 90Gigs
Week 1: 30th Jan – 5th February
With all the planning and anticipation building for the last few weeks I was feeling nervous, excited and ready for my Epic Mission around South Africa. Feels good to be doing something that is going to make a difference in people’s lives. The idea for the tour came 6 months ago and since then its been a rollercoaster ride of incredible serendipity and unbelievable challenges. I have not worked this hard in my life, and I’m a workaholic. Just 3 weeks before the tour started I didn’t have a vehicle to do the tour with. My old car wouldn’t have made it to Day 4. Then I did an interview on Radio 702 and my absolute chance Gary Scott from Kia heard me speaking about the transport issue. Kia came in like a group of angels. Managing to bring a brand new Kia Sportage to Joburg and branding the vehicle in record time. I have named her “Mamelo” meaning “Strong Woman” in Tswana. With a safe beautiful car in the picture I was at last ready to embark on the greatest journey of my life.
Thursday, 29th January Day#1 – Pretoria (Gauteng)
The day began furiously with last minute packing and final arrangements. I hadn’t slept more than a few hours a night for weeks and the adrenaline rushing through my veins was all I needed to find the energy to keep on. First stop was Jakaranda Kinderhuis to visit the previously abused and abandoned children that are trying to fight their way back to a normal life. The visit was emotional and very rewarding. We chatted and I sang them a couple songs. I was humbled by their appreciation and very moved by their tears and smiles. This felt so good! Next we moved on to Café Barcelona for the soundcheck and gig that night. I was joined by some amazing local musicians who gave up their time to support the cause. Alta Mc Master from Epic Foundation also joined me for the kick off. After a great evening I drove to Bronkhorstspruit to get a bit of shut eye. The journey had finally begun. Day#1 of #90Days – Tick
Friday, 30th January Day#2 – Bronkhorstspruit (Gauteng)
Up at 06h00 and off to Highschool Erasmus to join the pupils for their assembly. Considering the stats of abuse and Violent Crime in South Africa I was aware that the majority of the children in front of me could relate to my concerns about the situation we are living in in South Africa. Their reaction was totally unexpected and once again I knew for sure that I was on the right path. No rest for me though and I spent the rest of the day working on upcoming gigs and online videos and updates. We had planned to visit another local school in the afternoon but the principle called to cancel because the school had been threatened with violence by the strikers. They were burning down police stations and libraries and were now targeting the school. Scary stuff.
The show at Sinkshack that night was brilliant. The town came out in force and supported the project both financially and with words of encouragement and applause. Local artists Dawie De Jager and Deon Dee lent their talent to the event with some of their own tunes. Two very talented men. Went to bed with a big smile on my face. Day#2 of #90Days – Tick
Saturday, 1st February Day#3 – Nelspruit (Mpumalanga)
Managed a few hours of solid sleep and enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Sinkshack Coffee Shop before bidding farewell to Deon and Anita. There was time for a stop at the Buddhist Temple which is always very special. They were preparing for the Chinese New Year the following day so the Temple was very festive. Always blows my mind standing in a Temple in the middle of Bronkhorstspruit. A unique experience.
Back on the road and off to Nelspruit. Our first long drive in Mamelo and she is a legend. So comfortable, economical and smooth. We are towing a trailer and with her power you can’t even feel it. I was still figuring out all her features and having fun doing it. So off to Stoep for the gig which turned out to be another great evening. I met a 3 time rape survivor who has decided to start an Epic Foundation Group in Nelspruit. Really special lady and so were the rest of the audience. Koos from Stoep had arranged for us to stay at a local resident Hennie’s place for the night. His home is right beside the river and I took the opportunity to unwind after the show by listening to it racing by. Although his home was more than comfortable I struggled to sleep, the magnitude of the task ahead had really hit me.
Sunday, 2nd February 2014 Day#4 – Dullstroom (Mpumalanga)
Hennie spoilt us with a delicious flapjack breakfast before we headed out to Dullstroom. So the obvious choice is to use your GPS when you don’t know the area and I followed my Navigator with confidence. The Shortest Route. Maybe the shortest but definitely not the fastest. Turning off to what I thought was a direct quick line to Dullstroom I realised very quickly that the road I was on was one long dirt road. Because of all the rain the mud was thick and I had to put Mamelo through her first real challenge. She handled so beautifully. It was still a tough drive with the trailer struggling behind but the new Sportage did exactly what she promised and adapted to the terrain with ease and her traction control was solid. Besides the difficult drive I took a few breaks from serious concentration to stop and take in the beautiful surroundings. Arrived in Dullstroom at Royal Coachman Restaurant with just enough time for a sound check before a great show in the garden with an incredible crowd you fully supported the cause and the music. With the evening open I managed to get a lot of work done. The rain started to fall which was a real blessing as it took off most of the thick mud that was all over the car and trailer. A sweet sleep followed.
Monday,3rd February 2014 Day#5 Graskop (Mpumalanga)
Started the day at Harries Pancakes. Mmm….Delicious. Hit the road around 10h00 towards Graskop.
Drove through the beautiful little town of Pilgrim’s Rest and managed to get some great pics.
Now Graskop is an unusual town. It is tiny and dilapidated with terrible roads filled with potholes but on the other end of the scale is a town full of great people and quite a number of tourists who use the town as base for hiking trails around the area including God’s Window.
I managed to organise a visit to Emmanuel’s Orphanage and loved every minute. The children are so beautiful and my heart broke to see potential in them that may not be forfilled due to lack of opportunity. The little guys were so excited to have a visitor. We chatted, sang together and I fell in love. A bitter sweet moment.
Managed to get the backpackers to do a last minute load of laundry for me. I knew that getting my clothes cleaned during the trip would be challenging with the lack of time in each town, but now I realised this would probably be one of my biggest issues. I only have so many clothes on the road with me so every few days I would have this problem.
Being a Monday I did not expect much of a turn out for the gig that night but I was pleasantly surprised as the venue Canimambo and its owners Lance and Carla had put in so much effort to advertise the event. We had guests from the surrounding towns of Sabie and showing support too. Local artists joined me for a few songs and the atmosphere was festive and uplifting. I look forward to returning to Graskop in the Winter. A quirky, friendly little dorp.
On the way home (I use this term loosely ) from the gig I stopped to get some coffee from the garage. I was approached by a French tourist who warned me to watch my bag. It turns out she had just spent 2 hours at the local police station reporting a theft. The suspect in question was large miner wielding an axe. He threatened her and her husband and took all their possessions. Once again I was reminded why I was on this tour. Had nightmares about the axe man all night. Not a restful sleep unfortunately. But at least I had clean clothes.
For more information on Natalie’s adventure visit Natalie’s website
The introduction of the new Koup follows the launch of the all-new third-generation Cerato sedan and five-door hatchback.
Since introduction in 2004, the trio (sedan, hatchback and koup) of Cerato cars have achieved more than 2.5 million global sales, including 385,000 units in 2012 when these models accounted for almost 17% of Kia’s total annual sales.
Now, the all-new version of the compact and sporty Cerato Koup is beautifully crafted and features a sleeker profile with futuristic and dynamic styling. It is longer and wider than the current model, with a significantly extended wheelbase.
Beneath its distinctive exterior, the new Koup incorporates all the improved engineering originally developed for the Cerato sedan, with an all-new bodyshell structure, improved overall quality, upgraded equipment levels with a host of additional convenience and safety features, a more spacious cabin with enhanced refinement and a new 1.6 Turbo GDi powertrain that delivers exhilarating performance and competitive fuel economy.
“The Cerato family has become our brand’s biggest-selling export model, so the introduction of the exciting third-generation Koup is hugely significant for Kia,” comments Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s Vice President of Overseas Marketing.
“We are raising our product standards to the next level with the all-new Cerato Koup, which adds emotional appeal to its established core values of design, quality and value,” adds Mr Lee. “This all-new model will boost our competitiveness in the compact sporty coupe segment – known as the C-segment in many countries – which is one of the world’s most important and most competitive segments.”
While creating the all-new Cerato family of cars, Kia’s designers and engineers have listened closely to customer feedback. The result is a bold demonstration of Kia’s determination to deliver models that exceed customer expectations and provide a rewarding long-term ownership experience.
“We are confident that the new Cerato Koup with its transformed appearance, broad range of new features, and the exciting new turbo engine will entice both existing and new customers to visit Kia showrooms”, comments David Sieff, Marketing Director, Kia Motors South Africa.
The Cerato Koup will be launched to the public in a ground breaking integrated campaign, which will have members of the public build a virtual Koup by collecting 38 hidden virtual parts via an app on Kia’s facebook page. Every time a player finds a code like this: Q19287475, it unlocks a single part or a bundle of parts which, once collected, show up as pieces of the virtual Cerato Koup.
This cutting edge campaign will show potential customers all the innovation that goes into the New Cerato Koup in an immersive and innovative way.
- Distinctive compact SUV receives renowned ‘iF product design award’ ahead of market launch Award jury praises ‘transformation of design making Kia desirable’
- Kia Soul on sales on North America and due to go on sale across Europe in March
The new Kia Soul, which celebrated its European premiere at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt in 2013, has been awarded the ‘iF Product Design Award’.
In securing the prestigious iF design accolade, the second generation of the cult compact SUV – which is already on sale in North America and will go on sale across Europe in March – continues the award-winning ways of its predecessor.
In 2009, the original Kia Soul was the first car by a Korean brand to receive the distinguished ‘red dot design award’. Since then, a total of 16 design prizes have been awarded to Kia models between these two design organisations.
With a distinctive design, the Kia Soul has many fans all around the globe: since the end of 2008, more than 760,000 people have purchased the first-generation model.
The new Kia Soul was created by the Kia design team under the supervision of Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company. Many of the design elements of the muscular Kia Track’ster concept (presented at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show) are incorporated in the second-generation Kia Soul and characterise its modern design – although it is still recognisable as Kia’s iconic compact SUV.
“The great challenge we faced when designing the second model generation was to preserve the strong, individual character that made the Kia Soul so successful, and at the same time give the design new impulses”, says Peter Schreyer. “That is why I am so pleased about this prize, because it proves how impressively our design team has performed this task. The new Kia Soul is a lot more mature in appearance, and the bold, distinctive personality of this model is highlighted even more.”
New platform, improved driving dynamics – and scope for individual design
Despite the similarity in appearance to the original Kia Soul, the second -generation model is a completely new car. None of the exterior body panels are carried over, and the spacious interior has also been completely redesigned. It gives the occupants even more leg and head room, uses more high quality materials and offers a comprehensive range of comfort features.
New Soul also excels in its low noise level and refinement. One of the factors behind the car’s many improvements is the new platform, which is similar to that of the Kia cee’d and which gives the new Kia Soul noticeably improved driving dynamics. For the European market, there is a choice of two modern 1.6-litre engines; a gasoline direct injection (132 PS / 97 kW) and a turbodiesel (128 PS / 94 kW).
Like its predecessor, the new Kia Soul offers a wide range of customisation options. Depending on the trim level and optional equipment, these include, for example, a choice of different interior colour schemes. The new Soul is also the first Kia model for which the roof can be ordered in a contrasting colour, while a new SUV Styling Pack (available in Europe and general markets*) – featured on the iF design award-winning car – introduces distinctive piano black bumper garnish, side skirts, wheel arches and a black painted roof.
The iF product design award
Since it was launched in 1953, the annual iF product design award has been one of the world’s most important prizes for excellence in design. The award has its origins in the ‘Formgerechte Industrieerzeugnisse’ (Good Industrial Design) product shows initiated by Hannover Messe and is now one of the world’s largest design competitions. The iF design award now includes two further competitions (the iF communication design award and iF packaging design award).
In 2014, companies from 55 countries participated in the iF design award, submitting 3,249 designs in 17 categories to the iF product design award, which is by far the largest of the three iF competitions. The new Kia Soul was honoured in the ‘Transportation Design’ category.
The official presentation ceremony for the 2014 iF product design awards will take place on 28 February 2014 in Munich during the ‘Munich Creative Business Week’. All the winning products will be on display for the first time at the new iF design exhibition in Hamburg’s HafenCity. Additionally, all winners can be seen on the website www.ifdesign.de and can now also be viewed with the new iF design smartphone app.
Kia Motors Corporation has been expanding the scale of its sports sponsorship for some years now. The company is slowly developing itself into a brand designed to appeal to younger drivers with an emphasis on excitement and versatility.
Since its first sponsorship with the Australian Open in 2002, Kia has been participating in the tournament as the Major Sponsor to promote and support this successful event. In January 2013, Kia announced that it will extend its agreement as the major sponsor of the Australian Open for an additional five years through to 2018. This new deal cements Kia as the longest running major sponsor of the event, with 17 continuous years of commitment to the first Grand Slam tournament on the international tennis calendar.
Kia is not only leveraging this sponsorship with event transportation but also providing innovative interactive programs around the tennis court resulting in a rewarding experience for the Brand and its fans.
For fans around the world, Kia has activated a global marketing program called ‘Kia Lucky Drive to Australia’, which has given tennis fans like South Africans Adriaan and Hannelie Van Zyl an opportunity see the 2014 Australian Open action in person.
In a short 15 years, KIA South Africa has grown from a fledgling start to a force to be reckoned with in the local vehicle market. To celebrate this great achievement, KIA has created a new commercial that documents this story of success, using a metaphor all too appropriate for the Asian vehicle manufacturer. The commercial starts with a tiger cub that has been left to fend for itself. We see its first clumsy attempts to hunt, including encounters with tortoises, snakes, ostriches, springbok and Cape buffalo.
Gradually, as it grows, it becomes more and more confident, finally able to hunt and kill on its own. It’s a perfect metaphor for the strides KIA has made in South Africa to become a permanent fixture in the South African Car Market with a growing market share.
As the commercial says, and as evidenced by its 100,000 strong South African Facebook fan base, it’s becoming one of the most loved car brands in Africa. We hope you’ll love the commercial and spread the love as far and wide as you can, once you’ve viewed it below.