We love a Kia here, with the Korean brand rarely missing the mark from the cute Picanto to the palatial Sorento, but there are quite a few models the UK misses out on.
Outside of the roughly 100,000 cars Kia sells in the UK each year, another 2.67 million find homes through 5,000 dealers across 180 different countries. Each country has its own specific consumer trends, regulations and requirements, which means something that works here might not work there, wherever there might be.
Kia’s solution, like most manufacturers, is to offer different models in different parts of the world, from tiny city cars to luxury saloons, and pure electric vehicles to fire-breathing sports cars.
Here are nine models that we can’t have but (mostly) really, really want…
The Kia K900 is the brand’s flagship luxury saloon and helped to elevate Kia’s brand in key markets around the world, especially in North America and at home in Korea. A 5.0-litre V8 engine – the most powerful ever produced by Kia – is available, alongside the 3.3 T-GDi V6 unit found in the Stinger. Tides of luxury and sophisticated design, inside and out, give this car serious appeal.
Launched in 2019, the Kia Seltos is characterised by distinctive design details, lending the compact SUV an air of understated sportiness. The Seltos is manufactured for different regions at two of Kia’s production facilities – in Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India, and Gwangju, Korea. Will this one make it to the UK? Kia’s staying silent right now.
Launched in 2011, the Kia Ray EV was Korea’s first electric vehicle. Exclusively for the domestic market, the Ray EV is powered by a 50kW electric motor and a 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and is capable of 86 miles on a single charge. Its small dimensions make it an ideal city car and it is regularly seen on the streets of Seoul.
Sold outside of Europe, the all-new Soul is available in ‘GT-Line’ trim. The sporty grade comes with a redesigned front and rear fascia, 18-inch alloy wheels, unique side sills and front fascia with red accents, sport-tuned suspension and is available with a 201 horsepower 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.
The Kia Telluride is the largest passenger car ever built by the brand. It provides comfortable seating for up to eight, a powerful 291 horsepower 3.8-litre V6, and is available with active on-demand all-wheel drive. The Telluride even won the 2020 World Car of the Year title.
Rio 4 Door
The Rio five-door supermini is well known in the UK but elsewhere in places like Russia, it is available as a four-door saloon.
The Kia Mohave is named after the famous desert in California and conjures up images of rugged toughness, calm stillness and extremes of temperature. Available with either a V6 3.8 petrol engine or V6 3.0 CRDi diesel engine, the Mohave is another great example of the SUVs Kia manufactures.
Created and developed from the first pre-production UK spec Stinger, the GT420 perfectly encapsulates the brand’s slogan ‘Power to Surprise’. A collaboration between the Kia UK’s product, press relations, UK press garage and technical teams, this joint project was completed with the help, advice and engineering know-how from the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany. With fine and extensive tuning, the Stinger GT420 produces a whopping 422bhp and 560Nm of torque and is fully track prepared, with uprated brakes and a full roll cage. We drove it at Silverstone last year and were bowled over by its capabilities.
Cadenza / K7
The refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The premium sedan is powered by a smooth 3.3-litre V6 delivering 290 horsepower. Brimming with technology and modern convenience features, the Cadenza remains true to its mission of offering luxurious interior surroundings combined with a quiet and composed ride.
Kia doesn’t just make passenger cars for families, the brand also manufactures commercial vehicles – The K-series truck features a 3,110mm extra-long and 1,630mm wide bed, giving you abundant loading capacity. The railed truck bed has a low height of 770mm for easier access when loading and unloading.