Much like its "The Power to Surprise" tagline suggests, Kia continues to change American car buyers' impressions of Korean cars, crossovers, and SUVs. Under the ownership of fellow Korean car company Hyundai, Kia has seen its recognition grow in concert with its lineup. Part of the success can be attributed to the brand's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty (shared with Hyundai), while the rest falls on the increasingly stylish shoulders of affordable vehicles.
The bidding starts at about $12,000 for the Kia Rio sedan, the company's least expensive model; the five-door Kia Rio5 adds a bit more flare and about $2,000 to the bottom line. Next up are the funky Kia Soul, the Honda Civic-fighting Kia Spectra and Kia Spectra5, the Kia Rondo wagon with an available third-row seat, and the larger Kia Optima sedan. Atop the heap resides the Kia Amanti, a representation of Korean luxury outmatched by automotive cousins including the Hyundai Azera and Hyundai Genesis.
Strutting their stuff alongside the lineup of Kia cars are models such as the Kia Sedona, a minivan based on the Hyundai Entourage. SUV aficionados can select from the small Kia Sportage, the mid-size Kia Sorento, or the large Kia Borrego with available V6 and V8 engines.