Milestone: 1.5 millionth Kia sold in the UK

Gareth Herincx

15 hours ago
Auto News

Kia EV6

Kia sold its 1.5 millionth car in the UK this April, amid a record-breaking month for the South Korean brand.

The landmark sale was a Kia EV6 GT-Line S in Yacht Blue, sold at 9:35am on 16 April at Norton Way GWR Kia in Brentford, London.

The milestone comes 33 years after Kia made its UK debut with the little Pride. The EV6 couldn’t be more different, with its fully electric powertrain and cutting-edge rapid charging capabilities.

Kia reached its first 500,000th sale in June 2013, 22 years after launching in the UK, in 1991. The millionth Kia sold was announced in January 2019, just six years later.

A record April for Kia, sales amounted to 8,044 and a market share of 6%, making Kia the fifth best-selling brand in the month and fourth in the year.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

The Sportage was the sixth best-selling car in the April UK market overall, and is the UK’s third best-selling car year-to-date, with 2,192 sales in April and 15,824 this year respectively, while the Niro EV was the ninth best-selling electric car in the month and seventh year-to-date.

Kia’s popular Picanto city car was once again the best-selling vehicle in its class with 1,148 cars sold.

“This landmark achievement has been reached in record time and in yet another record-breaking month of sales, amplifying our continued success,” said Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia UK.

“This has in no small way been thanks to the continued efforts of our dealer partners and multi award-winning electrified product line-up.”

Check Also


Olly Murs collecting his revamped Land Rover Defender 110 from Urban Automotive

Olly Murs collects his modified Land Rover Defender 110

Singer-songwriter and TV personality Olly Murs has been handed the keys to his specially-commissioned Land …

Audi Q4 e-tron review

Audi Q4 e-tron review

We get behind the wheel of the Q4 e-tron – Audi’s entry-level, all-electric car…

Launched in 2021, the Audi Q4 e-tron battles it out in the hugely competitive mid-sized SUV sector.

Its many rivals include the Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6, BMW iX1, Mercedes-Benz EQB, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2.

Audi Q4 e-tron review

Priced from £51,325, it also competes with its Volkswagen Group cousins (they share the same platform) – the Skoda Enyaq and VW ID.5.

Available in both SUV and sleeker Sportback versions, the Q4 e-tron comes with a 76.6kWh battery and two power levels – the ’40’ (rear-wheel drive single electric motor) or the top-spec ’50’ quattro (two electric motors driving all four wheels).

The ’40’ delivers 201bhp and accelerates from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, while the ’50’ has 295bhp on tap and can hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds.

Audi Q4 e-tron review

Both versions have a 135kW charge capacity, which can get you from 5% to 80% in as little 29 minutes. Like all EVs, it will also charge up overnight if you have a home wallbox.

Depending on body style and power output, the Q4 e-tron has a claimed range of 292 – 328 miles.

Naturally, the Q4 e-tron is generously equipped, but as ever with Audi, there’s still a lengthy list of options, plus three packs (Technology, Technology Pro and Safety Package Plus) in addition to the basic three trim levels (Sport, S Line and Black Edition).

Audi Q4 e-tron review

We road tested the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro in S Line trim. Our car was a Sportback, which is mechanically identical to the more conventional SUV version, except for the sharply raked roofline for extra kerb appeal. Perhaps more importantly, its slippery body also delivers a slightly longer range.

Inside it’s very Audi. In other words, it’s a combination of top build quality, state-of-the-art tech, comfort and space.

As with all SUVs, there’s a high driving position, while the dashboard layout is refreshingly conventional with a user-friendly blend of 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, a 11.6-inch central touchscreen, separate (physical) climate controls and a multifunction steering wheel.

Audi Q4 e-tron review

Audi’s infotainment system is as slick as ever. What’s more, it uses ‘haptic feedback’ (there’s a slight clicking sensation when you touch it), which is much better than the frustrating touch-sensitive system used by other VW Group brands such as Volkswagen and Seat.

Visibility is good and where there are deficiencies, the multitude of cameras and sensors make up for it. Oh, and kudos to Audi for sticking with a rear wiper, an essential missing from competitors such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

On the road, the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro may not be as blisteringly fast in a straight line as some rivals, but it’s still swift enough for everyday driving.

Audi Q4 e-tron review

The ride is a tad stiff, but even so, it manages to stay comfortable and refined with very little wind and road noise making it into the cabin.

In fact, our test car – which was fitted with 20-inch wheels and optional adaptive suspension – only got caught out on poorer surfaces.

The Q4 disguises its weight well, for a fairly heavy car (more than two tonnes), thanks to a low centre of gravity, but also light and accurate steering with a reasonably tight turning circle. It’s only when stopping from speed that you sense how hard the brakes are working.

Audi Q4 e-tron review

Push it on more challenging roads and it would be a stretch to call it the most engaging of drives, but at least it manages to remain relatively flat in faster corners, plus it grips well and traction is excellent.

There are various drive modes (Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual) and selecting Dynamic does make it feel slightly sharper and more responsive, but that’s as far as it goes.

We also like the way you can also adjust the level of brake regeneration via the paddles on the steering wheel, plus there’s a B-mode on the gear selector, for maximising energy recuperation.

Audi Q4 e-tron review

Based on a week of mixed driving, we’d estimate our Q4 e-tron has a real-world range of around 270 miles. However, if you opt for the entry level model, your range is likely to be closer to 230 miles.

The Q4 e-tron’s interior is spacious and there’s enough room for six-footers to sit comfortably in the rear which isn’t always the case with sportier SUVs.

Add 535 litres of luggage space in the boot (15 litres more than the SUV version) and 1,460 litres with the rear seats folded, and it’s a very practical proposition.

Finally, and as with most modern EVs, the Q4 e-tron is loaded with the latest technology and solidly built, achieving a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests.

Verdict: Handsome, comfortable, practical and easy to drive, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron oozes badge appeal and is one of the best 100% electric SUVs in its sector.

Audi UK

Audi Q4 e-tron review

The Italian Job: Kia EV6 GT finishes 1000 Miglia Green in style

Kia EV6 GT completes the 1000 Miglia Green 2023

The Kia EV6 GT has completed the 1000 Miglia Green 2023, dubbed the “most beautiful race in the world”.

Finishing as the highest-ranking performance electric vehicle entered and sixth overall, the 1000 Miglia is a true test of endurance for both car, driver and navigator, requiring performance, precision and skill in order to score well throughout the race.

The 1000 Miglia Green is a sub-category of the historic Italian event, open only to fully electric cars.

The 2023 event was the longest in the race’s near 100-year history, spanning five days and more than 2,000 kilometres.

Kia EV6 GT completes the 1000 Miglia Green 2023

Not only was the Kia EV6 GT the first Korean car to ever compete in the 1000 Miglia Green, but the pro rally driver pairing of Jade Paveley and Ross Leach was the only team to represent Great Britain in the race.

In addition, the event marked the first time that an EV6 GT has been entered into a competitive, FIA-approved motor race.

Designed from the outset as a true GT car, the EV6 GT offers blistering performance from its twin electric motor setup that together deliver 577bhp and 740Nm of torque through all four wheels.

That power translates into a 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds, and an official top speed of 162mph.

Mated with a powerful 77.4kWh battery, the car is capable of covering 263 miles (WLTP combined) per charge.

Kia EV6 GT completes the 1000 Miglia Green 2023

Charging is equally rapid, thanks to the car’s E-GMP platform that supports 800V charging, enabling 10-80 per cent charge in as little as 18 minutes at the fastest charge points.

Importantly and despite the considerable distance and demanding nature of the roads and speeds required for the race, each of the timed legs travelled during the event were completed using a single charge of the car.

Charging was completed using public charge points, plus destination charging where possible at hotels at the end of each day.

The 1000 Miglia Green’s blend of rapid road driving under police escort along with precision time-trial and special stages on closed roads were the perfect test for the car’s considerable performance.

“The 1000 Miglia Green is a fantastic challenge that blends fast open road driving with time-trials and special stages,” said Ross Leach, rally driver and navigator

“It’s a great way to put any car through its paces and although incredibly demanding, the EV6 GT never skipped a beat and was a constant pleasure to be in. Particularly where outright speed and handling are concerned, the GT is able to easily hold its own, even against those in the supercar segment.

“We’re delighted to have participated in this year’s event, put the EV6 GT to the test and come home in sixth place overall but as the highest-scoring performance EV.”

Subaru Solterra review

Subaru Solterra review

We get behind the wheel of the Solterra mid-sized SUV – the first pure electric car from Subaru…

The Subaru brand has a relatively low profile here in the UK. Elsewhere, in countries such as the US and Australia, the Japanese company’s cars are more appreciated and sell in much bigger numbers.

Subaru’s very capable 4x4s are renowned for their durability, and traditionally, owners are intensively loyal, holding onto their cars for longer than any rivals.

Quite what they will make of the all-new Solterra is another matter because it’s sayonara to Subaru’s signature boxer engines and effective ‘symmetrical’ four-wheel drive system.

Subaru Solterra review

Before we begin, let’s deal with the elephant in the room, because the Solterra has been co-developed with the Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ.

In fact, it’s manufactured alongside its cousins in the same plant at Motomachi, Japan, and they all share the same e-TNGA platform.

It also bears more than a passing resemblance to the Toyota and Lexus. However, there are some key differences.

The most important is that Subaru has kept things simple with the Solterra, which is only available in twin-motor four-wheel-drive form. That also means it has a higher starting price than some single-motor rivals.

Subaru Solterra review

There are just two trim choices too – entry-level Limited (£49,995) and top-spec Touring (£52,995). Both seem to be almost identical mechanically, which means they share a 71.4kWh battery pack and two electric motors, producing a combined total of 215bhp and 249lb ft of torque – enough for 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds.

Significantly, Limited has a claimed range of 289 miles, while Touring tops out at 257 miles. The only obvious difference between the two is that the latter has 20-inch wheels (Limited has 18s) and Touring weighs 25kg more.

In other words, on paper it’s hard to justify the extra few thousand quid for a shorter range and a few spec upgrades such as an electric passenger seat, (synthetic) leather and a passenger door mirror that tilts when reversing.

As Subaru customers would expect, the 4×4 system is permanent, plus there’s an X-Mode button which helps you navigate tougher terrain such as deep mud, snow and steep, slippery slopes — all in a controlled, calm way.

Subaru Solterra review

We tried some light off-roading and the Downhill Assist Control, the speed of which can be adjusted via a simple switch on the steering wheel, is particularly effective.

What’s more, with a minimum ground clearance of 210mm, it can tackle trips some EV competitors can’t and it has a water-fording wading depth. It’s also worth noting that the Solterra has a towing capacity of just 750kg.

Inside, it’s not unlike Subarus of old in that it has a feel of functionality and durability, but it is a tad dark and drab.

Like its Japanese cousins, there’s the same unconventional layout for the driver. In other words, they share the same Peugeot-esque low steering wheel position and high instrument binnacle, plus centrally mounted 12.4-inch infotainment touchscreen.

Subaru Solterra review

That said, it is easy to get used to the driving position and the infotainment system works well.

There’s plenty of room for adults to sit comfortably in the rear, while the boot capacity is a useful 452 litres (441 litres in the Touring version). On the minus side, there’s no ‘frunk’ under the bonnet to store charging cables and no glovebox inside.

It’s well equipped too and, as Subaru owners will like the fact that it boasts the latest safety equipment, achieving a maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP.

All-round visibility is good, and if you need extra assurance, there’s a reversing camera and 360-degree surround-view monitor. Our only gripe is that there’s no rear wiper, which is OK in light rain, but a nuisance on filthy motorway journeys.

Subaru Solterra review

On the road the Subaru Solterra feels solid, composed and surprisingly agile for a relatively large, heavy car.

Push it on more challenging roads and body roll is kept to a minimum, there’s also plenty of grip and the steering turns in keenly.

There are three driving modes (Eco, Normal and Power). As ever, Eco dulls the driving experience, so it’s fine on motorway runs, but Normal is best for everyday tootling along, while Power is fun for overtaking.

Subaru Solterra review

Even though the 71.4kWh battery and two motors are on the modest side compared to some competitors, the Solterra seems to have plenty of poke.

Unlike some EVs, the brakes are fairly progressive, while brake regeneration can be adjusted via paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

One final thought. If you test drive a Solterra, choose a smooth stretch of road and listen out for noise. Our Touring spec test car wasn’t quite the whisper-quiet experience we’d hoped for. Harsh, when even a bit of wind noise is noticeable in an EV, but we’ve come to expect no more than a distant wine from those electric motors.

Subaru Solterra review

As for charging, it’s capable of delivering an 80% boost in as little as 30 minutes via its (average) 150kW fast-charging system. The same charge at home will take 7-8 hours. Our charging experience wasn’t ideal because the weather was cold, so we couldn’t match the 30-minute target time or get close to the advertised charge rate.

Perhaps more importantly, our Touring spec Solterra only gets a 257-mile range, which in real-world driving is closer to 200 miles, so not ideal. What’s more, if you switch on the heating, for example, the range takes another hit. As we said before, stick with entry-level Limited spec for those extra miles of range.

Looking in the small print, the Solterra is covered by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty (whichever is sooner). However, the bZ4X benefits from Toyota’s warranty which covers your vehicle for 10 years (up to 100,000 miles), provided your car is serviced by a Toyota dealer.

Subaru Solterra review

The Solterra’s electric SUV rivals include everything from the Tesla Model Y, Skoda Enyaq iV and Nissan Ariya to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

So, the Solterra isn’t perfect, but don’t be put off. We like it, and in fact, we’d say it just edges the bZ4X.

Verdict: The handsome Subaru Solterra SUV is a confident EV debut. It’s not without a few gripes, but overall it delivers an assured drive, it’s easy to live with, well equipped, safe and spacious.

Subaru UK

Subaru Solterra review

Kia Soul EV review

Kia Soul EV 2023

We road test the latest versions of the quirky Kia Soul EV – the long range Explore and Urban commuter…

It’s fair to say that the Kia Soul has always been something of a left-field choice.

Originally launched in 2008, it’s now in its third generation. Over the years the Soul’s divisive looks have been softened and it’s now more cool than weird.

However, it remains difficult to categorise its boxy design because it has elements of a hatchback and crossover.

Kia Soul EV 2023

One thing is for sure, there’s bags of head and legroom in the front and back. And while the boot isn’t the biggest (315 litres), with the rear seats flipped down the load space expands to 1,339 litres.

An electric version of the Soul has been available in the UK since 2014. Back then, it had a modest 27kWh battery pack with a claimed range of 132 miles.

The latest model (launched in 2020) is only available as an EV (no petrol, diesel or hybrid variants). New for 2023, there are now two models – Urban or Explore.

The main difference between the two is that the former has a small 39.2kWh battery pack, while Explore boasts a 64kWh battery. Claimed ranges are 171 miles and 280 miles respectively.

Kia Soul EV 2023

We drove them both over a couple of days and those range figures are realistic. In fact, in the right conditions with a bit of restraint, it may even be possible to squeeze more miles out of a Soul.

Priced from £32,845, Urban provides an entry-level EV for Kia. It’s also significantly cheaper than Explore, which starts at £39,045.

As well as the new battery options, the Soul has also received the lightest of exterior makeovers. From what we could see, the bold new Kia badge is now integrated into the horizonal trim linking the slim LED headlights and there’s also a new Kia logo on the boot, while the tail-light clusters appear to have a darker tint.

Kia Soul EV 2023

Except for an infotainment system update, it’s much the same inside as before. In other words, it’s a fairly generic old school Kia interior with a ‘black plastic’ look and feel, paired with a ‘traditional’ central infotainment screen and driver’s digital instrument binnacle.

We say ‘traditional’ because the Soul’s newer stablemates (the Sportage, Niro and EV6), all benefit from futuristic dual panoramic curved displays.

That’s not to say that the Soul’s infotainment system is poor, because it’s certainly not. It’s clear and responsive, but just lacks the wow factor of its younger siblings.

Kia Soul EV 2023

However, like the rest of its interior, it is starting to look a bit dated.

For the record, the Urban gets a small 8.0-inch touchscreen and a 7.0-inch driver’s digital cluster, while the Explore is treated to a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat nav.

Both the Urban and Explore models are generously equipped, with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), a reversing camera, lane-keep assist, LED headlights, a smart entry system and adaptive cruise control all standard. Explore adds goodies including black leather upholstery, heated front seats and heated steering wheel.

Kia Soul EV 2023

Under the bonnet the 39.2kWh battery pack is paired with a 134bhp electric motor, while the 64kWh version gets a 201bhp motor. Drive is through the front wheels on both models.

The latter is faster (0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, top speed of 104mph), compared to 9.9 sec/97mph for the Urban Soul.

On the road, there doesn’t seem to be much between the two in terms of acceleration because the less powerful Urban’s battery weighs 140kg less. In fact, on a loose or slippery surface, it’s possible to spin the Soul’s front wheels if you floor your right foot.

Kia Soul EV 2023

That said, there is a more noticeable difference when it comes to handling, because the lighter Urban feels slightly more agile.

Whichever version you choose, you’ll get a smooth, whisper-quiet EV experience, spiced up with a bit of instant torque.

For a relatively tall car, body roll is well controlled. And though the ride is on the firm side, it’s perfectly acceptable, while grip is good for a front-wheel drive car.

So, the Soul doesn’t deliver the most engaging drive, but it can have its fun moments.

Kia Soul EV 2023

There are four driving modes – Eco, Eco , Normal and Sport – and the latter is properly fast, but as ever, Normal will do just fine. Eco and Eco are heavy on regenerative braking, which recharges the battery by harvesting power otherwise wasted during deceleration, but tends to dull the further dulls the driving experience.

If you do stick with Normal, then use the paddles behind the steering wheel to adjust the level of brake regeneration, especially on downhill sections or when slowing down from speed for a junction.

Kia Soul EV 2023

Ultimately, the Soul EV is more about being affordable, a doddle to drive, well-equipped, comfortable and practical. Judged on that basis, it ticks all the right boxes.

Finally, the batteries on both versions can be charged from 10-80% in 47 minutes via a 100kW connection, while a 10-100% charge on a 7kW wallbox takes six hours – ideal for charging overnight at home or during the day at a workplace.

At the end of the day, if you like its looks, the Soul is very capable and an easy car to live with. Plus, it comes with peace of mind because like all Kia cars, it’s blessed with a generous seven-year warranty.

Verdict: The Kia Soul is a quirky family EV choice. Offering good value for money, it’s spacious, safe and well-equipped.

Kia UK