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.”

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Kia EV9 crowned ‘UK Car of the Year 2024’

Gareth Herincx

1 hour ago
Auto News

Kia EV9 review

Kia’s flagship EV9 SUV has triumphed at the UK Car of the Year Awards, winning the overall title and the ‘Large Crossover’ category.

Celebrating the best new vehicles available to UK customers today across eight categories, the UK Car of the Year jury is made up of 30 journalists working across the UK on automotive, business and tech publications. Eligible cars for the awards must have been launched within the past 12 months.

Judges praised the EV9 for several factors, including its innate practicality, modern design, and long electric driving range.

“The uberpractical Kia EV9 could be the vehicle that gets more drivers out of their petrol or diesel car than any other model,” said John Challen, co-chairman of the UK Car of the Year Awards.

“Seven seats, loaded with technology, premium quality and enough miles from the battery to cure almost every case of range anxiety – plus it’s fantastic to drive, too.

“The fact that nearly half of our judging panel chose the Kia as the UK Car of the Year 2024 is a massive vote of confidence in what is a seriously impressive and hugely appealing car.”

The streamlined Hyundai Ioniq 6 took the runner-up spot, while the final podium place went to Volvo’s EX30.

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Kia EV9 review

Kia EV9 review

We road test the Kia EV9 – the stellar South Korean brand’s all-new, all-electric flagship SUV

With its concept car looks, long range and effortless drive, the Kia EV9 is quite the statement.

About the same size as a BMW X5, it’s available as a six or seven-seater – the former sporting swivelling middle-row seats.

Kia EV9 review

Priced from £65,025, it’s expensive for a Kia, but you sure get big bang for your bucks. The big question is – will it tempt buyers away from prestige EV rivals from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz?

First impressions couldn’t be better. It’s an epic car with a bold, boxy design that focuses on maximising interior space and passenger comfort. And despite its size, the EV9 looks much better in the metal than it does in pictures.

Previewing Kia’s future design direction, the combination of a long wheelbase and completely flat floor creates generous space for all in the three rows of seats.

Kia EV9 review

And even with all the seats occupied, there’s still 333 litres of cargo space – expanding to a superb 828 litres with the third-row seats flipped, or an enormous 2,320 litres with the second and third-row seats folded down.

The Kia EV9 is equally impressive on a technical level. All models in the range come with a large 99.8kWh battery, and there are two electric motor options.

First up is the 201bhp Single Motor model that powers the rear wheels. Or step up to the Dual Motor all-wheel drive EV9, which has 378bhp and a massive 516lb ft of torque. If economy trumps performance on your tick-list, then the former delivers a claimed 349 miles of range, while the flagship model still offers a respectable 313 miles.

Kia EV9 review

Or to put it another way, the Single Motor can sprint from 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds (19-inch wheels), while the more potent model takes just 5.3 seconds (21-inch wheels).

Ultra-fast charging is standard, meaning 154 miles can be added in just 15 minutes. Or to put it another way, a 10-80% charge will take as little as 24 minutes via a 350kW connection. Naturally, it will also charge overnight at home, if you have a wallbox.

The Kia EV9 is generously equipped too, with a three-screen dash layout combining a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch driver’s display and a 5.3-inch touchscreen for the climate controls. With a few physical buttons thrown in too, it’s as logical and slick as ever – just what we’ve come to expect from Kia.

Kia EV9 review

There’s also wireless phone charging, Apple and Android connectivity, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone air conditioning, LED lights all round, a 360-degree camera system, V2L charging, a power tailgate and a three-pin socket in the boot.

I haven’t even mentioned the long list of safety and driver assistance tech which helped to earn the EV9 a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating, or the regenerative braking which is easily adjusted via paddles behind the steering wheel.

The overall build quality is hard to fault, while the interior materials (many of which are recycled) are just the job, though there’s still some way to go for Kia to be challenging the plush interiors of the big German premium brands.

Kia EV9 review

Once you’ve ‘stepped into’ the cabin, it instantly feels spacious and comfortable, with excellent visibility. You don’t feel perched, like some electric SUVs, and there’s plenty of seat adjustment.

I drove the Dual Motor EV9 in GT-Line S spec on a variety of roads around Aberdeen, Inverness and into the Scottish Highlands.

To say progress was relaxed and effortless would be an understatement. It feels big, especially in town and on narrower country roads, but for the most part it’s not an issue and it simply cruises silently along (wind and road noise are hardly noticeable). Ride quality is impressive and the steering is light-yet-accurate.

Gareth Herincx - Kia EV9

Despite its bulk, it manages to stay surprisingly flat in more challenging corners, but it would be an exaggeration to call it nimble. Helped by a low centre of gravity, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a 2.6 tonne car.

As you’d except from the AWD system, traction levels are superb. I didn’t get to try the EV9 off-road, but in addition to the steering wheel-activated Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, there’s also a terrain mode button, giving the options of Mud, Snow and Sand.

There’s no shortage of power either, but if longer range is more important to you, it might be worth going for the Single Motor model.

Kia EV9 review

Freezing conditions probably didn’t help, but after a couple of days with the AWD EV9, average energy consumption was 2.5 miles/kWh, which is a tad disappointing. Nevertheless, that still equates to a tidy real-world range in the late 200s (more in an urban environment), and I’d hope the RWD version would be able to return around 300 miles.

Finally, a quick word about the seating. If you choose the seven-seater (it’s one of the few such EVs on the market), the third row is useable for adults (I managed perfectly well and I’m 5’11”) – partly because the second-row bench can slide back and forth.

Kia EV9 review

And the two individual ‘captain’s chair’ seats, which swivel and recline in the six-seater version, are a great gimmick, and certainly add to the car’s wow factor.

Verdict: The cool Kia EV9 is as impressive as it’s big. A statement car if ever there was one, this striking SUV is competitively-priced, spacious and safe; delivering an effortless drive and useable real-world range.

Kia UK

Kia EV9 review

Celebrating 30 years of the Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage - five generations

We head off for a trip down memory lane, taking all five generations of the Kia Sportage for a spin…

Originally launched in 1993, the Kia Sportage has been the backbone of the South Korean brand’s remarkable success story.

The popular family-sized SUV’s evolution perfectly reflects the manufacturer’s rapid rise since its single-model debut in 1991.

Just to put that into context – in year one the little Kia Pride achieved 1,786 sales. In 2022, Kia passed the important milestone of 100,000 sales per year, and 2023 is on track to be even better.

Kia Sportage 1 and 5
Kia Sportage: First and fifth generations

Over that time, Kia has developed a solid reputation for quality, reliability, design flair and innovation.

What’s more, the brand has become a driving force in the switch to electrification with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100% electric models in its line-up.

To mark the Sportage’s 30th birthday, Kia gave us the opportunity to sample all five generations. A fascinating day driving the models back-to-back, and here’s what we thought…

Kia Sportage - first generation

First generation (1993-2003)

UK sales: 10,897

The Kia Sportage was first launched in the Asian car market in 1993, reaching the UK in 1995. The example from the Kia heritage fleet we drove is a special edition all-wheel drive 2.0-litre XSE from its final year of production. It may look boxy and dated, but it’s surprisingly spacious and refined. Yes, the handling is wallowy, the gear change is a tad notchy and the seating position is particularly high in the rear, but it’s powerful enough and compares well with a Toyota RAV4 of the same vintage.

Kia Sportage - second generation

Second generation (2005-10)

UK sales: 23,371

Following a two-year break, the Sportage returned in 2005. Bigger and more grown-up, it featured mod cons such as central locking, adjustable wing mirrors and a CD player. Gaining a reputation for reliability over its production run, there was also extra space in the rear, a noticeable uplift in quality and a more composed feel on the road. The Sportage was going places. The heritage model we sampled was an XE 2.0-litre diesel (CRDi) all-wheel drive from 2007 – the year production of the Sportage moved from South Korea to Zilina, Slovakia, where the Sportage is still built today.

Kia Sportage - third generation

Third generation (2010-16)

UK sales: 95,626

With another big leap in quality, the Sportage bulked up and became a major player in the SUV market. Little quirks were finally ironed out (the indicator moved from the right to the left-hand side of the steering wheel), there was yet more space in the back for passengers, and it picked up a prestigious 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating. More comfortable than ever, modern touches include a USB port and a remote key fob, no less. The KX-3 AWD we drove dated from 2011, and though the 2.0-litre petrol engine lacked some of the punch of the diesel from the previous generation, the car itself handles well and has stood the test of time well and is still a solid second-hand SUV choice.

Kia Sportage - fourth generation

Fourth generation (2016-22)

UK sales: 197,547

Kia hit the jackpot with the curvaceous fourth-generation Sportage, which is still a cracking car. Surprisingly dynamic to drive for an SUV, it was also comfortable and spacious. The first Sportage to be offered with an electrified option (a mild hybrid model joined the petrol and diesel options in 2018), the Mk4 is so good that it could still be on sale today. In fact, the only age giveaways are the manual handbrake, the modest infotainment screen and a liberal dose of buttons and dials.

Kia Sportage - fifth generation

Fifth generation (2022-)

The best just got better. The latest version of the Sportage was launched in 2022, delivering a winning blend of striking looks, hi-tech interior, practicality, top safety features, driving engagement and big bang for your bucks. Crowned What Car? ‘Best Family SUV’, it’s available as a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), Hybrid Electric (HEV) and Mild Hybrid (MHEV). In PHEV form it has a theoretical fuel economy of 252mpg, and an emissions-free EV driving range of up to 43 miles. And as ever, the Sportage offers peace of mind because it’s backed by Kia generous seven-year warranty.

So, Kia has now established itself as one of the top five car brands in the UK – a brilliant feat in just three decades. In fact, since its 1991 debut, it’s sold some 1.5 million cars in the UK alone.

And in July 2023, Kia UK reached the 50,000 EV sales milestone, an important step in its journey to having nine EVs by 2027.

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.”