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Kia’s Big Year – Paris Motor Show 2012


At the Paris Motor Show last month, Kia stunned fans and industry experts alike with their all new range. The South Korean car manufacturer this year has exploded into the family car segment with the launch of a fleet of glimmering new vehicles.  These include the funky yet practical Pro_Cee’d, the award-winningly efficient Optima Hybrid, the more-than-meets-the-eye MPV Carens and the super Sorento SUV.  These new vehicles follow the recent successful launches of the 2012 Kia Cee’d and new Kia Cee’d SW, with the manufacturer continuing to grow in a shrinking European economy.

A car amongst the best in its class, the Kia Pro_cee’d combines style with practicality. Featuring a more swooping roofline, an enhanced tailgate and slimmer rear lights, the pro_cee’d has a sportier look and tons of street presence. Available with the same engine choice as the Cee’d, drivers can choose from 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol engines, or between two 1.6-litre diesel engines, with a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol on the way for the pro_cee’d  hot hatch next summer. Inside, tilt and telescopic settings for the steering wheel ensure the driver is comfortable, while other handy features include 60:40 split folding 2nd row seats, vast luggage storage space and an in-built trip computer.

The Optima Hybrid is no ordinary hybrid – it’s recently named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most efficient car ever after achieving a stunning 64.5mpg on a journey across the USA. It is powered by a parallel hybrid system, enabling the four-door to operate on its electric motor, petrol engine or a combination of the two. The 30 kW lithium battery takes up limited boot space while powering a 40 horsepower, 151 lb-ft. of torque electric motor that mates to a six-speed automatic transmission tried and tested from the Kia Sorrento. A 2.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine rounds out the package, which combined puts out 206bhp and 195lb/ft of torque.

Kia’s all-new Carens may be a mid-sized MPV, but there is nothing ‘mid’ about it. This great MPV puts safety and comfort first, followed closely by practicality too – with such a large boot space as standard, there’s space for all your luggage. Featuring a stylish new chrome front grille, body coloured bumpers and alloy wheels, the Carens has real road presence. There’s a great choice of petrol or diesel engines, mated to either automatic or manual transmission. The Kia Carens is equipped with CD audio and MP3 disc compatibility that is easily controlled by steering-wheel mounted audio controls.  What’s more, with a 6-speaker sound system the Kia Carens is anything but middle of the road.
The 2013 Sorento SUV is a five-door, seven-passenger vehicle, available with a standard 2.4-litre, I4, 175bhp engine or a 3.5-litre, V6, 276bhp engine both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Available options include an UVO infotainment system and a “Convenience Plus” package with an eight-way power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a first aid kit. On the EX trim model, leather seats are standard along with dual-zone automatic climate control. The top-of-the-line SX model adds climate controlled front seats, stainless steel pedals, and illuminated door sills.

Having just entered the ranks of “Top 100 Best Global Brands”, and with expectations set at 20 percent growth in Europe this year, Kia is certainly a marque on the way up. With this is mind, the brand has much planned for the coming years as it continues its expansion within the European market. Perhaps most excitingly of all, the manufacturer has announced a Kia Soul Electric is in the pipeline for 2014 – and destined for Europe. An electric Soul would give cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and the Mitsubishi I a run for their money in the electric car segment.

To find out more about Kia’s latest vehicles at Essex Auto Group, check out the new Kia cars for sale on their website.  Just fill out an enquiry form to ensure you’re one of the first to hear about these exciting new cars.


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