The first Kia product to be sold in the United States was the 1987 Kia Pride, albeit wearing a Ford badge. The 1987 Ford Festiva was in fact a 1987 Kia Pride, which in turn was a Mazda product in disguise. Seven years later when the Pride was reworked, it came to the U.S again, this time as the Ford Aspire.
To support marketing cars under its own name, the company founded Kia Motors America in 1992. The 1994 Kia Sephia then became the first Kia automobile to be sold in the United States branded under its own name. The so-called cute-ute Kia Sportage compact sport utility vehicle followed in 1995.
Now a member of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, the brand has undergone a concerted effort to improve Kia automobiles on every front. This has resulted in greatly improved reliability, stunning new designs, and a brand new factory in the United States. Identifying design as its "core future growth engine", the company hired former Audi design head Peter Schreyer as its chief design officer.
Schreyer infused Kia’s product portfolio with crisp, European-looking designs any premium manufacturer would be proud to park in its dealer’s showrooms. The sleek lines and elegant details Schreyer brought to Kia vehicles have resulted in one eye-catching model after another from the brand that gave the world frumpiness on wheels in the form of that first Kia Sephia.
In addition to styling, Autobytel’s Kia reviews consider the engines, interior treatments, safety equipment and driving experience of new Kia cars. Our panel of auto reviewers makes a concerted effort to ensure your purchase decisions are as accurately informed as possible with these Kia reviews.