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Kia Picanto UK Pricing Revealed

2011 Kia Picanto

Earlier this year at the 81st edition of the Geneva Motor Show, the Korean automaker Kia revealed the new generation of its Picanto, a cute-looking supermini. Now, they’ve revealed the price list for the UK market where it will be available from a base price of 7,995 pounds.

The entry-level version, dubbed “1” is 11% more expensive in comparison to the model that it replaces, but I think that it is worth it, just by looking at the improved design. In addition, it comes as standard with 6 airbags and ESP. The model with the 1.0-liter engine emits only 99 g/km CO2, making it a lot cleaner than before and is zero-rated for tax. With an output of 68 hp, it is considerably more powerful than the old one.

Moving up the lineup, we find the “2” trim level that starts from 9,595 pounds, powered by the same 1.0-liter engine, but adds manual AC, electric windows and Bluetooth. The most expensive model is the “3” trim level, which costs 11,195 pounds and features a 1.25-liter engine that generates 84 hp and emits 109 g/km of CO2.

The three-door version of the Picanto is set to go on sale this October and it will become the most affordable one in the lineup. Kia announced that they will also launch several 3-door special editions as well as a sportier version.

Source: Kia via WhatCar.com

Top 10 Cheapest Cars Of This Year

If you live in North America and you are in the market for a very cheap car, here are the least expensive models that you can buy this year. All the prices are MSRP + destination charge:

01. Hyundai Accent GL – Starting From $10,705

Hyundai Accent GL

A little bit more expensive than the previous generation, but still the most affordable car you can buy, the Accent GL (formerly known as the Accent GS Base and Accent Blue) is what you would call a standard car. For the base model, you can forget about the AC system (another $1,000), power windows, automatic gearbox, radio, etc. If you want all of these, prepare to pay $13,415 for the Accent GS, but in this price range, you’ll find better cars. The Accent GL features a 110-hp engine and power steering. You need to know that in crash tests, it didn’t score so well and the safety equipment is quite limited.

02. Nissan Versa 1.6 – Starting From $10,740

Nissan Versa 1.6

If the Accent isn’t your cup of tea, maybe this Nissan Versa will do the trick. You get two more doors, more space inside the cabin and better resale value. The 2011MY comes as standard with door locks and power windows, but you don’t get a stereo or many options for the paintwork: only black, silver and blue. If you add AC, automatic gearbox and antilock brakes, the price tag jumps to less than $13,000. For $15,780, you can get the Versa 1.8 that comes with AC, stereo, cruise control and ESP.

03. Chevrolet Aveo LS Sedan – Starting From $12,685

Chevrolet Aveo LS Sedan

For the entry-level Aveo you’ll get AM/FM radio with MP3 player input jack, OnStar and AC. There are lots of colors to choose from and for $200 more, you can get the hatchback model. On the down side, the Aveo is not a very good car to drive, lacks safety equipment and if you add power windows and a CD player, the price jumps past the $15,000 mark and for that money, there are lots of cars to choose from.

04. Kia Rio Base Sedan – Starting From $12,990

Kia Rio Base Sedan

Just like the aforementioned Hyundai Accent GL and the Nissan Versa 1.6, it comes with a very short list of standard equipment. The engine is quite eager but the car’s non-power-assisted steering feels awful in the curves and you’ll have to work a lot while parking the car. The more expensive Rio LX ($15,690) comes with AC, ABS and a CD player. It does look better than the Accent and the Versa though, but not a very good car to drive.

05. Smart ForTwo Pure – Starting From $13,240

Smart ForTwo Pure

No AC, no power windows or mirrors, not even a stereo for the cheapest ForTwo. You do get automatic gearbox, ABS, ESC and side airbags. If you want the comfort features, prepare to pay another $2,000 for the ForTwo Passion.

06. Toyota Yaris 3-door Liftback – Starting From $13,615

Toyota Yaris 3-door Liftback

It offers a pretty good standard package that includes AC, ABS, ESP, along with an $800 optional automatic transmission. For $300 more, the 5-door version of the Yaris can be yours. It looks really good, it is easy to drive and thanks to its small size, you can squeeze it into small parking spaces.

07. Kia Soul Base – Starting From $13,995

Kia Soul Base

If you are in the market for a funky mini-wagon, the Kia Soul Base might be the solution for you. You’ll get as standard: power windows and locks, ABS, ESP and CD stereo with USB. You can choose from only three colors: black, white and silver. Under the hood there is a 1.6-liter engine that produces 122 hp and it can be mated only to a manual transmission. The car is pretty comfortable, safe and practical.

08. Ford Fiesta S Sedan – Starting From $13,995

Ford Fiesta S Sedan

Same price as the Kia Soul Base, and the latest model in this top. You get four doors, a pretty capable 120-hp engine, ESP, power steering, AM/FM + auxiliary input jack. The Fiesta is known as one of those cars that are very fun to drive and this S Sedan version is no exception. We recommend paying extra for the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.

09. Suzuki SX4 Sedan – Starting From $14,244

Suzuki SX4 Sedan

The entry-level SX4 Sedan is a pretty basic car as you don’t get an automatic gearbox, AC, stereo and the only color available is white. However, you do get ABS, power windows and locks and a pretty potent 2.0-liter engine that cranks out 150 hp. It features a pretty big back seat and is very fun to drive. The styling is also quite nice.

10. Nissan Cube 1.8 – Starting From $14,740

Nissan Cube 1.8

The Nissan Cube 1.8 comes with a lot of standard equipment: AC, CD player, ABS, ESP and power windows and locks. The design is pretty cool and you get a lot of space inside the cabin. While some of you will like its cutting-edge style, others will disapprove.

Outside of this top 10 we find the Mazda2 Sport, with an entry-level model that will set you back $14,795; Hyundai Elantra GLS ($15,625); Kia Forte LX ($15,690); Scion xD ($15,765); the Mitsubishi Lancer DE ($15,755); Honda Fit ($15,850); Mazda 3i SV ($16,595); Nissan Sentra 2.0 ($16,270); Honda Civic DX Coupe ($16,355) and the Volkswagen Jetta S ($16,765).

As you can see, there are a lot of cars to choose from if you are looking for something very affordable that will get you from point A to point B. If we were to choose a car from this top 10, it would have to be the recently introduced Ford Fiesta S Sedan as it offers plenty of standard equipment and it looks pretty good. Plus, it probably is the most fun to drive car in this price range.

Source: cars.about.com

Kia Optima Hybrid Gets $27,250 Price Tag

Kia Optima Hybrid

Remember the Kia Optima Hybrid? Well, it now has an official base price of $26,250. Revealed last year during the Los Angeles Auto Show, it is the sister model of Hyundai’s Sonata Hybrid and has the same hybrid powertrain. The car is expected to hit the U.S. dealerships in June and is going to be a little bit more expensive than the Sonata, which is priced from $25,795.

The hybrid configuration of the Optima features a modified Theta II 2.4-liter engine that runs on the Atkinson cycle, producing 166 hp and a peak torque of 151 lb.-ft. This 4-cylinder gasoline power unit is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox and an electric motor that generates 40 hp (30 kW) and 151 lb.-ft of torque. Running the car in hybrid mode, the combined power reaches 206 hp and 195.4 lb.-ft of torque. The hybrid package is completed by the lithium polymer batteries developed by LG Chem. The Korean automaker says that the car can return 35 mpg in the city and 40 mpg while on the highway.

The base model comes with a push-button start, dual-zone automatic temperature control (with rear vents), 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, Kia’s UVO-powered by Microsoft hands-free, infotainment and communication systems, along with 16-inch alloy rims.

The Hybrid Premium Technology Package will set you back another $5,000 and brings 17-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, driver’s seat memory, 4-way power adjustable front passenger’s seat, heated steering wheel and rear seats, heated & cooled front seats, auto dimming rear view mirror, a navigation system that sports a backup camera, 8-speaker Infinity sound system and HID headlamps with automatic leveling.

Source: Kia via Carscoop

Kia Soul Hamster Edition Revealed

Kia Soul Hamster Concept (SEMA 2010)

Kia will soon roll out a special “Hamster Edition” that celebrates the company’s popular “This or That” commercial. The model comes with black exterior graphics, a spoiler in the back and cool 18-inch alloy rims.

Kia Soul Hamster Concept (SEMA 2010)

The cabin gets a push-button ignition, black leather seats, automatic climate control and bespoke floor mats.

Kia Soul Hamster Concept (SEMA 2010)

No information about the price list, but we know that it will hit the U.S. dealerships later on this spring.

Kia Soul Hamster Concept (SEMA 2010)

PS: Who would ever buy such a thing? As if it wasn’t enough that the regular model is odd-looking…

Kia Soul Hamster Concept (SEMA 2010)

Source: Kia via Twitter via WCF

Kia Recalls 58,322 Spectra Models

Kia Spectra

Just about every car manufacturer out there has issued a recall for at least one of its models. However, not many of them (or better said, none) did this over fears that the fuel tank may fall off. Kia has issued a recall for 58,322 Spectra models (2004-2007MY, United States) built from November 7th, 2003, until March 6th, 2007. This recall concerns the cars sold or registered in the states that rely heavily on road salt for melting the ice during the wintertime.

Kia Spectra

Kia informed the NHTSA that there is a possibility that because of prolonged exposure to salt, the fuel tank straps that hold the tank may rust, and the tank might fall on the road, causing a fuel leak and in a worst case scenario, a fire.

Kia Spectra

The automaker said that these fuel tank straps will be replaced, and they will also attach new hardware with zinc-coated parts, free of charge. The safety recall will start this June.

Kia Spectra

PS: No wonder Kia’s motto is “The Power to Surprise”… Losing the gas tank of your car, now that’s what we call a surprise!

Kia Spectra

Source: Kia via Carscoop

Kia Rio Sedan Revealed In Shanghai

2012 Kia Rio Sedan

Based on the hatchback version launched last month at the Geneva Motor Show, the Korean automaker Kia has revealed the sedan model, which keeps the same front end with those big almond-shaped headlights, and adds a new window line plus a different look in the back. The cabin is virtually identical to the one we saw in Geneva, which means that it still is a little bit boring in comparison to the exterior look which is quite attractive and stylish.

2012 Kia Rio Sedan

In comparison to the previous generation Rio Sedan, the new one is longer, wider and lower, measuring 171.9 inches long, 67.7 inches wide and 57.3 inches high. The automaker said that thanks to the fact that they have used high-tensile-strength steel (63%), the new model offers an increased torsional stiffness for better handling capabilities, a higher ride quality and refinement, along with better results in crash tests and reduced weight.

2012 Kia Rio Sedan

For the North American market, the 2012 Kia Rio Sedan comes with a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter GDI engine that produces 135 hp and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The new model is expected to do 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway and will be available with the company’s start/stop ISG technology.

2012 Kia Rio Sedan

Source: Kia via Carscoop

2012 Kia Soul Announced

2012 Kia Soul

Featuring a couple of powertrain and technology improvements, the 2012 Kia Soul has been revealed this week, in the automaker’s attempt to improve the model’s place in the market, after three years into its sales run.

2012 Kia Soul

On the outside, we notice the new design of the projector headlamps that pack LED daytime running lights, along with an updated hood, front & rear bumpers, and the stylish LED tail lamps. Inside the cabin, Kia has added the new “UVO” in-car hands-free communication and infotainment system, as well as an upgraded audio system. A new Premium Package will be available, adding heated front seats, navigation system, automatic climate control and a leather seat trim.

2012 Kia Soul

The most significant modifications can be found in the engine range which has been updated, along with the introduction of new 6-speed gearboxes. The 2012MY Soul will be available with a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter GDI engine that produces 11% more power than before, being rated at 135 hp. This power unit is capable of returning 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, for both the manual and automatic transmission models.

2012 Kia Soul

Source: Kia via Carscoop

China-only Kia K2 Revealed

Kia K2

The Kia K2 is the Chinese version of the company’s Rio sedan model and will make an appearance this week at the Shanghai Auto Show. We don’t know if the regular model will look like this one as the K2 was designed and engineered by Kia exclusively for the Chinese market.

Kia K2

This sub-compact sedan features the same technical hardware as the new generation of the Rio hatchback that we saw last month during the 81st edition of the Geneva Motor Show. However, the K2 comes with a new design that borrows a couple of styling ideas from its bigger brother, the K5 sedan, which is in fact the Chinese version of the Optima.

Kia K2

The Kia K2 measures 4,370mm in length, 1,460mm in height and 1,700mm in width, making it longer, wider and lower in comparison to the old Rio. The Korean automaker said that the car has a cargo capacity of 500 liters. With a wheelbase of 2,570mm, there should be enough space inside for four passengers.

Kia K2

The model is going to be available in six trim levels with two engine choices: an entry-level 1.4-liter and a more powerful 1.6-liter Gamma gasoline engine, both mated to either a manual or an automatic gearbox.

 

Kia’s new sub-compact sedan will go into production this June at the Dongfeng Yueda manufacturing facility in Jiangsu province in China.

 

Source: Kia via Carscoop

2012MY Kia Soul, Heading To The NY Auto Show

A newsletter sent out by the organizers of this year’s New York Auto Show says that the Korean automaker Kia will bring to the event the facelift version of the funky Soul hatchback. Aside from an updated front look that will feature LED running lamps, the car will also get some powertrain updates for the upcoming model.

The most important modification would have to be the new 6-speed gearbox, both in its manual and automatic versions. Kia says that the Soul will be able to do 35 mpg on the highway, which is considerably more than the current model that can do 24/30 mpg city/highway, the one fitted with the 2.0-liter engine, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

Another car at Kia’s venue in NY will be the 2012 Rio, a model that will feature a brand new direct-injection technology and excellent fuel economy ratings of more than 40 mpg. More details will be revealed next week. Stay tuned.

Source: New York Auto Show via AutoBlog | Photo: CarPix

2011MY Kia Sorento & Older Subaru Impreza Models, Under NHTSA Investigation

2011 Kia Sorento

The NHTSA has initiated an investigation regarding the 2011MY Kia Sorento for possible driveshaft failure that results in a sudden loss of power. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that there have been four complaints regarding the intermediate driveshaft and another five about power loss due to a transmission failure that might be related to a driveshaft problem. This investigation will look into about 50,000 units of the Korean CUV.

In addition, it seems that some of the 2002-2003 Subaru Impreza models have problems regarding corroded lower control arms. The Detroit News says that there have been seven complaints stating that the control arms on the Impreza can break at more than 50 mph, two of them saying that due to this issue, their cars went out of control. This investigation affects 84,000 Imprezas.

Source: The Detroit News via AutoBlog

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Kia Pro Cee’d Facelift, Gets Some Luxury Touches In UK

Kia Pro Cee'd Facelift

For the UK market, the Korean automaker Kia has launched a new high-grade version of the Pro Cee’d (facelift version). Dubbed “4”, it comes as standard with 17-inch alloy rims, black bezel headlights and a privacy glass. The car is powered by the latest version of the company’s 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine that outputs 126 hp, which is 13 hp more than the previous generation of the engine. It can do the 0-60 mph sprint in about 10 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 122 mph (196 km/h).
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Kia Working On Golf GTI Competitor

2008 Kia Pro Cee'd

Kia’s next step in conquering the mainstream European brands is to launch a hot-hatch that will rival the VW Golf GTI. The automaker’s management told Autocar that a high-performance model is in the works. Most likely, the foundation of this new car will be based on the next-generation three-door Cee’d (aka Pro Cee’d), whose appearance will probably be influenced by the Koup concept, which is a 2-door fastback cope that was revealed in 2008 at the New York Auto Show.
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Seoul Motor Show – Kia Naimo EV Concept

Kia Naimo EV Concept

This year’s edition of the Seoul Motor Show is turning out to be quite interesting. Another concept revealed this week is this Kia Naimo EV. I must say that they couldn’t have picked a better name for the car – Naimo (is Korean for “square”). This B-segment concept looks really cool as it has no B-pillars, and the rear doors have a funky clamshell-style opening style. The Naimo rolls on big 20-inch rims, wrapped around in low-rolling-resistance tires.
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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Delayed > Kia Optima Hybrid Delayed

Kia Optima Hybrid

The hybrid version of the Hyundai Sonata was supposed to hit the dealerships in the last month of 2010, but the automaker postponed its launch in order to do some engineering change to boost safety. When the car manufacturer found that that Obama planned to sign a bill that would ban a switch meant to disable a noisemaker that was created for warning blind pedestrians, Hyundai decided to remove this switch. This move delayed the car’s launch from December to late this month.
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2012 Kia Rio Sedan, Heading To NY Auto Show

2012 Kia Rio Hatchback

I must say that I’m a big fan of the new Kia Rio and I’m really looking forward to see the sedan version of this model. According to Autoblog, Kia will bring the car at the upcoming New York Auto Show, joining its hatchback sibling that was unveiled at the beginning of last month during the 81st edition of the Geneva Motor Show.
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