The name Kia is derived from the Korean and Chinese word “ki” meaning to rise and “a” for Asian.

Kia was founded on June 9 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts, eventually producing Korea’s first domestic bicycle, the Samchully, in 1951. In 1952 Kyungsung Precision Industry changed its name to Kia Industries and later built Honda-licensed small motorcycles (starting in 1957) and Mazda licensed trucks and cars. Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997, during the Asian financial crisis, and in 1998 reached an agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to diversify by exchanging ownership between the two companies. Hyundai Motor Company acquired 51% of the company, outbidding Ford. 



Kia Picanto
The Kia Picanto is a small city car, it’s perfectly spacious in the front and its smart – if slightly gloomy – dashboard is laid out sensibly so everything’s easy to use. From 3-spec models and up you get an 8-inch infotainment screen, Kia’s menus are simple enough to navigate and the system isn’t sluggish, plus you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can use your smartphone’s apps on the Kia’s big screen. All models get five doors as standard so access to the back seats is good, although anyone approaching six-foot tall will feel cramped. The same goes for the Kia Picanto’s boot, which at 255 litres, is big enough for a few bags of shopping but not much else. The engine is a 66bhp 1.0 litre petrol without a turbo available with a manual or automatic gearbox, economy is a claimed 58.9 mpg or 54.3 as an auto. Prices start from £58.50 per week, you keep £12.50 per week and even the top trim X-Line S Auto is £60.50 per week.



Kia Rio

The Kia Rio is very easy to drive, with light, smooth controls. Around town it’s good for the most part, but the suspension does have a tendency to thump over potholes. Fortunately, things get smoother and more comfortable at higher speeds with refinement good on the motorway. The Ford Fiesta sized rival has a 325 litre boot and offers excellent value, although there are only manual gearbox cars available, the pick is the 1.0 petrol 48v mild hybrid offering 118 brake horse power and claimed economy of 51.4 miles per gallon. The GT-Line S trim really makes the car come alive, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED rear fog lights, cube-style front LED fog lights and privacy glass. Inside an eight-inch touchscreen, heated front seats and steering wheel, automatic air conditioning and keyless start/stop. Priced at Nil Advance Payment it is certainly worth adding to a short list.



Kia Niro

The 2022 Kia Niro is a compact SUV, similar in size to a Nissan Qashqai, but sitting a little lower, it is 45mm longer (20mm contributed by the wheelbase) and 20mm wider than the previous version and has a modern, stylish design. The Niro has ample room for four adults, the front seats provide plenty of side bolstering and are firm enough for longer journeys. The 451 litre boot is uniform in shape and has a height-adjustable floor as standard, as well as a foldable parcel shelf that takes up very little space when not in use. The only power train available this quarter is the 68kWh electric car paired to a 150kW motor, offering an equivalent 198 bhp and a claimed range of 285 miles.  Performance is excellent, 0-62 mph in 7.8 seconds and a limited top speed of 104 mph. Charging is up to 80kw DC so a 10-80 % charge can be obtained in 41 minutes and 7.4kW charging from empty to full takes 10 hours 30 minutes. Three trim lines, 2, 3 and 4,  ‘2’ has rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, DAB digital radio and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. ‘3’ offers 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a heated steering wheel and faux leather heated seats with adjustable driver lumbar support. ‘4’ trim adds a heads-up display, dual 10.25-inch screens, heated rear seats and cooled front seats. Prices are £2999 Advance Payment for trim 3, £3999 for trim 3 and £4999 for trim 4.



Kia Stonic 

The Sonic is comparable in size to a Seat Arona or Volkswagen T-Cross, the 352 litre boot is down on the 400 litres offered in the Arona and generally the Stonic is a little more cramped, there are some lovely two tone offerings however and the drive is smooth and visibility good. Two 1.0 litre petrol engines are on offer, the 99bhp is adequate and is available as a manual or automatic offering up to 51.4 miles per gallon. Our choice is the GT-Line S only 118bhp which comes with 48v mild hybrid assistance and adds a little extra ‘pep’ that is welcomed (0-62 mph is 10.4 seconds), economy is an excellent 50.4 miles per gallon. Prices for the Stonic start at £63.50 per week, you keep 8.50 per week of your award) for the manual car in 2 trim which is excellent value (lessso at £71 per week as an Auto) however we feel the 118 bhp version is worth the additional outlay of £199 Advance Payment as a manual or £299 AP as an Automatic.



Kia Ceed

The Kia Ceed, now in its third incarnation, is a five door hatchback and estate, called a Sportswagon (SW).  The seats are supportive and there’s more than enough adjustment for tall drivers to get comfy in the front seats. There’s plenty of room for adults in the back and the 395-litre boot is larger than a Volkswagen Golf.  ‘3’ trim has tinted windows, 17-inch alloy wheels and partial faux leather seats with electric lumbar adjustment for the driver, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and dual-zone air conditioning. GT Line cars have 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, heated front seats and steering wheel, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, a reversing camera and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.  The sole engine this quarter (Q2 2023) is a 1.5 litre petrol offering 158 brake horse power only paired to a six speed manual gearbox, economy is a claimed 49.6 miles per gallon. Only three cars are available, the hatchback in ‘3’  trim at £699 Advance Payment or  GT-Line trim at £1499 Advance Payment and an estate in ‘3’ trim only at £1799 Advance Payment.



Kia Pro Ceed

The sleek Pro Ceed offers kerb appeal in abundance, the sloping lines and sporty GT -Line trim are a perfect match, which is the sole version available on the Scheme. The 1.5 petrol engine offers power to match the style, 158 bhp will see you to 62 miles per hour from standstill in only 8.5 seconds and return a claimed 48.7 miles per gallon, sadly only on the Scheme with a manual gearbox. The 594 litres boot includes several storage compartments concealed underneath the boot floor, perfect for hiding things away. GT-Line trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, dual zone climate control and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. The single car is priced at £1799 Advance Payment and is well worth adding to your shortlist if you are after a sporty estate.



Kia X-Ceed

The X-Ceed is a compact SUV version of the ceed, it sits very low for an SUV and offers similar dimensions to a Ford Focus, upgraded for 2023 the X-Ceed offers addition styling enhancements and a higher lever of internal equipment. Two powertrains are on offer, a manual only 1.5 litre petrol offering 158bhp and a claimed economy of 44.8 miles per gallon and an automatic Plugin Hybrid that pairs a 8.9 kWh lithium-ion battery to a 1.6 litre petrol engine for 139 bhp combined power output, with a claimed electric only range of 36 miles the downsides are the petrol tank decreases in size form 50 litres to 37 litres the boot also shrinks from 426 to 291 litres and given the price of £4199 Advance Payment in ‘3’ trim the PHEV is difficult to recommend. The petrol car is priced more competitively at £Nil Advance Payment in ‘2’ trim, £699 AP in GT Line, £1199 in ‘3’ trim and £2199 in GT Line S.



Kia Soul

The Electric only Kia Soul received an upgrade in 2022, with new trim lines Urban and Explore, the 64kWh battery paired to the 150kW power train remains and the Soul offers excellent height and internal space, while the boot is only 315 litres, it orders easy access. Range is an excellent 280 miles and fast charging is at a rate of 77kW DC. Urban trim has 17-inch alloy wheels and full LED headlights on the outside, while inside there’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen display and integrated reversing camera. Assistance kit includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidance and lane keep assist. Top Explore trim increases the size of the touchscreen to 10.25 inches and adds sat nav, while the fabric seats are upgraded to black leather, other goodies include a heated steering wheel. Priced at a competitive £2499 Advance Payment in Urban and £2999 AP in Explore.



Kia Sportage

The ultra-modern look of the Kia Sportage helps it stand out from the family SUV crowd, the Sportage has been improved in all the right areas – there’s more passenger room, a bigger, 591 litre, boot and a stunning infotainment system. The Sportage doesn’t provide that much entertainment out on the road, but then that’s missing the point; comfort and refinement are excellent. The sole engine to the Scheme presently is a 1.6 litre petrol, only with a six speed manual gearbox, offering 148 brake horse power that can hit 62 mph from standstill in 9.9 seconds, claimed economy is a lowly 42.2 miles per gallon. Entry level ‘2’ trim has a 4.2 inch Display with an 8 inch touchscreen, LED Headlamps and daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) – City/Pedestrian/Cyclist/Junction, auto temperature control and a leather trimmed steering wheel. GT-Line adds 19-inch alloys, dual exhausts, front parking sensors and ‘ice cube’ fog lights. Inside, you’ll find a sports flat-bottomed steering wheel with perforated leather and a 12.3 inch touchscreen. Three cars are available this quarter, the 1.6 litre petrol manual in “2′ trim at £499 Advance Payment, the ‘3’ trim at £1199 AP and the GT-Line at £1399 AP.