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Kia Australia admits 2012 will be “pretty quiet” year for the brand, with no major new product launches planned. There are some noteworthy updates or variant additions, however, which you can read about below.

Kia’s local branch is still pursuing the sub-light Picanto with head office in South Korea, but admits at this stage it is looking unlikely to reach our shores in 2012. The Cerato small car is not due for an update until early in 2013, while popular models like the Carnival and Sportage will continue unchanged for the foreseeable future.

 

KIA OPTIMA

Vehicle type: Medium car. Timing: January

Kia’s striking medium sedan becomes significantly more accessible in 2012 with the introduction of the entry-level Optima Si. Priced from $30,490, it’s $6500 cheaper than the Platinum (previously the only variant available in Australia). Compared with the Platinum, the Si gets smaller front brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels (instead of 18s), cloth trim (instead of leather), six-way power driver’s seat (instead of eight-way with memory), and a chrome grille (instead of two-tone black chrome). Additionally, it misses out on HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, static cornering lamps, LED taillights and rear fog lamps, sports bumpers, rear lips spoiler, smart key with push-button start, wood trim, four-way power passenger’s seat, front seat heaters, alloy pedals and scuff plates, mood lamps, panoramic sunroof, colour TFT instrument cluster screen, six CD changer, and the premium sound system with subwoofer.

 

KIA RIO

Vehicle type: Light car. Timing: February

The three-door hatch and four-door sedan body styles will join the acclaimed Rio five-door early in the New Year. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we expect the sedan to match the five-door and the three-door to be at least $1000 cheaper, potentially with a $14,990 starting price. Kia is yet to confirm if the new body styles will be offered in all three trim levels – S, Si and SLi – or a selection of those. Expect equipment levels to be equivalent across all three body styles.

 

KIA SORENTO

Vehicle type: Medium SUV. Timing: August

 

Kia’s largest SUV will benefit from a revised chassis and a mild facelift during the third quarter of 2012 (2011 model pictured). Kia Australia says the Sorento’s suspension will be tweaked to improve it on-road behaviour and ride characteristics. The engines and transmissions will carry over unchanged, and prices are expected to remain similar to their current levels.


  • Mr Gaspo

    A wagon version of the Optima with 7 seats would be nice or a Kia version of the i40 wagon.

    • Labryz

      Totally agree.
      Also a diesel engine would make things interesting.

  • Aus_poppa

    Optima is available in the UK with a 1.7 Diesel – no doubt the same engine as Hyundai I-40, so there should be no difficulty in adding a diesel to the range here. Mind you, the Rio is available in the UK as a diesel also, and I believe that these cars are sourced from the Korean Plant, so easily obtainable by Kia Australia.

    • Labryz

      I didn’t know that. It definitely should be bought here. Although I would prefer a larger diesel tbh. I think the one in the i40 is too small. 

      The 2.0 out of the ix35/Sportage would be much better.

    • MisterZed

      I’m actually very surprised that the Optima is even sold in the UK, as large sedans (especially asian ones) are not at all popular there.  The 7 year warranty does sound good, though.

  • Guest

    I thought a new Kia Forte/Cerato would on the cards? or maybe 2012 oversease but 2013 here?

    ties in with the new i30 and the Forte is probably overdue for an update.

  • Ggg

    Can we have a real 4WD option please to replace the old Sorento & Terracan?  Low range, live axle etc

    Plenty of Prado’s and Hilux’s get sold every month and we’re missing an affordable, dependable & capable off-roader.  

  • Bazza

    What happened to the Rio SLs / Platinum plans?