Kia Australia’s sales have dropped 6.1 per cent this year, but the company has a number of new models that should see it bounce back in 2015.
Kia Rio update - January
Kicking it off will be the updated Rio range, with the S and Si variants rolling off the boats before the end of 2014 and the better-equipped SL and SLS arriving by the end of January. It’s a minor update with front/rear styling tweaks and some new cabin materials.
Kia Carnival - February
In February, the new Carnival people-mover arrives, replacing the aged outgoing model that for years reigned as Australia’s top-selling people-mover.
It’s a completely new design both inside and out, and will give the Korean a good chance to return serve against the new Honda Odyssey. Australia will get the eight-seat configuration with a choice of 2.2-litre turbo-diesel or 3.3-litre GDi V6 petrol engines.
Kia Sorento - April
This new-look Sorento also uses 2.2-litre turbo-diesel or 3.3-litre GDi V6 petrol engines, a more upmarket design inside and out and comes with the promise of improved NVH levels.
While European-spec versions will be offered with five or seven seats, all Australian-delivered models will have a 5+2 layout as standard.
Kia Picanto - Q3
Around September or October, the Kia Picanto micro car is expected to arrive here and create a new $13K-$14K range entry point below the larger Rio.
The local launch will introduce the forthcoming mid-life updated model and will be sourced from South Korea. Kia has been tossing up whether to launch the car or not for some time, but we understand it’s now almost got the go-ahead.
New Optima - Q4/2016
Potentially squeezing in right at the end of 2015, but more likely at the start of 2016, will be the all-new Optima mid-sizer.
As we have reported this model is expected to remain true to the current car in terms of its design, but is expected to bring with it a wealth of technical changes including a high-tech diesel hybrid drivetrain, a wagon body style and new turbo models for Australia.