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QOTD: What’s Missing From Kia’s Portfolio?

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2018 Kia Stinger - Image: Kia

Company cousins Hyundai and Kia are an fascinating pair, as neither division appears content material to emulate the opposite. It appears odd at first, given how intently matched each manufacturers are in function and fame, however badge engineering fell out of favor way back.

These aren’t the stereotypical twins you possibly can’t inform aside with out asking to see a birthmark. Kia fields a big entrance-drive sedan above the midsize class, and a premium rear-drive sedan above that. Hyundai is content material to have its new Genesis model deal with all luxurious huge car exercise. Kia sells a minivan, Hyundai’s brief-lived Entourage is a fading reminiscence. Kia presents a cool neo-ute, the Soul, and a devoted hybrid type-of crossover, the Niro; Hyundai’s utility secure performs by the principles. The Hyundai Elantra GT hatch, based mostly on the abroad i30, doesn’t have a doppelgänger within the Kia ranks, nor does the Kia Stinger have a double within the Hyundai showroom (that’s Genesis’ duty).

As we discovered from Kia’s VP of product planning yesterday, there are some issues the model gained’t copy from its Hyundai Motor Group companion. Which begs the query: what’s one thing Kia ought to be doing, however isn’t?

From a income perspective, the apparent reply includes one thing giant and utilitarian. That’s what consumers need nowadays. Nicely, Kia appears to have that coated, because the idea Telluride SUV is all however confirmed for manufacturing.

A pickup looks like an excessive amount of of a longshot, as even Nissan and Toyota have hassle breaking into the full-size pickup phase. As for midsizers, the phase’s potential stays an unknown, and the addition of Ford’s returning Ranger would make a Kia truck — even a worth-packed one — a troublesome promote. Let Hyundai chase that dream.

Via the model’s new design language and the introduction of the Stinger, Kia needs to domesticate a brand new id because the sportier model within the Hyundai Motor Group fold. If it’s sportiness Kia needs, why not supply a small sports activities car? Why ought to Mazda have all of the low-value, two-seat enjoyable with its MX-5 Miata? (We’re purposefully omitting the Fiat 124 Spider).

In fact, there’s an issue: the place does Kia get its arms on a small, rear-drive platform? Certainly, a entrance-drive roadster or 2+2 coupe wouldn’t maintain the identical attraction as a rear-drive mannequin, and it couldn’t name itself a real challenger to the Mazda. Additionally, trendy consumers are having a tough time springing for any decrease-finish sport coupe that doesn’t have the phrase “Mustang” or “Camaro” stamped on it. Teaming up with one other automaker for a one-off mannequin, if the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 partnership tells us something, in all probability wouldn’t result in a raging gross sales success.

Maybe Kia’s already doing every little thing proper. Whether it is, you inform us. If it isn’t, pontificate within the feedback. What mannequin is sorely missing within the Kia secure?

[Image: Kia Motors]

– QOTD: What’s Missing From Kia’s Portfolio? –

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