Over the past few years, Kia has drawn attention from the motoring press. Their first standout car, the Kia Stinger, took the fight to the BMW M3. For many, the EV6 is far cooler than anything at Tesla. The Picanto, Rio, and Ceed models rival the likes of Volkswagen and Renault across Europe. But stealthily making the bulk of the brand’s sales are their offerings in the SUV market. A market first popularized by the Range Rover, BMW X5, and the Mercedes-Benz M Class, over two decades the benefits of SUV ownership are available to more people than before. Kia’s 2022 SUV models play a key part in this.
Offering a blend of practicality, comfort, and value the range of Kia SUVs offers something for everyone.
Which KIA SUV Is The Biggest?
Despite the chip shortage that dominated 2021, Kia set an all-time sales record. The Korean manufacturer broke their previous 2016 sales goal with a month to go. The company sold 652,910 total vehicles by the end of November 2021. This astronomical achievement is a testament to the value that Kia's products offer. Manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Jaguar are seeing sales decrease. It's clear that Kia, just like the chip shortage, is disrupting the market.
This trend continues elsewhere in the world. Kia’s largest and most expensive SUV is the Telluride. Back in 2020, the Hyundai Motor Group boldly proclaimed the vehilce won the "'triple crown' of prestigious automotive awards." According to the manufacturer, the car won "2019 NACTOY Utility Vehicle of the Year, MotorTrend SUV of the Year, and Car and Driver 10Best." This is the first time an SUV has achieved all three. Consumers recognize this model's brilliance, with it leading sales in November 2021. Just over 1,000 more Telluride units sold than Kia's best-selling Forte.
Kia’s luxury SUV as standard has Kia Drive Wise, their collection of driver aids, a heads-up display, and an infotainment system equipped with Car Play and Android Auto.
With comfortable seating for eight, the vehicle could rapidly become slow. However, the Telluride comes with a 3.8-liter V6 producing an adequate 291 horsepower. Unlike competing models in this incredibly competitive segment, the Telluride doesn’t get dramatically more expensive with options. The top of the line SX trim level has an MSRP of only $42,990. This package has 20-inch black wheels, Nappa leather, dual sunroofs, and an upgraded exterior trim.
Which Kia SUV Is The Best Value?
In terms of entry price, the base Kia Soul starts at $19,290. Many enthusiasts look down on the Soul with disdain, as the model essentially is a hatchback that rides a little higher. With a 315-liter boot space that comes in a relatively square packaging, it’s practical enough to move around the detritus of daily life. For comparison, the 2022 Golf, the benchmark in the compact segment has a boot space of 380 liters.
Kia offers a middle tier of SUVs: the Seltos, Sportage, and Niro. These sell for between $22,000 and $25,000. The Seltos and Sportage have very little separating the two models. However, the Sportage is slightly larger and faster to 60 mph by 0.6 seconds. The Seltos rides a little higher and has an exterior design more in keeping with the new design language that features on the EV6 and K5. The Sportage is Kia's best-selling SUV, with the automaker reporting that 88,567 units sold between January and November 2021.
The Telluride sits at the top of the Kia brand tree. With a starting MSRP of $33,090, the buyer receives a full-size SUV with a similar aesthetic to the Cadillac Escalade. The Cadillac starts at $76,295 and only comes with a little more brand prestige.
Which Is The Best Kia Electric SUV?
Kia’s Telluride doesn’t have an EV or hybrid model available to the market. However, the luxury full-size SUV buyer need not feel disheartened. The highly similar Sorento sells as both a hybrid for just shy of $35,000 and a plug-in hybrid with an MSRP of $45,190. The Sorento Hybrid doesn’t return incredibly impressive economy figures. A 1.6-liter turbo hybrid that returns 227 horsepower and 258-pound foot of torque leaves the SUV with a combined 35 MPG for the front-wheel drive model and 33 MPG on the all-wheel-drive specification. The plug-in hybrid has a higher power rating at 261 horsepower but no more torque. The MPGe comes in at an impressive 79, something the hybrid model just can’t match.
The Niro is the most expensive of this mid-level crossover SUV at $24,690 for the mild-hybrid model. Once more it shares a lot with both the Sportage and Seltos. However, the unique selling point of the Niro is the EV and PHEV options, the former comes in at $39,990 and the latter $29,590. The plug-in vehicle has a larger electric range at 26 miles and an impressive EPA combined rating of 105 mpg. For comparison, the hybrid returns a combined 48 MPG from its 1.6 hybrid power unit.
The Niro EV is Kia’s largest electric vehicle. The model is well-equipped with the standard affair including device connectivity. With the Niro, Kia set their sights on the Audi Q3 directly citing its 53 cubic feet of storage with the seats down, as more than the Ingolstadt-based rival at 48 cubic feet. Importantly, the vehicle has 239 miles of range. Kia’s latest EV6 offers a 317-mile range.
Late last year, the Kia EV9 SUV concept debuted. This showcased Kia’s intentions to offer a car for everyone. As the manufacturer's battery technology progresses, a large EV will join the Korean manufacturer’s ranks. But for now, the market will have to make do with the high-value Niro.