Kia surges into a New Year hyperdrive

With the new versions of the Ceed and Proceed models set to join the company’s UK line-up of models in around a month’s time, highlights Iain Robertson, improvements made to both Optima Sportswagon and two new versions of the Stonic and Picanto suggest that Kia is keeping the momentum going.

Kia Cars has updated its Optima Sportswagon plug-in hybrid for 2019. Now featuring two distinctive models, the styling has extended to a new front bumper assembly, with a slightly different LED daylight running-lamps’ signature, and eye-catching 17.0-inch diameter diamond-cut alloy wheels fitted as standard. Its connectivity features have been enhanced to include both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while (rear seats lowered) it can provide up to 1,574-litres of practical load-space.



Much as before, up to 33 miles of all-electric range are feasible, returning low-tax CO2 emissions of just 33g/km, allied to a fuel economy of an amazing 188.3mpg in the official combined WLTP test cycle. The combined petrol and electric power units produce an excellent output of 202bhp, accompanied by 276lbs ft of torque, figures that are highlighted by the car’s optimised aerodynamic shape (Cd of 0.28). 


Kia’s growingly-popular Stonic range has been widened with a bright new special edition model called ‘Mixx’. Powered by the firm’s excellent 1.0-litre, three-cylinder T-GDi engine that develops a pacy 118bhp at 6,000rpm and 126lbs ft of torque spread between 1,500 and 4,000rpm, the Stonic ‘Mixx’ is finished in a particularly attractive combination of Clear White paintwork with an orange roof. Inside, unique black cloth and grey (faux) leather upholstery, complete with orange accents, is combined with a lower centre console and display screen surround also finished in orange trim.



A comprehensive specification includes 17.0-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, a reversing camera system, with dynamic guidelines, and a six-speaker audio system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display. Pitched at a pre-discount £18,200, when mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, a seven-speed dual-clutch automated ’box costs an extra £1,000. 



Inspired by sunny beaches and blue skies, a charming new Picanto special edition, called the ‘Wave’, is also on sale. Its 1.0-litre petrol engine develops a modest 66bhp. Finished in Celestial Blue paintwork, with blue Denim-style cloth and (faux) leather upholstery, its specification includes 15.0-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, a reversing camera system and a ‘voice control’ six-speaker audio system, with 7.0-inch touchscreen. In addition, there are white accents to the lower centre console trim, air vents and door armrest.



The Picanto ‘Wave’ costs £11,895 prior to discounts being applied. In keeping with every Kia, the new special editions come with an industry leading seven-years, or 100,000-miles warranty. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time, or mileage, limits have been reached.

FCD Summary

Always presenting first-rate value for money in stylish and well-built models, Kia is starting the New Year from a strong position. Its overall sales in 2018 bucked the broader downturn, by increasing the firm’s UK market share.

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