Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

first generation kia rio on abstract background

Flashback Friday: First-Generation Kia Rio

Kia Rio Model History and First-Generation Photos 

The great philosopher Socrates once said, “The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Whether or not the designers and engineers at the Kia of the 1990s and early 2000s knew it, they were Socratic advocates, inspiring the masses to minimalism by offering cars that provided only what was necessary to be considered a car.  Read the rest of this entry >>

kia concord on idyllic farm background

Throwback Thursday: Kia Concord

Kia Concord Model History and Photos 

If Kia’s brand history could be summed up by a single term, it would be “late bloomer.” For many years, the South Korean company built vehicles that were the dictionary definition of meh. Recently coming into their own as a design and engineering powerhouse, Kia’s new models probably would just like to forget entirely about the old ones as Holly Golightly did Lula May Barnes.  Read the rest of this entry >>

first-generation kia sorento against blurry forest background with text flashback friday superimposed

Flashback Friday: First-Generation Kia Sorento

First-Generation Kia Sorento Photos and Model History

If for no other reason, the Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday section on the Friendly Kia blog exists to remind us of the incredible strides Kia has undergone in only a short time. The last ten years have seen the brand move from purely an economic choice to one with compelling options in every class, many of them class-leading and class-defining. Read the rest of this entry >>

Flashback Friday: Kia Credos

Kia Credos Model History and Photos

We’ve gone on and on about badge-engineered Kia models and how Kia leveraged this age-old tactic to gain brand awareness and market share before doing their own thing. If you’re not sure what we mean by “badge-engineering,” you can read the full story here. The condensed version of it is that automotive manufacturers have used vehicles designed by other manufacturers, engineered by other manufacturers or both to help build out their lineups without incurring the R&D costs themselves. Read the rest of this entry >>

flashback friday graphic with kia avella in front of a beach scene

Flashback Friday: Kia Avella

Kia Avella Model History and Photos

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, Kia, Ford and Mazda had a working relationship that saw the three brands badge engineering one another’s vehicles for use in exclusive markets. This practice took place well into the early 2000s for Ford and Mazda who shared vehicles like the Ford Escape (Mazda Tribute). For Kia, this history includes badge-engineering Mazda’s Familia compact car in the 1970s and 80s as the Kia Brisa and the Ford Festiva in the mid-1980s as the Kia Pride. Read the rest of this entry >>

flashback friday text with first generation kia sportage on screen

Flashback Friday: First-Generation Kia Sportage

First-Generation Kia Sportage Model History and Photos

We’ve often used our Flashback Friday (formerly Throwback Thursday) segment to show the massive gulf in between who Kia was in the late 1990s and early 2000s and who Kia is today. When you compare models like the first-generation Kia Optima, Kia Spectra or Kia Amanti to their current iterations or incarnations (like the 2019 Kia Optima, 2018 Kia Rio or 2019 Kia K900 respectively), reveals an evolution that would take most brands forty to fifty years at full speed. Read the rest of this entry >>

first-generation kia soul in front of blurry city background with Flashback Friday text superimposed

Flashback Friday: First-Generation Kia Soul

First-Generation Kia Soul History and Images

There’s a movie that’s currently on Amazon Prime and we’re not explicitly recommending it, but we must draw a connection. It’s called the “Similars.” It’s a Mexican, surrealist horror film in the same vein as anthology horror shows like the Twilight Zone. The plot is strange and the execution even more so. The film centers on a bus station where a handful of patrons and commuters find themselves trapped by a storm. Read the rest of this entry >>

blurred out forest background with flashback friday text and kia k360 superimposed

Flashback Friday: Kia K360

Kia K360 Model History and Photos

We love publishing our Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday featurettes here on the Friendly Kia blog, but we’re aware that the subject itself is ephemeral. At some point, we’re going to run out of old Kia vehicles to talk about. Our Friendly Kia internet, Dale Rickey, suggested making up Kia models but this is an honest racket and you deserve the best. Read the rest of this entry >>

flashback friday text on image of 2002 kia optima

Flashback Friday: First-Generation Kia Optima

First-Generation Kia Optima History and Photos

Late bloomer movies were a big part of the 1980s cinematic and television landscape. These films or tv shows often featured a storyline where a homely, awkward or socially-rejected character undergoes a transformation that makes them conventionally-attractive. They taught us the positive life message that if we just change who are and cave to society’s rigid and narrow standards for beauty, people will finally treat us like human beings and stop knocking the textbooks out of our hands between classes. Read the rest of this entry >>