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.

Kia didn’t stop badge-engineering the Ford Festiva simply because the Kia Pride was no more, however. From 1994 through 1999, Kia sold the Avella – a badge-engineered version of Ford’s second-generation Festiva – in the South Korean market.

What Was the Kia Avella?

A portmanteau of the Latin word “Aveo” (meaning “desire) and the Spanish word “Ella” (meaning “her), The Kia Avella was a compact car that came in a sedan (Avella Delta) and three- and five-door hatchback bodies.

For specs, the Avella received a standard 1.3L engine from Mazda. This engine generated 72 horsepower. A more powerful dual-overhead-cam version of the 1.5L Mazda engine could see the Avella Delta get up to 104 horsepower. Transmission options included a standard five-speed manual or available three- and four-speed automatic gearboxes.

[READ MORE: Flashback Friday: First Generation Kia Optima]

As far as standard features go, the Kia Avella included 13-inch wheels, stereo system with four speakers, rear-window glass that was heated, anti-lock braking system (ABS), door impact beams and an airbag on the driver’s side only. Available for the Avella was air conditioning, electronic power locks, power windows/mirrors, folding rear seats, alloy wheels, automatic dimming mirror and more.

Replaced by the Kia Rio in 2000, the Kia Avella lives on as one of the final badge-engineered Kia vehicles from their long-time partnership with Mazda and Ford. Interestingly enough, the third-generation Ford Festiva would be a badge-engineered Mazda Demio.

Kia Avella Photos

We’ve done the thing and dug up some great photos from Instagram of the Kia Avella. Check out its beautiful 1990s aero design:


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A post shared by 지현승 (@9716ji) on Nov 2, 2017 at 7:21am PDT


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A post shared by Taeyang Dylan Kim (@dylan__ty) on Nov 7, 2017 at 11:57pm PST


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A post shared by #siberianmotorculture (@siberianmotorculture) on Oct 2, 2018 at 10:29pm PDT


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A post shared by Uładzisłaŭ Hlińnikaŭ (@parked_in_miensk) on Sep 14, 2018 at 11:30pm PDT

Is the Kia Avella Still Available?

The Kia Avella is a long-forgotten relic of KDM automotive. It’s gone and probably never coming back. That said, we’re almost at the point where we can start importing them. If you really love the Kia Avella, you can begin to import them next year. We’d love to help you get it all bright and shiny in our detailing shop and even see the inside of one of these items from Kia’s history.

For more information on old and forgotten Kia models or to contact us about the Avella’s descendant, the 2018 Kia Rio, contact us today!

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(Kia Avella in header image from Wikimedia Commons user Chu under CC BY-SA 3.0)