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.

For decades, Kia used this method to produce models we’ve seen in our Flashback Friday/Throwback Thursday archives. These models included the Kia Pride, Kia Brisa and Kia Avella. They also included our personal favorite, the Kia K360.

>>>> Read our Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday Archives Here <<<<

The final model Kia “borrowed” from Mazda was the Kia Credos, a badge-engineered version of the Mazda 626.

What Is the Kia Credos

Sold as the Kia Clarus in Europe and Kia Parktown in South Korea, the Kia Credos was a mid-1990s mid-size sedan that Kia built on the Mazda Capella (626 in the United States)’s platform. It began its life in 1995.

As a mid-size sedan, the Kia Credos was valued especially for its large trunk size and handling. Sold with either a 1.8L Kia engine, 2.0L Mazda engine (in both SOHC and DOHC variants) or 2.0L V6 Rover engine, the Kia Credos sought to give drivers a choice of performance and fuel efficiency. In this way, we know the Credos would be very proud of its great-grandchild, the 2019 Kia Optima.

Engine power was sent to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Following Hyundai’s purchase of a stake in Kia in the late 1990s, Kia ended their badge-engineering relationship with Mazda and switched their mid-size sedan to the Hyundai-based Kia Optima – a nameplate that has continued into our current year of 2018.

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

Kia Credos Model Photos


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A post shared by kdy (@j21466) on Jun 30, 2018 at 7:39pm PDT


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A post shared by 지현승 (@9716ji) on Aug 17, 2017 at 10:27pm PDT


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A post shared by TAIL_ (@fez_fn) on Sep 5, 2015 at 12:11pm PDT


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A post shared by 지현승 (@9716ji) on Sep 1, 2016 at 5:38am PDT

How Likely is the Kia Credos to Come back?

It’s already back! Stop by Friendly Kia today and check out the restyled 2019 Kia Optima!

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