Kia’s Greatest Hits 2010-2019
If you’re like us, the arrival of the 20s has snuck up on you like the “clever girl” velociraptor in Jurassic Park. It’s true – we’re already looking at a new decade that has come and went with some of the most interesting, controversial and historically important moments and trends that are sure to mark our culture for decades to come.
You’ve probably seen plenty of “best films of the 2010s” or “best songs of the 2010s” lists floating around (hint: Mad Max: Fury Road and Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ respectively). We thought we’d do something different. Rather than simply sharing our favorite cultural markers for the past ten years, we wanted to share the milestones that have made us more excited than ever to be partnered with Kia.
It was, after all, a fierce decade for Kia that was poetically book-ended by the discontinuance of the Kia Borrego in 2010 (an SUV that, we’ve written, was “too beautiful for this world.”) and ended with the release of the incredible 2020 Kia Telluride.
>>> READ MORE: How Do the Kia Telluride and Kia Borrego Compare? <<<
Today, we’re going to look at how the decade played out for our favorite automotive manufacturer.
- 2010 – February: Prior to manufacturing the second-generation Kia Sorento with available third-row seating, Kia opens up the Kia Motors Manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. This plant is still in full operation and is the assembly location for vehicles like the current Kia Optima sedan and Kia Sorento and Kia Telluride SUVs.
- 2010 – The third-generation Kia Optima and third-generation Kia Sportage debut with the design having been conducted under the award-winning talents of Peter Schreyer
- 2012 – Peter Schreyer is made one of three presidents of Kia, allowing his incredible design talent to shape the vision and direction of the company for the remainder of the decade into the future.
- 2012 – Kia debuts the Kia K900 luxury sedan that aims to offer 90% of an S-Class with 40% of the price. The Kia K900 gives drivers standard blind-spot detection, a head-up display, adaptive front lighting and 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. Nice!
- 2013 – Actualizing the brand’s design and value prowess, Kia takes on the likes of the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima and Chevrolet Impala by releasing the full-size 2014 Kia Cadenza sedan to the North American market.
- 2014 – New generations for the Kia Forte and Kia Soul arrive, showcasing the new direction Kia is heading. The second-generation Kia Soul is sportier, more powerful and more capable than ever before. Meanwhile, the second-generation Kia Forte has a stylish and European-inspired look that marks the compact sedan as a differentiator in its class.
- 2015 – Kia releases the third-generation Kia Sedona showcasing the manufacturer’s ability to raise expectations for aesthetics in a class that has, up until this point, never been big on design. The 2015 Kia Sedona is muscular, sporty and full of value with dependability and safety ratings to boot.
- 2016 – Kia continues to expand their market presence with the debut of the Kia Niro hybrid crossover. Challenging the paradigm that all hybrids have to look chunky, ostentatious and loud, the Kia Niro brings a yet-unprecedented sophistication to the economic and ecological segment.
- 2017 – The most surprising release from Kia yet, the 2018 Kia Stinger debuts at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A product of the synergetic creative duo Peter Schreyer (the iconic designer behind the Audi TT) and Albert Biermann (BMW M engineer), the Kia Stinger makes sub-5-second 0-60 times accessible for drivers everywhere with a luxurious cabin that challenges the German mainstays.
- 2018 – For the second year in a row, Kia brings something big and exciting to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This time, it’s the 2019 Kia Forte. The latest iteration of Kia’s stylish compact, the 2019 Kia Forte boils down some of the Stinger’s acclaimed design elements and adds standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, standard dual-zone climate control, standard Kia Drive Wise active safety features and the brand-new Kia IVT that sees the all-new Forte get more than 40 highway MPG.
- 2018 – Kia selects Los Angeles as the venue to debut the all-new 2020 Kia Soul, the model’s third-generation, as well as the related 2021 Kia Soul EV. Making improvements to fuel economy (thanks to the IVT), standard technology and capability, the third-generation Kia Soul is both an evolution and a revolution for the popular sports box crossover.
- 2019 – Back to Detroit for Kia where the production version of the 2020 Kia Telluride makes its debut to critical acclaim. Slotting at the top of Kia’s SUV lineup, above the restyled Kia Sorento, the Kia Telluride is the biggest Kia SUV yet with standard touchscreen infotainment, 8-passenger seating, 5,000-lb. towing and more.
- 2019 – Closing both the year and the decade, Kia fills the only missing spot in their lineup (save maybe a pickup truck) with the 2021 Kia Seltos, announcing it at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show. The 2021 Kia Seltos fits between the subcompact sports box Kia Soul and compact crossover Kia Sportage to provide drivers with standard all-wheel drive and a large and capable interior. It also looks great.
For Kia, the 2010s Were Great. The 2020s Will be Even More So!
While this decade may have mixed reviews across the board overall, one thing is for sure: Kia showed the strongest growth out of any automotive brand. Whether it’s the latest Kia Forte, Kia Soul or upcoming Kia Seltos that have shown this character the strongest, it’s clear that Kia has followed a path of continuing to offer more value with a better design than competitors who are resting on their laurels.
We anticipate an even stronger decade for Kia as the 2020s opens up with the release of the Kia Seltos and a likely pickup truck to follow.
For more information about Kia models that have been released recently, contact us today!