New Model News

Kia to offer 11 EVs by 2025 as part of 'Plan S' strategy, launch first dedicated EV in 2021

Kia Motors has given insight into the company's future product plans.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia is charging ahead with an aggressive electric vehicle (EV) implementation plan that includes 11 new vehicles in the next five years. The strategy, called "Plan S" starts with the company's first dedicated EV in 2021.

Plan S is a dual-focus shift for the company. On one side they will be progressing toward an EV-centric product strategy while in the other hand Kia will be focusing on customized mobility solutions. They will also be focusing on autonomous vehicle development.

By the end of 2025, Kia plans to offer a full line-up of 11 battery electric vehicles. The company is aiming to have 25 percent of its vehicle sales outside of China come from what they call "eco-friendly cars" by 2025 on their way to achieving a 6.6 percent market share in the global EV market (500,000 annual EV sales excluding China). According to a McKinsey & Co. analysis published April, the U.S. EV market almost doubled to 360,000 EV units in 2018, mainly because of the strong sales performance of Tesla's Model 3.

From 2022, Kia plans to add EVs in the passenger vehicles, SUVs, and MPVs categories. They further outlined their electric vehicle development:

The dedicated EV model to be launched 2021 will be built on a unique platform specifically engineered to accommodate the car's world-leading EV powertrain and technologies. It will offer a crossover design which blurs the boundaries between passenger and sport utility vehicles, a future-oriented user experience, a single-charge driving range of over 500 kilometers, and sub-20-minute high-speed charging time.

Across its EV line-up, Kia plans to operate two different types of EVs with different charging capabilities (400V/800V) -- high-performance dedicated models and derivative models with reasonable pricing -- to meet the diverse needs of customers.

Growth in global EV sales will be pursued in accordance with a customized, market-oriented strategy, which considers regional differences in environmental regulation, subsidies, infrastructure and more.

These EVs are expected to first be sold as a trim level option in Kia vehicles in the same vein as the Niro EV and Soul EV.

Additional Kia expansion is planned to come from car-sharing and e-commerce businesses.

"Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia's future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions," said Han-woo Park, president and CEO, Kia Motors. "Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers."

Easily missed in this plan is Kia's proposition to raise the sales of internal combustion engined vehicles while at the same time establish the development system for EV architecture. Though they say that they'll focus those efforts on emerging markets, it's relatively safe to say that the Soul, Forte, and Telluride aren't going away any time soon.

Kia is activating recent partnerships and company share acquitions to get to this goal. Last year, the Korean automaker invested in Croatian performance EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili and IONITY, which specializes in building high-speed charging infrastructures.

They're also planning on building "Mobility Hubs", transfer stations between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles. Long term plans call for self-driving robotaxis and on-demand roboshuttles to also populate these Mobility Hubs.

Kia is part of a car-sharing services joint venture with Repsol, Spain's major energy corporation, in Madrid via its WiBLE brand.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Ahead of its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, Kia has released images of the redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento. The midsize three-row SUV's last redesign was in 2015.

Kia says that its design was inspired by "refined boldness" but really it just looks like the Seltos and Telluride mated and formed an attractive offspring. Sure, it's refined and bold, with a more sculpted design than its predecessor. There's plenty of geometric detail, as is apparent on the other Kia models, and elongated proportions.

2021 Kia Sorento face front The front of the Sorento is reminiscent of the Seltos.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The SUV has a longer wheelbase this this fourth generation than in the past

Sorento gets new "tiger eye" LED daytime running lights in this iteration, which thankfully do not pop out like the Sportage's.

The inside of the Sorento shows off what Kia does best - deliver high-quality, premium level design and appointments to the masses. Kia brags that the 2021 Sorento has, " One of the highest quality interior spaces found in any Kia to-date." There are metallic trims, leather upholstery, and embossed wood-effect surfaces

Its sophisticated design features fresh technology that Kia calls "intuitive." There's a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen front and center on the dashboard and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the driver.

2021 Kia Sorento rear back The rear of the Sorento is similar to the Kia Telluride's backside.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The automaker is also promising that the redesigned Sorento is more comfortable than in the past. Unlike the Hyundai Santa Fe, which was downgraded to two rows when the Palisade debuted, the Sorento is retaining its three-row design for 2021.

Kia has confirmed that there will be a 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid model.

The three-row 2020 Kia Sorento starts at $26,990. It is likely that Kia will continue to offer the Sorento at a starting price near that level in its new generation. That 2020 Sorento was named one of U.S. News & World Report's Best Cars for the Money.

2021 Kia Sorento cabin interior The Sorento's cabin is an evolution in Kia design.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The new Sorento will make its debut on March 3.

Kia has refreshed the Cadenza for the 2020 model year. It will arrive at dealerships soon.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia continues to surprise with products that highlight the sleek exterior and high-quality interiors the company is capable of producing and selling for budget-friendly rates. The refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza is no exception, delivering new design elements, advanced technology, and available convenience features.

The refresh of the Cadenza falls into familiar territory. There's a redesigned hood and grille with deeper vertical fascia. It has standard multi-lens LED headlights and redesigned LED daytime running lights. The Cadena's new lower front fascia has integrated turn signals while the rear and trunk lid are also redesigned and features new LED combination taillights.

2020 Kia Cadenza The 2020 Cadenza features a new front end design.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has given the Cadeza redesigned standard 18-inch wheels and available 19-inchers.

Despite all the exterior changes, the most impactful enhancements for the 2020 model year come on the inside. The car's dashboard and instrument cluster are new. Audio controls have been relocated to sit above the climate controls. It has a new standard 4.2-inch screen in the instrument panel, 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen, three additional charging ports, enhanced wireless charging, Smart Key with remote start, and Bluetooth connectivity. Ambient LED mood lighting is available in the Limited trim level.

Kia will offer the Cadenza with two Nappa leather trimmed seat colors: Saddle Brown and Gray. Limited models have quilted bolsters.

The Cadenza comes standard with Sensor Fusion, a suite of safety and driver assistance technology that includes forward collision warning, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and high beam assist. Blind spot monitoring and assist, lane change assist, and Safe Exit Assist are also standard.

Kia has installed Highway Driving Assist, which uses federal highway speed limit information to automatically adjust vehicle speed to be within the posted speed limit, and Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, uses navigation data to lower the vehicle's speed proactively before upcoming curves in every Cadeza.

2020 Kia Cadeza The 2020 Cadenza is more luxe than in previous model years.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Under the hood of the Cadenza is a 3.3-liter V6 that achieves a satisfying 290 horsepower and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Kia has made enhancements to the 2020 model to help reduce noise, vibration, and harshness including redesigned shock valves and larger rear dampers.

2020 Kia Cadenzaza Kia has kept the engine in the Cadenza the same for the 2020 model year.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The large car will be offered in Technology and Limited trim levels when it goes on sale later this year. Last year, the car was also offered in a Premium grade but that has been eliminated for the new model year.