Much like its relative, Kia has grown a formidable SUV lineup in recent years. While Hyundai models lean towards modern and mature in stature, Kia’s designs capture a sporty and edgy look and feel. Due almost entirely to ex-Audi design boss Peter Schreyer, now with Canadian-born, ex-Nissan designer Karim Habib at the helm.
Here we take a closer look at the Kia SUV lineup, exploring what you can expect from each.
Editor’s Note: also check out Kia’s new 2022 Carnival – a ‘life utility vehicle (LUV)’ replacing the Sedona.
The boxy Soul lives on. Once considered a novelty—by me, at least!—the Kia Soul has grown into a must-consider compact SUV.
Here’s our 2020 Soul first drive review.
The first thing to note is its flexible cargo capacity. More of your life can fit inside the Soul than you might imagine at first glance. Its box shape and flat hatch door provide a little extra room to squeeze in an extra suitcase or two.
Kia’s layout and infotainment system, throughout their entire lineup, is intuitive and straightforward. The available 10.25-inch screen, Harman/Kardon sound system and advanced safety features, such as Rear-Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, are nice additions to a vehicle in this class.
Under the hood, the Soul is equipped with a 2.0L engine that gives you a respectable 147 horsepower.
Flexible cargo space
Intuitive infotainment layout
Available premium features
All-new, Kia introduces the Seltos to their SUV lineup as a 2021 model.
Here’s our Seltos first drive review.
Lively and playful, the Kia Seltos speaks to a first-time buyer as much as the boomer couple enjoying the life of empty nesters. It’s styled for the young, and young at heart. I won’t be surprised if the Seltos shoots to the top of Kia sales based on its appearance alone.
The second trim, LX, will give you AWD and 17-inch wheels. A 2.0L engine capable of 146 horsepower is standard, while the SX Turbo trim gives you a 1.6L Turbo GDI that pushes 175 horsepower.
Similar to the Soul, the Kia Seltos comes with a wealth of available safety features, such as Lane-Follow Assist, which helps you stay within your lane.
Expect the Kia Seltos to turn heads, and likely pick up some awards later this year.
Advanced safety technology available
Newly redesigned, the Kia Sportage combines sporty with an almost futuristic feel. Eye-catching curves and lines, starting from the raised LED headlights, makes it appear as if it’s ready to jump off the line.
The standard engine is a 2.4L, GDI four-cylinder capable of 181 horsepower. Step into the top-end SX model for Kia’s 2.0L Turbo GDI four-cylinder that pushes 237 horses. Steering feels light and is precise, while the cabin is quieter than you would expect.
Kia offers their Dynamax Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, and some fun add-ons such as their Smart Power Liftgate, which automatically opens when it senses you standing at the rear with the Smart Key in your pocket.
The balance between design, performance and features lands the Sportage as one of the top vehicles in its class.
Smart Power Liftgate
The Kia Sorento is likely the most recognizable nameplate in Kia’s SUV lineup.
For families that need more room, the Sorento is the place to start. It seats five, but if you’re shopping in this category you’ll likely want to upgrade to get the third row to seat seven. This jump will also give you Kia’s 3.3L V6 engine that has 290 horses, compared to the standard 2.4L four-cylinder capable of 185 horsepower.
Kia’s AWD system comes standard, so you benefit from the feature no matter which trim you decide on. The drive quality is smooth, especially with the eight-speed automatic that’s paired to the 3.3L V6 engine.
Of course, the Kia Sorento incorporates everything you expect from a Kia, from its clean interior design to a laundry list of tech, including advanced smart cruise control.
Flexibility between five- and seven-seat models
Smooth drive experience
The Kia Telluride has quickly become one of the top large SUVs on the market.
Check out our Telluride review here. And the differences between the Telluride and cousin Palisade.
Whether you choose the seven- or eight-seat model, the Telluride is chock full of useful technology, safety features and cargo space to handle every inch of family life.
It doesn’t hurt that it’s a looker, as well. The Telluride has a Range Rover-esque design, and one could easily argue the Telluride beats the Range in terms of appearance. The rectangular LED headlights are, in a word, sexy, while its overall strong stance and crisp lines make it an absolute knockout.
Inside, the cabin is serene and calming. From the controls to the seats, everything the Telluride is perfectly placed and spaced. Dual sunroofs help brighten the entire vehicle, no matter which row you’re in. Find USB ports near each seat and even a 110 volt household outlet.
The Telluride almost floats across the road. The ride is incredibly comfortable, with a drive mode select feature that lets you toggle through Eco, Comfort, Smart and Sport modes. It has a 3.8L V6 GDI engine that pushes 291 horsepower.
Most of Kia’s safety technology comes standard, including Advanced Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Lane Follow Assist.
It drives much smaller than it looks, and will easily become the new favourite family member in your household.
Choose from seven or eight seats
Beautiful, peaceful cabin design
Suite of safety tech comes standard