Have You Driven a Kia/Hyundai Lately?

Images courtesy Kia

Images courtesy Kia

Redundant question answer No. 74: I’m shopping for a new car, what should I buy?

Folks, if I have said it once I’ve said it a hundred (OK, 74) times – “I don’t know, what do you need?”

To be quite honest I have no idea what you should buy, or if you should buy anything at all. For some, staying in what you are driving right now makes the most sense. For others, well, perhaps looking at a new car lease is a viable option for you.

Whatever you choose, do your homework, and that includes searching my archives here on this website along with many others. Hey, what works for me may be a big failure for you.

When folks turn the question around to, “So what have you driven lately that you like,” well, that one yields more helpful responses. After they allow me to ramble on for several minutes talking about supercharged Range Rovers and droptop Porsches they narrow their search request to, “What have you driven lately that you like and that I can afford?”

Finally we get to it, although I knew this is where they were headed all along, I just love toying with them for a bit.

Two names keep popping up in the majority of these discussions: Kia and Hyundai, sister brands out of South Korea. Why Kia and Hyundai? Where have you been? Have you seen any lately? I would arguably state that across the entire product line they have the best designs of all current product both here and abroad. Not to mention that of all the models I have driven in recent years I feel confident in recommending them to prospective buyers.

kiasportageside

One of the most surprising for me has been the Kia Sportage crossover ute. I reviewed one a couple of years ago right after it went through a major makeover (as have all models from both automakers). I really liked the Sportage then in FWD form with the base four-banger engine but truly fell in love with the model after they brought me a 2013 Sportage in AWD running gear and outfitted with the hot little turbo 2.0-liter four.

I liked this vehicle so much about the only criticism I could find is with its less-than-competitive highway fuel economy figure of 25 mpg that I was actually able to best during my time with the Sportage.

Pitting the 2013 Sportage AWD turbo against say, the EcoBoost Escape I found myself liking the Kia better both in styling and performance.

kiasportageinterior

A side effect of Kia and Hyundai’s newfound success is noticeable on the window stickers – gone are those bargain basement prices (this 2013 AWD Sportage in SX trim rolls in at $32,400) but with them went the ugly, cheap econoboxes the automakers were importing to the U.S. Heck, Kia and Hyundai are even building vehicles in this country now.

So, what should you buy. Well, have you thought about a Kia/Hyundai lately?

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