Yrs trly has finally gone south—south of the border, that is, to take up residence in this lovely land and become Oaxaca’s Car Guru of record. Not that I intend to talk only about car stuff from this part of the world, but as I get to know the car stuff better, so will you. I moved here to get a different perspective on life in this hemisphere, and it was personally time to shift gears, as it were.
One of the first things that strikes you here is how large and awkward big SUVs like the Grand Cherokee and trucks like the F-250 appear next to the ubiquitous smaller cars. They don’t fit the streets. They spew (or appear to spew) lots of pollutants. They tower over the Beetles and the Kas, as their owners no doubt intended.
The small-car world will eventually make inroads into the U.S.A., which forever has resisted its appeal and rationale. One of the companies betting heavily on this is Kia. It just introduced the Forte Koup (above) at $16,595 ($1,100 more gets you leather, a moonroof, plus 17 more hp – a great-deal upgrade). You will, we predict, be hearing more about this car, even as certain humorists make fun of its ridiculous multinational, misspelled name.
Kia is also an interesting company, with some real successes to crow about (the Soul from Seoul, even if we don’t like its looks) and, more recently, its high rating among franchises in the UK and elsewhere, we presume. Hyundai owns 40 percent of Kia, now South Korea’s second-largest carmaker. Kia Motors America is on a big push into the U.S., having built a billion-dollar factory in Georgia three years ago.
I know you all have your opinions about cars like the Sportage, but you’ve got to admire the way Kia is pushing ahead, bringing new people to their cars. Yup, they are all over Mexico.
Which of Kia’s models do you like most—and which least?