Autowriters are constantly being asked “What should I buy?”
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?
The newest models from these two brands demonstrate that across the entire product line they have some of the best designs of all current product both here and abroad. For most journalists there is a confidence in recommending them to prospective buyers.
One nice surprise lately has been the Kia Sportage crossover ute. One was reviewed a couple of years ago right after it went through a major makeover (as have all models from both automakers). Then, the Sportage in FWD form with the base four-banger engine proved worthy of mention but full accolade go out to the 2013 Sportage in AWD running gear and outfitted with the hot little turbo 2.0-liter four.
This vehicle is so good, about the only criticism one could find is with its less-than-competitive highway fuel economy figure of 25 mpg.
Pitting the 2013 Sportage AWD turbo against say, the EcoBoost Escape, the Kia is better both in styling and performance.
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?