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#1 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 10:31 AM
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The new lineup of 2012 Kias looks to build on the success of a growing brand in the U.S. with a broadening of the company’s vehicle offerings. Kia saw its sales increase 18.7% year-over-year 2009 to 2010 in the U.S. market, according to the company’s website, and with that trend likely to continue in 2011, Kia is plotting a ever more aggressive expansion into the U.S. market for 2012.

The first car out of the gates to lead that charge is the 2012 Rio 5. The five-door, front-wheel drive vehicle has something in common with both the Ford Focus and the Hyundai Elantra. Its impressive gas mileage of 40 miles per gallon may be the characteristic that allows it to stand out from the crowd, however. Car and Driver notes that, while the Rio was the cheapest car on the market when it originally debuted in the U.S. in 2001, it now has more to offer than just a deal.

The Kia Soul is also being revamped for 2012. The Soul has been an extremely successful model for Kia, only behind the Sorento, which is the company’s leading brand, according to Road and Track. Its design is being updated, and it will have a notably smoother look, more curvaceous than boxy, for 2012. The vehicle’s horsepower and fuel efficiency have also been improved.

The final update to the Kia 2012 line-up is the Optima turbo sedan, as well as the Optima hybrid. These two vehicles are technically 2011 models, according to Road and Track, but had late enough release dates that they are just truly trickling into the pipeline.

Overall, the Kia line-up is seeing a mild, rather than complete refresh for the 2012 year. Many of the models will not be seeing complete overhauls, but you can expect Kia to but its new Rio, Soul, and Optima models front and center through early 2012.

Before you decide to drive your new Kia out of the dealership, be sure to see how much you’ll be paying for new car insurance. Get a free car insurance quote online to factor in how much insurance costs will impact your new car budget.
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