• Aug 5, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of spy shots

Our spy photographers from KGP caught another vehicle out testing in the desert recently, though this time it comes to us all the way from Korea instead of Japan. Kia is supposedly developing a new near-luxury sedan using the best bits of the Hyundai Azera. These spy shots reveal some of the car's design cues, including a nice set of complex element headlights that reach far up the fender wall, LED taillights and exhaust tips integrated into the rear apron. Clearly this is going to be more upscale than any Kia with which we've crossed paths before, as the brand's current big sedan, the Optima, can barely compete in the midsize family sedan segment. This larger sedan, reportedly codenamed VG, appears to at least have a smooth and sophisticated design beneath all that covering. We expect to learn more about this car in the coming year when it debuts at either the Chicago or New York Auto Show. Check out more pics from every angle in the gallery below.

[Source: KGP Photography]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "as the brand's current big sedan, the Optima, can barely compete in the midsize family sedan segment. "


      That was an unnecessary low blow. If you mean the Amanti, fine, but the Optima is one of the better family sedans on the market. It outscored the Malibu in Motor Trend's testing, for crap's sake.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Actually the current big Kia sedan is the Amanti, not the Optima.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I dont thinkt the Amanti gets the credit it deserves as one of the ugliest cars ever made. I think even Aztek owners have right to make fun of that car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        $20k off the sticker of an Amanti would leave the price at a few thousand. Probably still too much for that car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, I would think this is the replacement for the stodgy old Amanti. Definitely is an improvement in the looks department.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I almost forgot about the Amanti. I remember seeing a pre-production model at the Toronto AutoShow. It was a blend of 'awesome' and 'Chinese knock-off' in looks. Cool car, would never buy one new even if it does represent a good value. Two years old and 20k off the sticker would be the sweetspot for it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cribbed the greenhouse straight from Lexus. That said, considering Kia's Cee'd design language and what appeared on the updated Sportage, this will probably be--admittedly--a handsome design. Maybe a tad boring, maybe even derivative, but still handsome particularly for a Kia.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or is that Buick?
      • 6 Years Ago
      In pic #3 you can see the upcoming Kia Soul next to this car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      did anyone notice the Chevy malibu, could it be competing with it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        ^^^^ someone has a stick up their butt!
        • 6 Years Ago
        ^^^^ some has a stick up their butt!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, I'm all for inexpensive premium vehicles - but where are they trying to position Kia?

      Having said that, the Azera is already a pretty nice vehicle so this should go over well, if only positioned awkwardly in its own lineup.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Azera's okay, but it's still just a ho-hum FWD. I'll happily shop a Genesis-based Kia sedan, though! Make mine a 6 cylinder with 6 speed manual, please, and I'll happily skip out on luxo features to keep the price and the weight down.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did anyone notice the xB in pics 5&7.
      I have agree this would seem a great replacement for the Amanti model. A cross between a former Buick and Jag, What a dog!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are you sure that's not based on the Genesis platform? It's wearing the 18" Genesis wheels and the overall dimensions of the car look more like the Genesis class.

      Besides, Kia already has a sedan based on the Azera; the Amanti.

      Oh, and I spot a silver Genesis coupe in one of the pictures. Cool.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "as the brand's current big sedan, the Optima, can barely compete in the midsize family sedan segment"

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_0808_top_five_family_sedan_comparison/results.html

      ops
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wasn't there some announcement from Hyundai/Kia a few years back that Kia was going to have future models angled with more of a sporty/youth feeling and Hyundai would be the more refined/mature brand.

      I recall just after reading that, Kia introduced that atrocious Amanti. They could use a Pontiac vs. Buick type direction. To me (and I should say-- I'm certainly not their target customer) they seem like direct competitors.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is in fact the direction they are going. The Amanti project started before that could go into effect. This is Peter Schreyer's first "full" design for KIA if I'm not mistaken.

        I think KIA cancelled the Genesis based model because of gas prices. We'll have to wait and see what they decided. I honestly can't see a reason for 2 large sedans for Hyundai and KIA. That segment isn't that big. I see the Azera getting discontinued when this comes out and KIA not coming out with their rumored Genesis sedan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really don't get the Hyundai/KIA positioning thing either. Can Hyundai really considered premium over KIA when so much of their portfolio overlaps and is based on platform sharing?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. It would be nice if either Hyundai's or Kia's commercials somewhat differentiated the two, but the commercials both seem to drive home the "buy our cars because they are better value for your money"
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