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Kia K5 sedan threatening Hyundai Sonata

Can Kia K5 replace Hyundai’s 2011 Sonata as the most popular mid-size sedan in Korea?

Hyundai Sonata sedan has been the top-selling vehicle in Korea for decades. Recent sales success (110.000 units sold since launched in September 2009) of a completely redesigned Sonata has helped the model to further strengthen its position as the most popular car on the local market.

For years it seemed like none of vehicle available on the market could change the map of Korea’s mid-sized sedan market and beat the long-unrivaled leader. But things have changed and dominating Sonata sedan has finally gotten a respectable rival which could pose a threat to its long-time leadership.

First previewed at the New York Auto Show in April, the all-new Kia K5 (known as Kia Optima in the USA), which boasts impressive styling and state-of-the-art powertrain technology, could spell some trouble for Hyundai’s Sonata.

Recent sales report revealed that since K5 was first unveiled a month ago, Kia Motors Korea received 9.000 orders for the model, while at the same time sales of new Sonata declined 23 percent! This suggests that the all-new K5 may be affecting Sonata’s sales. Continue your read on Kia Optima sales here.

70 thoughts on “Kia K5 sedan threatening Hyundai Sonata

  1. When I sat in the Optima at NYIAS, I knew instantly that not only was it going to be a hot seller for Kia, but it would be a hot seller in its segment.

  2. hey plz if some one knows the price of the new KIA Sorento plz tell me because here in these website there’s Nada nothing

  3. This will definitely be fun to watch play out in all the various markets where they’re both sold.

  4. The Optima and Sonata are both made by Hyundai….
    Plus, the Sonata was also probably affected by the recent Toyota Camry entering the Korean market.

  5. There Is NO i repeat NOOOOO Comparison to this vehichle and the Sonata…..THIS is TRULY the most BEAUTIFUL car in the midsize segment…..SEXY>>>STYLISH>>>AGGRESSIVE>>>>>POWERFUL>>>>HIGH TECH>>>AND SEXY AS HELL>>>I love the Audi Lights…..check out clips of the production Optima…google “Kia K5” then come back on here and tell me what you think!!!!! Man I haven’t been this happy about a car since I first got my liscense!!!!!!!

  6. Okay, let me give my two cents.

    @Daniel, Hyundai only owns 38% of Kia Motors, yes I’m not dismissing that at huge influence they have, but saying Optima is made by Hyundai is a little, a little too much, also Toyota altogether only sold about 500 cars in Korea last month, the impact of global Toyota recall has taken some huge hit in performance in South Korea. (Unlike many of us Americans, Koreans care about those things)

    @Derrius, maybe Kia looks better overall, but Hyundai has it’s own design styles, and its a very unique one, whether-as Kia looks you know, a little-audi-volkswagen ish. I’m not accusing Kia for copying or blaming ex-audi Peter Schreyer for making similar styles, but I think you need to give Hyundai credit where its due: They came up the design theme on their own, and it’s unique as well as looking inoffensively radical =)

  7. I agree with Derrious: the K5/Optima looks much better than the Sonata.

    I just finished reading the recent Accord/Legacy/Sonata comparo in Car & Driver. They give the win to the Sonata because of its styling, but personnally, I find it OK but ordinary, never having been a fan of giant smiling grilles and drooping rear-ends.

    We can give credit to Hyundai/Kia for coming up with two different designs for the same platform, with each of these designs being able to be attractive to different tastes.

  8. lol I love both korean cars the sonata is beautiful and very different style wise BUT come on……come on…..BEHOLD the beauty of this next generation Optima. I Love everything about it and KIA has done a VERY VERY good job in making their vehichles stylish nowadays…it reminds me of the luxuries of the Lexus IS250 especially when the car starts….it sucks to know they wont import the ones with all the goodies like they have in Korea..oh well im still getting one….and the genesis coupe is a bad ass!!!!! its a pretty sweet car….id take that over the forte koup….but then again great fuel economy is a neccessity so id rather have the kia koup and the EX becuase i hear the SX is a little bumpy…

  9. The 2008-09 Sorento LX had the 3.3L V6 here in the US. I heard that the Sedona’s continuing to 2011 with the GDI 4 cylinder, 3.5L V6 and a mild facelift (already on sale in Korea)

  10. The experiment was to quell an inside debate on how not to have cannibalization, etc…

  11. I would bet that the Hyundai plant in the USA will build the Optima. I don’t have a problem with Kia having only front wheel drive cars. Rear wheel drive should be for the Hyundai brand. Kia appeals to a younger crowd who like fun and sporting looking cars and cuvs. Hyundai is more upscale and refined. If you outgrow Kia you go to the Hyundai brand. Either way Chairman Chung still gets your money. Lol

  12. That new world order Kia Rio rocks my house like The Tragically Hip turned up to 10 on the volume meter, boys. Might have ta buy a Rio for my wife and take it with us to Elko, NV. BTW-anyone been to Las Vegas lately? The big attraction in my new home state is absolutely bursting at the seams with new casinos and attractions. It’s gots more fun things ta do than Disney or SeaWorld or name yer whatever poison. Driving down the Strip is always thrilling. I like turning some Tragically Hip, Foghat, Guess Who or Drive-By Truckers up high and just cruise down the strip and watch and relax. It’s fun-it’s got a circus-like atmosphere and it’s so fun ta watch the freaks. We’re gonna be livin’ way up north of Vegas in Elko, NV. Lost Wages will only be 333 miles south, though, baby. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, baby. Whoo-hoo! Bring it on!

  13. I think that Hyundai is selfish to a point, but then again, they are appealing to a more sophisticated crowd – where FWD and aggressive styling are no-nos. The crowd Kia is appealing to is the BUDGET-MINDED young and young at heart – where 200 HP, Sirius radio, premium features and aggressive styling under 25k is what they want. Hyundai realizes that Kia is going to be the volume brand. Within a couple of years, Kia will surely be outselling Hyundai, because Hyundai is appealing to a smaller crowd.

  14. The next idea for a Kia commercial:
    Giant Hamsters singing “Keep on Rolling” in a choir as all of the new 2011 models drive past.

  15. Derrious, I want to see the new Rio Badly. I wonder if Rio will get the same 1.6 Gamma GDi like next Gen Accent or they give Rio the Chinese Verna Powertrains? If they give Rio Chinese Verna Powertrains they should at least provide a performance Rio with a 2.0 Turbo not GDi or something.

    Rio is replacing Accent’s cheap small car Status, while New Accent=Genesis of Small Cars.

  16. HyundaiSmoke, I wasn’t even aware the Rio was getting a redesign….are there spy photos? Sounds pretty interesting…and does anyone have any updated information on the K9?

  17. NVM about the Verna thing. I didn’t realize that the Accent was called Verna in China. I actually hate the name accent, so I think it should be called Verna in all markets.

  18. Kia’s website is wrong about the Kue. I was in Detroit for NAIAS 2007, and the plaque clearly said 4.0L V8. Save the “Off-Topic” comments, but I have some interesting news I’d like to share. Effective May 15, the SX Sorento will begin production. That’s not the only exciting news though. That also marks the day that the LX V6 production will begin, and option changes will be in effect on LX, EX, and EX V6 models. Differences in the LX model include the UVO Infotainment System as part of the Convenience package. This makes the display in the rearview mirror obsolete. Differences between LX and LX V6 trims besides the obvious engine difference – The LX V6 has standard 18″ Alloys and rear A/C control. Changes on EX and EX V6 models include – Standard UVO, Infinity Audio repackaged into the Premium package. Silver roof rails are now standard, and Chrome finish roof rails are part of the Limited package. Rear camera display is now standard. The Base Sorento and the 6 speed manual transmission have been discontinued. Pricing details have not been released at this time.

  19. Verna is for Asian Markets, while Accent is for North America, and anywhere else it will be i25.

    Verna Powertrains=Engines without GDI.

  20. Without GDI the 1.6 Gamma only get 121 HP. With GDi it gets 140 HP.

  21. And as for the KUE Concept please take a good long look at the upcoming Sportage. Go ahead and educate yourself.

  22. I have begun to like autoshows quite a bit. I think that the Kia booth is always more exciting than the Hyundai booth, although Hyundai generally has bags, while Kia doesn’t. This year I have been to Detroit, Chicago, and New York Auto Shows. Maybe Los Angeles this fall? I doubt it though. The Optima will really have no formal unveiling other than LAIAS, even though it will have already been on sale for 2+ months. I guess NYC is the closest it will get before release. Why isn’t there an autoshow somewhere in September? That’s when most of the next year models come out. Cadenza will show up at LAIAS this year – we should see it at showrooms by Feb.

  23. I was told KMMG is already making V-6 LXs, seven pass. Fleet sales get them at the moment.

  24. “The only Hyundais that arrived before Kia was the Genesis’ selfish RWD platform”. Uh, I’m pretty freakin’ sure that the Sonata has beaten the K5/Optima and the Tucson/iX 35 is out before the Sportage. Let’s remember where Kia would be without Hyundai’s help, too: liquidation.

  25. “I don’t like what hyundai has done with Kia anymore.”

    Um…WTF did they used to do that you liked? Was it the Amanti that was already based on a very old architecture with an out dated engine since 2003? Was it the fact that it was owned by Ford before Hyundai? Was it the fact that Kia stuck with the old crappy 2.7 V6 for the Optima while the new Sonata received a brand new 235 hp 3.3 V6?

    If you like the Kia Amanti, Spectra, old Rio, BOF Sorento, old Optima, crappy Sportage, vs the new Cadenza with a 290 hp 3.5 V6 equalling that of the Genesis sedan, upcoming Sportage and Optima, Borrego with a torque rich version of the Genesis Tau V8(although it isn’t being produced for the 2010 model year), Soul, Forte and Forte Koup(the hatch version will receive a new 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters and 6-speed manual and a Navigation system all of which the will be availiable on the Koup and sedan later) and best selling Sorento with Lexus RX350 rivaling power, complete with a better looking Exterior, and just as good interior then I feel very sorry for you and I have nothing more to say except please grow up because you sound like a child when you say Hyundai is selfish. I have never heard a grown man say something like that about a parent company.

  26. The Sonata came out before the Optima and had a recall for the door latch, the Tuscon came out before the Sportage, the Santa Fe came out before the Sorento and the Genesis has come out before the upcoming K9. Its called production cycles. Also regarding the Genesis. The world was barely ready for a RWD luxury sedan from Hyundai so why on earth would Kia immediately develop a product based on that platform? You make no since what so ever. Kia still has a much more negative perception to over come even though they have the resources to develop a full size luxury sedan that can take on a Mercedes Benz.

  27. As someone who owns both a Hyundai and Kia dealership, let me say that both the Optima and the Sonata are great carx. However while Hyundai has been getting a lot of press lately, Kia has largely been flying under the radar. Hopefully with this new Optima, along with the Soul and the Forte, more people will really start to understand that Kia is more than just great value and warranty — they are hot cars that are fun to drive!

  28. America for HKAG=VAG to Europe.

    Europe will be a harder market for us to crack I think. We will get treated in Europe like VAG gets treated here. We will go upmarket, but they dont take us seriously. Just like people still barely take VAG serious in America. However, in America we will always break new sales records every month, and car reviewers will treat us like the ultimate Car God that Saved America. Just like how VAG is treated in Europe.

  29. Okay, correct me if I’m wrong, but did not the ix35/Tucson come out before the new Sportage? Did the new Sonata not come out before the new Optima? If Hyundai was truly using Kia cars for test mules, why would they not release the Kias to work the bugs out before they release their own two biggest volume sellers? Also, Hyundai is in a class above Kia, and there are some things that Hyundai gets, and Kia doesn’t. You are right, the Sonata had a bigger engine. The Sonata was also more luxuriously appointed. The Optima: a budget midsize. Still a great car (I own one), but not in the same league of the Sonata. You are right, Hyundai gets the RWD, and the quietness, and many of the other cool features. That is the downside of liking the budget brand of the two. Yes, Kia is the sportier brand. Our styling is sporty, you are right. Horsepower is a luxury thing. The Hyundai engines are quieter, smoother and sleeker. They are also more expensive. That 3.3L would have made the Optima expensive. Why would Hyundai make a truck like the Borrego? Hyundai has never really even been in that market, while Kia was being true to its BOF beginnings in the USA with the Sportage. Kia may be the sporty brand, but they are still the budget brand. What it sounds like to me is that you want Kia to get everything before Hyundai…..oh wait that’s right, Hyundai should take the leap of faith instead. Do you see where I’m going with this?? I am loling at your constant contradicting. I agree to a point with you, but I don’t see how you can say Hyundai is selfish. The consumer pays the price to have all of that extra stuff in their Hyundai. You get what you pay for.

  30. Also, maybe Kia will get the RWD, if so, wouldn’t that mean all of the bugs would be worked out of the K9? Pick one argument or another. You aren’t satisfied if a Hyundai comes out first, because they are selfish. You aren’t satisfied if a Kia comes out first because then Hyundai is using it as a test mule for their selfish ratings. Does anyone else notice the contradiction, or is it just me?

  31. Hyundai has to be a Lexus like brand in the long run. The Korean people need a World Class Luxury Brand they can be proud of. This is very important to people, not just the Koreans but the people who have invested money and time into these cars voer the years.

  32. Think about the Anti HKAG hate and the questioning of people. Why I bought a Hyundai? Why I bought a KIA?

    Its getting to the time now guys to where we will be free from justifying our purcahses. People hardly ask you that question anymore dont they?

    Considering the way we have been treated, we are entitled to be the best in the World. We demand better, and we will get better. We are the Company of the 21st century, and the other stuff is just an extention of the 20th Century.

  33. The Theta 2.4L has been out for several years now, and it first showed up in the 2006 Sonata. The 2011 Sonata is the first HKAG vehicle to get the 2.4L GDI. So which is that? The selfish part or the test mule part? The next Azera will certainly have more features than the K7, because Hyundai is the luxury brand. Look at Hyundai’s prices. Kia is currently above average on JD Power ratings, last I checked. You say Hyundai is being selfish with the RWD Genesis coming out first. So it is obvious that Kia is being highly selfish for the K7 to come out first. Oh, and I have always liked the Forte, I was just a little disappointed in the features list. But, I no longer have to worry. Apparently “selfish” Hyundai is letting the Forte have Navi and push button start for next year.

  34. Dude what is wrong with you? The Optima and Sonata both had the 175 hp Theta II I4 and 5-spd auto before the Forte. And please don’t say the Optima or Forte should have received the 200 hp GDI 2.4 I4 before the Sonata because that would be the dumbest thing to say. Say Kia was the first to offer a Genesis like car before Hyundai, it would have been a disaster in terms of sales. If Hyundai/Kia made you CEO they would be 8-feet under due to stupid requests like the ones you insist they make come true. How can I hate Kia when I own a problem free 06.5 Black Optima LX V6? You make no sense so please stop rambling on like a Vietnam war veteran. I am through.

  35. It is just dumb to say that Hyundai uses Kia for test mules, because that is obviously not the case.

  36. @ Greg Don’t forget new 6-speed transmissions. Something is wrong with this guy and there is no informing him because he is probably typing his post from a crazy house.

  37. Oh yes, Hyundai gave Kia the awesome new 6 speed transmissions first…..WAIT! Hyundai must have been being selfish here, again using Kia as a test mule. I am not trying to be mean or rude, I am just saying that nothing seems to please.
    Hyundai releases a car first: Hyundai is selfish.
    Kia Releases a car first: Hyundai is selfish.

    So do you want both of them to stop releasing cars? I guess I just don’t get it. I am not trying to be mean, but I must disagree with you about Hyundai being selfish.

  38. Hyundai releases a car first: Hyundai is selfish.
    Kia Releases a car first: Hyundai is selfish.

    Haha so true!

  39. Kia gets skylights because they appeal to more youthful buyers. Hyundai is appealing to a more elderly crowd than Kia is (Except the Rondo, LOL!). As for segments, the Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, and MB C-Class are all in the D-segment. Can you tell me which one is the sporty budget brand, which one is the affordable luxury brand, and which one is the luxury brand?

  40. Elantra and Accent, and maybe Tucson and Sonata to a degree are Hyundais only young person’s products. Hyundai needs those products as brand growers. I expect that whatever is on Accent and Elantra in terms of styling will make it up to genesis in the future as us younger people get older and want to buy Genesis. I expect next Sonata to have a Hexagon Grille, then 2022 Azera, then 2027 Genesis.

  41. Greetings Kia World fans from teh OVerseas Communication Team at KMC global HQ !

    One of the foreign correspondents here is Korea for a major global business newswire service is writing an article on Kia’s design revolution and would like to conduct email interviews with recent purchasers of our new generation of vehicles (i.e., Soul, Forte, Venga, new Sorento). If any one on this forum would like to participate, please send me your email address to mjc@kia.co.kr and indicate which country you live in and which new Kia vehicle you own.

    Many thanks!

  42. Greetings Kia World fans from the OVerseas Communication Team at KMC global HQ !

    One of the foreign correspondents here is Korea for a major global business newswire service is writing an article on Kia’s design revolution and would like to conduct email interviews with recent purchasers of our new generation of vehicles (i.e., Soul, Forte, Venga, new Sorento). If any one on this forum would like to participate, please send me your email address to mjc@kia.co.kr and indicate which country you live in and which new Kia vehicle you own.

    Many thanks!

  43. On the JD Power (or is it consumers auto or something like that?) list, Hyundai is 8th and Kia is 10. Ford was ranked 11 – Kia beat them idiots. This may be outdated because I haven’t looked for a while. What Kia needs right now is do very well with the hybrid. What Kia needs for the long run is to make their hybrid drivetrain extremely affordable. The entire hybrid drivetrain should not cost more than the current drivetrains. They should then make the hybrid drivetrain standard across the whole line-up. This seems to be where the market is going, so why not get a HUGE jump on it. For example, you could buy a base LX Forte (hybrid) for $13,300, and it would have all of the same features as the current Forte LX.

  44. I do have this question though.

    As an American, Why would any self respecting Korean buy an inferior Camry over a Sonata or K5?

    I could see if they bought Alpheon, or something else BUT A CAMRY, A F–KING CAMRY? Are you Kidding Me?

  45. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that Hyundai and Kia are doubling up on the testing of that Accent. and they are just going to throw different body panels on the Kia version. I don’t see why you want spy shots anyway. They are about the most worthless pictures of cars.

  46. Its not that we want to see the spy shots per se… if spy shots are available it only means that the car is almost ready to go into production. If it does not show up then I dare say that the car will only be released to production by 2012 at the earliest.

  47. I need to have the Rio Shots. Its just that simple Lol!! Since the Accent is getting a 5 Door, maybe Rio might get the dedicated cheap 3 door.

  48. Hey guys, I have heard that we will see the new Rio (YC?) at LAIAS in November. It looks like there will be no sedan version. We probably won’t see spy shots until mid summer, since it is going to share so much with the Venga.

  49. I think there will be a 5 door and a 3 door. Not sure about other dealerships, but we have a hard time selling the sedans.

  50. I’m with you conwelpic, I am really missing the forums. They’ve only been down since April, but it seems like its been longer than that.

  51. “Himi – are we ever going to get the forums back in operation?”

    Recently, I found some other troubles at the site, so I decided to redesign it completely. Currently I’m in an extensive search for a website designing company that will help me with the works… I’ll announce this news at the blog next week.

  52. Thanks for hosting this website, himi. I know that secular work can present its own challenges and take up much of our time and energy. I know personally about this. So I for one am glad you have taken on the challenge of making this website available for those of us who love Kia Motors of South Korea. Again, thank you so much for all of your efforts in this regard! Kia Motors personnel would be proud of the site.

  53. GM is scared of both Korean carmakers and yes, why would they come out on Detroit AM radio stations and admit it and start talking about it? Of course they wouldn’t. But I have read where GM execs have admitted that they’ve got a real bearcar of a battle on their hands with Hyundai and Kia. For sure for sure.

  54. Plus GM got 25 Billlion dollars of Daewoo’s Assets (Not including Daewoos few Thousand ELITE engineers staff).

    Plants include former Daewoo plants
    Vietnam
    Uzbekistan (dominant presense because of Daewoo)
    Russia (Number 1 in Russia because of Former Daewoo plants)
    India (Now Gm is competitive becuase of Daewoo plants and Daewoo itself)
    Egypt (Dominant because of Daewoo.)
    Poland
    Romania,
    Latin America (Brasil I think)

    All international growth has been because of DAEWOO sweat and labour to engineer myriads of Plants around the world, not because of GM’s own entrepreneurship ability.

    Anyway, this is a Kia Blog. KIA will do well into the future because of Peter Schreyer, Hyundai engineering, and a good team around them. But at least Chung Moo Koo is paying Schreyer extremely well. It’s not like Schreyer is being used and abused like Gm is doing to South Korea.

  55. You are correct on the importance of Daewoo engineering to GM’s survival and international success. Especially in the developing market countries. GM figured, if ya can’t beat ’em buy ’em. You can’t blame them-the acquisition of Daewoo gave GM inroads in to Asia and the huge present and potential market there. And, of course, then, to many, many other world car markets.

  56. What the South Korean Courts GAVE Daewoo for free. Either Break Daewoo up and disintegrate the entire sham of a company that was Daewoo, or give it to POSCO, DOOSAN< SAMSUNG..

    GM is the last company you would ever give Daewoo up for. Especially for 230 Effin million dollars. Koreans worked so Effin hard to build Daewoo up for Kim Woong choong and he tore it up and gave everything up so that GM can takeover and make billions of dollars around the world on the HArd sweat and labour of Korean idiots.

    GM didn't buy Daewoo. They got it for Fuggin Free okay? I can't understand why Koreans continue to support GM Daewoo. Is a gun up to their heads? Whyd o Koreans work for Renault Samsung? It makes no sense.

  57. kia can very well threaten sonata , atleast now after the defaming steering related recall. otherwise sonata came out awesome. specially the aerodynamic outlook was kickass, as sonata gave up the old conservative outlook. i hope mistakes are taken care of very soon.

  58. Each review will have different highlighted features. Its just based on the reviewer. Different people will have different opinions.

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