SEMA OEM Report: Scionara?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Kia’s booth at SEMA was quiet and empty compared to the Genesis-fest at sister firm Hyundai’s space. But fewer fans meant a chance for a closer look at several near-production concepts that point the way forward for the “other” Korean budget automaker. And though Hyundai seems to have Lexus in its crosshairs, Kia appears to be gunning directly after another Toyota’s Scion. First up, Kia’s Soul Burner concept looks like a (not quite production-ready) alternative to Scion’s xD. Strip away the flame-tread show tires, and a few other tuner-show fripperies, and it’s a practical, flexible, stylish little hatch. The styling doesn’t exactly put the “b” in subtle, but it’s a reasonable compromise between practicality and urban chic. Fit-and-finish clearly needs some work (paint bubbles on a show car?). But a cheaper, better-looking (in the eyes of this beholder) xD should have Toyota sweating more than a little. Kia’s Koup Concept has an equally laserlike-focus on stealing sales from the Scion tC. The stylishly unisex Koup sports clean lines, sharp-looking head- and tail lights, and a surprising impression of quality compared to the Soul Burner. Slap a Honda badge on the Koup and you might think it was the next Civic Si. Put it next to a tC with no badges at all, and you might have a hard time guessing which came from the world’s most successful automaker.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 07, 2008

    Kia would benefit from bringing over the Ceed/Proceed sooner rather than later. Doing something to push the Rondo might not be a bad idea, either. Hyundai doesn't seem to understand that it needs to keep Kia and itself separate, which leads to: However, I think the Genesis Coupe should have been a Kia as well… I'd be ok with the Genesis as a Hyundai, but Hyundai needs to forget the Tiburon and allow Kia and the Koup to stand alone. The Borrego was a stupid choice as a Kia, but would have made sense as a Hyundai; vice-versa the Elantra wagon/i30: it's a better Kia than a Hyundai. And there's others: Better Hyundais: Amanti, Magentis/Optima, Sedona Better Kias: Tiburon, Santa Fe, Accent, Getz

  • Billc83 Billc83 on Nov 07, 2008

    I must agree with MrDot and BlueBrat, the Koup looks particularly nice. Too bad we don't have any shots of the headlights. If it makes it to the US, I'd look at it. The Soul Burner, not so much. Just doesn't do it for me.

  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.
  • Kat Laneaux I get the point that Musk is making. I wouldn't want everyone to know my secrets. If they did, they could or would shout it out to the world. But then, if Musk certified certain folks and had them sign Confidentiality agreements, which would allow them to work on cars that Musk had made, that could allow others to work on his cars and not confine vehicle owners to be charged an arm and a leg for the service. It's a catch 22. People are greedy little buggers. If they can find a way to make money, they will even if it wrong. People...sad.
  • 285exp I have been assured that EVs don’t require maintenance, so this seems pointless.