By on February 28, 2012

When the Chrysler Concorde and Chevrolet Camaro underwent redesigns in the late-1990s, automotive critics lamented the start of the “catfish” era in car design. The Kia KH is moving forward with the aquatic-creature theme, sporting a snout that resembles a monkfish, an even uglier sea-being.

Kia will debut their new luxury sedan at the Geneva Auto Show in March, but apparently won’t sell the car in Europe. It’s unclear whether the car will be sized closer to the Hyundai Genesis or Equus. The KH will not be the name of the car either – Kia is apparently crowdsourcing the name of the car via Facebook. Troll away.

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43 Comments on “Kia KH Heralds The Start Of The “Monkfish Age” In Automotive Design...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Kia Homage – “Ever wonder what a 58 Buick would look like as imagined by Korean designers? Well we’ve got your car!”

  • avatar

    The trolls are welcome to have their say. I think it looks pretty good.

  • avatar

    Malaise-tastic suggestion sent, if this goes through I will eat my hat.

  • avatar

    Take the middle grille kinks out and it could easily pass for a BMW 7 series. Trick question. If Hyundai is having a hard time selling a recycled last gen Mercedes/Lexus derived Genesis then how does the lower priced sister division think they are going to sell an equally expensive BMW ripoff with a Kia badge?

    • 0 avatar

      Not a 7, but a 5. The rear lights look Huyndai Azera- like, but the front, hood, and sides are a direct ripoff of an F10 5 series.

      See the comparisons I posted here:

    • 0 avatar

      The “tiger grill” is similar to the one on all Kia models and pretty much EXACTLY the same on the Kia GT concept.

      The only reason why people are comparing it to BMW is b/c the grill has vertical slats.

      The front is more Maserati Quattroporte than anything, having that “bulging” grill – which many auto-makers are now using (see front of the new Fusion and the new ES, as well as the BMW 6 Series).

      Also, the Genesis has not Lexus design cues – if anything, it’s mostly BMW with the Hofmeister kinked greenhouse.

      Only similarity with Mercedes is that it has a center divider on the grill.

      The Lexus LS430 was much more like Mercedes (S Class), as evidenced by complaints by the head designer of Mercedes at the time.

    • 0 avatar

      Hard time? Isn’t their share of the mid-level luxury market roughly proportionate to their total market share for all cars, 5% give or take?

      Hardly a “hard time.”

  • avatar

    Looks great, although aesthetic comparisons to the BMW F01/F02 7-Series are inevitable – for one, the twin kidneys are in a state of incomplete mitosis.

  • avatar

    At least we can see where the Koreans are headed: Hyundai’s mission with the Genesis will be to mimic Mercedes, while Kia’s will be to shamelessly borrow from BMW.

    • 0 avatar

      Where does the Genesis “mimic” Mercedes except for having a center divider on the grill (which isn’t the same)?

      Nissan luxury sedans in Japan have had grills that look much more like the Mercedes grill and slap on a center divider on the grill of the LS460 and voila, a Mercedes grill.

      Also, the K9 doesn’t have a Hofmeister kinked greenhouse, unlike the LS460 which does, so no real BMW comparison either except at the rear (which the LS460 also looks a bit like BMW).

      So what about Chrysler and other automakers shamelessly copying Hyundai’s “surfacing” of the grill slats – which Hyundai originated on the Genesis?

      Chrysler as done the surfacing on the grill slats for the 300 and 200 and now Ford and Lexus have gotten into the act.

      • 0 avatar

        I can appreciate that you’re a Hyundai fanboy, but it’s pretty obvious which marque is influencing the face of the Genesis sedan. (Hint: They have a big facility in Stuttgart, and their cars aren’t cheap.)

      • 0 avatar


        Let me get this straight. You’re having to label someone a fanboy to try to discredit what I thought was a well-reasoned post?

        Try again.

      • 0 avatar

        “You’re having to label someone a fanboy to try to discredit what I thought was a well-reasoned post?”

        No, I’m labeling him a Hyundai fanboy because I’ve read enough of his glowing praises of the brand in numerous posts on this website to identify him as such.

        As for his response, trying to claim that Hyundai isn’t derivative because other manufacturers are also derivative is not exactly much of a rebuttal.

        In any case, all one needs is a pair of properly functioning eyes to see that the S-class provided a bit of, er, inspiration for the Genesis. (And in just case you had any doubts, the Mercedes came first.)

  • avatar

    Another good reason to NOT buy a Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar

      what are the others??

      • 0 avatar

        They’re ugly (to me), and I don’t buy the durability line. I just don’t believe they are that good of a car, ten-year warranty or not. I put Kia in the same box. I don’t believe they can hold a candle to the well-established imports like Honda and Toyota (I hate Toyota, too!).

        As far as not liking imports, well, we do own a Mazda MX5 and a Honda CR-V.

        It’ll be hilarious if my next car turns out to be a Prius! The B&B will be too happy to force-feed me all the baloney I could handle!

      • 0 avatar

        Add resale value to that list.

      • 0 avatar

        Resale was/is a good reason not too, only time will tell on some of these newer models which came online in the past four or five years. I do recall the 02-05 generation Hyundais (mostly the small cars) going for a song, usually with fun electrical issues, about four years ago when I still worked at the auction. The consensus there at the time was Hyundai is another soulless cheap disposable car to buy here/pay here.

        This one is odd though, it looks a bit like a 7 series to me. So is Hyundai now the joke brand and KIA is looking to get serious with an entry like this? I think the only way Hyundai lives out a 21st century Toyota-esque success story is if the other Asian brands commit hari-kari and bleed some market major share. I just think there are too many well established brands not only in North America, but in Asia, for Hyundai to see significant growth. I googled NA market share and found Hyundai/Kia is about 8.4 of the market combined. Chrysler is sitting on 11.6, and Toyota 13.9. Since Chrysler came back from the dead again, and I think Ford/GM remain steady at 15.5/18.2, further share would have to come at the price of fellow Asian competitors… not to mention Volkswagen’s future designs on the small to midsize car market. Moving forward I could actually see one or more of the Asian makes disappearing as time moves on, there are just too many established brands competing for about 50% share.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s with all the import-hate? Especially since GM is using the same country (in this case) for quite a bit of its design and manufacturing…

      • 0 avatar

        Zackman doesn’t like anything that isn’t an Impala, especially if it doesn’t have roll-down back windows or fit his hat. He loved the K-car and he has zero interest in anything fancier than his Chevy. Know this and you can predict about 95% of his posts before he writes them.

    • 0 avatar

      2012MY ALG Mainstream Brand Residual Value Rankings:


      Only brands above the industry average were ranked.

      As for reliability, Hyundai scores above average in both JD Power and Consumer Reports and has been rated no.1 by AutoBild (which actually looks at service records) 2 years running.

      And unlike Toyota, Hyundai hasn’t been leading in RECALLS which are not taken into account in reliability rankings.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Does BMW mean monkfish in Korean?

  • avatar

    Looks like the BMW Gran Coupe from the front, they just didn’t complete the divider in the center of the grill. Hmmmm. Where were the monkfish references then? Mmm. Monkfish. I need to watch an episode of the Japanese Iron Chef now.

  • avatar

    For me, nothing was a Catfishtastic as the 1996 Taurus.

  • avatar

    It’s pretty sad that Kia has to straight up copy BMW.

  • avatar

    Meet the Kia Lacrosse 5-series, the creators put so much effort and enthusiasm into it that YOU have to name it.

    So, Koreas gone back to blatantly ripping-off luxury brands, except here its strange (usually their attempts just look odd). Though ever since Kia adopted their “hamster grille” all of the cars have started to look silly.

  • avatar



  • avatar

    The Kia Diarrhea…

  • avatar

    Its rather the BMW copycat-era. I smelling a copyright court case here…

  • avatar

    Maserati much?

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    Well, if KIA wants to appeal to the facebook mentality,why bother with a name at all? Just give new buyers of this vehicle a chrome(Or brushed nickel.)alpha-numeric lettering & template kit,and then let the i & My crowd go to town.Of course some sort of KIA rewards & registration site(Using their cars’ names-“For anonymous research & data gathering purposes only”,of course.)will be needed to encourage use of the naming kit.I predict many new KIAs named via this process will be “password”,”Kaitlin2004″,or “Sparky#1”.

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