From Classic to Contemporary: A Look at Kia Sedans, Past and Present

By: Kia Store Rainbow City   |   21 May 2024

If you’ve been by a used Kia dealer lately, like ours here at Kia Store Rainbow City, we’re sure you noticed the unbeatable lineup of sedans available. While many automakers have moved away from the classic car body, drivers are still divided between sedans and their rivals, SUVs.

Not long ago, the car was the top body for drivers, but the sedan lost its foothold a few years ago, with SUVs and crossovers taking the lead. That’s not to say there isn’t still a place for sedans, with many drivers actually preferring them to SUVs for a number of reasons, fuel efficiency and affordability being two of the biggest factors. Naturally, urban drivers and commuters know that a sedan is a smart choice when it comes to dealing with gridlock traffic, limited parking, and narrow streets.

So, if you find yourself craving a great sedan for your next car, you’re not alone, and Kia is ready to help. Kia has come a long way, investing millions in upgrading its engineering and overall style to create some of the most popular sedans on the road. While Kia has moved up the scale regarding quality, it has still remained affordable for the average consumer. For drivers wanting to get into a beautiful sedan, Kia cars offer an upscale feel with thoughtful detailing that makes it feel more expensive than it is.

When you’re in the market for a sedan, Kia is a natural choice, redefining comfort and performance to meet the diverse needs of drivers from all walks of life. This begs the question, which Kia sedan do you want to look out for? Check out the rundown on some of Kia’s top sedans, and when you're ready to get behind the wheel of a few of them for a test drive, you can find them all here at Kia Store Rainbow City.

The Sedan Is Kia’s Forte

The Forte was Kia’s best-selling sedan of 2022, coming in second overall, just behind the compact crossover, the Sportage. This uber-popular compact sedan hit the roads in 2008 to replace the discontinued Cerato. The Forte offered a sleek, understated style that drew drivers in immediately. Versatility helped, too. The Forte was offered in several body styles, including a hatchback, sedan, and coupe. With a couple of healthy engine choices and a facelift here and there, the Forte was on its way to becoming a best-seller for the Korean automaker, reaching upwards of 114,000+ sales for 2023 in the US alone. The fun-to-drive Forte has plenty of get-up-and-go potential, which makes it great for highway driving. Now in its fourth generation, the Forte is a showstopper with sleek modern looks that give it a sophisticated vibe while maintaining an affordable price tag.

The Perfect Commuter

People love the Rio when it comes to commuting! The stylish compact sedan offers exceptional gas mileage and nimble steering, all at a price that works. The flexibility of a 4 or 5-door hatchback styling model makes it perfect for a diverse range of drivers. If there were ever a charming car, the Rio would be it. The peppy engine does fool around; when you need to go, the Rio is ready when you are! Its compact curves make it perfect for urban dwellers with parking space issues. However, don’t be fooled by its compact nature; the Rio offers a roomy cabin and supportive seating that helps you relax and enjoy the drive. The Rio is now in its fourth generation, giving drivers plenty to pick from when they browse the used car market. If a spunky sedan is what you’re after, the little Rio delivers in a big way!

From the Optima to the K5

You might be more familiar with the Optima name, but back in 2021, Kia decided to upgrade the model with the new K5 moniker to convey the midsize sedan’s sporty new appeal. While the Optima had a reputation as a reliable and mainstream sedan, the K5 took things in a new direction, offering a sleeker and more powerful vehicle for drivers looking to add an extra thrill to their day. If you want to kick things up a notch, consider the K5 your next traveling companion. Despite the name change and style upgrade, the K5 remains a fuel-efficient vehicle, which is great for the casual driver who wants style and practicality. The K5 name was introduced recently in 2021, so drivers can either still get their hands on a pre-owned model a few years old or opt for the Optima.

2018 Kia Stinger

Kia’s Aggressive Stinger

When you see a Stinger, it’s pretty clear that it was designed to capture the attention of drivers and pedestrians alike. The sedan’s exterior design is a good indication of its performance. The model was made by Kia to take styling cues from their GT concept car back in 2011 before hitting the American markets in 2017. The tiger-nose style and slick lines made it stand out in Kia’s lineup. The interior cabin resembled a cock pit and included plenty of upscale features like Nappa leather seating, metallic accents, and advanced technology delivered to the driver's fingertips.

The Stinger is now in its second generation and still has a lot to offer drivers looking for a sports sedan with plenty of muscle. Its turbocharged engine can be upgraded to a twin-turbocharged one for increased performance. Looking for a car that puts the ‘fun’ in function? The Stinger is the sweet spot for drivers looking for performance and style at a price that works.

The Cadenza Hits All the Right Notes

As the name implies, Kia’s luxury-centered sedan is a bold and beautiful artistic expression. It launched in the US market in 2014 and was discontinued in 2021. This wasn’t because the sedan was anything other than a great ride but to make way for Kia’s expanding lineup of crossovers and SUVs. It’s understandable, if not a little tragic. The 2020 Cadenza was really a high point for the model, getting an updated safety suite, tech, and interior refresh that features soft-touch materials and a modern color pallet.

2020 Kia Cadenza

The Kia K900: Gone but Not Forgotten

The same year we said goodbye to the Cadenza, we also said farewell to the Kia K900, an upscale and understated sedan that features plenty of bells and whistles at a great price. For drivers wanting to slip into a little luxury without breaking the bank, the K900 is a great pre-owned choice.

The K900 has been on the market since 2015, but there are a handful of great years to watch out for if you’re in search of a more upscale Kia sedan. It’s possible to find many of the models with their noteworthy V6 engine for under $25,000. The last few years the model was in production are often cited as its best, 2019-2020. They delivered plenty of comfort with a great reliability rating, making them a smart investment for drivers wanting a little more than average.

Find Your Match With a Pre-Owned Kia

Kia’s diverse range of sedan models makes it possible for drivers to find a car that matches their personality without having to compromise on things like performance, style, or price. In the past decade or so, Kia has become a name that is synonymous with value. If you want a high-end feel at a great price, there is an array of great options in Kia's lineup.

Maybe you’re making your commute behind the wheel of a Rio. Perhaps you’re loading up the family in your Forte. No matter what your schedule has in store, a pre-owned Kia sedan keeps things flexible so you can get on with your day. No matter your driving needs or lifestyle, there is a Kia sedan to match your preferences and your budget.

No matter which Kia sedan suits your lifestyle, investing in a pre-owned model is a smart investment that will deliver value mile after mile. Kia’s reputation for reliability and affordability makes it a double threat in the sedan market. So whether you’re tackling the urban jungle or going for a Sunday cruise, a pre-owned Kia sedan is guaranteed to rev up your daily drive in all the right ways.

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