IRVINE, Calif., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- J.D. Power and Associates' 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS) has ranked the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage as leaders in the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle and Sub-Compact CUV segments, respectively. And, for the first time, Kia ranks among the automotive industry's top 10 nameplates for initial quality. The 2013 Soul ranked first in the Compact MPV segment for the second consecutive year, and the Sportage tied for the highest ranking in the Sub-Compact CUV category.
"Kia Motors is committed to building vehicles that are defined by award-winning design, fun-to-drive performance and world-class quality, and the Soul and Sportage epitomize these attributes," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). "Achieving top-ten status within the industry reflects just how far the Kia brand has come in improving the ownership experience and vehicle quality for our customers and advancing value to new levels of sophistication across our entire model line."
According to the IQS study, Kia made substantial improvements with gains that outpaced the industry average and resulted in the brand's best-ever score. The annual report analyzed responses from 83,442 respondents about 230 vehicle models and attributes across eight categories, including the driving experience, engine and transmission and a broad range of quality problem symptoms reported by vehicle owners.
About the 2013 Soul
Refreshed for the 2013 model year the Soul features technology and styling upgrades, bringing a new level of cool with enhanced power and efficiency. New for 2013 are power-folding side mirrors, darkened chrome around the signature grille, upgraded leather on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, standard Bluetooth® wireless technology with steering wheel-mounted controls, standard steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and cruise control. The Soul also offers Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology as part of the Eco Package, which senses when the vehicle is stopped and shuts off the engine to maximize efficiency and results in reduced engine load and less fuel consumption.
About the 2013 Sportage
Starting with the base trim, Sportage offers numerous standard features, including 16-inch alloy wheels matched with 215/70R16 low-rolling-resistance silica tires, body-color door handles, body-color and electronically adjustable side mirrors and a six-speed manual transmission. Moving to the LX adds standard 17-inch alloy wheels, LED turn signals on the outside mirrors, keyless entry with folding key, six-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic™ automatic transmission, solar glass, privacy glass, and LED accent lighting along the headlamps for a sportier, more upscale appearance. The popularly-equipped EX trim offers stylish 18-inch alloy wheels mated with 235/55R18 tires, high-performance dampers, LED daytime running lights, roof rails, a rear spoiler, fog lamps and chrome body trim and door handles. The top-of-the-line Sportage SX adds a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine producing 260-horsepower, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust, sculpted side sill moldings and unique SX grille.
Kia: One of the World's Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands," and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry's largest segments has fueled Kia's rapid growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the Cadenza flagship sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at http://www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts
 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology
SOURCE Kia Motors America