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Besides economy and performance, there also is the prestige factor. Bragging rights are a strong feature of Korean culture and the domestic diesels approach the status of the coveted German imports that mostly are diesel-powered.
New Grandeur shares 2.2L all-aluminum diesel engine with Santa Fe CUV.
’s sister company does not break out the brand’s diesel share, but sources tell WardsAuto the diesel domestic sales ratio is much the same.
Diesel’s importance to Kia’s domestic portfolio is apparent at the Busan show, where seven of the 14 cars and SUVs on display are diesel-powered: the Carnival (Sedona) 2.2L CRDi, Pride (Rio) 1.4L, K3 (Cerato, Forte) 1.6L, Soul 1.6L,Carens (Rondo) 1.7L, Sportage 2.0L and Sorento 2.0/2.2L.
The automaker’s most successful market launch occurred when the all-new Carnival minivan (Sedona in U.S.), powered by a 2.2L CDi turbodiesel, went on sale May 22 and 5,000 units were sold in two days.
Kia officials say they expect Carnival deliveries to rise from about 1,500 units per month for the retiring model to a sustained 4,000 per month for the all-new diesel.
The new Carnival averages 26.3 mpg (8.9 L/100 km) in the 9-seat version and 27 mpg (8.7 L/100 km) in the 11-seat model. It’s currently available only in Korea.
The automaker will launch a new diesel-powered Sorento CUV in August, with monthly sales projected at 4,500 units compared with the current 1,200.
Kia produces six diesel mills in two families for its car and SUV portfolio. The U family has four engines of 1.1, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.7L capacity. The larger R family comprises two engines of 2.0 and 2.2L capacity.