Interview: James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Ireland

31 Mar 2015 | 01.22 pm

Interview: James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Ireland

Ride and handling much better than before

31 Mar 2015 | 01.22 pm

Kia has just launched the latest version of its Kia Sorento SUV. Available as a five or seven-seater, this third-generation Sorento has raised its game considerably with a major upgrade for the cabin and big improvements to the driving appeal.

The design is striking, the ride and handling are substantially better than before, and a reduction in noise, vibration and harshness makes the Sorento’s cabin a much quieter place to be. Safety performance has also been improved and the new model has received a five-star safety rating from EuroNCAP.

The new Sorento comes with Kia’s seven-year warranty and there are two versions on offer, the EX at €38,995 and the Platinum at €43,995. The standard spec on the EX includes 17-inch alloys, rear privacy glass and a 7-inch satnav screen with reversing camera.

The Sorento is powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine and is in Band C (€390) for road tax purposes.

 

Olive Keogh’s Interview with James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Ireland

Kia James Brooks 810

 


What new cars are on the way from Kia in 2015?

First up for us towards the end of February is the all-new 7-seater Sorento. The car is totally new both inside and out although we will retain the 190bhp 2.2 diesel engine.

Later in the year we will be launching new Venga and Rio models with product enhancements. The Rio supermini gets newly designed front bumpers and fog lights and an updated version of the so-called ‘tiger nose grille’. The Venga mini MPV will get similar treatment. In 2014 we introduced the new Soul so with the 2015 launches our line-up will be right up to date.

What’s your best executive buy?
A difficult question. An obvious answer would be the Optima luxury saloon, which was upgraded in 2014 and now features a sports pack which comes with a black-mesh front grille, chrome trim around the lower air-intake, unique 18-inch, five double-spoke alloy wheels and a matt-black diffuser beneath the rear bumper.

However, we find that many user choosers are now going for the Sportage as a corporate buy, with some going for the range-topping Gse model if their budget allows. The Sorento is also an option, especially for those looking for the flexibility of a 7-seater SUV, and we will be targeting the new model in that direction.

What Kia models are selling well?
The Sportage continues to excel based on growing consumer demand for crossover vehicles. The cee’d estate continues to be successful for us and is a particularly attractive fleet option. Needless to say, our 7-year warranty continues to be a key attraction across all model segments.

What is Kia’s most economical model?
The Picanto with a CO2 of 99 returns 4.2l /100km on a combined cycle.

How have sales been going recently?
Our sales increased by 30% in 2014. Sportage continues to make the biggest contribution but both Venga and Carens (7-seater MPV) have made significant strides in their respective segments.

 

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