This week was big for Kia. Not only have they made the Ayala ownership official, they also launched an all-new car along with this milestone. While those two items made headlines, there's a lot more going on with the Korean automaker in the Philippines.
Aside from introducing and launching the Soluto sedan in the country, the now-Ayala-run Kia saw a major shakeup of its local range. From the Picanto to the Sorento, each saw either new prices, variant restructuring, or minor model updates.
Starting with the Picanto, the top-spec GT variant has been dropped although a new spec has been introduced. New to the Picanto range are the LX models which are powered by 1.0-liter engines. Now serving as the entry-level model of the lineup, the Picanto LX can be paired to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The LX manual starts at Php 590,000, over Php 40,000 less than the old base model. The LX automatic meanwhile starts at Php 635,000. 1.2-liter models are still retained, badged as EX and retails for Php 700,000 for the manual, and Php 745,000 for automatic.
Moving to the Rio, the lone manual variant has been dropped and the range is down to two models, LX and EX. Prices for the Rio start at Php 920,000 for the LX while the range-topping EX is priced at Php 985,000. There is no four-door version of the Rio on offer for the Philippines with the Soluto taking over small sedan duties for Kia.
On to the Sportage and, like the Picanto, the GT Line has been dropped. Also, there is no more all-wheel drive available for the crossover with the facelifted model. What they did keep are the diesels and it's the familiar 2.0-liter mill with 185 PS and 400 Nm of torque. Out goes the six-speed automatic and is replaced by a new eight-speed unit. Also, the Sportage now gets a more comprehensive touchscreen infotainment screen instead of the old 2-DIN stereo. The entry-level LX starts at Php 1,545,000 and the top of the line model, the EX, is priced at Php 1,820,000.
Also facelifted was the Grand Carnival, getting tweaks to its front end. It comes in three variants, namely LX 11-seater, EX 11-seater, and EX 7-seater. The LX 11-seater, which serves as the base model, costs Php 1,995,000 while the mid-spec EX 11-seater is at Php 2,180,000. Topping the Grand Carnival range is the EX 7-seater at Php 2,295,000.
Last but not least is the Sorento. Also facelifted, it has a new grill and headlights, front bumper, re-profiled rear bumper, and rearranged tail light elements. Interior has also been given a more updated look. Prices are lower than before, with the two-wheel drive model at Php 1,895,000 and the all-wheel drive version retailing for Php 2,195,000, which is significantly less than the Php 2,300,000 price tag from 2016.