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The Kia K3 could just be the perfect answer to segment leaders like the Toyota Altis and the Honda Civic.

05 Sep 2016

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I have been to Korea a couple of times before, but I do not personally like the place. Perhaps it's because I'm there mainly for work and never for leisure, hence I do not get to enjoy the pop and fashion culture that have led to her rising popularity.

As a matter of fact, I enjoy Japan so much more, even if, again, I'm there for work purposes only. The Japanese have got more finesse and their attention to details is simply impeccable. In short, they are somewhat smoother around the edges compared to the Koreans.

While this notion can be related to the cars these two countries produce a decade ago, it's completely untrue today.

The K3 sports a seamlessly integrated keyless entry button

The Koreans, both Hyundai and Kia, of late have been creating cars that are not only pleasing to the eyes, they are also jammed packed with standard features that will leave you wondering if the Japanese are genuinely giving you a run for your money.

Up close and Personal

With its nicely sculpted sheet metal and a sporty profile that wouldn't look shabby at a parking lot, the latest Kia is an eye pleaser. Aesthetically speaking, the car remains at 4,560mm long and 1,780mm wide. But because the grille has been tweaked to resemble the bigger Optima and its headlamps have been streamlined and stretched, the K3 looks wider than its predecessor.

Taillights as well as bumpers have also been updated. Kia has done away with the awkward-looking 'tubes' and has adopted a more modernised V-shaped LED design at the back.

On first glance, the cabin carries over largely unchanged, with similar-looking centre stack and the 'wavy' design on the passenger end of the dashboard. However, on closer look, an impeccable attention to detail has been paid to the cabin to further ensure its bang-for-buck proposition.

Small but vital changes have been made to improve the cabin

Apart from the introduction of new materials to the door trims as well as dashboard and sporting a higher quality finished gear knob, the K3 now comes with a new front passenger seat ventilation - something that was only available for the driver previously. What's also new is the Drive Mode Select that allows you to toggle between Eco, Normal and Sport mode to suit your needs and wants according to your driving mood.

Strangely, though, the test car doesn't come with FlexSteer like it's predecessor, where you can adjust the steering effort via a three-mode (Comfort/Normal/Sport) button on the steering wheel.
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


: -

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC Dual CVVT

Engine Cap





95kW (127 bhp) / 6300 rpm



157 Nm / 4850 rpm



6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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