The progressive, clean-cut design that has fuelled Audi’s meteoric success as a premium car brand has many imitators but none that is linked quite as widely and frequently with it as Kia, which has launched the third-generation Kia Sorento SUV.
The architect of Kia ’s current design identity, Peter Schreyer, spent the formative years of his career as a designer working for Audi, and could hardly have prevented a little of his own Bavarian schooling rubbing off on the saloons, hatchbacks and crossovers that he has authored so boldly for his Korean employers.
And to be fair, almost a decade after Schreyer’s appointment, there’s as much that’s distinctive and original-looking about Kia’s production models as there are cues ‘borrowed’ from you know who.
But the time for imitation-based flattery is now over. ‘Phase II’ of Kia’s coming of age is kicking in with this, the third-generation Kia Sorento seven-seat SUV. And, says Kia, Audi has as much to fear as anyone from where this chapter will take the firm.
Written large in the press material for this new car is a statement of quite extraordinary ambition from a car maker that, in relatively recent memory, was peddling models as rough and basic as the Pride and Kia Magentis.