Feature article

Best Kia Car Models in NZ: Buying Guide

Kia has plenty on offer from the smaller Stonic, to the huge seven-seater electric EV9 and eight SUV model lines.

Last updated: 14 March 2024

Kia sells a lot of vehicles in New Zealand thanks to its broad range of SUVs. It doesn't have many cars amongst its ranks anymore, more the high riding crossover types that the market likes. And Kia has plenty on offer from little ones like the Stonic which starts at $25,990, right up to the huge seven-seater electric EV9 which tops out at $134,990. And there are plenty in between with a total of eight SUV model lines, and many variants of each. The following are the best to suit specific Kiwi needs. 

The best small Kia SUV

That would be the Seltos. It starts at $32,990 for the LX and rises in price to just under $44k. Those after solid value should take a look at the LX plus, which goes for $35,990.

Its 2.0-litre petrol engine delivers solid performance and isn't too bad on the gas. Even its CVT transmission is likable. This high-rise five-door drives well and is particularly refined for an SUV of this ilk. 

Seltos offers up good interior space and accommodations despite its compact dimensions at under 4.4m long, the boot for instance can swallow up to 430L of cargo.

While the LX is often on sale for around the $30k mark the LX plus just offers a few more nice to have features like smart cruise and additional safety systems features, and looks better riding on its larger alloys. 

Read the full Kia Seltos review

Check out all the Seltos specs 

What about a hybrid Kia SUV?

That would be the Niro, which starts at $45k. This parallel hybrid (the self charging, no need to plug them in type) has stated fuel consumption of 4.4L/100km and is a good urban option. There's a five star crash rating thanks to the full range of active safety features.

It's similar in size to the Seltos at 4.4m long, while the boot measures up at 425L. And this is a hybrid that can tow, rated at hauling up to 1300kg braked.

It's a sharp looking vehicle with competent ride and handling characteristics. It also comes with three-years of scheduled servicing covering 45,000km, so your maintenance costs are sorted. 

Niro can also be had as a PHEV, however it is more expensive, starting at $55,690. With a larger electric motor, it's got more motive power and with a bigger battery can deliver up to 65km in EV mode.

Read the full Kia Niro review 

Check out all the Niro specs

What about something a bit bigger?

Sportage is Kia's mid-sized SUV, which goes up against the likes of Toyota’s RAV4 and Honda’s CR-V. There's a broad range to choose from within the Sportage line-up too, with 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6 turbo engines, a new hybrid version and even a diesel AWD model. Pricing ranges from just over $40,000 all the way up to $63,000.

Don't be put off by the entry level LX models with the 2.0-litre engine; these actually go quite well. It's a little thirsty however at 9.0L/100km.

This five-seater SUV has a five-star safety rating and a good sense of quality about it too. 

Inside you’ll find a 12-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and enough USB charge points to keep everyone’s phones topped up. 

It's bigger than the older model, now measuring 4.6m long, and this means vastly improved interior space, especially for those in the back seat, while there is over 540L of boot space.

While it carries a premium, the new $54k hybrid looks promising with its 5.4L/100km fuel use figure and its combined output of 169kW and 350Nm.

Read the full Kia Sportage review 

Check out all the Sportage specs

What's the best seven seat Kia SUV?

That would be Sorrento which has recently received a facelift. It’s looking pretty sharp with its new front end and improved interior fit out. Currently only the diesel model is offered, but there are hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions arriving soon.

We like the EX AWD model at $68,490. This has plenty of features including an around view camera, a heated steering wheel and leather seating throughout.

Sorento has a smart interior seating arrangement with two extra seats in the boot that are easy to both access and stow when not needed. It’s a very well rounded large family vehicle. Sorrento comes with a three-year, scheduled servicing plan (covering up to 45,000km) and a five-year, 150,000km warranty.

Read the full Kia Sorento review

Check out all the Sorento specs

And the best electric Kia?

This would be between the EV9 and the EV6. We reckon that the big EV9 is, well, just a little too big and expensive, all models over the $100k mark. It's a very well executed machine; refined, spacious and tech filled, but we prefer the EV6. This is a full-size five seater with a great electric powertrain that's efficient and the EV6 is simply a very accomplished drive.

The Air Long Range variant, with the 77kWh battery, is $79,990 and delivers up to 528km of range. While not the newest, it's still one of the better EVs on the market.

Read the full Kia EV6 review

Check out all the EV6 specs


Kyle Cassidy
Kyle Cassidy
Editor NZ Autocar magazine - autocar.co.nz

Kyle has been reviewing cars since starting at NZ Autocar magazine in 2003 and has been editor since 2009. In that time he’s become an expert on what makes for a good vehicle while also gaining insights into the local automotive industry.