Back To Top

[Behind the Wheel] All new K3 flaunts top notch fuel economy

YANGPYEONG, Gyeonggi Province – For drivers looking to purchase a new car, fuel economy is a crucial factor to consider, and Kia Motors has rolled out a compact sedan that boasts top level efficiency.

Kia Motors’ fully revamped second-generation K3 compact sedan is back in the market in six years as an “upscale dynamic sedan,” the company said.

After the four-hour test drive from Mayfield Hotel in western Seoul to Yangpyeong rest area in Gyeonggi Province, which expressways made up over 90 percent of the course, the new K3 showed a remarkable fuel efficiency of 19.3 kilometers per liter.

This was higher than its official fuel efficiency of 15.2 kilometers per liter with 15-inch tires, and 18.7 kilometers per liter shown after The Korea Herald’s three-day test drive of Hyundai’s Ioniq plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Kia Motors' second-generation K3 compact sedan (Kia Motors)
Kia Motors' second-generation K3 compact sedan (Kia Motors)

According to Kia Motors, the auto start and stop function that reduces unnecessary idling at stop lights contributed to the improved efficiency.

The new stylish X-Cross light emitting diode daytime running lights and full LED headlamp positioned on both sides of the tiger nose grille unique to the K3 lineup lends it a stylish look.

Due to its voluptuous new exterior design, the latest version of the compact sedan was nicknamed “little Stinger” at this year’s Detroit Motor Show where it was revealed.

The Stinger is Kia Motors’ premium high-performance sports sedan unveiled last April.

Kia Motors' second-generation K3 compact sedan (Kia Motors)
Kia Motors' second-generation K3 compact sedan (Kia Motors)

The forward collision avoidance-assist has been equipped in all four trims of the new K3 -- trendy, luxury, prestige, and noblesse -- for enhanced safety, the company said.

The new K3 is priced between 15.9 million won ($14,700) to 22.2 million won.

Some 6,000 units of the new model were sold during a weeklong pre-order period last month, the company said.

The vehicle is also available in more colors – including horizon blue and runway red -- compared to the previous model.

The Korea Herald rating (out of 5 stars):

Design: 4 stars
Safety: 4 stars
Gas Mileage: 5 stars
Price: 5 stars

Overall: 18/20

By Kim Bo-gyung (
Korea Herald Youtube