HUD colour display provides more than just speed information, legible even in bright light
On the open road, the engine surges forward from low speeds but only feels assertive enough when the tachometer has crossed the 3000 rpm mark. We couldn’t push it hard with the warnings about strict police enforcement and what can be said about the acceleration is that it provided effortless overtaking whenever needed.
One of the things about the transmission which puzzled me at first was that it would, in certain conditions, start off in second gear. I thought ‘Winter mode’ had been in use but was told that it was programmed into the logic control to provide a smoother take-off.
There are four driving modes available and I had it in Sport mode most of the time, this giving a more enjoyable driving experience as everything was taut and responsive. The ‘aggressiveness’ of the Eco mode in prioritizing fuel-saving became quite apparent when I switched to it as the fuel level ran very low. Throttle response lost a bit of sharpness and it seemed that the transmission went up a ratio higher than what I would have liked.
The smooth and well maintained Korean roads made any assessment of ride comfort virtually impossible but because we deviated into smaller rural roads (due to the GPS giving wrong directions after resetting itself), there was an unplanned opportunity to see how it would cope with rougher surfaces. Not surprisingly, it was fine on most surfaces but over sharp speedbumps, the shock would come through noticeably as if the damping was limited.
Sound insulation was excellent, comparable to Lexus levels at most speeds but I noticed some whistling occasionally near the large mirrors. Not sure if it was due to unusual crosswind conditions, early-production issues or an inherent airflow flaw.
While we did not use the built-in navigation system as the testcar was a Middle East version (we were provided a standalone navigation unit), it was interesting to find that when the fuel warning light came on, a message flashed on the screen asking: “Would you like to locate the nearest location to refuel?” Thinking this was a wonderful ‘life-saver’, I pressed ‘YES’ and the locations that appeared in the screen were in Saudi Arabia!
Should you buy one?
Overall, the Quoris is a notable first effort into the premium segment. The earlier Korean limousines, like the early Japanese ones, were big ostentatious cruisers akin to the Detroit ‘aircraft carriers’ and could only be appreciated in their domestic market. The Quoris shows a seriousness in being a global product (apart from the fact that Kia is not making a RHD variant) with contemporary styling, thanks of course to Peter Schreyer.
Technically, the Quoris is right up there with the obvious rivals but Kia accepts that its brand image is still not close enough yet so they’re satisfied if they can get a fair comparison. In that context, their flagship is certainly worth considering as an alternative for those who want something different.
If you want one in Malaysia, you can’t get it because Kia doesn’t make a righthand drive variant and there is no indication if they will do one because the potential volume doesn’t justify it.