Saturday, July 15, 2017

1:43 scale 2013 Kia Sportage R and Kia Grand Carnival (Sedona)

Welly is not the only diecast manufacturer to make Kia models there are more out there, yet most of them are unknown companies in East Asia and sell them through stores or dealerships in East Asia.  Here's a few that fit that realm with scales that are a bit larger than 1:43, more like 1:32.

Kia Sportage R

The Kia Sportage has been a staple of the Kia brand since 1995 when it was a rear-wheel drive, body-on-frame SUV that competed with the Suzuki Sidekick and Geo Tracker.  Since then the market for small SUV's has changed and so has the Sportage.  In 2004 it dropped its rear-wheel drive frame for a uni-body front-wheel drive unit shared with the Hyundai Tuscon.  For 2012 it gets the fluid styling that really makes this Sportage stand out from the crowd.  Just like the K5 sedan it is similarly edgy and looks best in orange.  The interior is larger and more refined, while the powertrain is a 2.0L DOHC I-4 that produces 180 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive system.  Then in its next generation and most recent it somehow goes for a rather odd look that looks nothing like this fantastic generation of Sportage's.

Gotta have the orange and that's where I am with this 1:32 scale pullback model.  It looks good even in the sporty R model.  The front has large swept-back headlights that connect to the Kia grille like the K5 with a lower bumper that houses LED running lights and foglights in an unusual shape inside of the grille.  On the sides the SUV has chrome trim with a D-pillar that kicks forward, lower black trim, and double 5-spoke wheels.  The rear has some usual European influences like a kickup in the hatch for the Kia badge, large taillights mounted high on top, and on the bumper are the turn signal indicators in red.  The look is very stylish for an SUV.  The base underneath shows off the exhaust and underside frame detailing and it is unclear if there is an all-wheel drive system as there's no detailed rear axle or driveshaft to the rear axle.  Taking a page from the Welly models is the nice black roof with panoramic sunroof that is not see-through.  The interior has seating for five with a cener console that houses the shifter.  The dashboard has a four-spoke steering wheel ahead of the comprehensive gauge cluster and detailed center stack area for radio and HVAC controls.

Kia Grand Carnival (Sedona)

For years Kia has teased us with the prospect of a minivan in the U.S. to go after the sales king Chryler minivans.  Finally in 2002 it arrives as the Sedona where in other markets it is called the Carnival.  The van uses some components with the Hyundai car line but it is mostly a platform by itself designed for minivan use.  Grand Carnival, like Grand Caravan, is the long-wheelbase version that was also the sole model offered for U.S. sales.  For a few years there was a Hyundai badge version called the Entourage that did not sell as well as the Kia version.  For powertrain it uses the 3.8L DOHC V6 that produces an estimated 185 horsepower through a five-speed automatic transmission.  I have driven one and I must say it is pretty quick off the line.  In 2015 Kia finally redesignes the Carnival with a look that adopts the Kia fluid styling.

It's not often to see diecast minivans, but every once in a while a few of them come along.  This Carnival in blue looks pretty good despite a few negative area's.  For starters it does seem to squat more at the rear and then the hood tends to sit at an angle on my tester with the grille so I used a black Sharpie to help hide this defect.  The front has headlights with signal lights stacked in triangluar housings connected to a horizontal bar chrome grille, with foglights and lower grille on the front bumper.  On the sides the casting is a bit flat on details so I added black trim to the windows, rear sliding door tracks, and chrome trim to help break it up a bit.  The way the door handles on each door come together is a nice touch.  At the rear is round taillights with signal and reverse lamps stacked above in a rectangular housing, joined by Kia badges and chrome trim on the liftgate.  The roof has black bars and a sunroof.  The nice touch is an opening hood that shows off the V6 motor; however, the real motor has a lot of plastic covering so here it is the same (not much depth in the engine bay).  The 5-spoke wheels look ok, if a bit generic.  The interior has a tan color that helps make the details stand out.  There is seating for seven people even if the third row is occupied by the pullback motor cover.  The dashboard has a high stance with center radio and HVAC controls sitting quite high, shifter down below, 4-spoke steering wheel, and center console with cupholders.  Even the door panels front and rear get some detailing as well.  While a minivan may not excite everyone it is one unique and nicely done casting of this Kia minivan.

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