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  7. Completely replace Opheles! Be...

[YesAuto Overseas Test Drive] Do you remember the Ophelia models imported from Kia? This is an imported “large” car with a spacious interior and full of various luxury configurations, and the price of around RMB 300,000 is only equivalent to the price of a domestic joint venture medium-sized car. However, the appearance of Orpheus is indeed difficult for most Chinese consumers to accept, which can be confirmed from the sales volume. If you start with an old-fashioned appearance and make a radical change from the outside to the inside, can you win back the recognition of consumers? No matter what the result is, this thing must be done first before seeing the result! Next, please follow the editor to experience this imported Kia brand new medium and large car-“VG” (Korea Kia internal model code)!

(Note: This test drive experience is the Korean version of VG-K7, the configuration will be different from the future domestic market models. For domestic media, this is the first time to contact “VG”, and it is also the first official Confirm with the relevant person in charge of Kia Motors Korea about its future import news. Therefore, before the test drive experience, it is necessary to share the latest news about VG imports with you.)


● About the three names of the models: VG, K7 and Cadenza

In April 2009, at the Seoul International Auto Show in South Korea, Kia Motors released a concept car named KND-5. The relevant person in charge of the Hwaseong plant of Kia Motors in South Korea introduced to the editor that “VG” is the internal code name of this concept car after mass production; when it was launched in South Korea, the name was “K7”; the name for sale in the Middle East was “Cadenza” “. The specific Chinese and English names for the future introduction into the Chinese market have not yet been determined.

● VG (K7) listing status / introduction of test drive models

In November 2009, the K7 was officially launched in South Korea, with a total of 3.5-liter, 2.7-liter and 2.4-liter engines. In addition, VG will officially meet with domestic consumers at the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show, and the launch date is set for June 2010. Only models equipped with a 2.4-liter engine will be released to the Chinese market in the early stage. The person in charge of South Korea also said that in 2011, models with 3.0-liter and 3.5-liter engines will be introduced to the Chinese market.

Since the VG will only be launched in China in June, the mass-produced Chinese version of the model is scheduled to be produced in May. The model tested in South Korea this time can only be the “K7” put on the Korean market, and the editor's test drive experience is the K7 2.4-liter low-end model. In addition, it is reported that the Chinese version of K7 will have a richer configuration, and the panoramic sunroof will also become standard . (Note: The following article will introduce the general configuration of the Chinese version of K7!)

>>>Start the test drive experience part on the next page:

● The appearance subverts the previous generation products and follows the new family style

Orpheus belongs to the car that can be remembered forever at a glance. Of course, whether this kind of memory is good or bad is judged by everyone's different aesthetic eyes. From the perspective of product positioning, K7 is a new generation model of Opheles. Its appearance has deviated from Orpheus’ product positioning for older customers, and its fashionable and dynamic appearance is more suitable for younger users. Of course, the design of the interior and the details of the vehicle are completely different from Opheles.

To completely replace Ophelias, the body size must be completely changed. The wheelbase of the K7 is 2845mm, and the body length×width×height are 4965mm×1850mm×1475mm respectively. These data have changed compared with Ophelia. Looking at the body parameters alone, the overall size of the K7 can be seen as slightly larger than the Regal and slightly smaller than the new Regal. This may be more intuitive.

The year 2009 just passed was a year when Kia products were updated. From Freddy, the imported new Sorento to the Sauer, we have seen the family characteristics that Kia has determined, and the appearance of the brand's car series has become unified and young and fashionable in design. K7 is no exception using the family-style China Open design, which looks a bit bigger than Sorento's China Open, but it is by no means a relationship between enlargement and reduction.

K7’s Kia logo has been moved to the hood of the China Net. It looks like a big open mouth. Even looking at the real car, it still makes me feel empty, as if something is missing… If more chrome plating is used Decorative strips, relatively speaking, I may be more acceptable. The person in charge of the South Korean side said that models imported to China are equipped with a chrome-plated center grid as standard; black high-gloss chrome-plated horizontal bars will be optional accessories.

LED light sources are added to the headlights and taillights, and the LED width lights similar to the eyebrows look beautiful even during the day. However, although the LED taillights look good, they have a taste of Audi. The angle from the front and side of the K7 body is more beautiful. It can be seen that the slender body and the rounder shape of the vehicle, with a high waist line with knuckles across the body, give it a little dynamic aura. Multi-line depiction and the use of a large number of chrome-plated strips are the most intuitive appearance of K7.

Although this test drive model is not equipped with a black panoramic sunroof, the K7 model that will enter the domestic market in the future will use it as the standard for the entire series. The black panoramic sunroof looks great from the outside of the car. Almost all of the new Sonata's private cars are equipped with black panoramic sunroofs on Seoul roads. It seems that Koreans also like this kind of sunroof.

Appearance summary:

VG’s vehicle design was designed by former Volkswagen chief designer Peter Schreyer. He has been the chief designer of Kia since September 1, 2006. He has adopted a unified family style in products of the same brand at different levels. China Open is one of his design features, which will help to enhance the brand to a certain extent. Not to mention whether some of the K7 looks familiar in the details, just by the design atmosphere with a large number of dynamic elements, consumer acceptance of it must be much higher than Ophelia.

● The configuration of imported domestic models will be quite rich

The Korean version of the K7 tested this time is a 2.4L low-profile car, with a relatively simple configuration, and the car interior is all black. If you don't like the all-black interior, there will be two-color interiors in brown/beige and black/white when imported into China in the future. I personally prefer beige interiors. The design of the K7's center console is relatively novel but not novel. The entire T-zone looks like a floating feeling. The advantage of this design is that it can be equipped with ambient lights in the car to add a sense of luxury in the car.

After all, it is a low-profile model, and the configuration is relatively simple. However, the person in charge of the Korean side emphasized that the K7 entering the Chinese market has a much higher configuration than this car, such as a heated steering wheel, electrically adjustable leather seats with electric heating, smart keys, keyless start, and lane departure warning system ( (Only available for Chinese version models), large central GPS/DVD display, inner rearview mirror that can display reversing images, large roof atmosphere lights, cruise control, automatic headlights, headlight cleaning, etc.

Although the configuration of this test drive model is low, it can be seen from the text above that the configuration of models launched on the Chinese market in the future will be much richer. The experience of high-end luxury configuration will be experienced in the subsequent domestic test drive.

It is worth mentioning that the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) is only equipped with the Chinese version of the car. This function can improve the safety of drivers in long-distance driving. When the highway is suddenly sleepy, LDWS shows its value. However, the system reminder method is through sound. Whether the volume level can be a good reminder to the driver, this test drive failed to experience it, you need to wait for the Chinese version of K7 to experience it after the launch.

● Simple experience of car space and storage space

After the Chinese version of the K7 is launched in June, Kia will have a test drive meeting for Chinese mass-produced models. Therefore, this time the factory only arranged three Korean K7 models for a short test drive experience. Due to the tight schedule of the entire test drive process, the editor only gave a simple experience of the K7's interior space and storage space. Next, I will give you an introduction.

Judging from the K7's 2850mm wheelbase, it is conceivable that with such a wheelbase, the rear passengers can sit comfortably. After the actual experience, the head and leg spaces in the front and back rows are relatively spacious (experiencer's height is 178cm), which verifies the previous guess. For K7, there is no doubt that the car has a spacious seating space. It seems a bit redundant to talk about the comfortable and spacious seating space of the K7. K7 owners may care more about the comfort and functionality of the seats. In the future, the Chinese version of K7 will have electric heating and ventilation for the front seats, as well as multi-directional electric adjustments.

The storage space in the front row can only be said to be sufficient. The surface of the storage compartment on the handlebar and the center control panel is made of imitation peach wood, and the opening and closing methods have a moderate and comfortable damping. In addition, the storage compartment on the inner side of the front door panel is small, which is not suitable for large beverage bottles, and the storage compartment on the inner side of the rear door panel can accommodate small beverage bottles.

The rear passengers have independent air-conditioning outlets and a large handrail. These two functions are enough for this class of car to think about. But for Chinese consumers, the rear passengers can also enjoy the black panoramic sunroof, the effect is similar to that of the new Regal and the new Teana.

● About the engine and driving experience

K7 is the first model based on Kia’s new Type-N front-wheel drive platform. It is currently the longest wheelbase sedan of Kia Motors in South Korea. The K7 that was launched in China in June is only equipped with 2.4L Theta II engine, with a maximum power of 132kW/rpm (180 horsepower) and a maximum torque of 230N·m/4000rpm. It is matched with a 6-speed automatic manual transmission. This gearbox has been assembled on many models of Kia and Hyundai.

After confirming with the manufacturer, I learned that the Korean version of K7 uses a 2.4L L4 Theta II engine with dual CVVTs. This engine is similar to the 2.4L gasoline engine on the new Sorento. At the same time, it is also equipped with upgraded electronics and low-friction parts, using aluminum blocks, a lightweight structure of cylinder heads and oil tanks, and many plastic parts. According to the official introduction, compared with the previous Orpheus 2.7-liter engine, the fuel economy of the K7's 2.4-liter engine has increased by 28%.

The 6-speed automated manual gearbox jointly developed by Kia and Hyundai is officially said to have a “neutral control” function. Whenever the car stays for more than a few seconds, the gearbox can automatically switch from “D” to ” N” gear, thereby reducing engine load and fuel consumption. Unfortunately, this feature is reserved for the next test drive experience~

The test drive route this time is mainly the Hwaseong test track. The test drive part is the straight part of two rounds. The test part is in a high-speed circular curve with an inclination of 41 degrees. The speed when it is attached to the top side is more than 180km/ h.

In the straight link, by slowly accelerating to simulate urban road conditions, you can feel the smoothness of shifting brought by the 6-speed automated manual gearbox. The speed is controlled at 100km/h and the engine speed is around 1800 rpm. If you want to try the thrill of rapid acceleration, step on the accelerator deeply, and the gear shift will be delayed to about 6000 revolutions. However, due to the problem of engine displacement, the power increase is obviously insufficient during rapid acceleration, and there is no too strong sense of power output, which is a little regrettable.

The K7 uses a front MacPherson suspension and a rear multi-link independent suspension. During the short test drive experience, the suspension adjustment of the whole vehicle feels more comfortable. There is no obvious turbulence when passing the gravel road, and the filter is relatively clean for small vibrations. After running into a corner with a steep angle, when the speed continues to accelerate from zero to 160km/h, the engine speed is around 4500 rpm. At this time, listen to the sound of the engine again. In the car, you can hear more wind noise and tire noise. Four people can hear each other by keeping a slightly louder volume than usual in the car. The K7 car has a silent effect. The processing is not bad.

Because this test drive focused on the initial experience of the product, and the Chinese version of K7 has not yet been officially produced, the manufacturer did not put more performance and configuration experience as the focus of this event. The more static and dynamic experience of K7 can only be experienced after it is listed in China.

Test drive summary:

Kia launched a new chief designer, and the resulting product changes are quite obvious. Since 2009, several new products have been launched one after another, all of which can highlight some of the relatively international personality and publicity styles of Europe and the United States. However, only from the overall appearance and interior, there are still traces of K7 imitating and following other brands. Perhaps this kind of design will need to be persisted for many years and slowly evolve before it can be proven that this brand new family-style design style is a classic fashion rather than a temporary fashion.

Relatively stable and reliable quality and good price/performance ratio are the two trump cards that Korean imported cars guarantee sales in the Chinese market. From the perspective of configuration and power system, K7 basically has all consumer needs for a high-end commercial vehicle, and the short test drive experience feels good. However, the evaluation of the quality of this level of models can never be determined by seeing the parameters and configuration tables. The specific performance of the car has to wait for the test of the professional evaluation team of Autohome.

It is worth noting that the price of K7's 2.4L low-profile model in South Korea is about 175,000 yuan, the 2.7L top-fitting model is priced at about 235,000 yuan, and the 3.5L top-fitting model is priced at 252,000. Around RMB yuan. After taking into account other uncertain costs such as import tariffs (including the configuration specifically for the Chinese market), the editor believes that the price of the Chinese version of K7 may be around 300,000 yuan. Next, whether it can be further recognized by Chinese consumers, we still need to look forward to its official price. (Text/Picture/Photo by Li Dianbin, Car Home)