Kia’s Ray is familiar but cheap, amazingly roomy

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Kia’s Ray is familiar but cheap, amazingly roomy

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Kia Motors’ Ray is a practical city car with a fun design and good features. It’s surprisingly stable in cornering, and it has a maximum speed of 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour. Provided by the company

When I saw Ray, a city car from Kia Motors, for the first time, it was hard not to compare the vehicle to Nissan’s Cube. Ray is smaller than Cube: 38.5 centimeters (15 inches) shorter and 10 centimeters narrower, although their heights are about the same.

In many senses, Ray is similar to Cube. First of all, Ray has a boxy shape. Like Cube, it has indoor storage spaces with no lids.

Like Cube, Ray comes in many different colors: white, milky beige, silver, titanium silver, cafe mocha, signal red, Alice blue, midnight black, aqua mint and celestial blue. I am sorry to say this, but I think Cube’s colors are better.

Although Ray is a kind of Cube copycat, it outshines it in many ways. Firstly, Ray is much cheaper than Cube. The price for Ray’s gasoline model ranges from 12.4 million won ($11,000) to 14.95 million won. Cube, an import from Japan, costs between 22.60 million won and 25.6 million won, which is similar to the starting prices for domestic midsize cars.

Ray also comes with standard options such as a heated steering wheel, six airbags, rear camera and smart key and has an infotainment system that includes Bluetooth hands-free capability, navigation and digital multimedia broadcasting.

What I was most impressed with was Ray’s sliding door for the rear seat on the right side. With no B-pillar on that side, there is a good sense of openness. Small children can get into the car easily, while parents can load a bicycle or a baby carriage in the rear.

Ray has a roomy interior. Until you get in, it’s hard to realize that such a tiny city car would have so much space.

The backseat can be folded to create a large storage space. However, when the rear seats are in the upright position, trunk space is quite small.

I drove Ray all the way to Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, and then up to Mount Namsan in central Seoul. Ray offered stable cornering. Suspension was a little rigid.

Ray is good for moms taking their children to a soccer game after school or doing grocery shopping. It can also work for young adults who enjoy urban life. Another drawback was that I had to connect my smartphone with the system every time I got in the car. For other cars, the system syncs automatically.

Ray 1.0 Gasoline

Length : 359.5 cm

Width : 159.5 cm

Height :170 cm

Engine displacement: 998 cc

Maximum power : 78 horsepower

Fuel efficiency: 17km/liter


By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr ]

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