Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Kia - Credos - sedan

Our Opinion

We like
Competitive pricing, individual style
Room for improvement
Airbags optional only (except Levant), road noise

16 May 2001

KIA launched its third model for Australia - the Camry-sized Credos - in May, 1998, slotting above the Mentor while supplementing the successful Sportage sport/utility vehicle.

The Credos' main virtue is a price that undercuts its opposition. Even fellow South Koreans the Daewoo Leganza and Hyundai Sonata cost more, let alone the Europeans and local Magna and Camry.

Credos is big - certainly large enough for a small family - drives quite tidily and is reasonably well screwed together.

The interior seems to be well made but the ambience is compromised by budget plastics and an orchestra of squeaks and rattles on the test car.

Front seat occupants may find their chairs are set a little too low and feel a tad hard. The driver's is adjustable as are the seatbelts and steering column, so a relaxing driving position will not be an elusive pursuit.

The indicator stalks are set too far away from the steering wheel to allow a quick flick to operate them. Short of growing longer fingers, you have to slide your whole hand around the back of the wheel to switch them on.

A super efficient heater warms the cabin quickly on cold morning and is controlled by an easy to comprehend Mercedes-style thumb wheel.

The Alpine radio comes with a graphic equaliser and a volume knob, not a button.

Rear passengers are not cramped in any direction and feet can slide under the front seats.

The optional dual mode four-speed automatic transmission offers fuss-free two pedal motoring. The box works unobtrusively with acceptable step-off and jerk free changes.

Credos quickly gets to 80km/h but feels as if you are only doing 60km/h. The 2.0-litre, double overhead camshaft engine revs freely to the 6250rpm red line and while becoming noisy at the top end, resists the temptation to get thrashy.

The brake pedal has a firm and secure feel, except under hard braking when it tends to squirm unpleasantly from the rear.

The chintzy Credos' debatable aesthetic appeal nevertheless makes it stand out, especially the large chromed front grille, jewel- effect tail-lights and glitzy chrome-ringed surrounds.

Long overhangs front and rear and bulbous bumpers tend to enhance the perception of size.

It is well equipped with standard air-conditioning, front and rear fogs, electric mirrors and windows, and central locking.

Credos also features dinky puddle lights for the front doors, cupholders and grab handles.

What it lacks is the same driving flair of the Mentor sedan.

Previous generation Mazda 626 (and Ford AX Telstar) underpinnings serve up adequate handling, little body roll or lurching around corners and only a nose down tendency under heavy braking spoils the story.

The ride is less impressive being insufficiently insulated, allowing too much road racket into the cabin created by harsh banging as the suspension crashes over pock-marked surfaces.

The luggage compartment is characterised by a boot that is big, easy to load (though mind your head on the exposed lock mechanism) and reasonably well presented. A split/folding rear seat augments its volume.

The Credos offers nothing new but does not fall behind in any one area. But its price advantage may erode now that some very capable rivals are offered at some competitive prices.

- Automotive NetWorks 26/05/1999

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Credos

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here