Recently DTW was on the hunt for a green car. Kia have kindly offered one in a nice grey-green. But that´s not the only good part. The car is the Novo. DTW presents this design analysis so you can sound knowledgeable when the subject comes up.
Kia chose the Seoul Auto show to present this excellent design. Either they want to upgrade the Seoul show by giving it morsels one might expect to see presented elsewhere. Or, they have underestimated the quality of this design.
The only factual element of the design is that it is based on Kia´s C-segment and that means it´s not too big. Some of us have been hankering after a neat, small sporting saloon. This looks very much like one of those. Yet the styling is not in the least dainty. Kia have eschewed the complex surface sculpting of current cars (Nissan and Lexus are pushing this) and chosen a very simple, cylindrical section for the body side. Two feature lines draw the eye along. The rear crease is higher and gently arced and leads into the horizontal lights.
The Novo hides its front drive architecture very well. That vertical feature tricks the eye somewhat as it a detail that normally sits in front of the leading edge of the door. Instead it
is on the door itself. The long nose and short tail gives the car exciting proportions as well. The small saloon is very tricky do if one also expects raked profiles; this design strikes the right balance.
From the front the car looks as aggressive as a US muscle car. The complex sculpting and graphic are well co-ordinated. The rear is the least successful part: chiefly the top of the bootlid flows in an arc and collides with the horizontal blocks of the rear lamps. This can be revised easily. On the side I feel the rising waistline is a trope that is not required when so much else of the car is correct. I have done a version with it removed.
That raises some problems as well as advantages. There is DLO fail as a result of the DLO graphic breaking past the trailing edge of the door. In real life that small blob of black that I have added would be a stupid black cheater panel. I have also savaged the effect of the silver roof bar which currently wraps over the roof and interestingly interrupts the flow of the DLO to the rear screen. Looking at it from the rear three-quarter I´d be tempted to go the whole hog and kill the triangle of body-colour that rises up from the waistline entirely. I will leave it as it is and just offer the point for your consideration.