Kia an option for the discerning fleet manager

If you're looking for a smart car with the performance to match its trendy looks, you might want to add a Kia to your fleet.

Recent reviews and surveys are tipping Kia as a go-to brand this year, with some of its models scoring well among car gurus.

Kia has emerged in recent years as a significant player in the compact vehicle market, with its affordable and ever-improving range now able to seriously compete against its formidable Asian rivals.

And experts are full of accolades for the Korean carmaker. chief editor, Patrick Olsen, named the 2013 Kia Optima LX as the most affordable mid-size sedan in a July 30 media release.

"The Optima topped the list because of its combination of great features, low price and impressive estimated five-year fuel cost," he said.

The Optima beat other popular models in the category, such as the Honda Accord Sport and the Mazda6, to claim top spot.

Meanwhile, the Kia Soul and the Kia Rio won awards in the Compact MPV and Sub-Compact Car categories respectively in a recent survey by market research firm J.D. Power.

According to a July 30 news release, J.D. Power's '2013 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study' also awarded top spot to the Kia Optima in the Midsize category, which will further enhance the popular car's profile.

Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America, says the brand's success is no surprise.

"Kia's rankings in the J.D. Power APEAL Study are a tribute to the tremendous strength of our model line," he proudly claimed.

Asian cars are famed for their affordability, reliability and efficient fuel consumption.

Investing in one, such as a Kia Optima, Rio or Soul, will surely ease your fleet maintenance duties.