Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: Kia Capital SLX – Look Familiar?

It’s time to add a new car name to your vocabulary, to impress your friends: Kia Capital. Roshake77 shot this one in Hungary, one of the countries Kia targeted back in the 1990s as part of their rapid global expansion.

Presumably it looks familiar, once you get past the front end. If not, its back end will, for sure.

A Mazda 626 (Capella) obviously. Mazda and Kia had a pretty serious tie-up back in the day, which resulted in the Ford Festiva in the US, a Kia-built Mazda 121. This is its big brother, built in Korea starting in April 1987, one month before the next generation (GD/GV) debuted in Japan. Sound like the body dies might very well have made their way to Korea, although the timeline might be a bit tight for that. Oh, and it was called Kia Concord at that time, and was a two liter sedan, initially available in a 99 hp carburated version, and later in a zippier 139 hp DOHC form.

The Capital arrived two years later (1989) as a lower cost variant, featuring a 1.5 L form the smaller Familia/323 range. This was done for the significant tax advantages in Korea, and possibly in some other markets. Engine outputs were 80 and 95 hp, and in 1990, a DOHC version with 115 hp joined the capital party. Perfect for all those newly-minted Eastern European capitalists.

Both the Concord and Capital were replaced in 1995/1996 with Kia’s first new self-developed sedan, the Credos.