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Archive for the ‘Kia’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The 2017 Kia Cadenza is Impressively Swanky

Kia isn’t known for its luxury sedans, but that might be changing soon. The automaker’s new-for-2017, second-generation Cadenza moves the bar well beyond anything previously found in its lineup. Even the range-topping K900 lacks some of the niceties found inside this BMW 5 Series competitor. Just look at that quilted leather!

I’ve been driving the 2017 Cadenza for the last week. The car has not only impressed my cynical, jaded journalist self, but also everyone who’s sat inside. Aside from the quilted bolsters, the leather seats are butter soft, not to mention heated and cooled up front. Rear passengers enjoy tons of legroom, while a padded center armrest makes elbows happy. A suede headliner frames the massive panoramic moonroof. Even the detailing around the switches and trim work is outstandingly posh. Sure, its no S-Class Maybach, but you’d be forgiven to mistake its fit and finish for a standard E-Class.

Real metal accents are placed where it counts – at high-touch areas like the gearshifter and steering wheel controls. These contrast well with the leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, too. Oh, and that steering wheel is heated as well.

Now the Cadenza isn’t perfect. The piano black plastic along the center console shows the smallest specks of dust and even signs of scratches, despite the car’s young odometer reading. This might be the telltale wear point for pre-owned Cadenza shoppers. Nevertheless, the interior – as a whole – is genuinely striking. Even more so considering the price. Kia charges right at $45,000 for the range-topping Limited trim, like my tester. You’d pay $6,000 more just to have a base-trimmed 5 Series. A highly equipped Lexus ES costs nearly $49,000. So needless to say, the Kia represents value.

Of course, what the Cadenza provides in luxury, the Kia name still represents bargain vehicles. That will continue to change, just as it has over the last 15 years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kia finally shake its econobox stigma by the decade’s end.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Combines Cargo Space with Hybrid Engine

Wagons are big sellers in Europe and around the globe, so it only makes sense for Kia to debut its Sportswagon version of the Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Announced at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid offers a 60-kilometer range on battery power before its 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder kicks in. And while neither the Sportswagon nor the plug-in hybrid powertrain are new to Kia, this marks the first time they have been combined. Sales will begin in the third quarter of 2017 across Europe.

The familiar powertrain consists of Kia’s 2.0-liter GDI (gasoline, direct injection) four-cylinder from the Nu engine family. Alone, it generates 154 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline engine is supplemented by an 11.26-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which powers a 50-kW motor mated between the gas engine and automatic transmission. The result is a total system output of 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the Optima Sportswagon will hit 62 mph in 9.7 seconds. It’s no Tesla Model S, by any means.

Aside from its lackadaisical straight-line acceleration, the Optima Sportswagon is highly competitive. It boasts a cargo space of 1,574 liters with the rear seats folded flat. That’s 55.5 cubic feet for those on the Imperial scale. With the rear seats raised, the cargo area still provides 440 liters (15.5 cubic feet) of room. That’s on par with many crossovers and other wagons on the market.

Of course, the Optima Sportswagon shares commonalities between its respective parents. The overall wagon shape remains true, while the added aero bits are straight from the Optima Plug-in Sedan. These features include aerodynamically tuned bumpers, side skirts, and wheels. Inside, the driver gets an updated instrument cluster that displays powertrain information on the eight-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, too, as is TomTom’s Kia Connected Services with life traffic updates and such. Active safety systems include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Combines Cargo Space with Hybrid Engine

Wagons are big sellers in Europe and around the globe, so it only makes sense for Kia to debut its Sportswagon version of the Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Announced at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid offers a 60-kilometer range on battery power before its 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder kicks in. And while neither the Sportswagon nor the plug-in hybrid powertrain are new to Kia, this marks the first time they have been combined. Sales will begin in the third quarter of 2017 across Europe.

The familiar powertrain consists of Kia’s 2.0-liter GDI (gasoline, direct injection) four-cylinder from the Nu engine family. Alone, it generates 154 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline engine is supplemented by an 11.26-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which powers a 50-kW motor mated between the gas engine and automatic transmission. The result is a total system output of 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the Optima Sportswagon will hit 62 mph in 9.7 seconds. It’s no Tesla Model S, by any means.

Aside from its lackadaisical straight-line acceleration, the Optima Sportswagon is highly competitive. It boasts a cargo space of 1,574 liters with the rear seats folded flat. That’s 55.5 cubic feet for those on the Imperial scale. With the rear seats raised, the cargo area still provides 440 liters (15.5 cubic feet) of room. That’s on par with many crossovers and other wagons on the market.

Of course, the Optima Sportswagon shares commonalities between its respective parents. The overall wagon shape remains true, while the added aero bits are straight from the Optima Plug-in Sedan. These features include aerodynamically tuned bumpers, side skirts, and wheels. Inside, the driver gets an updated instrument cluster that displays powertrain information on the eight-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, too, as is TomTom’s Kia Connected Services with life traffic updates and such. Active safety systems include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Picanto Shows its New, Sporty Face in Geneva

After six years on the market, the tiny Kia Picanto was redesigned from the ground up and unveiled in January 2017. Come March, and the hatchback aimed at the Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Upgraded to the company’s new styling language, the new Picanto sports a more youthful design with more angular features. The “tiger-nose” grille adds a bit of aggressiveness up front, while the dual exhaust and diffuser-like element around back enhances the sporty appearance. The cabin gained higher quality materials and new tech, including a seven-inch touchscreen with navigation and optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Kia claims that the new hatchback offers “best-in-class packaging efficiency” and more legroom and headroom than more popular rivals in the A-segment.

Under the hood, the Picanto carries over with the 1.0-liter three-cylinder and 1.25-liter four-cylinder engines from the previous model, but with upgrades for improved efficiency and driveability. The 1.0-liter cranks out 66 horsepower and 96 Nm (71 pound-feet) of torque and uses a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head and a new cooling system with shut-off valve. The 1.25-liter delivers 83 horsepower and 122 Nm (90 pound-feet) of torque. This engine was upgraded with an optimized valve timing and new cooling system with shut-off valve. Later in 2017, the Picanto will also get a turbocharged 1.0-liter engine good for 99 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of twist.

Kia also made several upgrades in the safety department. With 44 percent of the body shell cast in Advanced High Strength Steel, the car is lighter but stronger, while torsional stiffness has been improved by 32 percent. Standard features include six airbags, Vehicle Stability Management, and Electronic Stability Control.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon In Case You Missed Them, Here Are All The Super Bowl Car Adverts

In the off chance you’ve been on a remote island for the last several weeks and are only now reestablishing a connection with civilization, I’ll start by saying Super Bowl LI took place over the weekend, and it was quite the event. I guess there were a few points scored and something about a comeback, but I was in it for the car advertisements. After all, these aren’t your normal adverts – companies pay upwards of $170,000 per second to get their product front and center for the big game, and that means we saw the major makes go full-bore with the commercial gloss. Tons of car-related adverts were aired, and we’ve got ‘em all right here.

Some were funny and goofy, others were dramatic and heartfelt, and some were just straight up weird. But hey, that’s how it goes when vying for the attention of consumers soaked in beer and guacamole.

Which advertisements caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading to see all the car adverts from Super Bowl LI.


PostHeaderIcon 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK

2017 Kia Rio UK-1

Not very long after its debut in Paris the new, fourth generation Kia Rio is now on sale in the United Kingdom. The small and popular Korean hatchback hits the market in Blighty in simple 1, 2 and 3 trim levels starting from just £11,995, plus a limited-run First Edition which is the dearest of the lot at £17,445.

So besides the usual host of improvements every new modelyear gets, such as new engines, improved fuel efficiency and emissions, and upgraded equipment, 2017 Kia Rio also benefits from a new design which is the fanciest yet for this model in all its years of being in the market. We all remember the early models with the hideous exterior and garbage bin plastic interior. But gone are those days. The new Rio is a pretty fine product whichever way you look at it.

2017 Kia Rio UK-2

To put that in perspective you just need to look at the list of standard kit every 2017 Kia Rio comes with. It includes air conditioning, front electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, plus steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

2017 Kia Rio UK-3

Engine specification and pricing for every model in the range can be found below:

Model  Price
Rio 1 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £11,995
Rio 1 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £13,495
Rio 2 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £13,745
Rio 2 1.4 6-speed manual ISG £14,245
Rio 2 1.4 4-speed automatic £14,995
Rio 2 1.0 T-GDi (99bhp) 5-speed manual ISG £14,545
Rio 2 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £15,245
Rio 3 1.0 T-GDi 6-speed manual ISG £16,295
Rio 3 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £17,245
Rio First Edition 1.0 T-GDi) 6-speed manual ISG £17,445

The post 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK

2017 Kia Rio UK-1

Not very long after its debut in Paris the new, fourth generation Kia Rio is now on sale in the United Kingdom. The small and popular Korean hatchback hits the market in Blighty in simple 1, 2 and 3 trim levels starting from just £11,995, plus a limited-run First Edition which is the dearest of the lot at £17,445.

So besides the usual host of improvements every new modelyear gets, such as new engines, improved fuel efficiency and emissions, and upgraded equipment, 2017 Kia Rio also benefits from a new design which is the fanciest yet for this model in all its years of being in the market. We all remember the early models with the hideous exterior and garbage bin plastic interior. But gone are those days. The new Rio is a pretty fine product whichever way you look at it.

2017 Kia Rio UK-2

To put that in perspective you just need to look at the list of standard kit every 2017 Kia Rio comes with. It includes air conditioning, front electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, plus steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

2017 Kia Rio UK-3

Engine specification and pricing for every model in the range can be found below:

Model  Price
Rio 1 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £11,995
Rio 1 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £13,495
Rio 2 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £13,745
Rio 2 1.4 6-speed manual ISG £14,245
Rio 2 1.4 4-speed automatic £14,995
Rio 2 1.0 T-GDi (99bhp) 5-speed manual ISG £14,545
Rio 2 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £15,245
Rio 3 1.0 T-GDi 6-speed manual ISG £16,295
Rio 3 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £17,245
Rio First Edition 1.0 T-GDi) 6-speed manual ISG £17,445

The post 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK

2017 Kia Rio UK-1

Not very long after its debut in Paris the new, fourth generation Kia Rio is now on sale in the United Kingdom. The small and popular Korean hatchback hits the market in Blighty in simple 1, 2 and 3 trim levels starting from just £11,995, plus a limited-run First Edition which is the dearest of the lot at £17,445.

So besides the usual host of improvements every new modelyear gets, such as new engines, improved fuel efficiency and emissions, and upgraded equipment, 2017 Kia Rio also benefits from a new design which is the fanciest yet for this model in all its years of being in the market. We all remember the early models with the hideous exterior and garbage bin plastic interior. But gone are those days. The new Rio is a pretty fine product whichever way you look at it.

2017 Kia Rio UK-2

To put that in perspective you just need to look at the list of standard kit every 2017 Kia Rio comes with. It includes air conditioning, front electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, plus steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

2017 Kia Rio UK-3

Engine specification and pricing for every model in the range can be found below:

Model  Price
Rio 1 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £11,995
Rio 1 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £13,495
Rio 2 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £13,745
Rio 2 1.4 6-speed manual ISG £14,245
Rio 2 1.4 4-speed automatic £14,995
Rio 2 1.0 T-GDi (99bhp) 5-speed manual ISG £14,545
Rio 2 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £15,245
Rio 3 1.0 T-GDi 6-speed manual ISG £16,295
Rio 3 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £17,245
Rio First Edition 1.0 T-GDi) 6-speed manual ISG £17,445

The post 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK

2017 Kia Rio UK-1

Not very long after its debut in Paris the new, fourth generation Kia Rio is now on sale in the United Kingdom. The small and popular Korean hatchback hits the market in Blighty in simple 1, 2 and 3 trim levels starting from just £11,995, plus a limited-run First Edition which is the dearest of the lot at £17,445.

So besides the usual host of improvements every new modelyear gets, such as new engines, improved fuel efficiency and emissions, and upgraded equipment, 2017 Kia Rio also benefits from a new design which is the fanciest yet for this model in all its years of being in the market. We all remember the early models with the hideous exterior and garbage bin plastic interior. But gone are those days. The new Rio is a pretty fine product whichever way you look at it.

2017 Kia Rio UK-2

To put that in perspective you just need to look at the list of standard kit every 2017 Kia Rio comes with. It includes air conditioning, front electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, plus steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

2017 Kia Rio UK-3

Engine specification and pricing for every model in the range can be found below:

Model  Price
Rio 1 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £11,995
Rio 1 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £13,495
Rio 2 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £13,745
Rio 2 1.4 6-speed manual ISG £14,245
Rio 2 1.4 4-speed automatic £14,995
Rio 2 1.0 T-GDi (99bhp) 5-speed manual ISG £14,545
Rio 2 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £15,245
Rio 3 1.0 T-GDi 6-speed manual ISG £16,295
Rio 3 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £17,245
Rio First Edition 1.0 T-GDi) 6-speed manual ISG £17,445

The post 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK

2017 Kia Rio UK-1

Not very long after its debut in Paris the new, fourth generation Kia Rio is now on sale in the United Kingdom. The small and popular Korean hatchback hits the market in Blighty in simple 1, 2 and 3 trim levels starting from just £11,995, plus a limited-run First Edition which is the dearest of the lot at £17,445.

So besides the usual host of improvements every new modelyear gets, such as new engines, improved fuel efficiency and emissions, and upgraded equipment, 2017 Kia Rio also benefits from a new design which is the fanciest yet for this model in all its years of being in the market. We all remember the early models with the hideous exterior and garbage bin plastic interior. But gone are those days. The new Rio is a pretty fine product whichever way you look at it.

2017 Kia Rio UK-2

To put that in perspective you just need to look at the list of standard kit every 2017 Kia Rio comes with. It includes air conditioning, front electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, plus steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

2017 Kia Rio UK-3

Engine specification and pricing for every model in the range can be found below:

Model  Price
Rio 1 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £11,995
Rio 1 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £13,495
Rio 2 1.25 5-speed manual ISG £13,745
Rio 2 1.4 6-speed manual ISG £14,245
Rio 2 1.4 4-speed automatic £14,995
Rio 2 1.0 T-GDi (99bhp) 5-speed manual ISG £14,545
Rio 2 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £15,245
Rio 3 1.0 T-GDi 6-speed manual ISG £16,295
Rio 3 1.4 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG £17,245
Rio First Edition 1.0 T-GDi) 6-speed manual ISG £17,445

The post 2017 Kia Rio Priced from £11,995 in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Plus

Kia surprised a lot of people when it debuted its new Stinger GT thanks to the performance and luxury DNA that Kia developed for its first big step into such a popular segment. Set to compete against models like the Audi A5 Sportback, Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series GT, and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Kia’s new halo car has a lot to live up to. But, Kia isn’t done writing the Stingers story just yet as Product Market Boss, Spencer Cho, has said that the Stinger will become electrified in the future. Meanwhile, a high-performance version could be on the table as well, thanks to the Stinger’s excessively strong chassis. With that concept in mind, we tapped into our resident artist to put together a rendering of what a high-performance Stinger just might look like.

As a high-performance model, Kia will build on the car’s current profile by adding more aggressive features on the outside, to go with a few minor updates inside, and a significant power bump under the hood. It’s pretty likely that it will eventually happen, but what we don’t know is what Kia will do to increase the performance of the Stinger. Will its future hybrid plans play a role in the performance model or will it be all computer remapping and hardware upgrades? Well, we have a few theories, so let’s talk a little more about the rendering and the possibilities in my speculative review below.


PostHeaderIcon Will There be a Wait List for the Kia Stinger?

When Kia came to the U.S. market, it became known as a producer of affordable but reliable cars that were fairly comfortable and looked decent. But, none of the models were really anything to write home about, and certainly couldn’t be compared with models like the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or anything else outside of the affordable segment. When the 2014 Detroit Auto Show kicked off, Kia Debuted the GT4 Stinger along with a promise to bring such a model into production and, three years later, Kia kept its promise and debuted the Kia Stinger at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Offered in the U.S. with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 365-horsepower, twin-turbo, V-6, along with a very comfortable and upscale interior and a sexy exterior shell, the Stinger was a show stopper for the Korean brand as it steps into the luxury performance market. But, now that the world knows about the Stinger, it has raised a pretty interesting question: Will there be a wait list for the Stinger when the books officially open?

There’s really no way of telling quite yet, but outside of small shortages for models like the Kia Sportage, it’s hard to recall of any significant waiting period for any Kia model in the past. But, the new Stinger is a completely different breed of car that comes to offer a significantly cheaper alternative to more expensive luxury and performance models. Should Kia actually lock in even a small portion of those that are really interested in the car, it could find itself unable to keep up with demand. It comes down to a couple of factors that include when production officially starts, when the order books officially open, and that initial demand.

As of the time of this writing, neither its release date or pricing point has been officially announced, but a price tag in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 is expected while the order books should open sometime in the fall or early winter of 2017. That expected price point puts the Stinger at roughly $4,000 cheaper that the entry-level C300 from Mercedes, $6,000 cheaper than the entry-level 4 Series Gran Coupe, and a staggering $9,000 cheaper that the entry-level BMW 3 Series GT. With comparable comfort, luxury, and technology, it should be a no-brainer for those who aren’t overly loyal to the Stinger’s German competitors – as long as their willing to give the brand’s first performance luxury vehicle a chance, that is.

So, with such a low price point in comparison to its competition, the Stinger could see a lot of initial interest that could lead to a sizable waiting list. As such, it’s quite possible that dealers will find themselves in a predicament they aren’t used to: dealing with customers that want to take delivery today but simply can’t. We all saw how that went for Ford with the Focus RS, so hopefully Kia has a plan in place, just in case.


PostHeaderIcon Melissa McCarthy Is Running Away From Something In Kia's Super Bowl Teaser

Comedienne Melissa McCarthy is one of the funniest women in Hollywood these days, so if an automaker really wanted to make a comedic splash with its Super Bowl commercial, having McCarthy in the fold is a good way to get that done. Give credit then to Kia for understanding that because McCarthy is headlining Kia’s contribution to the NFL’s advertisement pot of gold where she will be joined by the the Niro, Kia’s latest offering into the hybrid market.

Obviously, the spectacle of Super Bowl commercials has gotten so big that 60-second ads are getting their own 15-second teasers now. That’s exactly the instance we see here as Kia’s trailer reveals nothing other than McCarthy, decked in full explorer/treasure hunter get-up, running away from something. We don’t know that “something” is at this point, but it could very well be a villainous, gas-guzzling rig of a machine like something you’d see in Mad Max. It does make sense for the Ghostbusters star to run for her life in the face of such an apocalyptic beast, only to find her savior in the form of the Kia Niro running to her aide like Gandalf in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Okay, that’s enough on the movie references, although the vagueness of the teaser did invite such measures. What’s important here is that Kia has created an aura of interest surrounding its Super Bowl LI commercial, which it says will air in the third quarter of the Big Game. The automaker further adds to the intrigue by describing the commercial as a “heroic and harrowing journey stretching from the polar ice caps to an arid desert.”

It’s hard to picture how that’s going to translate into a full 60-second ad but at least we’re looking forward to seeing it happen. That in itself makes this 15-second teaser starring Melissa McCarthy worth the money Kia spent to produce it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger

When Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia came to the U.S., they were fighting an uphill battle against American, Japanese, and German cars that were often regarded as having nicer materials and better build quality, among other things. Fast forward to today, and Hyundai has spawned its own performance/luxury brand called Genesis and Kia has finally jumped on the bandwagon with a premium and performance-based fastback that is derived from the GT Concept. Going by the name Stinger, it’s set to bring some insanely stiff competition to German rivals like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, among others. At Launch, it will be available with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with some 365 ponies on tap. But, that’s not all. It’s extremely spacious with a longer wheelbase than that of other competitors like the Lexus GS, and even the Infinity Q50 while the chassis itself is composed of 55 percent high-strength steel for superior stiffness and excellent ride handling. Inside, it offers high levels of comfort and an absolutely striking design with technology that rivals that of high-end models way outside the Stingers expected price range.

Those two engines I just mentioned, well there’s already word of a diesel powertrain being available for European customers. And, while it hasn’t been officially planned or confirmed, interviews with Albert Beirmann – the Executive VP of Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development for Kia – has said that there have been talks of electrification, a move that could pit the Stinger against the likes of the Tesla Model 3 or even the Model S, depending on how much electric muscle Kia can come up with. Beyond that, the Stinger is said to be able to handle much more power than that offered by that Biturbo 3.3-liter, so an even brighter future could be on the horizon for Kia’s new halo car.

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself as we already have a lot to talk about, and the Stinger isn’t scheduled to hit showrooms until later on in 2017. So, grab a beverage and join me farther down the page to see what the Stinger will offer when the order books officially open.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia GT.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Sorento SXL – Driven

It’s hard to believe the Kia Sorento has been around since 2002, but this body-on-frame SUV turned unibody crossover has gained a respectable foothold in the American market thanks to its growing size and continually improvement refinement with each generation. Kia last reworked the Sorento for the 2016 model year. This third-generation crossover now wears a handsome exterior with a surprisingly supple and spacious interior. A few minor changes happen for the 2017 model year, including the addition of automatic emergency braking and making the Technology Package and V-6 standard equipment in the range-topping SXL.

Kia sent me such a model to test for a week. It came loaded with just about every option available, including all-wheel drive and that 3.3-liter V-6. Also packed in back is the Sorento’s optional third row seat, which actually comes standard on the SXL. Prices have also increased for 2017, with the base trims seeing as little as $290 and a whopping $4,000 for the SXL. The huge price jump on the SXL is patricianly explained by the $2,500 Technology Package being made standard, as well as the V-6. AWD is now the SXL’s only major option, though several smaller accessories can be purchased.

The 2017 Sorento is positioned to compete in two vehicle categories and in a higher pricing bracket than most would expect. It can be stacked against the two-row Ford Flex or the spacious, three-row Dodge Durango. It can compete with the family-friendly and affordable Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or the middle-class Jeep Grand Cherokee. It all depends on how the Kia Sorento is optioned. But how well does the Sorento perform at all these tasks? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.


PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger GT Might Be The Affordable Korean Panamera GTS You've Been Looking For

In my mind, the most exciting thing to debut in Detroit this year has to be the Kia Stinger GT. Based on the brand’s GT Concept car that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2011, as well as the GT4 Stinger concept that debuted in Detroit in 2014, the Stinger GT is a watershed moment for the South Korean automaker. Long story short, this is Kia’s new halo performance machine, and it arrives ready to tangle with some of the most popular European four-doors on the planet. That said, it might seem like a bit of a stretch to put this thing up against a $115K Porsche, right? I mean, have we gone completely loony?!

Woah there, Internet warrior. Put down the keyboard. There’s a method to our madness. While it’s true that any Porsche buyer worth his PDK wouldn’t step within 100 miles of Kia dealership, a gearhead with some 911 wallpaper on his phone making a third as much money a year just might. If there happens to be a few Stinger GT’s waiting for a test drive.

And why not? It’s got a similar body style, and if you get the base model Panamera, straight-line acceleration is roughly the same.

Still… seems like a bit of a stretch, no? Maybe… but maybe not. Continue reading to see what we’re on about.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Isn't Done with the Stinger Quite Yet

If you had the liberty of reading my last article on the Kia Stinger, you know that I instantly became a fan when I laid eyes on it. Well, if you want to hear my Stinger love story, you can check that out at the link above. Now, I’m here to tell you a little about the future of the Stinger. When it goes on sale later this year in the U.S., consumers will have the choice of a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with around 365 ponies or a little four-banger with around 255 horsepower. Both options can be equipped with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel with an LSD, but according to Autocar, our European brothers and sisters will also get the option of a diesel drinker.

The unit in question is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that is currently available in the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe, so there’s nothing really new about it aside from it being crammed into the hottest sports sedan to debut so far this year. Reports indicate that it should deliver the same 197 horsepower and will send power to the rear wheels, while the option of all-wheel drive may be offered at some point in the future. Spencer Cho, Kia’s Product Marketing Boss overseas, also confirmed that the Stinger would eventually see electrification as well. It will start out with a hybrid model and could eventually morph into an all-electric model as well – the latter of which would, in fact, be a prime competitor for the Tesla Model 3 should it have similar performance figures and range. The Hybrid model would likely use the hybrid configurations from models like the Kia Optima Hybrid or the PHEV.

That last sentence might not make sense to some, as the Stinger is set up with a longitudinal engine configuration, but according to Autocar – citing Spencer Cho – the Stinger can share many components with the aforementioned models despite their transverse powertrain layout. For the record, a pure EV model isn’t exactly in the plans yet, but with the continued push for electrification, it’s probably only a matter of time. Furthermore, Albert Biermann, the Head of Kia’s Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development group has said that the Stinger’s chassis can support much more power than that offered by the 3.3-liter Biturbo that will be available when the car hits showrooms, so the prospect of a true BMW M3 fighter is certainly within reach as well – now that’s pretty amazing and something I can’t wait to see.


PostHeaderIcon All Eyes Are On Kia And The Stinger Now

By now, everybody seems to be onboard the notion that Kia hit a homerun over the fence with the Stinger. The Korean automaker bet big on a premium performance sedan that could take on BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi and the early returns about the car are very encouraging. Of course, it’s still hard to make any judgments on the Stinger until we get to see what it’s actually like on the road, but given the overwhelmingly positive response surrounding its Detroit Auto Show debut, it wouldn’t be too presumptuous to think of how Kia’s going to build around the Stinger in order for the sedan to reach its full potential.

First of all, here’s what we already know about the Stinger’s status moving forward. the initial version will come with two variants: an entry-level sedan and a performance sedan called the Stinger GT. There’s no definite timetable yet on when the model will go on sale, but all signs seem to point to a launch sometime within the year with the U.S. scheduled to get the Stinger in the last quarter of 2017, maybe even sooner.

Here’s the question though: is Kia already thinking of adding on to the two variants that have already been announced?

It’s a legitimate question to ask and to Kia’s credit, it’s already indicated as much, telling Autocar that a diesel version is already in the works with a tentative schedule to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show this March. Details are still scarce on how a diesel Stinger is going to be packaged, but a look at the automaker’s engine lineup points to the 197-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel that the company already uses on some of its models, including the Kia Sorento.

Beyond the growing possibility of seeing a diesel version of the Stinger, there have also been talks of going the electrified route. Granted, an EV Stinger is unlikely to arrive in the foreseeable future, but according to Spencer Cho, Kia’s overseas product marketing boss, the company has the capability to venture down that road in the event that there’s demand for one.

The speculation surrounding Kia’s growth plans for the Stinger is likely going to continue now that the model has made such a positive first impression. It’s a great problem for Kia to solve and one that I’m sure the company is looking forward to solve.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger Casts a Big Shadow on the Competition

I spent just over 24 hours at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and out of all the vehicles I had the pleasure of checking out, the Kia Stinger has stuck in my mind more than any. And, that’s saying a lot after spending some time with models like the Audi S5 Cabriolet, BMW 5 Series, and even the Mercedes GLA, among many others. I was actually quite skeptical when I first walked up to the three Kia Stinger models on display. I mean, after all, it’s a Kia, right? The brand came to the U.S. back in the early 1990s as an affordable brand that offered decent reliability but didn’t quite deliver in terms of performance, luxury, or even comfort in some cases. In recent years, the brand has stepped its game up a lot with models like Kia Optima, Niro, and Cadenza, but there was still a lot of room for improvement if the brand wanted to really step into the premium or luxury segments. Well, after seeing what the Stinger brings to the table, you can color me impressed and even encouraged about the South Korean brand’s future.

Now, the Stinger is set to bring some pretty healthy power into the mix with that 365-horse, 3.3-liter Biturbo and the 255-horsepower four-banger, but once I sat down inside of the new Stinger, it became immediately and exceedingly clear that it’s about a lot more than that. And, that’s saying a lot since I’m big on power output and performance. So what was it that impressed me so much? Well, there’s actually quite a bit, so keep reading to find out more about my experience.


PostHeaderIcon Kia GT Teased Once Again Ahead of Detroit Debut

Spotted testing on public roads since early 2016, the production version of the Kia GT is about to break cover at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. With just a couple of weeks left until the year’s first major automotive event kicks off, Kia is busy teasing the upcoming vehicle and it has just released a new video. The third clip as of December 21, the new teaser showcases some of the car’s exterior features.

The footage is rather shadowy and hides most of the actual details found in the sheet metal, but it provides plenty of hints as to what the car looks like. What’s evident from the very start is that the sports sedan is heavily based on the concept car. It has a sexy, coupe-like profile, steeply raked rear glass, and a big trunk lid spoiler. Up front, I spotted a pair of sleek, sweptback headlamps, the already traditional “tigernose” grille, and dual vents for the bulged engine hood. Other highlights include large alloy wheels, quad exhaust pipes, a lowered suspension, and LED technology in the front and rear.

Not much else can be seen, but we do know that the GT model will be rear-wheel-drive with the option to select an AWD setup. Kia also revealed that the sedan will be able to hit 62 mph from a standing start in 5.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 151 mph, figures that are likely to be achieved with a twin-turbo, 3.3-liter V-6 engine rated at more than 300 horsepower. The automaker could also offer less powerful versions motivated by four-cylinder drivetrains, but we will find out more about that when the GT breaks cover at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in January.

Continue reading for the full story.


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