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Archive for the ‘Kia’ Category

PostHeaderIcon This Fancy Interior Is a Sign that Kia Is Taking the Luxury Path

When it comes to luxury cars, Kia isn’t the automaker you’d usually go to. But the brand that was once associated with cheap, poorly built cars has evolved to the point where it can compete head-on with class leaders. Granted, it’s not yet there in the full-size luxury market, where the K900 has yet to gain popularity, but it’s making tremendous progress. And proof of that are not only in the latest production cars, but also the Proceed concept that was just unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Essentially a slightly more futuristic, shooting brake variant of the Kia Stinger, the Proceed isn’t overly spectacular on the outside. However, the interior is an attention grabber due to its out-of-the-box design and fancy features. More importantly, it shows what the brand is capable of and looking at it make me very confident that Kia will climb higher and higher on the premium ladder. Sure, the Proceed will remain a concept for now, but if previous show cars are any indication, we could see many of these features production models really soon. Keep reading to find out why I think this is one of the most exciting interior designs launched in 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Picanto X-Line

The Kia Picanto came to be in 2003 when it was launched on a shortened platform of the Hyundai Getz. Redesigned in 2011, it grew in size and shared underpinnings with the then-new Hyundai i10. Another update followed in 2015, but 2017 brought the significantly modified third-generation model. About half a year has passed since the new Picanto arrived and Kia just introduced a new model, the X-Line.

A range-topping model alongside the performance-oriented GT-Line, the X-Line is a crossover-inspired model in the vein of the larger Volkswagen Cross Polo and Cross Golf, and the Hyundai i20 Active. Modifications include a slightly higher ride height, black cladding on the wheel arches, and a few extra features compared to the standard model. The X-Line also introduces the new turbocharged 1.0-liter engine that will also motivate the GT-Line version.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Picanto X-Line.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Proceed Concept – 2017 IAA Preview

Kia has come such a long way with its design over the past six or seven years, they are now confident enough to invent new niches. This is the 2017 IAA-bound Kia Proceed Concept, and it’s an “extended hot hatch” which is like a normal hatchback but sort of longer. 

They didn’t really have to come up with a new phrase to describe this though. What this thing is is a compact shooting brake. But terminology concerns aside, we have to admit Kia Proceed Concept is one sweet-looking son of a gun with curves in all the right places. If this is what the next production Proceed is going to look like, we’re going to seriously think about becoming a customer.

Among the main highlights of Kia Proceed Concept excellent design we can mention the dynamic window frame, lack of B-pillars, that sweet bit where the roof and tailgate meet, sculpted ‘island’ bonnet inspired by the Stinger, the castellated windscreen, the full-length roof glazing, and Kia’s inimitable mix of curvaceous sheetmetal and taut creases. Even the six-spoke 20 inch rims are awesome. And we have to make special mention of the bespoke ‘Lava Red’ paintwork created by combining multiple hand-applied layers of black, chrome-effect silver, and red-tinted lacquer.

Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe for Kia Motors, commented: “With many European drivers now seeking performance alternatives to the three-door hot hatch, we began thinking about a different halo model for the cee’d family. The Proceed Concept represents a bold new vision of how the vibrant soul of the pro_cee’d could be reincarnated and revitalised for a new generation of performance-oriented drivers.”

The post Kia Proceed Concept – 2017 IAA Preview appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Proceed Concept – 2017 IAA Preview

Kia has come such a long way with its design over the past six or seven years, they are now confident enough to invent new niches. This is the 2017 IAA-bound Kia Proceed Concept, and it’s an “extended hot hatch” which is like a normal hatchback but sort of longer. 

They didn’t really have to come up with a new phrase to describe this though. What this thing is is a compact shooting brake. But terminology concerns aside, we have to admit Kia Proceed Concept is one sweet-looking son of a gun with curves in all the right places. If this is what the next production Proceed is going to look like, we’re going to seriously think about becoming a customer.

Among the main highlights of Kia Proceed Concept excellent design we can mention the dynamic window frame, lack of B-pillars, that sweet bit where the roof and tailgate meet, sculpted ‘island’ bonnet inspired by the Stinger, the castellated windscreen, the full-length roof glazing, and Kia’s inimitable mix of curvaceous sheetmetal and taut creases. Even the six-spoke 20 inch rims are awesome. And we have to make special mention of the bespoke ‘Lava Red’ paintwork created by combining multiple hand-applied layers of black, chrome-effect silver, and red-tinted lacquer.

Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe for Kia Motors, commented: “With many European drivers now seeking performance alternatives to the three-door hot hatch, we began thinking about a different halo model for the cee’d family. The Proceed Concept represents a bold new vision of how the vibrant soul of the pro_cee’d could be reincarnated and revitalised for a new generation of performance-oriented drivers.”

The post Kia Proceed Concept – 2017 IAA Preview appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Proceed Concept

Launched in 2006 as a replacement for the Cerato, the Kia Cee’d is now one of the company’s most popular vehicles in Europe. Redesigned in 2012 into a more modern, better-looking car, the Cee’d, along with its Procee’d, GT, and station wagon variants, is getting a little long in the tooth, and a third-generation model is likely under way for 2018. While we don’t know much about it, Kia unveiled the Proceed concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, giving us a good glimpse of what the next-gen Cee’d might bring to the table.

Described as an “extended hot hatch that presents a new body type for Kia,” the Proceed concept appears to be the bastard child of a Kia Stinger and a low, sleek shooting brake. And it’s one of Kia’s most intriguing design to date. Not surprisingly, it was penned at the company’s European design center in Frankfurt, only 500 meters (0.3 miles) from where it will be unveiled. Kia also says that the Proceed concept indicates what the next-generation Cee’d “could look like,” so we might be looking at a fancier version of the upcoming hatchback.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Proceed Concept.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 KIA Sorento and Picanoto X-Line for EU Market

Kia Motors is upgrading its European lineup with two new-ish models. The first one is the 2018 Kia Sorento facelift, a seven-seat SUV with revised exterior and interior design. The second, Kia Picanto X-Line, is somewhat relevant to the Sorento in that it’s a tiny city car boasting SUV-inspired design highlights.

Already on sale in Korea, the 2018 Kia Sorento features a refreshed exterior and interior design, and is available with Kia’s latest safety and in-car connectivity equipment. This modelyear also gets a new GT line trim level with four-lamp LED fog lights, red brake callipers, a more prominent sill step, and subtle badging, plus black leather with contrasting grey stitching. The SUV also boasts new upholstery colors for the interior, new eight-speed automatic transmission for models powered by the 2.2-litre diesel engine, Drive Mode select, DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and TomTom navigation.

After its public debut the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show, 2018 Kia Sorento facelift will go on sale across Europe from Q4 2017.

As for the Kia Picanto X-Line, this peppy little car gets a new look which draws inspiration from Kia’s popular crossover and SUV model lines, including the Sportage and Sorento. These include revised grilles with lime green accents, bumpers with metal-look skidplates at the front and rear, and black cladding around the wheel arches. Powering the X-Line is a 1.0-litre T-GDI engine wiht 100 horsepower and 172 Nm of torque.

The post 2018 KIA Sorento and Picanoto X-Line for EU Market appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia’s Upcoming Shooting Brake Concept has us Saying “Please Take our Money!”

The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner and, as usual, we’re in for a ton of debuts including both production and concept cars. Kia, which runs a design center just 500 meters from the Frankfurt Motor Show, is among carmakers that will bring new products to the event. The company’s main highlight is a concept car that presents “a new body type for Kia.” It doesn’t have a name yet, but the Korean manufacturer points out that it indicates what the next-generation Cee’d “could look like.”

It’s bold, athletic, and indeed brings a new body style to the current Kia lineup. While the company describes it as an “extended hot hatch,” it’s actually some kind of modern shooting brake. Or a really sleek wagon with an almost fastback rear end. But it’s gorgeous, and the really wide wheel arches, the sculpted side skirts, and the rear diffuser suggest we’re looking at a performance model. Kia didn’t share any actual details about the car, but I might have an idea about what it may be. Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon One Florida Couple and Their Kia Sorrento have had an Explosive Summer

It’s summer time, which means the weather is hot, the beer is cold, and the grille is a burnin’. Imagine an amazing weekend with the wife at the beach or park, cooking up your favorite grill food, and enjoying the nice August weather. Sounds amazing doesn’t it – maybe hide away the phone and laptop of a day, just enjoy each other’s company and the scenery around you. Eventually, all good things come to an end, though, so at some point, you have to pack up your car and head back to reality. There isn’t much worse than dreading going to work on Monday after having such a wonderful Sunday, but things can always be worse as one Florida couple found out when their trip home from such a day turned explosive.

Apparently, the couple packed all their belongings, including their grill, into their Kia Sorrento and embarked on their trip home. Well, as any smoker will tell you, it almost comes naturally to light up once you get in the car – assuming you smoke in your car, anyway. Well, this particular day, hubby had a brain fart and forgot to turn off the propane to the grill. As the couple started to pull away from wherever they were at, whoever was sitting in the passenger seat decided to say hello to Mr. Marlboro. Well, since someone neglected to turn off the propane, that quick hello to Mr. Marlboro got this couple close enough to God to shine his shoes. The spark from the lighter that was intended to light up that cowboy killer also ignited all of the gas that had expelled into the vehicle since the grill was loaded up. How the couple didn’t smell the propane is beyond any logic we can come up with.

Keep reading to hear a little more about the situation.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Kia Sorento Facelift Launches in Korea

sorento facelift 2018

The Kia Sorento SUV may still be a fresh face in America and elsewhere, but in its home market of Korea it’s been around long enough to warrant a facelift. And that’s what it’s got now, although changes are so small that you might struggle at first to tell the difference. 

But the Kia aficionado, if indeed there is such a thing, will quickly notice the fancy new headlights with their slightly raised edges like fine mascara on beautiful eyes, the subtly revised front grille with an extra dab of chrome, LED daytimers inside the headlights, and Kia’s signature quad fog light design finally making its way to this SUV. The 2018 Kia Sorento Facelift also benefits from more gloss black accents, new taillight graphics, and tailpipe as well as wheel design.

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Inside the big Kia SUV gets fine leather upholstery and leather-accented steering wheel among its upgrades. The kit now includes available blind spot detection, turning headlights, drowsiness sensor, inductive charging, and heated and cooled cup holders. 2018 Kia Sorento Facelift also comes with, in Korea, a 2.2 liter diesel engine with 240 horsepower which ought of make it one of the most efficient cars in its class. There is also 2.0 liter petrol, and the standard transmission is an 8-speed automatic.

The post 2018 Kia Sorento Facelift Launches in Korea appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Rio Pulse Limited Edition

kia-rio-pulse

Supermini buyers in the UK who like a little of pizzazz with their tiny, economical cars will be chuffed to hear about this. The new Kia Rio Pulse is a limited edition of the recently launched city car equipped with a number of extras which, according to Kia, sets the pulse racing. 

Well, the truth is nothing with 83 horsepower, which is what the four-cylinder, 16-valve, 1.25-litre engine in the Kia Rio Pulse makes, can affect your pulse in any shape or form. But this little fella does have some nice features which make it a much cooler proposition compared to the standard Rio. Available in Clear White and Midnight Black, Rio Pulse is easily distinguished by a red roof and red front vents, mirror caps and side skirt trims. The interior is trimmed accordingly with black and red faux leather upholstery and red faux leather door inserts, while the fascia trim is finished in red metallic paint.

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Other highlights of Kia Rio Pulse include 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45 R17 tyres, a black radiator grille with chrome surround and privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter are complemented by stainless steel pedals, a six-speaker audio system and a five-inch colour touchscreen linked to a DAB radio with RDS messaging. Prices for this cool limited edition Rio start at £14,595.

The post Kia Rio Pulse Limited Edition appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Don’t Expect A Hardcore Version Of The Kia Stinger For The Time Being

The Kia Stinger GT caused quite a stir when it made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Not only did it usher in a new era of Kia performance models, but it also made it known that Kia’s all set to compete in a premiumsedan market currently dominated by the likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It’s no surprise, then, that soon after the Stinger GT broke cover, the rumor mill was inundated with an insinuation that a “hotter” version could be in the works. A Stinger “GT-R,” as folks christened it. Well, according to no less than Albert Biermann himself – he’s the head of Kia’s high-performance division – a more powerful version of the Stinger GT is possible; it just won’t happen anytime soon.

As deflating as it sounds, Kia did offer a pretty sound explanation as to why it’s holding off on a more hardcore version of the Stinger GT. According to Biermann, the focus at this moment is to make sure that the Stinger GT is successful. Launching the car (it’s expected to arrive in the U.S. later this year) is the first step. From there, the company is intent on gauging the kind of customers it gets and understanding what these customers are looking for in terms of a more performance-oriented version of the model. It’s an approach that wouldn’t make sense if it was BMW, which already knows what its customers want. But this is Kia, a company that’s technically diving into these waters for the first time. As Biermann told Motoring Australia, entry into this premium market is something Kia needs to do “carefully.”

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Kia Stonic Goes Official

01_Stonic_3_4_Front_plain

Kia is in a position now, with the rich they have and the size of their operation, that everything they make has to become a best seller or it will be judged a failure. Well, they don’t seem to have many ting to worry about with the new 2018 Kia Stonic because the car plays all the right tunes for the compact crossover market unto which it is born. 

The company just released the official pictures and details of the Rio-based 2018 Kia Stonic, and we have to say it is more than just a pretty face. And it is pretty, and sporty, and cool looking, which is a must because most of the customers in this segment are young people who are fussy about the looks of their things, be it their sneakers, or phones, or cars. The Stonic has the right size, the right curves, and the right angles, and what’s more it boasts two-tone paint work which is a harbinger of all the personalization options it offers.

Photos:

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Mechanically, Kia has prepared a range of equally small engines for the Stonic including lightweight 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, producing 120 ps, as well as 1.25- or 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. An efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine completes the range, offering the lowest emissions in the line-up. At this point only a manual gearbox  is offered which is a bit odd, but ultimately the choices will depend on the market. The front-wheel-drive Kia Stonic also features “European-tuned steering and suspension” and has a host of electronic aids such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).

With a 352 liters boot,  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition and Forward Collision Alert; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert; and Lane Departure Warning System, Kia Stonic has everything a young and cash-strapped buyer wants in a small crossover.

The post 2018 Kia Stonic Goes Official appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Kia Cadenza Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus Mark

cadenza-IIHS

The new 2017 Kia Cadenza, one of he best choices in the affordable semi-luxury sedan segment, has been through the safety evaluation by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and as it turns out it has passed it with flying colors. The Korean car was awarded Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+).

That is the highest mark one can hope for, although, we have to mention, the TSP+ 2017 Kia Cadenza was equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights. So if you are getting one of these, make sure it is the to-of-the-line, fully-loaded model.

In order to get the Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) 2017 Kia Cadenza had to earn “good” rating in five crashworthiness tests including small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength and head restraints. It also had to earn “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention and an “acceptable” or “good” headlight rating. To do that the Cadenza relied on Kia’s first application of Smart Blind Spot Detection System, as well as Advanced Smart Cruise Control, a Forward Collision Warning System, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and a Lane Departure Warning System. Again, most of these are optional extras, but you do get the strong foundation with a body structure composed of more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) as standard.

The post 2017 Kia Cadenza Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus Mark appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger Coupe

Kia shocked a lot of people when it pulled the sheet off the Kia Stinger earlier this year, and things only got better once folks got a chance to sit down in the most comfortable vehicle Kia has ever built. Offered here in the U.S. with a 255-horsepower four-cylinder or a 365-horsepower V-6, the newest four-door on the block is set to compete against models like the BMW 4 Series, the Audi A5 Sportback, and even models like the Lexus GS or Infiniti Q50. But, what if Kia didn’t stop there? What if it wanted to take on the two-door segment too? Well, there’s no reason at all that it shouldn’t, and we decided to give Kia a head start by designing our own take on what a Kia Stinger Coupe would look like.

When the Stinger we all know and lust for (that’s weird to say about anything with a Kia badge, right?) has four doors, our coupe has an extended front door and a large chunk of rear quarter glass that hints toward the best passenger room of any two-door currently on the market. Plus, it retains that rear hatch and sharp roofline that makes the four-door model so attractive. With that said, let’s take a closer look at this rendering and discuss some of the finer details before Kia decides to steal our idea and run with it.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Kia Stinger Coupe.


PostHeaderIcon BMW, Mercedes, and Audi Just Got Punked Out by the Kia Stinger

There was a time when getting bullied meant you fought back and reclaimed your dignity, and after years of being bullied by the world, Kia finally started swinging back at the competition. You could say Kia fired its first shots with the 2017 Kia Cadenza and the 2016 Kia Optima, but it went full-on nuclear when it showed up at the Detroit Auto Show with the Kia Stinger. It’s sporty, insanely comfortable, packed to the brim with technology, and offered in range-topping form with a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 that we now know is capable of pushing it up to 62 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds – 0.2-seconds faster than Kia’s original estimate of 5.1 seconds.

News of its official 0-to-60 time comes courtesy of is Asian-market debut at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show, where it’s being displayed, for the first time, next to the Stinger GT Concept from which it got a lot of its DNA. So, for those of you still on the fence about this Korean brand, it’s time to accept that it’s not the econobox, throw-away car maker that it once was. I mean, after all, we’re talking about a Kia with as much as 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. But, the real question is, how does its 0-to-60 time stack up against the competition? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.


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.


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