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Archive for the ‘Kia’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Kia Niro EV Concept Unveiled at CES 2018

The electric concept Kia promised they would reveal at the Consumer Electronics Show turned out to be something more familiar than we were expecting. The Kia Niro EV Concept is a fully electric version of the Niro Hybrid, and it is but one of a total of 16 electrified vehicles Kia is going to launch by 2025.

Now, the Niro we know is an alright-looking compact SUV. It’s not that pretty, but it’s also not weird like it’s electric cousin. Granted, Kia Niro EV is a concept for now. But there is no denying that it is a fairly unsightly thing to look at. But it is aerodynamically-efficient they say, and the cues you see on it, such as the slim lights, will be featured on other future cars as a hallmark of Kia’s electrified models.

Kia Niro EV is a highly advanced in terms of technology features, boasting a new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) that features a combination of front view cameras, object recognition technology and front speakers. Because electric cars are virtually silent, this system tries to detect cyclists or pedestrians and alert them of the presence of the car with visual and audible alarms. As for the powertrain, the car gets a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, paired with a powerful 150 kW electric motor. The Niro EV Concept has an estimated driving range of 238 miles (383 kilometers).








“Kia’s connected cars will be both boundless and connected and offer a new kind of mobility experience. Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and ‘vehicle-to-everything’ connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future. As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to deploy these new technologies for its customers. Our strategy and vision for future mobility is demonstrated by a range of interactive displays, showing what our customers can look forward to,” said Vice Chairman Yang.

The post Kia Niro EV Concept Unveiled at CES 2018 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Niro EV Concept

Launched for the 2017 model year, the Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover positioned below the popular Sportage. Previewed by a concept vehicle introduced in 2013, the Niro is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, and it’s available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo, in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. A gasoline-only version isn’t on a drawing table yet, but a fully electric model is definitely underway. Already spotted testing on public roads in 2017, the Niro EV is coming to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in concept form.

Heavily based on the production model, the electric concept is more than just a Niro with an electric motor and a battery. Kia also meddled with the exterior design and created a new lighting system for the show car. Inside the cabin, we will see a “never-seen-before human-machine interface (HMI),” which could preview an upcoming infotainment system. Most details are still under wraps, so make sure you stay tuned for an update from the Consumer Electronics Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro EV concept.

Exterior

  • Redesigned headlamps
  • New daytine running lights
  • Revised taillights
  • New rear bumper with LED lights
  • New side skirts
  • New wheel design
  • “Motion graphic” lighting system

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755518
“The concept comes with an "advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system"”

Although the photos of the concept car are quite dark, we can spot a few essential details. For starters, it’s pretty obvious that the show car is a modified Niro. All the familiar features are there, including the headlamps and taillights, the “Tigernose” grille, and traditional crossover shape. But unlike the production model, the concept comes with an “advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system.” Kia had nothing to say about it yet, but was careful enough to highlight it in the photos.

A quick glance at the headlamps reveals a new LED pattern with thin stripes around the lens and new detailing around the main bulb. The daytime running lights in the bumper are also new, now formed of a thin hockey stick-like element and a diagonal bar toward the bottom. The traditional grille was also replaced with what appears to be a display with LED dots. It’s unclear whether the graphics are customizable here but it could change depending on the drive mode selected.


2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755522
“The license place recess is much wider now and looks like a sporty diffuser”

Things become a lot more interesting around back, where Kia replaced the Niro’s usual taillights with slimmer units. On top of being thinner, which gives the crossover a more aggressive stance, they also feature a new LED pattern with thin stripes around the lens and vertical bars, similar to those seen up front. The red lights in the bumper also mimic the shape of the daytime running lights. The license place recess is much wider now and looks like a sporty diffuser. Inside, there’s “Niro EV” lettering in white LED lights.

The SUV’s profile appears to be the same, but I can see a new side skirt design, new wheels, and a slightly lowered ride height.

Kia says that the “motion graphic” lighting system previews the potential for such a technologies “for market introduction in coming years.” I’ll be honest here, I can’t wait to find out what this thing is all about.

Interior

  • Likely based on production model
  • Extra apps and features
  • new human-machine interface

2017 Kia Niro - image 665043
“The concept also features a "never-seen-before" human-machine interface (HMI)”

Kia had absolutely nothing to say about the concept car’s interior, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t stray too far from the production model’s layout. Sure, Kia may add a few new features, like a custom instrument cluster with information about the electric drivetrain and additional apps for the infotainment system, but the general cabin design should remain unchanged. It could showcase new visuals like a flashy two-tone upholstery, new contrast stitching, and new materials but don’t expect anything wild.

New technology is also on the table, but don’t get your hopes up for something revolutionary. With the Niro EV already under development and testing on public roads, the concept is probably an almost production-ready vehicle. Kia did say that the concept also features a never-seen-before human-machine interface but it remains to be seen if the Korean brand will introduce something entirely new. I’ve read way too much fancy PR talk lately so I’m tempted to believe it’s something we’ve already seen in other concept car but packaged in a different way.

Drivetrain

  • Electric motor from Hyundai Ioniq
  • 28-kWh battery
  • 155-mile range
  • 118 horsepower
  • 217 pound-feet of torque

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755519
“The Niro EV could use the same drivetrain as the Hyundai Ioniq”

Kia has yet to release drivetrain information on the Niro EV concept, but it did say that it features a “highly efficient battery-electric powertrain.” However, we already know that the Niro is based on the Hyundai Ioniq, which already has an electric version, so it’s safe to assume that the Niro EV could use the same drivetrain.

Introduced in 2017, the Ioniq Electric has a single electric motor that generates 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a single-speed reducer transmission that’s capable of pushing the car to a top speed of 102 mph. The juice is stored in a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that promises an estimated range of 155 miles. Charging the battery to 80 percent only takes 24 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger, and an integrated in-cable control box (ICCB) allows the vehicle to charge using a standard 120-volt wall socket. These specs should be similar for the production version of the Niro EV.

Of course, the concept car could have additional output and features, but we won’t know for sure until the vehicle breaks cover at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Conclusion


2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755520

The Niro EV may be just a concept car for now, but it’s pretty clear that it will become a production model soon. The vehicle was already spotted tested on public roads and it will most likely arrive by the end of 2018. With the Niro already available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, the full electric version will round out the nameplate and give Kia a solid competitor for all markets.

  • Leave it
    • * Details still under wraps

References

Kia Niro


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.


2017 Kia Niro - image 665038

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 745757

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept

Kia will head to the Consumer Electronics Show in full force with a new all-electric concept car. The new concept is called the Niro EV, and it’s actually a model that we’ve seen recently in the wild getting some test runs under its belt. The Niro EV is unlikely to hit production anytime soon, but it does feature a slate of new technologies that Kia hopes will be introduced on production models in the coming years.


Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept - image 755491
“We can expect the Niro EV to come with a single electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque”

Parse through Kia’s plans for the Niro EV, and it’s clear that the concept has a bigger purpose than just being a show car. It has, in Kia’s words, a “never-before-seen” human-machine interface and a “motion graphic” lighting system, two technologies that could find their way in future production models, provided that there’s some interest behind them.

Beyond the allure of these new tech features, the Niro EV is an electric car at heart. It’s also the third model variant to carry the “Niro” nameplate, following the mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants that are already out on the market. Details about the EV version will be released at CES, though it’s likely that the concept will carry a similar electric powertrain package that’s similar to the one found inside the Hyundai Ioniq EV.


Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept - image 755490
“Details about the EV version will be released at CES”

Should that be the case, we can expect the Niro EV to come with a single electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. A single-speed reducer transmission is in charge of sending power to the two front wheels while a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery is responsible for delivering an estimated range of 155 miles. Since we’re talking about just a single electric motor, charging it up to 80-percent capacity will only take around 24 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger.

The arrival of the Kia Niro EV isn’t surprising since the Korean automaker has been pushing to build its lineup to include more hybrids and EV models. It already has the Soul EV in the market, and given the popularity of the Niro’s two hybrid variants, it makes sense for Kia to add an all-electric version into the mix.

References

Kia Niro


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.


2017 Kia Niro - image 665038

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 745757

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger Gives Dealers Their First Opportunity to Exploit the Markup Game

Kia has long been in the business of no-nonsense, economical cars and SUVs, but that’s changed with the 2018 Stinger. It’s the Korean automaker’s first “gotta have it” vehicle and its dealership network is apparently feeding on the frenzy. At least two pages worth of forum posts on StingerForum.org detail customer experiences of pricing markups from a few hundred dollars to an exorbitant $13,000 in one case.

Adding insult to financial injury, several forum users report dealerships aren’t very accommodating with test drives. User “Thebkguy,” said he was able to test drive a four-cylinder Stinger but was told no test drives of the Stinger GT were given unless a price was agreed upon and a credit check had been run. He eventually coerced the dealership into a test drive but turned down the purchase over a $10,000 markup. Keep in mind; the 2018 Kia Stinger GT starts at $38,350 and crests at $49,200 for the GT2 trim level. Thankfully, not all Kia dealerships are being so overtly greedy, according to other forum users. Most seem to add between $1,500 to $5,000 to the Stinger GT’s price.

Continue reading for more information.

The Sharks Are Out


The Kia Stinger Gives Dealers Their First Opportunity to Exploit the Markup Game - image 700361
“No test drives of the Stinger GT were given unless a price was agreed upon and a credit check had been run”

It seems no matter how much research, thought, development, and love an automaker pours into a new model, the dealership experience is consistently there to negate customer satisfaction. Kia isn’t alone in this, of course, but these stories surrounding the Stinger are troubling. Keep in mind Kia began by selling cheaply built economy cars that served no purpose besides basic transportation. These are the vehicles Kia brought to the U.S. when it washed ashore in 1992 and began selling cars in 1994. It doesn’t have the brand cache others like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or even Ford. Though it still isn’t in the customer’s best interests, nobody batted an eye when the 2016 Mustang GT350R consistently sold for $20,000 above invoice.

Of course, it boils down to dealerships wanting a cut of the profits made for highly desirable vehicles. People with cash to burn are sometimes willing to pony up for the latest “it” car on the market, especially if it’s a limited edition. Dealers know this and freely tack on extra costs to a vehicle’s MSRP. If the cars aren’t moving, they will simply lower the markup. Otherwise, they would only make a modest sun for selling the car and some kickbacks at the month’s or year’s end. The money from a markup is cash right in the dealers’ pockets. The profits grow should the customer finance the vehicle thanks to interest charged on the loan amount.


The Kia Stinger Gives Dealers Their First Opportunity to Exploit the Markup Game - image 734755
“It reduces the overall customer experience by undermining a vehicle’s advertised and widely publicized price”

While I’m all for a wholesome capitalist approach to making money in business, dealership markups are just shady and bad for automakers. It reduces the overall customer experience by undermining a vehicle’s advertised and widely publicized price. It also undermines the work automakers do in striving to earn customers’ loyalty by trying to create the best vehicle experience for the money. In the case of the Stinger – particularly the Stinger GT with its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 – the markups simply feel like hungry dealers looking to benefit from Kia’s newfound success.

Do you have a similar experience with dealership markups, regardless of the car or brand? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Kia Stinger


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734759

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


maker logos - image 745757

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon New Kia EV Concept Teased for CES 2018

Along with its sister company Hyundai, Kia Motors is coming to CES 2018 with a futuristic, technologically-advanced concept model. This as yet unnamed EV concept is mostly about showcasing Kia’s advances in electric powertrains and autonomous driving, but it also appears to be have a rather interesting design. 

The main highlights of the Las Vegas-bound Kia EV concept include a highly efficient battery-electric powertrain, never-seen-before human-machine interface (HMI) and an advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system. What’s more, Kia will showcase ‘Beyond Autonomous Driving’ exhibit in which we learn about “outline the company’s plans for vehicle autonomy and mobility, supported by the introduction of upcoming autonomous drive technologies.” Yet another attraction of Kia’s display at CES is the three interactive, cockpit-style exhibits showcasing advanced driver assistance technologies, new user interface, and world’s first in-car 5G connection.





“Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and full vehicle connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future. As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to adapt these new technologies for its customers. At CES we will share our strategy and vision for future mobility, and exhibit a range of advanced technologies that our customers can look forward to” said Dr. Woong-cheol Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of Hyundai-Kia R&D Centre.

The post New Kia EV Concept Teased for CES 2018 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Kia Sorento – UK Pricing and Specs

Kia’s full-size SUV, the Sorento, was a bit of a miss and hit with its first couple of generations. The current model, though, is a quality product in every aspect, and that is why they felt it didn’t need major changes for the new modelyear. The 2018 Kia Sorento hits the British market with a new 8-speed auto box and new GT-Line and GT-Line S variants.

Priced from £28,995, the 2018 Kia Sorento is definitely not the cheapest SUV out there. But it could be, all things considered, one of the best value-for-money ones. The 7-seater is available in UK with only one engine, but it’s a good one. The 197bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel turns all four wheels with a lot of gusto thanks to its sizable 441 Nm of torque. What’s more, all models have Kia’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system, adding to the engine’s efficiency which does 43.5mpg average with the new 8-speed automatic transmission.

You are also well covered in the new Sorento technology-wise, having Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Around View Monitoring, Driver Alert Warning and Speed Limit Information Function. As for the new trim levels, GT-Line and GT-Line S, both feature 19-inch double five-spoke alloy wheels with 235/55 R19 tyres, stainless steel side steps, ice cube-style front foglights, red brake calipers and twin exhaust pipes. You also get  black leather seats with light grey stitching, a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel and a bespoke ‘GT-Line’ design leather gearshifter. The only notable difference is that the S comes with LED headlights.

2018 Kia Sorento UK Pricing

Model OTR
2.2 CRDi manual KX-1 £28,995
2.2 CRDi manual KX-2 £32,695
2.2 CRDi auto KX-2 £34,695
2.2 CRDi manual KX-3 £36,695
2.2 CRDi auto KX-3 £38,695
2.2 CRDi auto GT-Line £36,495
2.2 CRDi auto GT-Line S £41,995

The post 2018 Kia Sorento – UK Pricing and Specs appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia is the first Automaker to Announce an Ad Campaign for 2018 Super Bowl

There are still a couple of months before Super Bowl LII kicks off and already Kia has announced that it will run an ad campaign for the ninth straight year. There are no details about the advertisement campaign as of yet, but Kia is known for going above and beyond for these campaigns and typically involves a celebrity or two. As an example, the brand has commissioned folks like Christopher Walken, Pierce Brosnan, and even Melissa McCarthy, among others. As such, you can assume that Kia will kick it up a notch again this year. After all, these Super Bowl ad campaign’s cost a small fortune and Kia doesn’t want its ninth year to be a dud.

With that in mind, Kia’s 2018 ad campaign will be overseen by Saad Chehab, the man who put together Chrysler’s “Born of Fire” ad a few years back with Eminem as the main star. With a man like that behind the ad, you can bet it’ll be good – he does have all the right connections, right? And, while there aren’t any details, Chehab seems to have the right idea:

“Kia doesn’t lack advertising success in the Super Bowl. It’s more now, how do you continue this great work that they’ve already done and start introducing additional customers to your brand that have not yet considered yet?”

The man has a point, don’t you think? What do you expect from this year’s Super Bowl ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

Chrysler “Born of Fire” Commercial

References

Kia Stinger


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734759

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.



Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia is the first Automaker to Announce an Ad Campaign for 2018 Super Bowl

There are still a couple of months before Super Bowl LII kicks off and already Kia has announced that it will run an ad campaign for the ninth straight year. There are no details about the advertisement campaign as of yet, but Kia is known for going above and beyond for these campaigns and typically involves a celebrity or two. As an example, the brand has commissioned folks like Christopher Walken, Pierce Brosnan, and even Melissa McCarthy, among others. As such, you can assume that Kia will kick it up a notch again this year. After all, these Super Bowl ad campaign’s cost a small fortune and Kia doesn’t want its ninth year to be a dud.

With that in mind, Kia’s 2018 ad campaign will be overseen by Saad Chehab, the man who put together Chrysler’s “Born of Fire” ad a few years back with Eminem as the main star. With a man like that behind the ad, you can bet it’ll be good – he does have all the right connections, right? And, while there aren’t any details, Chehab seems to have the right idea:

“Kia doesn’t lack advertising success in the Super Bowl. It’s more now, how do you continue this great work that they’ve already done and start introducing additional customers to your brand that have not yet considered yet?”

The man has a point, don’t you think? What do you expect from this year’s Super Bowl ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

Chrysler “Born of Fire” Commercial

References

Kia Stinger


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734759

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.



Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia is the first Automaker to Announce an Ad Campaign for 2018 Super Bowl

There are still a couple of months before Super Bowl LII kicks off and already Kia has announced that it will run an ad campaign for the ninth straight year. There are no details about the advertisement campaign as of yet, but Kia is known for going above and beyond for these campaigns and typically involves a celebrity or two. As an example, the brand has commissioned folks like Christopher Walken, Pierce Brosnan, and even Melissa McCarthy, among others. As such, you can assume that Kia will kick it up a notch again this year. After all, these Super Bowl ad campaign’s cost a small fortune and Kia doesn’t want its ninth year to be a dud.

With that in mind, Kia’s 2018 ad campaign will be overseen by Saad Chehab, the man who put together Chrysler’s “Born of Fire” ad a few years back with Eminem as the main star. With a man like that behind the ad, you can bet it’ll be good – he does have all the right connections, right? And, while there aren’t any details, Chehab seems to have the right idea:

“Kia doesn’t lack advertising success in the Super Bowl. It’s more now, how do you continue this great work that they’ve already done and start introducing additional customers to your brand that have not yet considered yet?”

The man has a point, don’t you think? What do you expect from this year’s Super Bowl ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

Chrysler “Born of Fire” Commercial

References

Kia Stinger


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734759

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.



Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Kills Pro Cee’d Hatchback to Make Another Dumb SUV

Yet another car falls victim to the SUV craze as Kia quietly kill off the three-door Pro Cee’d Hatchback to make room in its lineup for another SUV. This SUV is expected to slip in below the Kia Stonic and Kia Sportage and will compete against models like the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai. Word has it that it will be an all-new design, but will borrow cues from the rest of KIA’s SUV range. It, too, will go by the Pro Cee’d name and will be an addition next to a now-confirmed shooting brake model as well. Want to know more? Keep reading for more info!

Further Reading


2017 Kia Proceed Concept - image 731389

The new Pro Cee’d in hatchback form will make its debut in early 2018 with the shooting brake version coming shortly thereafter (most likely at the following auto show.) The new SUV has yet to receive even a potential debut date, but with the new hatch and shooting brake coming in early 2018, a Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2018 wouldn’t be out of the question. With that said, the model has been spied previously with the most recent spotting happening on the Nurburgring. You can expect a number of engines from the Hyundai i30 to make their way into the new SUV as it does share the same platform. For what it’s worth, it isn’t like this model will ever find its way to the States as Kia has been focusing quite largely on the European market as of late and that’s exactly where the new Pro Cee’d SUV is heading too.

TopSpeed’s Take


2017 Kia Proceed Concept - image 731386

At this point, it seems like the SUV craze is never going to die. But, like all things, the craze will eventually come to an end. Hopefully, it happens at a time when it’s right for most automakers to revamp their lineups, but a little part of me hopes that SUVs suddenly prove to be worthless and automakers are sent scrambling not to find themselves belly up with massive inventories of SUVs that nobody wants. That might sound cruel, but we’ve seen a lot of cool cars killed off for SUVs and everyone seems to forget that they are only so hot because of the price of gas at the moment. If gas prices go up, all those little cars will suddenly become relevant again – just like they did in the last recession – and SUVs will fizzle away, left only in the limited interest of those who can afford to burn a gallon for every 19 miles. Will it happen? It’s possible, but if it doesn’t, it almost seems like the future will hold nothing but large SUVs with smaller cars and sedans become more of a luxury. Funny how the tides can turn, huh?

References

Kia Pro c’eed


2013 Kia Pro cee'd - image 473179

Read our full review on the current Kia Pro C’eed.


2017 Kia Proceed Concept - image 731391

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Proceed Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Official: 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

Along with the new Sorento, Kia unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show a new version of the hybrid crossover, Niro. Boasting enhanced looks and improved performance as well efficiency, the 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is a strong contender in the green car market, one that makes a lot of sense in more ways than one. 

For starters, there is the 26-mile all-electric range of the this car that sets it apart from most of the similar offerings in the market. Even something like the new BMW i8 Roadster has an electric range of just 18 miles. 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybridalso has a driving range rated at up to an estimated 560 miles, thanks to fuel economy ratings of 48 mpg city, 44 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined, which is above the average of this class. As for power, the 1.6-liter GDI petrol engine and the electric motor with its underfloor batteries give you a combined 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.

Niro PHEV employs the same six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) as the Niro which Kia maintains is the reason it has the same level of driving fun. Drivers can choose from several driving modes, including EV mode, Hybrid mode, (default) Eco mode, or Sport mode for quicker transmission response. There are clever fuel saving measures in this car, such as Driver-Only Air Conditioning, or Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS)which makes up to 50 percent of the structure, contributing to lightness and safety.

And of course 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) is as feature rich and reasonably priced as any Korean car you have ever known. The hybrid crossover will hit the showroom towards the end of the year.








“The Niro Plug-in is the exciting next step in Kia’s progression toward offering more alternative fuel vehicles by 2020,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Consumers who are intrigued by the Niro hybrid’s fantastic versatility and design, but want even more EcoDynamics technology and the ability to drive only using electric power, will find more to love in the Niro Plug-in Hybrid.”

The post Official: 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Updated Kia Sorento Unveiled in L.A. with New Features; Diesel Engine Confirmed

Introduced in 2014 with a brand-new design language and the company’s latest tech, the third-generation Kia Sorento posted solid sales in its first three years on the market, which more than 100,000 units delivered per year in the United States. But the SUV has yet to surpass second-gen model sales from 2011 and 2012, and Kia is trying to fix that with a comprehensive mid-cycle facelift. Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the revised Sorento gained notable changes inside and out, as well as under the hood.

Design-wise, changes are subtle but significant for a facelift. The grille has a new mesh with larger, horizontal inserts, while the headlamps sport a new configuration with three separate lights and LED strips at the bottom. The fog lamps have also been revised for upper trims, while the lower intake is slightly wider. Around back we can find revised taillights and a new bumper with a fake vent and chrome trim for the side intakes.

There’s more to talk about inside the cabin, where Kia added a new steering wheel, new shifter knob, and revised air vents. The seven-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is the seven-seat configuration. The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) package, which adds automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, driver inattention warning, and lane-keeping assist, is now standard on the EX, SX, and SX-L trims. The range-topping SX and SX-L models can be had with Mahogany and Terracotta Nappa leather. Kia also introduced optional wireless smartphone charging and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon with Clari-Fi.

Under the hood, the Sorento lost one of its three engines. Kia decided to discontinue the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, mostly due to poor fuel economy figures compared to the V-6. The engine wasn’t powerful enough for the seven-seat configuration anyway. The remaining 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.3-liter V-6 carry over unchanged. However, while the four-banger uses the same six-speed automatic transmission, the V-6 gained a new eight-speed. The Korean brand confirmed that the Sorento will get a diesel mill, but decline to provide additional information.

The revised SUV goes on sale in 2018 for the 2019 model year.

References

Kia Sorento


2016 Kia Sorento - image 579558

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Sorento.


Updated Kia Sorento Unveiled in L.A. with New Features; Diesel Engine Confirmed - image 748798

Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Sorento.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Kia Sorento Is Refreshed and Improved for the New Year

Kia’s long-standing family SUV, which used to sell well even in the crappy early generations, is now at the top of its game. The new 2019 Kia Sorento unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show is every bit as premium as the European rivals but has a Korean price tag. Read on to see what’s new in the latest episode of this success story. 

In terms of design the 2019 Kia Sorento is at best a refresh of the current model. Though Kia says the car features new front and rear fascia, the changes are more of a nip-and-tuck nature. They are well-placed, though, so as to make the new Sorento look classy and up-market. Revised radiator grille and headlights look better than ever, and you get sleeker taillamps (LED bulbs for EX trim and higher), revised liftgate and a sportier muffler tip, as well as new rims from 17 to 19 inch in size.

Inside the cabin the changes are more profound. 2019 Kia Sorento comes with new, more tactile steering wheel, new shifter knob and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics, plus revised air vents and the center console design. The space, practicality and features are as good as they’ve ever been. Depending on the trim you choose you can enjoy premium equipment such as dual-zone HVAC and panoramic sunroof, Nappa leather, 14-way power seats, and… And of course you get an upgraded AVN 5.0 navigation system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.









Dynamically, the new Sorento comes with a choice of two proven engines, including a 185 hp 2.4-liter inline-4 GDI or a 3.3-liter V6 GDI. The former is mated to a revised and more efficient electronically controlled six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Sportmatic. The 290 hp V6 gets a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Customers can choose between two- or four-wheel-drive. Pricing and market-specific specs will be confirmed later.

The post 2019 Kia Sorento Is Refreshed and Improved for the New Year appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Kia Stinger Gets Dedicated Online Configurator

Given the interest shown by the public and the media alike to Kia’s new affordable performance model, the Stinger, it actually took them a long while to launch an online configurator for it. But it’s now here and you can tailor your perfect 2018 Kia Stinger with a few clicks and place the order.

Unlike most of the other configurators we feature here, the one for 2018 Kia Stinger actually has some practical value. It’s nice to play around with the customizers for Paganis and Bugattis and other exotic models. But most of us cannot even afford to dream about actually owning them, because we need to be up early in the morning and go to work. But the Stinger is well within the means of an average person. It comes in a bunch of trims and with three engines (depending on the market), priced, give or take, between 30 to 50 grand US.

The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine in the 2018 Kia Stinger produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm. Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. But the one everybody is going to want is the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. You can also specify the Stinger with all-wheel-drive, but if it’s not advisable if you want to enjoy some tail action from time to time.

So head over to Kia Stinger’s Online Configurator and build yourself one.












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PostHeaderIcon 2018 Kia Stinger U.S. Pricing Confirmed – From $31,900

Most reviewers are calling it the performance bargain of the year, the it’s easy to see why. The all-new 2018 Kia Stinger gran turismo sedan is one helluva machine for what it costs. And that’s with either of one of the available engine you can order it with. 

The base price of $31,900 buys you a 2018 Kia Stinger with a 2.0 liter turbocharged developing 255 horsepower with 260 lb.-ft. of maximum torque. The Stinger GT with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 making 365 horsepower and and 376 lb.-ft. of torque starts at $38,350. You will hard-pressed to find another car with this level of awesomeness for under 40 grand.

It is recommended, however, that you dish out the extra dough for the GT. The base model comes with passive suspension and regular brakes, whereas 2018 Kia Stinger benefits from electronically controlled Dynamic Stability Damping Control and standard high-performance Brembo discs. High trim levels also get more safety and driver aids, such as:

Multiple Advance Driver Assistance systems work together to enhance the driving experience, including Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with pedestrian detection, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW) and a height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD).

2018 Kia Stinger MSRP

  • Stinger starts at $31,900
  • Stinger Premium starts at $37,100
  • GT starts at $38,350
  • GT1 starts at $43,250
  • GT2 starts at $49,200
  • All-wheel drive:  $2,200
  • Destination: $900

The post 2018 Kia Stinger U.S. Pricing Confirmed – From $31,900 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger

2018 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.

Update 11/16/2017: Kia has announced pricing for the 2018 Kia Stinger just weeks before it rolls into dealers. Pricing starts at an exceptionally low $31,900, nearly $10,000 less than its main competition. Check out the pricing section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Kia GT.

Exterior

  • Revised “Tigernose’ grille
  • Functional air dam
  • Fastback like design w\ Large panoramic glass panel up front
  • A refreshing design from the Korean Automaker
  • Rivals the look of cars like the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 with Elegance

2018 Kia Stinger - image 734759
“I was kind of expecting the Stinger to be a modified version of the latest Optima or Cadenza, but boy was I wrong.”

When I arrived in Detroit on the first day of the Detroit Auto Show, the No. 1 car that was on my list was the Kia Stinger, and boy was I surprised when I got to Kia’s show floor. What did I see? Three different production Stingers that not only looked amazing but offered a little secretive nod to the U.S. with one finished in red, one in white, and one finished in a gorgeous blue. I was kind of expecting the Stinger to be a modified version of the latest Optima or Cadenza, but boy was I wrong. Of course, Kia still gave it that Tigernose grille, but it’s the best iteration that we’ve seen so far. Refined and chrome plated the grille defines the sporty nature of the new Stinger and is accented perfectly by that large, functional air dam down below and the deeply recessed vent on each corner.

Moving farther up the front clip, it’s hard not to notice the unique headlights with double LED running lamps and the tightest fit to the body of anything its German rivals offer at this time. But, it’s the little details that really add to the car’s overall appearance. After all, look at the weird arrangement of dots on the bottom of the headlamp lens, or that vertical chrome stripe inside the corner air vents – it’s all about attention to detail, and Kia nailed it.
The most interesting thing about the front is that Kia opted for a smooth hood, with mildly muscular lines on the fenders and front fascia – something that’s somewhat unique in this segment. Those hood vents look really nice, but don’t be fooled; they aren’t in any way functional from what I could tell. Upon opening the hood, you’ll notice they are covered up underneath.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734752
“For the most part, the side profile is smooth, but if you look closely, you’ll see a very light body line running from the corner of the headlight all the way to the rear, crossing the doors just above the door handles”

Moving on to the side profile, you’ll find that the name of the game was elegance and style as opposed to aggressiveness or muscularity. For the most part, the side profile is smooth, but if you look closely, you’ll see a very light body line running from the corner of the headlight all the way to the rear, crossing the doors just above the door handles. The windows get chrome trim that matches the vent ahead of the front door, while the mirrors match the door trim between the two side windows. Finally, there’s another mild body line at the bottom of the doors that feeds from that front vent and disappears into the side skirt ahead of the rear wheels. What really emphasizes the car’s sporty characteristics, however, is the large glass roof above the front seats and that downward slope above the rear seats that gives the Stinger the fastback look. A smaller corner vent adds just a little more character on the side of the rear fascia, and those unique wheels with their five split spokes offer a path of view to those Brembo performance brake calipers. Nice!

Around back, the sexy hits just keep on coming. The thin and sleek taillights reside primarily in the rear quarters, however, the LED strip on the hatch offers a visual connection between the wo. The lower corners of the taillights wrap around the rear quarters to provide a rectangular side marker on each side – yet another unique feature. The rear quarts and rear hatch and a slight upward swoop to create a built-in lip of sorts. Down below, there’s a mild line that runs the width of the rear fascia, but what’s more important is the massive, full-width insert at the bottom that houses the twin, dual exhaust outlets and offers up a diffuser-like look in the middle.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734755
“The exterior look of the Stinger just goes to show what kind of talent Kia has required over the years”

All told, the exterior look of the Stinger just goes to show what kind of talent Kia has required over the years. It proves that a brand can step away from the boring, lackluster designs that made it a go-to for affordable but dependable vehicles and jump in the ring with the big boys. The design is well thought out and strategic in every sense, based on looks alone, the German three – as well as other premium and luxury manufacturers – have a lot to worry about in coming years.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 114.4
Length (Inches) 190.2
Width (Inches) 73.6
Height (Inches) 55.1
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.8/64.8

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

So, once the Stinger hits dealer showrooms, it will be the new kid on the block that has to battle extreme brand loyalty and models that have been established in the market long before the Stinger was even conceived. Kia has named a number of models that it considers competition, but the more prominent ones include the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback.


2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupè - image 540334

When it comes to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, it’s still in its first generation, being introduced as a 2014 model when BMW decided to split the 3 Series into two lineups. Be that as it may, the 4 Series will actually be nice and fresh when the Stinger goes on sale as it was just refreshed for the 2018 model year – something that might make it just a little harder for the Stinger to get a foothold in the market. In terms of exterior styling, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is sexy and stylish, and has more muscular definition than the Stinger. Up front, you’ll find that the hood has sharp and well-defined lines while the front fascia carries on with BMW’s typical aggressive design that makes use of a large, fake vent in each corner. The vents are larger than those on the stinger, while the air dam is smaller.

The Bimmer does feature some chrome, but it’s nowhere near as flashy as the stinger. The same story holds true for the side profile where two distinct body lines add character and a less-noticeable fender vent resides between the front wheels and the front door. The side skirts of the Bimmer are also far more aggressive. In the rear, you’ll find the 4 Series is more defined, featuring aggressive styling on the rear fascia and a rear insert that sits in between. The upward swoop on the decklid provides a bit of downforce in the rear while the exhaust outlets sit closer to the center of the fascia than they do on the Kia.


2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 702793

If you fancy yourself as an Audi person, you’ll find that Audi has made some pretty big strides in recent years to ditch the bland, boring designs of the past. The A5 is clear and uncut proof of that in many ways. It has a muscular front hood that features four sharp body lines, with the outside lines curving inward to terminate at the upper corners of the front grille. That grille, by the way, has evolved in recent years and is now thinner, wider, and flashy. The upper corner edges run almost parallel with the inner-most edges of the headlight units and, down below, you’ll find a pair of aggressive but fake air vents that serve as a permanent home for the fog lights, when properly equipped. Instead of having a wide-open air dam like the 4 Series and the stinger, Audi kept with a short nose with the corner vents linked together by a splitter like design. It’s actually unique in this segment (in a weird kind of way) and fairly pleasing to look at.

To the sides, you’ll find that the headlights serve as a starting point for a somewhat wavy body line that curves slightly above each wheel well and runs between the door handles and waistline before terminating at the taillights. Down below a slanted body line that is positioned between the front and rear wheels helps give the illusion that the A5 as a slightly raked stance. The side skirts, are rather uneventful, and the A5 is the only one of the three that doesn’t have a vent or trim element on the front fenders. Around back, the rear quarters flare out a bit to give a muscular appearance, while sleek taillights sit below a tiny overhang that visually links the rear quarters and decklid together. Down below, the rear fascia has a few body lines that run the full width of the rear, but there is no massive insert or diffuser hear, just a single exhaust outlet, a pair of reflectors, and a small vent for a little extra character.

If you’re motivated by looks alone, it’s going to boil down to how much you like aggressive looks. The Stinger, while fairly flashy is the least aggressive of the three, while the Bimmer and Audi bring significantly sharper lines and a more commanding presence. Both German models have been updated recently and will carry on through the end of the decade, as will the Stinger.

Exterior Dimensions

left
right
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback
Wheelbase (Inches) 110.6 111.18
Length (Inches) 182.6 186.33
Width (Inches) 71.9 72.55
Height (Inches) 54.7 54.56

Interior

  • Luxurious interior far above any Kia that came before it
  • Soft touch surfaces
  • Instrument cluster includes oil temp, navigation, g-forces, and a lap timer
  • Advanced HUD system
  • Low-siting driver’s seat for more support
  • Spacious rear seats unparalleled by BMW or Audi

2018 Kia Stinger - image 745698
“When you sit down inside the Stinger, you’ll find yourself feeling an immediate and intense sensation of bliss as your mind goes into slight overload as you try to convince yourself that this is really a Kia”

When you sit down inside the Stinger, you’ll find yourself feeling an immediate and intense sensation of bliss as your mind goes into slight overload as you try to convince yourself that this is really a Kia. Not that Kia hasn’t made drastic improvements to its interiors over the last 25 years (Kia Motors America came to be in 1992,) but there is much more going on here than anyone expected. First off, there are soft-touch surfaces everywhere including the entire dash and the door trim panels. The dash itself is elegantly designed with that slight overhang that casts a small shadow on the nose of the dash. Mixed HVAC vents keep things interesting with trio circular, eight-spoke vents in the center and almost rectangular vents in the corners. A bright trim strip runs from both sides of the dash’s face, leading the way to a small control panel that houses the hazard light switch as well as a few audio controls.

Oddly, there isn’t a flat-bottom steering wheel here, but it’s sporty nonetheless and features red contrast stitching that matches the seats and door trim inserts. There are thumb control buttons on each side spoke, and the bottom spoke features a gloss black finish with the GT logo at the bottom. Ahead of the driver sits a semi-digital instrument cluster with two analog gauges that are outlined in metal trim to go with bright red needles. In between sits a wide TFT display that provides information like engine oil temperature, navigation, cornering G-forces, and lap times, but also serves as the home for the driver settings menu and onboard diagnostics system. Sitting just to the right, is a hint toward the Stingers German rivals with that large display that is perched prominently atop the center stack. And, you can’t see it in the pictures we have here, but there is also and advanced HUD system that is height adjustable and displays information on the windshield, including speed, navigation, audio settings, cruise control settings, and blind spot detection information.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734761
“The dash itself is elegantly designed with that slight overhang that casts a small shadow on the nose of the dash.”

Moving lower in the front of the cabin, you’ll find metal plated pedals and a metal plated foot rest. In the center, that tall transmission tunnel serves is covered up by that high-sitting center console that offers a central armrest with a storage pocket underneath to go with dual cup holders and a gear shifter that’s ergonomic, comfortable, and easy to use and understand. Further ahead is a smaller storage tray that offers wireless phone charging for smartphones with the capability. Sitting above that tray are the HVAC controls that are positioned for easy access from either front passenger. As you can see, the front seats offer amazing side support top and bottom and feature a nice stitching pattern. The models at the Detroit Auto Show were wrapped in the optional Napa leather, and while we don’t know what that option will cost yet, it’s definitely something you want to consider if you decide to give Kia’s new Halo car a chance.

There is one thing here, that’s very important to know but isn’t really represented in any of the images here. The driver’s seat actually sits really low in the car, bringing the driver’s hip point significantly lower than that of the Stinger’s German rivals. This gives it a snugger and sportier feeling, and to test this theory I went straight from Kia to BMW and sat down in the new 5 Series – the difference was night and day. The seat was more comfortable and offered much more support in all of the right places. It was shocking and hard to believe, but if you don’t believe me, I suggest you take the test for yourself – you’ll be surprised as well.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745697
“The driver’s seat actually sits really low in the car, bringing the driver’s hip point significantly lower than that of the Stinger’s German rivals.”

Sitting in the rear of the Stinger is just as surprising as sitting up front. Of course, it’s void of anything like a rear infotainment system, but rear passengers do get their very own HVAC vents and controls to keep things kosher and a pair of power sockets to keep devices charged on those longer trips. What really caught my attention, however, was how spacious the rear of the cabin really was. Despite the sloping roof and fastback design, there’s more than enough headroom for anyone shorter than 6’4, while legroom can easily accommodate those of the taller persuasion as well. The doors even open wide to accommodate those with a larger frame. The rear seats offer support in all of the right places with an emphasis on the lower back and shoulder blades. While I couldn’t spend too long in the rear, I did find that the rear seats did ease the tension in my back – something you don’t normally find happening in the rear of a smaller sedan. The rearward tilt to the seat cushions help keep your legs in a comfortable position without hampering blood flow to the lower extremities.

I know a lot of this might come off as PR talk to those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the Stinger in the metal yet, but I promise you it’s not. In the short time I spent inside this crazy sedan, I found myself highly impressed and even a bit confused that Kia hasn’t brought this quality of materials or the superb and meticulous fit and finish to other models in its lineup. For the brand’s first go at the luxury segment, it did pretty damn well, and it’s only fair to give them props. Not everyone can jump in the ring with the big boys and go a full 15 rounds.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745739

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 38.3/37.0
Leg room front/rear (Inches) 42.6/36.4
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 56.4/54.8
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 55.5/56.1
Passenger capacity (cu. ft.) 93.8
Cargo area capacity, rear seats up (cu. ft.) 23.3
Cargo area capacity, rear seats folded (cu. ft.) 40.9

Design, Function, and Comfort

At this point, you know that I practically fell in love with the Stinger’s interior, but that doesn’t mean the competition doesn’t stack up well. When BMW updated the 4 Series, it also did quite a bit to the interior to help keep it on point for the next few years.


2018 BMW M4 Convertible - image 702101

Looking at the full dash shot of the BMW 4 Series above you can see that it’s quite stylish in its own regard. I haven’t had a chance to sit in the updated 4 Series, but the pre-facelifted model offered very comfortable seats and a spacious alternative to the Stinger. Kia made it a point to say it benchmarked the Stinger against the 4 Series a lot, but some of the similarities between the two are uncanny. Take the door trim panels, for example. The both have their own designs and all, but the design of the armrest, pull handle, and the location of the middle speaker in the middle of the insert prove that Kia smuggled in some cues from the 4 Series – a tactical and strategic choice, but risky.

The seats in the Stinger offer a little more side support (unless you look at the M4, for instance) while the Bimmer has a more intuitive operating system built into its infotainment system. The screen in the Bimmer isn’t as tall, but it’s wider and responsive. Both models make use of a semi-digital instrument cluster, however, the TFT screen in the Kia is just a bit wider and offers better graphics. As far function goes, both offer similar safety technology while the controls for the Bimmer’s infotainment system are a little more intuitive. The Driver’s seat in the Kia does sit a bit lower in comparison, however, so it has a sportier feel and should offer a little more support during more extreme maneuvers.


2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 687428

And, we finally get to the A5, which I tend to favor more than that of the BMW and find to be a little more advanced than that of the Stinger. Now, the Stinger wins hands down as far as comfortability goes, but on the technology and design front, the A5 is hard to ignore. It can be hard with a 12-inch, digital instrument cluster that provides all necessary information and as a home for the navigation system – a feature that helps keep your eyes on the road. I prefer the navigation in the BMW as far as looks and function goes, but I’d be willing to sacrifice if it meant getting that digital instrument cluster. The A5’s infotainment screen is also the larger of the three and actually looks like it is floating above the dash instead of being mounted to it.

The Audi features HVAC vents that run the full width of the dash and the seats sit higher than those of the Bimmer and Kia. The center console features a semi-floating design with
storage area located underneath and, while it has the slightly elevated edge on the passenger side, it’s not as intrusive as that of the BMW. The seats in the Audi look almost identical to those found in the 4 Series while the door trim is more refined. Like the other two models, it comes with a similar list of safety and technology features, including the option of a 4G LTE hotspot and various semi-autonomous safety features.

Interior Dimensions

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.9 39.92/37.28
Legroom, front/rear (Inches) 42.2/33.7
Shoulder room, front/rear (Inches) 54.8/54.3
Cargo Space (cu. ft.) 17.0 17.0

Drivetrain

  • Base model: 2.0-liter; 255 HP & 260 LB-FT
  • GT model: 3.3-liter, 365 HP & 376 LB-FT
  • 0-to-60 could be as fast as five seconds flat
  • Fuel economy as good as 22/29/25
  • Euro customers get a 2.2-liter with close to 200 HP
  • Automatic transmission only 
  • Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter
    – a first for Kia
  • RWD standard; AWD $2,200 option
  • AWD gets dynamic torque vectoring
  • RWD models get a mechanical LSD
  • More than half of chassis composed of higher-strength steel
  • 3,615 LB in base for or 3,968 with the V-6
  • Could go hybrid in the future
  • Chassis can handle much more power

2018 Kia Stinger - image 734762
“The entry-level model comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-banger known as the Theta II that has 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of twist at a very low 1,400 rpm.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t afforded the option to take one of the three Stingers on display for a spin, but as they say, good things come to those who wait, right? Even without getting to hear that 3.3-liter Biturbo roar or feel how this thing really handles in a tight corner at high speed, I find myself impressed and intrigued by the specs. The entry-level model comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-banger known as the Theta II that has 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of twist at a very low 1,400 rpm. But, if you’re like me, and have a true thirst for power, you’ll jump up to the 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 that is available in the GT model. It pumps out a cool 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 376 pound-feet at an even lower 1,300 to 4,500 rpm – this should make for some very fun and powerful burnouts when you turn off that traction control.

Of course, Kia has yet to release official performance specs thus far, but the 60-mph sprint should come in as low as five seconds with the 3.3-liter. Fuel economy for the four-cylinder is rated at 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. If you opt for all-wheel drive, fuel economy drops by one mpg in the city and combined. Meanwhile, the 3.3-liter delivers 19 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 21 mph combined in rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configuration.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701499
“Fuel economy for the four-cylinder is rated at 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined.”

On a side note, European customers will have the choice of a diesel-powered Stinger that is powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder. It is said to deliver 197 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. With this engine in tow, the Stinger will be able to hit 62 mph in 8.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 139 mph. This sounds more like all looks and no go to me, but something tells me the fuel economy will be amazing, so it may be fair trade off.

Unfortunately, those who prefer to row their own gears will find themselves largely disappointed as the Stinger isn’t to be offered with a manual transmission. In fact, it has now been exposed that Kia engineers didn’t even try to develop and manual gearbox for the sports sedan, so don’t get your hopes up for the future either. With that said, shifting duties are scheduled to be handled by the second-generation eight-speed auto that comes from the K900 sedan. It was designed by Kia engineers and makes use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter, a first for any vehicle that sports a Kia badge. The plus side to this is that the transmission will handle shifting all on its own, but if you’re feeling the need to get better acquainted with those corners on the way home, you can engage manual shifting and cycle through the gears with the paddle shifters that are attached to the steering wheel. At least you’ll have that option.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745710
“When it comes to the driveline, the Stinger can be had in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a rear-biased torque distribution”

When it comes to the driveline, the Stinger can be had in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a rear-biased torque distribution. The latter features dynamic torque vectoring that allows the car to monitor conditions and deliver just the right amount of torque to each wheel for just about any given condition, ultimately resulting in the best traction possible in most scenarios. In adverse conditions, automatic braking will take charge of each wheel individually to keep things from getting wild. Those equipped with rear-wheel drive come with a mechanical limited-slip differential which should help evenly distribute power to the rear wheels.

When it came to the Chassis that supports the beast, Kia focused more of stiffness than it did making a light car. As such, the Stinger tips the scales at as much as 3,615 pounds with the four-banger and 3,968 pounds with that V-6 with all-wheel drive. But, that’s not a bad thing, because this makes the car excessively strong, and with 55 percent of the chassis being composed of advanced higher-strength steel, it can handle much more power than the current range-topping model. This in itself is a hint that the Stinger may, at some point in the future, be offered in a more powerful form with the ability to take on the BMW M4 head-to-head – now that’s a battle I would love to see.

Drivetrain Specifications

Stinger GT
Engine 2.0L Twin Scroll Turbo 4-Cyl 3.3L Twin Turbo V6
Displacement (cc) 1,998 cc 3,342 cc
Bore x stroke (mm) 86.0 mm X 86.0 mm 92.0 mm x 83.8 mm
Compression ratio 10.0:1 10.0:1
Horsepower 255 HP @ 6,200 RPM 365 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 1,400-4,000 RPM 376 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,500 RPM
Curb Weight
Minimum RWD 3,611 lbs. 3,829 lbs.
Maximum AWD (All Options) 3,792 lbs. 4,023 lbs.
Fuel Economy
Automatic transmission (RWD), city/highway/combined (mpg) 22/29/25 19/25/21
Automatic transmission (AWD), city/highway/combined (mpg) 21/29/24 19/25/21

Rumors

There’s word that Kia has been discussing a future of electrification for the Stinger – there’s no official word and any details at this point, but the conversations have taken place. This means that in the near future a hybrid could come to be. Furthermore, an all-electric variant could but a big damper on the Tesla Model 3 if Kia plays its cards right. I certainly wouldn’t expect that to happen for at least a few years, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind.

Better Bang For Your Buck

Power delivery and performance is a pretty big deal to a lot of folks, especially when you’re looking at sporty models like the Stinger, 4 Series Gran Coupe, and the A5 Sportback. But, how do they all stack up against each other? Well, the Stinger is actually the most powerful of the three, offering 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque from that biturbo, but that doesn’t mean it’s the fastest. When it comes to the 4 Series, the entry-level model is the 430i, which can be had in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel ($2,000 premium) and is powered by a 2.0-liter with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That’s not much less than what’s offered by the four-cylinder Stinger, but it’s enough to push the Gran Coupe to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds – likely a bit quicker than that of the Stinger. But, if you upgrade to the 440i or 440i xDrive, you’ll get a 3.0-liter inline-six that delivers a cool 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. It’s less than the Stinger, but thanks to weight savings and aerodynamics, the 440i can hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds or 4.7 seconds with xDrive. That’s at least 0.3 seconds faster to 60 than what the Stinger is expected to do, but in terms of top speed, the Bimmer is limited to 155 mph while the Stinger tops out well above 160.

The A5 Sportback is a little more confusing, but considering it’s not available in the U.S. as of the time of this writing, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s offered with more diesel engines than gasoline engines. In fact, if you want a six-cylinder model, you have no choice but to get an oil burner. On the gasoline front, there’s a 2.0-liter four-banger that can be had with 187 horsepower and 236 pound-feet or 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet. 62 mph comes in around six seconds, so it’s quite a bit slower than where the Stinger and 4 Series GC sit, but it does pull 47.8 mpg, so at least you get fuel economy if you sacrifice performance a bit. On the diesel front, you can get a 2.0-liter as well, that offers 187 horsepower and 295 pound-feet, which allows the 62-mph sprint to happen in around 7.4 seconds and top speed to sit at 146 mph. It’s a turd in comparison to the Stinger or 4 Series, but it does achieve a combined fuel economy of 67.3 mpg, which could be a major selling point if you do a lot of driving. V-6 TDI models displace 3.0-liters and can be had with 215 horsepower and 295 pound-feet or 292 ponies and 457.3 pound-feet of twist. Performance figures aren’t readily available for all engines, but you can opt for a six-speed manual if you want to row your own, or a seven-speed S Tronic dual clutch with paddle shifters. For those of you who like to cruise and enjoy the luxury without the fun of spirited driving, you can opt for the eight-speed auto that is said to offer smooth shifts.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe BMW 440i Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI Audi A5 Sportback 3.0 TDI
Engine 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine
Horsepower 248 HP @ 5,200 RPM 320 HP @ 5,500 RPM 252 HP @ 5,000-6,000 RPM 190 HP @ 3,800-4,200 RPM 218 HP @ 4,000-5,000 RPM
Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1,450–4,800 RPM 330 LB-F @ 1,380–5,000 RPM 272.9 LB-FT @ 1,600-4,500 RPM 295.0 LB-FT @ 1,750-3,000 RPM 295.0 LB-FT @ 1,250–3,750 RPM
Transmission 8-speed Sport Automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic 7-speed dual-clutch 6-speed manual 7-speed dual-clutch
Acceleration 0–60 mph 5.6 4.8 6.5 7.9 6.4
Top speed 130 mph 130 mph 155 mph 148 mph 152 mph
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 23/2/4/27 21/32/25
Curb Weight 3,668 Lbs 3,799 Lbs 3,240 Lbs 3,306 Lbs 3,615 Lbs

Safety


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734760

If you know anything about the Kia brand, you know it wouldn’t bring a car like this to the market without integrating a fair amount of safety and driver assistance features to keep things safe. As such, the Stinger has a number of advanced features, including an all new (and first for any Kia) Driver Attention Alert system that can determine whether the driver is tired or distracted and deliver audio and visual alerts to encourage a rest stop. But, that’s not all. It also features a forward collision system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian protection to go with advanced cruise control, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert. While some may have been hoping to see more autonomous features, it’s nice to see that Kia isn’t shoving that crap down your throat with its first real performance offering. Surely, it will come in time, but this car is slated to be a driver’s car.

Pricing


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745714

We originally speculated that the Kia Stinger would command at least $41,000 to sit right in line with its main competition, the BMW 4 Series GC and the Audi A5. That would have been logical from most standpoints, but Kia decided to dial things down a bit more and keep its resident performance car in a price bracket that doesn’t require excessively deep pockets or an outrageous car note. All told, the Stinger will start out at a relatively low $31,900 for the base model. Moving up to the Premium trim increases your entry point by $6,000 to $37,100. The Stinger GT comes in at $38,250 while the GT1 commands $43,250. The range-topping Stinger GT2 comes in at $49,200. Of course, this doesn’t include the $900 destination fee and, like the other guys, AWD will set you back an extra $2,200 on any given model. Still, not a bad price point from bottom to top and lots of value for your hard-earned buck.

2018 Kia Stinger $31,900
2018 Kia Stinger Premium $37,100
2018 Kia Stinger GT $38,350
2018 Kia Stinger GT1 $43,250
2018 Kia Stinger GT2 $49,200
All-wheel drive $2,200
Destination $900

Sometimes It’s All About That Green Stuff


2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupè - image 540279

So, maybe you find yourself limited to a budget for your next whip. If so, then you’ll find that pricing is really tight in this segment, so you’ll probably want to look at things like design, and performance to really help you make a decision about which model is best for you. As of the time of this writing, the Stinger has yet to be priced, but journalists everywhere shoot out numbers that range anywhere from $40,000 for the entry-level model up to right around $60,000 for the range-topping stinger. When it comes to BMW’s offerings in this segment, you can get the 430i for as little as $41,950 or $43,950 with xDrive. Going with the 440i, which offers better acceleration than the others will hit the bank for at least $48,300 or $50,300 when equipped with all-wheel drive.


2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 745741

When it comes to the Audi A5 Sportback, pricing varies a bit depending on the specific market. Over in Europe, however, it’s offered in three different trims. The entry-level model comes with the low-end 2.0-liter TDI and starts out from $40,641 in SE form, but increase to a starting point of $42,978 in Sport trim or $45,007 in range-topping S Line trim. These prices have been converted at exchanges rates as of Jan 18, 2017. It should be noted that the two upper trim levels can be had with any of the engines available, but pricing can increase to more than $50,000 for the S Line with all of the available options.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe $41,950
BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe $43,950
BMW 440i Gran Coupe $48,300
BMW 440i xDrive Gran Coupe $50,300
Audi A5 Sportback SE $40,641
Audi A5 Sportback Sport $42,978
Audi A5 Sportback S Line $45,007

Other Options

So, perhaps you’re considering the Kia, but you’re not interested in owning a BMW 4 Series Grand Coupe or an Audi A5. That’s okay, though, because the Stinger has what it takes to be cross shopped with a handful of models, like those listed below.

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

The Lexus GS isn’t a noob on the market, with the first-gen model being introduced way back in 1991. Of course, the GS wouldn’t have what it takes to compete with a model like the Stinger if Lexus hadn’t pulled itself together and released the current-gen model in 2015 – the first generation to wear Lexus’ iconic spindle grille as we all know it. On the outside, it features a wildly aggressive front end with sharp points and deep lines while the side and rear profiles are rather toned down in comparison.

Like the Stinger, the GS is offered with a four-banger and a V-6. But, the four-banger displaces just 2.0-liters and delivers 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, Lexus claims a 7-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed of 143 mph. Move up to the GS350 or higher will get you a 3.5-liter V-6 with at least 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. In this configuration, 60 mph comes as quick as 5.8 seconds while top speed maxes out at just 130 mph. In this configuration, you can have all-wheel drive if you so desire, but if you really want power, you need to upgrade to the GS 450h and that’ll need you a few extra ponies with an output of 338 horsepower. You’ll get to 60 in 5.6 seconds and top out at 137 mph, but will be limited to all-wheel drive. Of course, these specs are a little lower than those promised by the Stinger, so the only motivation I can think of is not wanting a German or Korean car, and being more interested in aggressive looks than power under the hood. Pricing starts at $46,310 which could be comparative to the four-cylinder Stinger (maybe) but climbs to as much as $69,995 for the range-topping 450h F Sport.

Read more about the Lexus GS here.

Infiniti Q50


2016 Infiniti Q50 - image 665242

The Q50 is a baby in Infiniti’s stable, being introduced for the 2014 model year and updated in 2016 to keep up with the competition. But, you’ve got to be careful when considering the Q50 as you could find yourself paying as much for way less power if the Stinger really starts out around $42k See, the Q50 starts out at $33,000 and climbs to as much as $44,300 in 2.0t form. This model comes with a 2.0-liter four-banger with a meager 208 horsepower on tap – far less than that promised by the entry-level Stinger. So, if you really want comparable power, you need to go with the 3.0t that pumps out 300 ponies from a 3.0-liter V-6. It starts out at $40,650, which could offer more bang for your buck if you’re considering an entry-level Stinger, but can climb to as much as $46,500 when fully loaded with all of the bells and whistles.

Then again, if the Stinger commands more like $60k, you could opt for a Q50 Red Sport 400 with 400 ponies on tap and an enticing exterior package for as little as $48,700. But, if you want all-wheel drive exclusive wheels and other niceties, you’ll be asked to pony up $50,700. Oh, and by the way, as far as looks go, the Q50 takes an approach similar to that of the Stinger – it’s got lines in all of the right places, but isn’t wildly aggressive. It is pleasing to look at, however, and you’ll find that it does compare well in the looks department.

Find out more about the Infiniti Q50 here.

Conclusion


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745718

And here we are at the end, and you have a lot of information to digest. What’s really important, however, is what you take away from what I’ve said here. I’m not talking about my opinion or all of my happy and enthused attitude about the new Stinger, but the fact that it impressed some like me, who can have some pretty harsh words about cars I see on the market today. Of course, I’m no David E. Davis or Brock Yates, so I don’t expect my thoughts and experience to carry much weight with you, but when you lay eyes on the Stinger for the first time, try to let go of all preconceived notions embedded in your mind based on previously released models from the brand. Kia really raised the bar for itself with the Stinger, and I hope that you find it as impressive as I did, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. Just keep an open mind at first and give it a chance – I truly believe you’ll be impressed as well. And, if you’ve already seen it in person, hit me up in the comments section below and fill me in on your thoughts.

  • Leave it
    • No manual transmission
    • Lots of German brand loyalty to compete with

References


2011 Kia GT Concept - image 415886

Read our full review on the 2011 Kia GT Concept.



Read more Kia news.

Update History

Updated 06/14/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Kia GT up for a new testing session, this time somewhere in the Alps.

Spy shot Comparison


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701467

2018 Kia Stinger - image 702784

2018 Kia Stinger - image 701474

2018 Kia Stinger - image 702785
“Kia did a good job at keeping the Stinger prototype covered throughout its real-world testing sessions. We knew it would be sporty, but the world wasn’t ready for it to looks so good when the sheet came off.”

Kia Stinger vs Kia GT Concept


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701466

2011 Kia GT Concept - image 449917

As I mentioned earlier, the new Stinger (left) is based, in part, on the Kia GT Concept (right) that Kia showed off for the first time at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Concept was significantly more wild and futuristic than the production model it spawned. It took Kia five years to rework the concept into something that could be brought to the masses, but that was time well spent. As you can see, the new Stinger got a similar front grille, however, the front fascia, fenders, and headlights were all largely reworked. As far as the side profile goes, Kia dropped the side view cameras in exchange for aging but effective mirrors, and they solved the issue with the front door glass that made the front end of the concept look a bit awkward. The body lines on the side have been toned down but did carry over to the production model. The waistline is practically the same and Kia did make use of the vent from the concept that is ahead of the front doors, but it’s now chrome and doesn’t extend toward the rear wheels.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701476

2011 Kia GT Concept - image 449919

In the rear, there’s some significant difference in design, but that’s a very good thing as the rear of the concept was the weakest point in its design. To put it simply, the rear end was boringly flat and uneventful with a weird diffuser-like element providing some character. As far as carry over to the production model goes, the only think you’ll recognize as familiar are the rear taillights. They wrap around the rear quarters in the same fashion and traverse across the rear hatch in the same fashion. The lens layout of the production model is much more attractive as is the exhaust setup and rear fascia insert.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701488

2011 Kia GT Concept - image 702790

Inside, Kia completely reworked the interior to make the stinger more feasible and ready for a market where judgment and criticism comes at light speed. There are very few similarities here, however, you’ll notice that the Stinger’s steering wheel has a similar design but isn’t anywhere near as flashy. The dash has the same design principal with a nose that extends from the center to house the infotainment system and center vents. Normally, production models don’t look nearly as well as the concepts that led to their existence. But, in this case, the Stinger looks much better than the concept inside and out.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger V6 Tries Top Speed Run at Newquay Airport Runway

Creating some buzz for the UK launch of the new Kia Stinger, the Korean car maker dispatched three of the range-topping model to Newquay airport runway. The task was to show off the acceleration of the V6-powered gran turismo and try to hit the top speed. 

Well, the top speed bit was a bust since Kia Stinger couldn’t unleash its full potential in that distance and reach its claimed figure of 168 mph. But still, the hot sports sedan managed to clock just over 150 mph which is pretty impressive. In doing so the Stinger also create a pretty cool spectacle. The three stinger piloted by pro drivers formed a ‘half duck V’ pattern on the once military airstrip.

The whole affair was a pretty cool effort in fact, seeing as Newquay airport is also the venue where the recent SSC land speed record practice took place. That lends a certain mystique to this place.

For this stunt the 2018 Kia Stinger V6 GT S relied first and foremost on its 3.3-litre V6 T-GDi engine. The 365 bhp powerhouse propels the Stinger from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and it sounds pretty good doing it. At the end of the 1.7 mile runway the drivers engaged the 350mm ventilated Brembo discs brakes to come to a speedy and smooth stop. Mind you, if you choose one of the lesser trims equipped with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines you cannot expect the same sort of performance as this top-of-the-line model.

The post Kia Stinger V6 Tries Top Speed Run at Newquay Airport Runway appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Kia Stinger UK-Spec – Up Close and Personal

As the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger gran turismo launches in the UK, it’s probably a good time to have a close look at this phenomenal car with its tough guy looks and more than adequate firepower. The Korean GT hits the UK with a base price tag of £31,995, making a performance bargain since that’s the kind of money you would normally spend on a hot hatchback. 

2018 Kia Stinger UK-Spec is available with three powertrains. The one you want is the 3.3-litre 365bhp twin-turbo V6 in the range-topping GT S. But there are ‘tamer’ options for less sturdy souls. You have the 2.0-litre 244bhp T-GDi petrol engine and the 2.2-litre 197bhp CRDi turbodiesel, both of them good choices but not as exciting as the big V6. The latter does 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Also ,make sure you get the GT S trim line, since only that gets adjustable electronic suspension damping and Brembo brakes.

Here’s half an hour of the Stinger driving around the British countryside, complete with a tour of the interior as well as the exterior:

What all versions of the Kia Stinger share include an aerodynamically brilliant design with many sporty highlights such as large intakes and swollen arches. You get 18-inch alloy wheels on GT-Line and GT-Line S versions and 19-inch wheels on GT S. The choice of colors include some nice options such as ceramic grey, chroma red, and micro blue. The interior is practical for five adults, and features leather in GT-Line and GT-Line S versions, and Nappa leather in GT S. There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen for the navigation and infotainment system, and leather door armrests, D-shaped steering wheel and gearshifter.

Other highlights of the cabin include a chrome strip running all the way around the cabin, suede-like headlining, satin chrome interior door handles, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates and five aeronautically inspired spoked circular air vents. All model get air con and a customisable head-up display which allows key information – speed, navigation instructions and audio, cruise control and blind spot detection information – as well as DAB radio with bluetooth. GT-Line S and GT S also have a 360-degree around-view monitor, and 15-speaker harman/kardon premium system with subwoofer, external amp and front centre speaker.










Kia Stinger UK Pricing

Model Price
Stinger GT-Line 2.0 T-GDi £31,995
Stinger GT-Line 2.2 CRDi £33,595
Stinger GT-Line S 2.0 T-GDi £35,495
Stinger GT-Line S 2.2 CRDi £37,095
Stinger GT S 3.3 T-GDi V6 £40,495

Premium paint is a chargeable option at £645

The post 2018 Kia Stinger UK-Spec – Up Close and Personal appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Kia recalls 340,000 Souls for a fix yet again!

Kia Motors America has recalled 342,381 Souls once again due to an unsuccessful steering issue fix that took place the first time. The first instance was in November 2015, making this the second recall in a span of two years. The recall is stated for the models manufactured between July 21, 2013 and September 30, 2015. These include the Soul and Soul EV’s.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the pinion plug is not safely secured. This means the pinion gear could separate from the steering gear assembly, resulting in a loss of steering control. Despite identifying and acknowledging the issue previously, they were not able to rectify the problem completely. As per the report,
“The driver will hear a clunking noise from the steering rack while turning the steering wheel.”

Kia issued a statement saying that they are not aware of any injuries caused by the issue. Depending on the car, Kia will either secure the pinion plug correctly or, if required, replace the whole steering assembly. Dealers will begin recalling the affected cars in mid-November.
While this is a voluntary recall, it may be noted that customers who have paid for the first repair will be reimbursed.

Author’s Take

A well-known brand like Kia cannot let such mistakes happen. This is something that shouldn’t have occurred in the first place. Since the recall is for the same problem, the customers won’t have a peace of mind even after the second fix. The risk associated with an issue like this is life-threatening. But, on the other hand, Kia must be appreciated for committing to customer safety and accepting their mistake publically. They are willing to even replace the steering assembly if need be. All that matters, in the end, is that the problem is rectified and there are no injuries as a result of this potentially dangerous problem.

References

Kia Soul


2015 Kia Soul Electric - Driven - image 636545

Read our full driven review on the 2015 Kia Soul Electric.


2015 Kia Soul EV - image 541001

Read our full review on the 2015 Kia Soul Electric.


2014 Kia Soul - image 539354

Read our full review on the 2015 Kia Soul.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Niro EV

2019 Kia Niro EV

The Kia Niro EV has finally been spotted in the wild for the first time, and it was testing with its slightly smaller cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV. Based on its hybrid twin, the Niro Hybrid, the EV will ride on the same dedicated platform but is expected to deliver somewhere around 200 to 250 miles per charge. Then again, the Hyundai Kona is expected to offer up somewhere around 310 miles with its largest battery option, and both brands will use the same equipment, so the Niro could deliver closer to 300. But we’ll talk more about that a little later. With that said, not a lot has changed from the hybrid version of the Niro, but Kia has made a few changes that we can talk about.

Before we dive too deep into the details, let’s just point out that it’s not likely Kia will disappoint with the Niro EV. The Niro started life as the 2014 Kia KX3, which was already near-production ready. A couple of years passed before we saw the production model, but Kia didn’t disappoint and, if anything, it actually improved on its conceptual design for the Niro. The Niro is still relatively new on the market, making its initial push for the 2017 model year but it has taken the subcompact crossover market by storm. Kia promised us the EV by 2018 and, so far, it looks like Kia is about to hit yet another home run as this EV looks like it’s ready to bring the bacon to the table. Let’s take a good look at it before Kia beats us to the punch.

Kia Niro EV Exterior

  • Revised front fascia
  • Fog lights moved to the flanks
  • Could have a different grille
  • Side profile remains unchanged but could get lighter wheels
  • Rear end will see a revised lower fascia and new badges

2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858
“The Niro EV won’t change all that much from the hybrid model it is based on”

As is the usual case with cars-turned-electric, the Niro EV won’t change all that much from the hybrid model it is based on. It will, however, take on a few changes and, despite all of the camo and padding, we can already make out a pretty decent idea of what we can expect. First off, the main shell of the car we go on unchanged from the basic hybrid model, as well most of the body panels, including the front fenders, front hood, and rear hatch – aside from different badges, of course. What will change outside, however, is the front fascia and maybe even the rear fascia to a very small extent. As best we can tell, the fog lights will be moved to the sides and site directly below the headlamps, which is completely different compared to the hybrid.

Those corner vents on the hybrid are also left aside for a different look that will include triangular units that are much smaller and feature horizontal louvers. I suspect the air dam will also be smaller as there is little need for cooling outside of the battery packs and a little airflow for the electric motor. The real question is whether or not Kia will do something different with the grille. Since this is an EV, there’s no need for a radiator, and the grille is, therefore, rendered redundant. Kia may elect to carry it over from the hybrid for the purposes of brand identification, or it could offer up a slightly different approach – like a backlit mesh, for instance – while still keeping the same size and shape; again, to preserve brand identity.


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742863
“The side profile and roof will remain untouched in comparison to the standard hybrid model, as will the rear hatch and taillights”

The side profile and roof will remain untouched in comparison to the standard hybrid model, as will the rear hatch and taillights. As I mentioned earlier, the rear fascia may change just a little bit, but for the most part, it will remain the same, evidenced by the stout body lines that we can see on the corners below the taillights. What we can point out is that there are some horizontal louvers in the lower corners of the rear fascia that aren’t present on the hybrid model, and this is where the minor differences lie. With so much camo and padding, there’s no telling what is really going on here, but it can’t be too different, as the same license plate recess in the center of the lower fascia is in place as it should be.

Again, not a lot to separate the EV from the hybrid, but there’s enough to make it known to those who have a keen eye for spotting the little things. Are there any other little differences I missed? If you see anything, let me know in the comments at the bottom of the article. If not, let’s talk a little about the interior.

Kia Niro EV Interior

  • Interior will be near identical
  • Will get an all-digital instrument cluster
  • Infotainment display may be revised
  • No need for a gear shifter

2017 Kia Niro - image 665044
Interior from 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid shown here.
“The interior will be nearly indistinguishable from any other non-EV Niro you find on the road”

If you like the interior you see here, then you’ll be happy to know that the EV badging outside and the lithium-ion bits under the metal won’t bring a lot of change to the interior. You can expect the same exact layout – seating for five, comfortable but not-so-supportive seats up front, pleasant-looking dash, and dual-zone climate control. Truth be told, the interior will be nearly indistinguishable from any other non-EV Niro you find on the road. There should be a few changes, however. First off, all interior lighting is all but guaranteed to be LED in nature – this will help preserve that precious go juice from the battery. To add to this, there will likely be a different shifter as the EV will be void of a typical transmission, and the infotainment system could be up for a change as well. Not necessarily a different look, but there could be different software involved; more specifically, software that is designed to account for various bits of data like state of charge, battery health, etc.

What you can be sure to see is a new instrument cluster ahead of the steering wheel. As is the usual case with all-electric cars, the analog or semi-digital instrument clusters go bye-bye while all-digital units become the only choice. This is to help preserve power as it’s much more efficient to have an all-digital screen than a motor-actuated needle. Plus, there’s no need for a tachometer on an electric car, either. So, the instrument cluster should be home to a few new meters that include a battery meter, state of charge, range indicator, and it may even supplement the navigation system by pointing you to the nearest public charging stations. After all, there’s a big plug next to the grille up front for a reason – this thing doesn’t run on dreams and unicorn farts, that’s for sure.

Kia Niro EV Drivetrain

  • Could be AWD with two or four electric motors
  • With four motors it could torque distribution on demand
  • Could also be front-wheel drive
  • Range will vary from around 150 miles to 310 miles depending on battery size
  • 140 to 200 horsepower can be expected
  • Charging time will fall under six hours for a full charge

2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742865
“The chances are that the Niro EV will be all-wheel drive with two electric motors – one in the front and one in the rear”

Unfortunately, what’s lurks below the metal as the main form of motivation has been rather elusive up to this point. We know very little about what’s going on or about what we can expect from the Niro EV, but word has it that it will benefit from Hyundai’s selection of batteries that include 39.2 kWh and 64.2 kWh units, both of which will be offered in the Hyundai Kona EV as well. Hyundai says the larger battery will be good for around 500 km or about 310 miles. We’re guessing that the smaller battery will probably be good for around 130 miles of range, at best.

The chances are that the Niro EV will be all-wheel drive with two electric motors – one in the front and one in the rear. It’s possible Kia could go with four smaller motors, one at each wheel, but I really wouldn’t hold my breath for that. Kia could also make the Niro front-wheel-drive only to save weight and battery power, or design it so that its AWD on demand, with power being sent to the rear wheels only when needed. After looking at models like the Hyundai Ioniq EV and the Kia Soul EV, we’re guessing that power output will sit somewhere in the neighborhood of 130 to 140 horsepower. It’s a fairly small vehicle, and it won’t really need a whole lot of grunt. Then again, Kia could up the ante a bit and let it deliver around 200 horsepower, at least giving it the ability to tow small things or carry a full load of cargo in the boot without struggling like a hooker walking into church after a busy Saturday night.
Keep in mind, however, that even the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell boasts just 134 horsepower, so I really wouldn’t hold my breath for much more than that – this thing needs to offer up decent range too.

Kia Niro EV Pricing

Pricing should range from $35,000 to about $43,000


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742866

The Niro Hybrid currently tips the pricing scale at $23,240 for an entry-level model. Meanwhile, the range-topping Touring trim level is currently going for around $31,900. With that in mind, you can expect the EV to start out at no less than $35,000 because, for lack of a better reason, it’s an EV. It’s naturally more expensive to have such a large battery, and it’s possible that there’s an extra motor in there as well. With various trim levels eventually coming to the surface, the Niro EV could command anywhere between $35,000 and $43,000 in range-topping form. Seems like a lot for a subcompact crossover, but it’s an EV, and that’s the way the market trends right now for prices on these things – even the little ones.

Kia Niro EV Competition

At this point, there isn’t really anything on the market for the Niro EV to compete with, so you could even start hoping for Kia to be the first to put its subcompact SUV on the market – it’s certainly coming soon, right? All told, there’s nothing for it to compete with now, but there are a bunch of models on their way, and the Niro EV will find itself fight among some pretty serious models that are all hoping to reign supreme in what will be an epic EV showdown. So let’s take a quick look at all of the upcoming competitors.

Jaguar I-Pace


2019 Jaguar I-Pace - image 722486

The Jaguar I-Pace will likely fall a little a little higher on the pricing scale than the Niro EV since it is a premium vehicle and all, but it should be one of the first compact models to actually hit the market – most likely around the same time as the Niro or 2019 at the latest. It’s got more of a car look to it than the official “crossover” or “SUV” look but to each their own in that regard. It should sit in the same general size niche and should be able to cover about 300 miles on a single charge. Naturally, the materials and fit and finish will probably be a little more upscale, but Kia is slowly becoming a luxury brand itself – think about the Kia Stinger… — so I wouldn’t be so quick to say it won’t be able to hold its own against the Jag.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.

Mercedes Electric EV – Mercedes EQ


2020 Mercedes-Benz All-Electric SUV - image 697079

Mercedes’ first electric SUV is expected to debut for the 2020 model year, so Kia will probably beat it out of the gate, but what will be unique about this SUV is that it will be quite powerful in comparison. If the SUV is, indeed, based on the Mercedes EQ Concept, it should have some 400 horsepower on tap and be good for a range of about 300 miles. The Niro EV will keep up in range, no doubt, but that power on the other hand? I’m quite doubtful, but a man can still hope, right? In the end, the Mercedes EQ SUV in production form should come in at around $40,000 in base form which will be a little more expensive than the entry-level Niro EV but still with the realm of competition.

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes Electric SUV.

Hyundai Kona EV


2018 Hyundai Kona - image 720693

Note: Standard Hyundai Kona pictured here.

It seems a little redundant to mention the Kona EV here considering Hyundai is practically the same company once the two Korean carmakers merged into a single automotive group. Be that as it may, it’s still going to take up a place in the same niche, and that means the Niro EV will have to compete with it, even if profits from both models line the pockets of the same wealthy executive. It will actually be a little smaller than the Niro and as such may even come in a few grand cheaper but it should offer up the same range, power, and typical amenities inside and out. On the plus side, Hyundai’s current design language does have a slightly more attractive front end, so it may be advisable to go with the Kona EV. Plus, the ICE-powered Kona is already hitting dealers in the very near future so it’ll at least have an established following when the EV makes its debut. Pricing should start out around $33,000 and climb to as much as $40,000 at launch.

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai Kona.

Tesla Model Y


2020 Tesla Model Y - image 722132

It’s a shame but I almost wrote up this whole article without thinking about Tesla once, but as I came to the end, I decided I might as well throw it a bone considering it’s having a pretty rough year. The brand has been hit with various lawsuits for harassment, racism, discrimination, etc., and it posted a serious loss for the last quarter. Then you add in the fact that production of the Model 3 has become about as troublesome as trying to get through a dry county in Georgia without getting caught with that booze in your trunk. Either way, at some point Tesla will be debuting a smaller version of the Model X that will aptly be called Model Y, and effectively complete the SEXY lineup. It should fall in line with the Model 3 so expect to see a rather bland interior with a single screen for all pertinent driving information (no instrument cluster, either,) and it will likely be the least-attractive model of any that we’ve discussed in this speculative review. With that Said, the Model Y will likely come in at around $40,000 to $45,000 before tax incentives, which may be something to pay attention to considering President Trump is thinking of taking those away.

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Tesla Model Y.

Conclusion


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742867

So, at this point, the only question you should really have about the Niro EV is when it’s going to hit dealers. Well, unfortunately, I can’t tell you that as it’s still a bit too early. But, when you consider the fact that there isn’t a lot left for Kia to do outside of extensive testing of the drivetrain, it could happen in the very near future. It’s supposed to take shape and make its debut in 2018, so if it happens in the first quarter, we could very well see this thing rolling into dealers, pigtail hanging, by mid-July and go on sale as a 2019 model. This could, as a matter of fact, happen before most of the other competitors make it to market, but we’ll just have to wait and see. For now, that’s all there is to the story, but stay tuned for future updates and let us know what you think about the Niro EV in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • Competition could be tough
    • Could be a little too expensive
    • Competition may have more grunt for the $

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