Archive for the ‘Kia’ Category

Kia Ups the Performance Quotient with Stinger GTS

Sports sedan adds AWD and drift mode.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Kia's new Stinger GTS package allows drifters to go all out while still having all-wheel drive.

For a brand traditionally known for affordable, albeit plain-vanilla products, Kia delivered a major shock when it rolled out the Stinger sports sedan two years ago. Stinger quickly nabbed a string of awards and was a finalist for North American Car of the Year.

Now, the Korean carmaker wants to increase Stinger’s appeal with performance-oriented buyers, introducing a new version, the GTS, which adds a new all-wheel-drive system, dubbed D-AWD, that can let a driver drift to their hearts content.

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Set to reach showrooms later this year, the Kia Stinger GTS will remain one of the most affordable vehicles in its segment, with a base price of $44,995 for the rear-wheel-drive version, and $47,495 with D-AWD. (more…)

Kia HabaNiro Offers a Hint of Brand’s Future EV Strategy

The automotive equivalent of an everything bagel.

by on Apr.17, 2019

The Kia HabaNiro is an exercise showing where the automaker wants to take its electric vehicles in the future.

Kia is billing the appropriately named HabaNiro as a “spicy” take on its future EV strategy. Of course, the name offers a hint of where its going with the reference to Kia’s first long-range battery-electric vehicle, the Niro.

Like its sibling brand Hyundai, Kia has big plans to electrify during the coming decade, with a mix of hybrids, plug-ins, BEVs and even hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The HabaNiro, which was created at the Korean carmaker’s advanced design studio in California, is being billed as an “everything car,” or ECEV, and incorporates all sorts of creative design details and advanced technologies, including butterfly doors and Level 5 autonomous driving capabilities – as well as 300 miles of all-electric range.

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“We imagined a car for everyone and nearly everything,” said Tom Kearns, vice president of design for Kia Design Center America. “Then, when we saw the finished product, we were blown away by the imagination of the HabaNiro’s creators and its laboratory of technology and we want it in our driveways. Today.” (more…)

From Minicars to $4M Hypercars, Something for Everyone

Check out the debuts from the foreign makers.

by on Apr.15, 2019

The New York International Auto Show will see dozens of new model introductions this year.

There’s been plenty of talk about the end of the auto show era, and we’ve certainly seen a lot of manufacturers step back from the lavish previews that were the norm in decades past. That said, this year’s New York International Auto Show looks to be a major event, with close to three dozen vehicles making either their North American or global debut.

There’s something for everyone’s taste and budget, from the new, entry-level Nissan Versa all the way up to the special edition Bugatti Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti,” a hypercar expected to go for somewhere around $4 million. No surprise, there’s a particular focus on sport- and crossover-utility vehicles, reflecting the ongoing shift in the U.S. market.

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We’re waiting to hear more about some of the products coming to the 2019 NYIAS, several automakers promising to deliver some surprises – such as the all-electric concept Genesis has been hinting at. But here’s a look at the foreign automaker’s products we already know about that will debut at the Jacob Javits Convention Center this coming week. (We’ve put the American brands in a separate piece due to length.) (more…)

Hyundai Teases Tiniest SUV, Venue, Ahead of NYIAS Debut

Set to become one of market’s most affordable utes.

by on Apr.09, 2019

This rendering suggests the new Hyundai Venue will lift key design cues from the Kona model.

After years of rapid growth, Hyundai sales hit an unexpected speed bump a couple years ago, the automaker failing to anticipate the explosive growth of the utility vehicle market.

As these teaser images suggest, that’s a mistake Hyundai is rapidly aiming to rectify. In little more than a year, the Korean carmaker has radically shaken up its line-up, adding models like the compact Kona, the big Palisade, and even the hydrogen-powered Nexo. Now, however, it’s preparing to add its smallest crossover ever.

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Set to debut at the New York International Auto Show next week, the Hyundai Venue will also become the carmaker’s most affordable utility vehicle once it rolls into U.S. showrooms later this year.

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Kia Uncovers Two New SUV Concepts at Seoul Motor Show

Expect production models to follow.

by on Mar.28, 2019

Kia isn't saying what it will call the production version of its sub-Sportage, Signature Concept.

Better late than never, Kia is racing to catch up to key competitors by adding a flood of new sport-utility vehicles to its line-up, and its giving a hint of what’s coming with two SUVs concepts making their debut at this week’s Seoul Motor Show.

The two bookend Kia’s future utility line-up, the Masterpiece hinting at a large SUV with serious off-road capabilities, while the Signature suggests where Kia will be heading with a compact urban crossover.

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“While each of the concepts hint at the direction Kia’s designers could take in future, each also illustrates different elements of the brand’s future model strategy (in terms of) in terms of design, layout and use of technology,” the automaker said in a statement previewing the debut of the two new utility vehicles.

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First Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride

Automaker expands into a new segment.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Kia is playing catch up when it comes to its sport-utility line-up. The new Telluride is a big move in that direction.

With the introduction of the 2020 Kia Telluride, the South Korean automaker is moving into a whole new arena.

Kia has succeeded over the year in building its reputation as a challenger brand by building well-designed cars while earning plaudits for quality and winning customers with its economical pricing.

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With the introduction of 2020 Telluride, Kia, which also has shown an opportunistic willingness to take chances, is moving upscale into what has become perhaps the single most competitive space the car business today – the midsized sport utility segment.  (more…)

Imagine That! Kia Stretches its Imagination with Geneva Battery-Car Concept

There are plenty of blanks to fill in about the Imagine by Kia show car.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Kia's Imagine concept appears to be offering some hints as to future EV design cues.

You’ll have to use your imagination when it comes to the concept vehicle Korea’s second-largest automaker unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show today.

“Today’s drivers understandably have many questions about electric cars,” said Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s vice president of design. “They’re concerned about range, the recharging network and whether electric cars will still be dynamic and engaging to drive. So, when we first started thinking about this concept and imagining what its role would be, we knew that the best way to answer those questions and address those concerns was by approaching electrification purely from an emotional point of view.”

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Problem is, Kia isn’t answering many of those questions, apparently asking viewers to fill in the blanks when it comes to specifics, including precisely what sort of battery-electric drivetrain is moving the five-door vehicle.

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First Drive: 2020 Kia Soul

Those pesky hamsters would approve – but where are they?

by on Feb.28, 2019

The Kia Soul in GT trim, one of the many variants -- including an EV -- coming for 2020.

Ever since the third-generation Kia Soul made its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show last November we’ve been waiting to hear from those hip-hop hamsters that have been an integral part of the marketing effort for the quirky crossover since it was first introduced back in 2013.

So far, they’ve been a no-show but, after getting a chance to drive the latest version of Kia’s five-door, we really aren’t surprised. While they may yet show up when the next campaign rolls out, the Soul now has a clearly established identity and the latest version is so solid that marketing gimmicks really aren’t necessary.

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The gen-3 Kia Soul will now be offered in a dizzying array of different configurations, including a new, battery-electric version set to appear later in the year. To get a sense of what Kia has come up with, we headed out to San Diego for a long day’s drive of two of the most interesting versions, the Soul X-Line and Soul GT.

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New 2020 Kia Sportage Blows into the Windy City

Compact crossover gets modest mid-cycle updates.

by on Feb.07, 2019

The 2020 Kia Sportage gets its first update since being launched for the 2016 model-year.

Bigger seems to be better these days, especially when it comes to trucks and utility vehicles. We’ve seen all manner of new full-size and heavy-duty pickups debut in recent months, along with large-larger-largest SUVs and CUVs.

That includes the all-new Kia Telluride. But what if someone doesn’t need a honking big, three-row ute? Kia has rolled one possible answer into this year’s Chicago Auto Show in the form of its updated 2020 Sportage model.

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Originally introduced way back in 1994, when it was produced in classic, body-on-frame form, the Sportage has gone through a number of updates over the years. It has morphed into a modern-looking, car-based crossover, the fourth-generation model launched for 2016. That means what we’re seeing in the Windy City is a mid-cycle update.

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Honda Confirms Plans to Debut Urban EV Concept in Geneva

“Electric Vision” model to usher in massive shift to battery power.

by on Jan.23, 2019

Honda will bring a production version of the Urban EV Concept to Europe in the coming year.

Honda plans to use battery power of one form or another in two-thirds of the vehicles it sells by the end of the next decade, and the Japanese automaker plans to give a sense of where its “Electric Vision” is going at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The Honda Urban EV Concept builds on an early prototype shown at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and is little more than a thinly disguised version of the battery runabout it soon will be launching in Europe.

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“Honda’s new electric vehicle is developed with a focus on functionality and purpose and the prototype sketch demonstrates this through its clean, simple and unique design,” the automaker explained in a statement accompanying this teaser shot. “A mass production version of the car will be on sale later in the year.”

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