2020 Kia Sportage
Proudly sitting as the main attraction at Kia’s 2019 Chicago Auto Show stand, the new 2020 Kia Sportage introduced us to a number of novelties, most important of which is its amazing standard safety pack. The subtle facelift touched the 2020 Kia Sportage’s front and back end and gifted low-end models with even more tech. While this is basically all that’s important on the newest Sportage, it seems that this compact SUV really doesn’t need more improvement. It is a value-centered compact SUV, and it does all it should really well. After all, it does have some legacy to defend. Believe it or not, the Sportage was the first car with a knee airbag back in 1998. Heck, it is even the first vehicle to complete the Paris-Dakar rally and the Baja 1000. It did it in 1993 and 1995, respectively. While Kia is not really big on promoting these facts, I can tell you that the new Sportage really does epitomize the safety proves and the sporty character of its predecessors.
2017 Kia Niro
Kia keeps hitting homerun after homerun with the new models it has been releasing lately, but its newest addition will take the brand into a previously unexplored segment. When it comes to the red-hot subcompact crossover market, the Kia Soul is probably the closest thing Kia has to compete in, but a more traditional crossover is about to slot in below the compact Sportage. It goes by the name Niro and, more important, it’s a hybrid.
Previewed by the KX3 Concept that was unveiled at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show in China (itself inspired by the 2013 Kia Niro Concept), the Niro was unveiled at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, where Kia showcased a range of green vehicles that also includes hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Optima. But unlike the four-door sedan, the Niro rides on the company’s first dedicated hybrid architecture, one that’s supposed to triple Kia’s global green car lineup by 2020.
"The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’" said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. “The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.”
Granted, the Niro makes a lot of sense in today’s growing crossover market, but does it have what it takes to draw in customers from the established nameplates? Keep reading to find out more about that.
Updated 02/16/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the cars official debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check the "Pictures" tab to see them.
Continue reading to find out more about the Kia Niro.
2017 Kia Optima Hybrid
The mid-size Optima is Kia’s best-seller, and it’s been an impressive contender in a highly competitive market. Between the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, there’s not much room for slacking when it comes to family sedans. Kia has worked hard to successfully keep up with the demands of nipping at the heels of the best-sellers, and it follows up on the fresh redesign of the Optima with an equally refurbished Optima Hybrid.
Not to be overshadowed by the introduction of the all-new Niro hybrid, Kia’s gasoline-electric Optima broadens from a single model into a lineup, with the addition of a plug-in hybrid version to the stable. This is as much to improve the breed as it is to keep up with the figurative Joneses: Ford, Toyota and Honda all offer hybrids, and the Optima is available as a plug-in version as well.
Both of the upcoming Optima hybrids are sold under Kia’s new EcoDynamics sub-brand. Kia’s future electric and hybrid projects will also migrate to this umbrella, for stronger brand recognition.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid.
Holy blasphemous basketballs, Bron-Bron! Yes, it’s true: NBA superstar LeBron James is officially selling Kias. Or designing them, anyway. That might seem like a bit of an odd combination, but fundamentally, Kia and new-money ballers like LeBron have a lot in common. From humble roots and reputations (both good and bad) mad on the mean streets, both have had their ups and downs. Both have made success almost overnight by taking their games to new levels, challenging the old guard and making a name for the new. Granted, only LeBron’s actually reached Hennessey Chalice status at this point — but Korea’s working hard to hitch their wagons to his platinum star.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia K900 King James Edition.
Launched in 2001 with a 96-horserpower four-cylinder, the Kia Rio is one of a handful of cars that has helped guide the brand from obscure and untrusted to a legit alternative to the pricier Japanese brands. As we head into the 2016 model year, the Rio is about midway through its second generation, so Kia saw it fit to give the sedan a light refresh to better match its hatchback counterpart, which showed off its new styling at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.
In 2014, the Rio saw a drop of more than 11 percent in sales, so the Korean automaker needs to pull off a little magic to prevent falling even further. It has no hope of catching the likes of the Fiesta, Sonic or Versa, but it needs to at least maintain its position. Does this refresh have what it takes to stop the bleeding?
Click past the jump to read my full review to find out.
Turbocharged. All-wheel drive. Kia Soul. Put those three terms together, and you have the makings of the 2015 Kia Trail’ster e-AWD concept debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February, 2015. After confirming its new concept in January, using a teaser image and a brief press release, Kia has now released all the information on the exciting and intriguing Trail’ster.
In this concept form, the Soul trades in its city-bound form for a more rugged manifestation. Off-road-focused additions include bigger wheels and tires, more ride height, and most importantly, an electric all-wheel-drive system (e-AWD) that uses an electric motor to power the rear wheels. The jury is still out on whether this concept will make production, but we have a thing or two to say about it after the jump.
Updated 02/13/2015: We added a series of Trails’ter images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Check them out in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Trail’ster e-AWD Concept.
Kia continued its eco-onslaught today at the Chicago Auto Show when it introduced the 2014 Optima Hybrid. It features a revised exterior design similar to the refresh the base gasoline sedan just received heightens the visuals, while some specific hybrid additions increase aerodynamic efficiency. Tons of high-tech equipment and increased levels of safety make this Optima Hybrid sedan ready to storm the market.
The new Optima Hybrid’s gas-electric combination powertrain is good for 199 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to this hybrid setup, Kia is promising an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and a combined overall fuel economy of 38 mpg.
The latest Kia Optima sedan has been garnering lots of praise since its refresh this year, and it is nice to see this same level of refinement being applied to the Hybrid. The new design is both and refreshing in a world of “me-too” sedan styling.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid.
The Chicago Auto Show has officially arrived and Kia is getting things started off with a few milestone announcements; starting with the all-new 2015 Soul EV.
The Soul EV represents the first ever all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle from the Korean company on U.S. soil. On top of its electric propulsion system, the Kia EV was recognized by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for integrating more than 20 bio-friendly materials in the construction.
Kia is promising up to 100 miles of “real world” range out of its lithium battery and says that interior space is barely impacted by the addition of the addition of the electron storage.
Kia hopes to have the new Soul EV in dealerships by this fall with California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland as the first markets. These regions were chosen for their relatively large EV infrastructures.
Has Kia finally created a stylish and practical EV that buyers are looking for?
Updated 09/11/2014: Kia revealed prices for the new Soul EV which is now available at dealers nationwide. The model will be offered in two trims: Base and Plus, with prices starting from $33,700 - not including federal tax rebate of $7,500.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Soul EV.
After being teased for a few weeks, the new Kia Cross GT Concept made its world debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. The concept features a design inspired by nature and previews a larger premium CUV than the current Sorento.
The concept has been built on a 122.0 inches wheelbase - 15.7 inches longer than the Sorento and measures 192.8 inches long - 8.4 inches greater than Sorento and 79.1-inch wide - or 4.9 inches wider than Sorento. Still, the concept is 65.3 inches tall - or 1.6 inches shorter that the Sorento.
On the exterior the new Cross GT concept will adopt Kia’s signature grille, headlamps with LED lights and "suicide" doors. The light arrive into the cabin through a multi-paneled sky light with hexagonal glass inserts. On the interior it offers enough space for four passengers and their luggage and features bucket seats wrapped in Almond-Terra-colored leather. There are also features like HVAC, telematics and entertainment that are accessed via an easy-to-use touch screen and central mouse control technology.
Under the hood the new Cross GT concept combines a 3.8-liter V6 engine with a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and the 8-speed automatic transmission. This system delivers a total of 500 pound-feet of torque and 400 horsepower, while delivering an all-electric autonomy of 20-miles.
What we can tell you for sure at this point is that Kia is a huge fan of cartoon superheroes. Until now, we have seen models inspired by Batman, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg and Green Lantern, and as you can see, there is someone missing on this list. Yes, you are right: Superman!
This doesn’t mean that Kia forgot about him. The most likely reason is that the automaker couldn’t find an auto show to unveil the superman-inspired Optima. Well, the wait is over, as the Superman-inspired Optima Hybrid made its debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show debut.
The car has been designed in cooperation with Super Street magazine, but except an aggressive body kit and the Superman-inspired coloration we see nothing "super" about this Optima. It gets customer fenders that make it a little bit wider, a beveled front grille resembling Superman’s belt and red headlights. The concept is painted in a very cool blue combined with Superman’s unmistakable chest emblem on the hood and red elements added on the trunk.
The interior features the same blue and red color combination and gets Superman’s iconic "S" shield integrated into the seats and steering wheel.
And that’s pretty much all the super stuffs added in the new Superman-inspired Kia Optima. Was it worth? Most likely not, but is always good to discover your inner-child.
Kia has brought a new range topping Optima to the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The special Optima SX Limited will go on sale in March and will be offered exclusively in three exterior colors: Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl, and Titanium Metallic.
The special edition Kia Optima SX Limited will be distinguished by LED daytime running lights, a chrome-accented rear spoiler, lower door sills, wood interior trim, and a new set of uniquely designed chrome 18-inch wheels. The interior has been dressed up in black or white Nappa for the leather seats, door panels, center console armrest, and center fascia trim for a premium feel. All of these elements are combined with wood accents on the steering wheel, interior door trim, and shift knob, and a black tricot fabric lends a premium feel to the headliner, sun visor, and A, B, and C pillars.
The Kia Optima SX Limited is powered by the vehicle’s usual 2.0-liter turbo GDI V6 engine that delivers a total of 274 HP and achieves 22/34 mpg city/hwy.
The Chicago Auto Show is one of America’s biggest auto events, yet it doesn’t hold the same glamorous standards as that of its counterparts in Detroit, New York, and even Los Angeles.
That being said, a lot of automakers have used Chicago as the venue for their concept debuts and it’s no different this year as Kia prepares to roll out the Track’ster Concept.
The Tracks’ter Concept is being touted as "the ultimate performance" Soul that features an aggressive hatchback body with a low and aggressive bodykit. Looking at the Soul’s overall design, it should be easy to paint a picture of the Tracks’Ter as a concept that carries a far edgier look to coincide with the Korean automaker’s evolving design language, one that’s a far departure from the conservative approach the company used to be known for.
Performance details on the Tracks’ter Concept have yet to be announced, but considering what we’re looking at and how it’s being touted, we wouldn’t be surprised if it packs the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder powertrain that can be found under the hood of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
Whatever the case may be, we’re all looking forward to seeing the Kia Tracks’Ter Concept make its world debut in Chicago later this month.
After teasing us for quite some time, the Kia Ray Plug-In Hybrid Concept made its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show, a new creation from the "EcoDynamics" studio, the Korean automaker’s global alternative fuel and power train research program. The concept is built from lightweight and recycled materials and features hexagonal roof top solar cells embedded in the glass roof that provide extra power for the lighting and climate control systems.
The concept is powered by an all aluminum Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 1.4 Liter engine producing 153 HP combined with a 78kw electric motor mated to a permanently engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) for increased fuel efficiency. The Ray was designed to have a zero emissions range exceeding 50 miles thanks the efficient electric motor from only a single charge and has been rated to receive an estimated 202 MPG. With a full tank of gas and the batteries topped off, the concept has a range of 746 miles.
Press release after the jump.
Kia is going full speed ahead with is new image. The Soul is erasing the memories of the soulless Rio, and now the Forte is adding style that the Spectra never had. prices range from $13,695 to $18,495.
The 2010 Forte is being offered in three different trims: EX, LX and SX. Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0 Liter DOHC four cylinder engine, producing 156 HP and 144 lb-ft of torque, that features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection. The SX features an upgraded 2.4 Liter inline four cylinder engine, also with CVVT, which delivers 173 HP.
Why are we excited about a new little Kia? Well, budget-friendly Kia seems to be starting to turn a corner. Its Euro-only Cee’d has been getting good reviews for style and performance. This Forte looks great inside and out compared to the Spectra it replaces, and so our hopes are high.
Press release after the jump.