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2020 Kia Telluride - Driven

2020 Kia Telluride - Driven

A three-row crossover that’s no mere family-hauler

As I photographed the 2020 Kia Telluride in a Maryland park, a fellow visitor peeled off from his family to ask about the car. It made sense. Full-size crossovers like the Telluride are the chariot of choice for many families today, thanks to their three rows of seats and long lists of amenities. And the all-new Telluride had just hit the market. But as it turned out, the man wasn’t eyeing the Telluride for himself. It was his teenage daughter who’d sent him across the parking lot to check out this newly released SUV. It looked cool, she told him, kind of like a Range Rover. And she wanted one.

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2017 Kia Soul Turbo

2017 Kia Soul Turbo

The Soul finally goes Turbo! It’s about time, don’t you think?

The Kia Soul is growing a little bit this year with the addition of a new trim level that is sure to make fans of the unique little crossover very happy. While it’s not quite as exciting as seeing something like the Soul First Class or Ski Gondola being inducted as official production members, it’s really the next best thing. World; I introduce you to the Kia Soul Exclaim – the Soul with that little bit of extra oomph we’ve all been waiting for. Slated to be the range-topping trim level of the Soul range, this model comes well equipped with things like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, UVO32 that combines Kia’s e-Services and phone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a Harman Kardon 5 premium sound system with eight speakers and an eight-inch touchscreen display. The real news, however, is the 1.6-liter engine lurking under the hood that promises an extra 40 horsepower while maintaining a fuel economy standard of 28 mpg.

Orth Hedrick, the VP of Product Planning at KMA, said, “We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up.”

Entering is second generation for the 2014 model year, the Kia Soul is still a spring chicken in some regards, but that second generation brought a slew of enhancements that included a new chassis that was much stiffer than before, a one-piece steering system, revised exterior that brought new exterior light units and fascia’s that were simply more attractive than before, and a more upscale interior that features lots of soft-touch surfaces to help give the cabin more of a premium feel. Everyone was happy with the second-gen model except for the fact that it was somewhat underpowered, even in this niche, with just two engine options that brought no more than 164 horsepower at best.

Has Kia finally found the solution to this lack of power by introducing a new range-topping model? Well, we can’t predict the future, but let’s take a closer look and talk more about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Soul Turbo.

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2016 Kia Optima Turbo Review

2016 Kia Optima Turbo Review

Kia’s colorful sock in a beige world

It’s easy to think of Kia as little more than a purveyor of quirky, boxy subcompacts and the creative force behind those anthropomorphic hamsters, but the junior Korean brand has spent the past twenty years or so developing an impressive and multifaceted lineup. The latest incarnation of Kia’s mid-size Optima exemplifies this growth and maturation.

Now available as a turbocharged luxury-sport sedan, the Optima might surprise some buyers with its Kia badge. In reality, it shouldn’t come as that much of surprise.

Over the years the Optima, introduced in 2001, has grown in both size and refinement, learning from the competition and culminating in this 245 horsepower, $30,000 four-door that, impressively, isn’t even the flagship of the Kia lineup (that honor goes to the K900). The latest Optima stands out as an unusually good-looking and well-built car that defies its bottom line with amenities. With the Optima Turbo joining the lineup, “performance” can also be added to the list.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Kia Optima.

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2015 Kia K900 - Driven

2015 Kia K900 - Driven

Kia and luxury once went together like bleach and ammonia, but as we creep into the 2015 model year, things are starting to change. It started with cars like the Optima and Sorento getting more luxurious digs, then came to a head with the introduction of the Cadenza. And now for 2015, Kia presents its K900, a luxurious sedan that shares a platform with its sister brand’s luxury rig, the Hyundai Equus.

Not only is the K900 the most luxurious car that I have ever seen from Kia, but it is also the most powerful, thanks to is 420-horsepower, Tau V-8 that is borrowed from Hyundai. As of July 2014, this Tau V-8 remains the standard engine in all K900s, but soon the 3.3-liter V-6 found in the Cadenza will make its way into the engine compartment.

In the Cadenza, the 3.3-liter engine produces 293 ponies, but I am willing to bet it will exceed 300 horses by the time it makes its way to the K900. And this tuning is likely why the V-6-powered K900 is not on dealer lots yet — a 293-horsepower V-6 is not suitable for a 4,600-pound lard yacht.

Fortunately, I got my crack at the K900 before the V-6 had a chance to ruin the fun, so I got to enjoy all 420 roaring ponies from this Korean masterpiece. But the real question is, can it actually hang with BMW and Mercedes this early into its life?

Find out the answer and read all about my time with the K900 after the jump.

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2010 Kia Soul Flex

2010 Kia Soul Flex

Today, theKia Soul Flex, the first Korean vehicle that can run on ethanol, was released. It was specially designed for the Brazilian market where these flex-fuel models make up 85% of new car sales.

The vehicle uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder motor that cranks out 128 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. The car can manage a 44% fuel economy increase in fuel mileage over the gas version.

The Soul Flex will use a reinforced fuel pump, pillar cap, and fuel line. There will also be a gasoline assistance system that will aid engine ignition at low temperatures. In addition to all of this, the motor will use an adapted fuel injection and catalyst system. There will also be a new engine compression ratio.

The Kia Soul Flex will debut this month, with sales beginning early next year in Brazil. The company is also working on a Sportage Flex that should be unveiled at the end of next year.

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