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2021 Kia K5 GT - Driven

2021 Kia K5 GT - Driven

Is the K5 GT a true sports sedan? We spent a week with it to find out!

When Kia change the name of the Optima to K5, it was more than just a name change. With that new designation came a sportier sedan with a simple and attractive interior, and a pair of engines that put you one two different sides of the same fence: Economy or Performance. After driving the GT-Line AWD, we felt like we were wanting more. It looked faster, but it was essentially the same car as the standard K5 with AWD and sportier looks. So, does the K5 GT scratch that it? Well, it really does, but it certainly has it flaws, the most important of which is, arguably, the lack of AWD – something can actually be dangerous for unskilled drivers or those not used to having 300-horsepower at their disposal. Keep reading to learn why.

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2021 Kia K5 GT-Line - Driven

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line - Driven

When opting for the AWD model might not be the best move - unless you actually need AWD

After two decades and four generations in U.S., Kia has decided to globally rebrand the Optima as the K5 – a name it had be using for the Optima in the Korean market since 2010. With the name change came a much sportier exterior, a simple yet attractive interior, and a pair of engines that split the difference between great fuel economy and great performance – you can have one or the other. In early 2021, we had the opportunity to spend a week with the more economical K5 with a 1.6-liter inline-four that was good for 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Fast forward a few months, and Kia graced us with the K5 GT-Line AWD, which comes at a $1,600 premium over the FWD model plus a few extra standard goodies, including a special “Snow Mode.” Is it necessary to have a K5 with AWD, though?

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2022 Kia Carnival - Driven

2022 Kia Carnival - Driven

This is the Sedona with a new name, imported directly from South Korea

The Kia Carnival name might sound new to you, but Kia has been using it for this exact minivan in various markets since its introduction since 1998. Up until this point, you’ve known it as the Kia Sedona, but with the transition into the fourth-generation – which has been on sale in South Korea since September 2020 and in parts of Europe as of March of 2021. It will hit the North American market in July of 2021, but we managed to get behind the wheel of the new Carnival beforehand. This is what you need to know about the 2022 Kia Carnival.

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2021 Kia Sorento - Driven

2021 Kia Sorento - Driven

The 2021 Sorento comes with a bold exterior, plush interior, and a set of new engine options including a highly-efficient plug-in hybrid

The 2021 model year marks the fourth generation of the Kia Sorento. The previous generations were soft, curvy, and rounded, but the 2021 model is boxy, sexy, and a lot sharper. The company has pinned the SUV on a new platform, and has introduced new hybrid and plug-in hybrid engine options. The cabin feels fresh, more spacious, and can be had with captain chairs in the second row. All in all, the family SUV is a huge improvement over the outgoing model. The 2021 Kia Sorento recently arrived at TopSpeed headquarters and we have to say, it is pretty darn impressive.

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2021 Kia K5 - Driven

2021 Kia K5 - Driven

Does the Kia K5 represent a strong evolution or is it just another midsized sedan?

Let me introduce you to the Kia K5 midsize sedan – a car that really doesn’t need much of an introduction because you’ve known it as the Kia Optima ever since it hit the market back in 2000, but I’ll discuss that a bit later. Like the Optima, the K5 is known for its attractive styling, sexy yet functional interior, and – naturally – a great value for the money. Highlights of the new k5 (or 5th-gen Optima, if you like) are even bolder styling, new engine offerings, and, believe it or not, available all-wheel drive. Pricing for the new Kia K5 starts out at a very reasonable $23,590 (making it one of the most affordable midsize cars on the market) with the loaded, more powerful, range-topping GT trim commanding just $30,590. With this in mind, is the Kia K5 right for you? Keep reading to find out.

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Kia Seltos - Driven

Kia Seltos - Driven

The Kia Seltos is the newcomer to Kia’s lineup. It’s been in production since 2019, but 2021 marks the first year that it will be available on U.S. soil. It has just recently made it into dealerships as Kia begins to roll out its 2021 crop of vehicles, and it’s poised to make quite the disruption in the subcompact crossover market. Of course, let’s be clear, this still isn’t Kia’s smallest model – it’s the model designed to sit between the Soul and the Sportage. Highlights of the Seltos include better-than-expected cargo room, a Bose audio system, and the range-topping engine that’s good for 175 horsepower. What might be even more impressive, though, is the Seltos starting point of around $22,000.

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2021 Kia Seltos - Driven

2021 Kia Seltos - Driven

The Kia Seltos - a car that avoids the flaws commonly found in the subcompact crossover market

The subcompact crossover class has so much potential. Best-selling “compact” models like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox have gotten fantastically spacious, refined — and expensive. A modern CR-V or RAV4 is just as big, fancy, and costly as midsize models used to be. For lots of people, they’re still a great deal: for as little as $25,000, you get ample space for four or even five adults and their stuff, all the latest advanced safety features, a fully featured touchscreen infotainment system, and great gas mileage. But lots of people don’t need or even want something this big, or at least aren’t eager to pay for it. So most automakers now offer a subcompact model that’s smaller and less expensive than their compact.

What’s puzzling, though, is how flawed most of these subcompact crossovers have proven to be. Many of them are polarizing styling statements, sometimes with looks that compromise their utility even more than their scaled-down dimensions do. A surprising number of them offer no all-wheel-drive. Some suffer from execution flaws like underpowered yet inefficient engines, compromised interior layouts, or clumsy driving dynamics. Each model that gets a lot right has also had at least one serious flaw — whether it’s the fun-to-drive but cramped Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 and CX-30; the spacious but slow, noisy Honda HR-V; the pleasant but overpriced Nissan Rogue Sport; the off-road-ready, on-road-jerky Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek; or a host of other would-be contenders. That’s to say nothing of the ones that, well, don’t get a lot right. Why, oh why, couldn’t someone just take everything that people love about a compact crossover and simply make it a little smaller and less expensive?

At long last, that call has been answered. The all-new 2021 Kia Seltos is a mechanical cousin to the Hyundai Kona, but it’s taller and longer. And that’s just what was needed to address the Kona’s lower, more car-like seating position and its tight rear seating. This makes the Seltos the first truly well-rounded subcompact crossover, delivering all-around competence with no disastrous downsides. It’s handsome, functional, fun to drive, fuel-efficient, and affordable. While no car is perfect — certain buyers will gravitate toward the specific advantages of some Seltos competitors — this is the only subcompact crossover that has something for just about everyone.

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2020 Kia Telluride - Driven

2020 Kia Telluride - Driven

We put Kia’s newest and largest SUV to the test - is it noteworthy?

The Telluride joined Kia’s lineup for the 2020 model year as its biggest SUV yet. It’s positioned in the midsize class, despite the fact that it’s not much larger than the Kia Sorento. As is the usual case, it shares a lot of core DNA with a Hyundai product – in this case, the Hyundai Palisade – but it still features its own distinct styling. It’s only available with a V-6, but it does provide ample power, towing up to 5,000 pounds, and it comes at a price that gives it a competitive edge over models like the Honda Pilot and Volkswagen Atlas.

As Kia’s newst SUV, we’ve been itching to see what it’s like to live with the new Telluride, and we finally got out chance. This is what we’ve learned after a week of driving the Hyundai Telluride.

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Kia XCeed Quirks and Features

Kia XCeed Quirks and Features

XCeed completes Kia C-segment offering with sexy styling, a lot of comfort features, and somewhat surprising tech

This is the forth Ceed brother in the Kia lineup. There’s the Ceed Sportwagon, Proceed Sportwagon, Ceed hatchback, and now the XCeed. I will go on a limb here and say that the XCeed Xceeded (I had to) my expectations when it comes to its exterior look. This pseudo crossover is a bomb. Somewhat based around the ProCeed layout, the Xceed successfully employs the swept back roof design of the coupe and takes a few unique styling touches compared to any other Ceed currently available. Considering that crossovers like this sell like crazy, I am not even mad that Kia made it better looking compared to any other hatch in its arsenal. Regardless of its looks, the Kia XCeed is just a regular compact with the same tech you can find in any other Kia or Hyundai hatch. It does have some unique touches though! Here they are:

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Best Electric Cars of 2018

Best Electric Cars of 2018

The battery battles are heating up, but who walks away the winner?

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular these days, and manufacturers are responding by pouring in the investment and releasing oodles of new models. As such, competition between EV’s is growing, and 2018 was no exception. But the question is, which of these machines is the “best”? To find out, we lined up the usual suspects up and looked at all the critical specs, including range-per-charge, battery capacity, charge times, interior space, interior tech, and more. Read on to see which EV came out on top!

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2018 Kia Rio - Driven

2018 Kia Rio - Driven

The humble hatchback goes highbrow for 2018

Ask anyone to think of the Kia Rio, and first recollections generally include its overall cheapness and lack of desirability. Well, Kia has worked hard to changes that for 2018, moving the humble hatchback up-market while actually dropping its base price. Is it too good to be true? To find out, I spent a week with the new 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door equipped in its range-topping EX trim.

It’s worth knowing the 2018 Rio isn’t technically new. In fact, it rides on the same platform as before and uses the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder. However, that’s where the similarities stop. The car has been slightly lengthened and widened, and the naturally aspirated engine gets improvements in efficiency and drivability. Of course, the 2018 Rio’s appearance is different, too. The new car looks more upscale than before, both outside and inside.

Let’s have a look at Kia’s most affordable model.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door.

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