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7 Things a Kia Pickup Truck Needs to Succeed In America

7 Things a Kia Pickup Truck Needs to Succeed In America

It’s not as easy as simply building a pickup and letting everything fall into place

So, Kia’s looking into entering the pickup truck market. It’s not exactly ground-breaking news, but it remains interesting for the simple reason that the Korean automaker has never even come close to sniffing this segment in the years that it’s been around. But times have changed and so have consumer preferences. Pickup trucks — compact, midsize, heavy-duty — are growing in popularity once again and Kia wants a piece of the action. No less than the company’s chief operating officer and executive vice president at Kia Motors America, Michael Cole, admitted that at the 2019 New York Auto Show in a conversation with Motor Trend. Cole believes that “there’s enough opportunity” in the pickup market for Kia. More importantly, Kia’s already started the process to put a pickup into production. So, this is happening. But just because it’s happening, it doesn’t mean that Kia’s got it all figured out. The automaker is a neophyte in the pickup truck market, and if it hopes to succeed in this segment, specifically in the U.S. market, it needs to make sure that it knows and understands what it’s getting itself into.

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The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results

The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results

The nitty-gritty on the 70-plus vehicles at TAWA’s Truck Rodeo

By now you’ve probably read how the 2017 Ford Super Duty was crowned the Truck of Texas and that the 2017 Nissan Armada won the SUV of Texas. But the Super Duty and Armada were far from the only winners at this year’s Truck Rodeo put on by the Texas Auto Writers Association.

More than 70 journalists and social media influencers descended upon the 1,623-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas to test approximately 71 pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and commercial vehicles in TAWA’s annual event.

A total of 17 categories grouped the vehicles with their competition, ranging from compact crossovers and full-size SUVs to Off-Road pickups. Other categories included best connectivity, best technology, and best powertrain.

Keep reading for the full results.

Continue reading for more information.

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2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

Winners and losers from CAS 2016, plus what went missing

The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.

There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.

Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.

Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.

So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

Not much goes together quite like Texas and trucks. It’s the U.S.’ largest truck market by a long shot and it’s plain to see as you peruse any given parking lot. Texans love their trucks. That’s why the Texas Auto Writers Association crowns a Truck of Texas winner every year after an extensive evaluation process.

As a member of TAWA, I spent the better part of a week in the dusty hills outside San Antonio testing 75 contenders vying for the prized top spot. Eighteen automakers from around the world were in attendance, the majority bringing more than a handful of vehicles.

Ground zero for testing was the famed Knibbe Ranch, with hundreds of acres of sprawling across the Lonestar state. Muddy creek crossings and rocky hill climbs, combined with twisty country roads and newly paved highways provided the test beds. Those trucks, SUVs and crossovers brave enough to tackle the off-road section were subjected to rock-strewn dirt roads that punished suspension parts and underbody skidplates. More road-biased crossovers were thrown around narrow roads and up steep hills. The new pavement along the Texas highway was still covered in loose asphalt with orange caution cones proving a tempting (yet highly illegal) slalom course. Thankfully no one attempted that obstacle.

The 60 journalists judging the event had a huge decision to make. What truck, SUV or crossover would be crowned the Truck of Texas? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll announce the top winner and the winners of sub-categories on Wednesday.

Click past the jump for a full photo gallery

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Kia Soulster into production in 2010?

Kia Soulster into production in 2010?

We here at Top Speed like the Kia Soul for its fresh boxcar styling, loads of creature comforts and its energetic fun to drive attitude. So, any vehicle that has the ability to take all those things we find attractive and turn up the volume, is something we are looking forward to. Revealed back in January at the North American International Auto Show, the Kia Soul’ster did all those things and while it was just a concept back then, it could soon become a production vehicle appearing as early as the second half of 2010.

The reactions at the Detroit Auto Show were very positive, but at the time, the Korean automaker refused to reveal any information about the vehicle’s possible mass production. If the Soul’ster does make it into production, we can’t wait to have to have an open air, Jeep inspired Soul in the Top Speed test fleet.

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Kia Soul'ster going into production?

Kia Soul’ster going into production?

The Kia Soul might get a new brother. Kia is taking a serious look at the Soul’ster concept for production. "The response was so overwhelming," said Alex Fedorak, a Kia Motors America spokesman.

The Jeepish Kia was first shown last month at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. Even at its premiere Kia officials were talking about engine configurations and production possibilities, which will likely not be too hard considering most of its soul comes from the Soul.

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