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2020 Kia Forte GT

2020 Kia Forte GT

The 2019 Forte’s smarter and stronger twin

The GT version of the Forte was to arrive soon, but we expected it to make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show early next year. The South Korean automaker caught us by surprise by releasing the updated Forte GT for the 202 model year. It carries the good looks but adds more grunt and pace to the standard Forte.

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2019 Kia K900 DUB Edition

2019 Kia K900 DUB Edition

Kia has brought a bold modified example of its yet to be launched, all-new K900 to the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The look of the vehicle has been transformed by DUB, a famous name on the aftermarket scene, specializing in big rims and other accessories. However, it seems somebody over at dub is stuck in the year 2002 because the way the car is modified could only be described as droll and old-fashioned by late-2018 standards. Sure, it stands out, but it may not necessarily attract the right kind of attention.

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2019 Kia K900

2019 Kia K900

Kia takes on the big boys of the luxury market with redesigned flagship sedan

The Kia K900 was launched in 2012 as the company’s most luxurious flagship sedan ever. Designed to replace the Amanti, a four-door which had moderate success in the U.S., the K900 brought Kia closer to its goal: to provide a solid competitor for the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. After almost six years on the market, the K900 was redesigned from the ground up and introduced to the North American market at the 2018 New York Motor Show.

Unveiled for the first time in its home market in South Korea, the new K900 looks significantly more modern than its predecessor. And, although it sports the brand’s current design language, it also boasts a few styling features of its own. It looks like Kia wants the K900 to stand out in the lineup, which is a good strategy in a market where sedans from different segments share too many features. The interior is a big step forward too, with the stylish design and the numerous convenience features putting it on par with the German sedans. Let’s have a closer look at what’s new in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia K900.

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2019 Kia Forte

2019 Kia Forte

Third-gen compact sedan gets major makeover and Stinger-inspired styling

Introduced in 2008 as a brand-new nameplate, the Forte has already made a name for itself in the affordable compact car market. And while it might not be as popular as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the Forte was Kia’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in recent years and one of only 15 cars to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018. Not bad for an automobile that had nothing to brag about a decade ago. Almost six years old as of early 2018, the second-generation Forte is living its final months on the market, with a redesigned model introduced for the 2019 model year at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Redesigned from the ground up, the third-generation Forte follows in the footsteps of larger Kia models. Not only sportier on the outside, the new Forte comes with an upscale interior that moves it closer to the premium market. In addition to that, it’s the first Kia to borrow styling cues from the hot Stinger sedan. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been expecting Kia to add some "Sting" to its lineup ever since the four-door debuted in 2017. The new Forte arrives just in time for the redesigned Volkswagen Jetta, yet another affordable compact that wants to play in the premium league. But the Forte has other things to worry about too, like the popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. How does it stack against them? Let’s find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Forte Sedan.

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2018 Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger

Kia is finally ready to take on the Germans!

When Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia came to the U.S., they were fighting an uphill battle against American, Japanese, and German cars that were often regarded as having nicer materials and better build quality, among other things. Fast forward to today, and Hyundai has spawned its own performance/luxury brand called Genesis and Kia has finally jumped on the bandwagon with a premium and performance-based fastback that is derived from the GT Concept. Going by the name Stinger, it’s set to bring some insanely stiff competition to German rivals like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, among others. At Launch, it will be available with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with some 365 ponies on tap. But, that’s not all. It’s extremely spacious with a longer wheelbase than that of other competitors like the Lexus GS, and even the Infinity Q50 while the chassis itself is composed of 55 percent high-strength steel for superior stiffness and excellent ride handling. Inside, it offers high levels of comfort and an absolutely striking design with technology that rivals that of high-end models way outside the Stingers expected price range.

Those two engines I just mentioned, well there’s already word of a diesel powertrain being available for European customers. And, while it hasn’t been officially planned or confirmed, interviews with Albert Beirmann – the Executive VP of Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development for Kia – has said that there have been talks of electrification, a move that could pit the Stinger against the likes of the Tesla Model 3 or even the Model S, depending on how much electric muscle Kia can come up with. Beyond that, the Stinger is said to be able to handle much more power than that offered by that Biturbo 3.3-liter, so an even brighter future could be on the horizon for Kia’s new halo car.

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself as we already have a lot to talk about, and the Stinger isn’t scheduled to hit showrooms until later on in 2017. So, grab a beverage and join me farther down the page to see what the Stinger will offer when the order books officially open.

Update 11/16/2017: Kia has announced pricing for the 2018 Kia Stinger just weeks before it rolls into dealers. Pricing starts at an exceptionally low $31,900, nearly $10,000 less than its main competition. Check out the pricing section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Kia GT.

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2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian

Designed by West Coast Customs

For the 2017 SEMA Show, Kia teamed up with iconic custom car builder West Coast Customs for two unique versions of its existing production models. One is based on the awesome Stinger GT, which will arrive in the U.S. for the 2018 model year, while the second one is based on the Cadenza, the company’s second-largest offering in North America. Called the Cadenza Obsidian, the concept car brings together features usually found on luxury cars and flashy color accents that define most aftermarket builds.

In typical West Coast Customs fashion, the Cadenza gained a custom paint job with contrasting highlights and a new set of wheels. Inside, the sedan became a tad more luxurious thanks to soft leather and hand-stitched suede. To top it off, the tuning firm added dark window tint and a lowered suspension for a gangster look. It definitely looks like something Kia should put into production in limited numbers, but I don’t think it’s going to happen very soon. But keep reading to see what makes the Cadenza Obsidian a cool sedan.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

The Stinger GT goes wide and low

Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the Kia Stinger not only proved that the Korean brand had what it takes to give the German companies a run for their money but also signaled its intent to become more active in the high-performance market with the GT model. Powered by a high-revving V-6 with more than 350 horsepower and sporting an aggressive design, the Stinger GT could mean trouble for the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the sedan just a couple of months away from arriving at U.S. dealerships, Kia paired up with iconic customization shop West Coast Customs for a unique take on the Stinger GT.

Displayed alongside other modified Kia models at the 2017 SEMA Show, this bespoke Stinger GT stands out thanks to a sporty-looking wide body kit and an array of carbon-fiber body parts. It also has a customized interior and a lowered ride height, demonstrating that the sedan has plenty of potential for aftermarket add-ons. Whether Kia is planning some sort of body upgrade in the future remains a mystery, but there’s been a lot of talk about a higher performance Stinger GT. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at this widebody version of the sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation

2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation

A few tasteful mods for Kia’s performance star

South Korean automaker Kia just introduced the hot-to-trot Stinger GT five-door earlier this year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, with sales slated to kick off in December of this year. When it was introduced, enthusiasts just about wet their pants with delight, and for good reason. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s got the performance credentials to back the aesthetic. And that makes the speedy mid-size luxury machine a fantastic fit for the customized glitz and gloss of the annual SEMA show. As such, Kia is introducing a variety of bespoke examples, including this tasteful rendition you see before you. Upgrades include a few body mods, new paint, minor engine enhancements, and complementary suspension pieces.

SEMA attendees will have a chance to experience the Kia Stinger’s cornering prowess first hand on an autocross course, as Kia will be offering ride-alongs with professional drifters at the show. Meanwhile, those of us admiring from afar can gaze upon customized offerings like the GT Federation and anticipate a forthcoming deluge of parts and accessories, which Kia acknowledges as confirmation of its move towards further performance offerings. In fact, Kia says interested buyers will be able to pick up these performance parts via specific suppliers following the car’s launch. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Federation.

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2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus

2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus

Our thoughts on a high-performance version of the Kia Stinger

Kia surprised a lot of people when it debuted its new Stinger GT thanks to the performance and luxury DNA that Kia developed for its first big step into such a popular segment. Set to compete against models like the Audi A5 Sportback, Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series GT, and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Kia’s new halo car has a lot to live up to. But, Kia isn’t done writing the Stingers story just yet as Product Market Boss, Spencer Cho, has said that the Stinger will become electrified in the future. Meanwhile, a high-performance version could be on the table as well, thanks to the Stinger’s excessively strong chassis. With that concept in mind, we tapped into our resident artist to put together a rendering of what a high-performance Stinger just might look like.

As a high-performance model, Kia will build on the car’s current profile by adding more aggressive features on the outside, to go with a few minor updates inside, and a significant power bump under the hood. It’s pretty likely that it will eventually happen, but what we don’t know is what Kia will do to increase the performance of the Stinger. Will its future hybrid plans play a role in the performance model or will it be all computer remapping and hardware upgrades? Well, we have a few theories, so let’s talk a little more about the rendering and the possibilities in my speculative review below.

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2017 Kia Forte

2017 Kia Forte

New front end design and available semi-autonomous features

The second-generation Kia Forte was launched in 2013, alongside its Korean counterpart, the K3. Penned by former Audi designed Peter Schreyer, the second-gen Forte is a significant departure from its predecessor in just about any department. Sporting a modern appearance, a more upscale interior, and new engines, the new Forte changed the way consumers think about Kia-badged compacts. The second-gen model received its mid-cycle facelift for the 2017 model year.

From a quick glance, the updated car isn’t that big of a departure from the current Kia Forte, but there are some interesting changes to the front end and the interior. The new trim level is dubbed the “S” trim and is slated to sit between the entry-level LX trim and range-topping EX trim. I won’t go into too much detail yet, but if you’re in the market for a new Kia sedan, I suggest you wait until the 2017 model goes on sale – you’re going to like what the “S” trim has to offer over the LX trim.

With that introduction, let’s dive into the 2017 Kia Forte. Remember it’s not a huge departure from the previous model, so keep an open mind as you read over our review of Kia’s updated sedan.

Updated 06/30/2016: Kia announced prices on on the 2017 Forte sedan which is now available at Kia dealers nationwide. Check out the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Forte.

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2017 Kia Cadenza

2017 Kia Cadenza

Sportier and more upscale than ever before

When Kia brought its resident full-sized sedan, the Kia Cadenza, to the U.S. market, we were pretty impressed by the car’s quality and design. It’s only been a few years since then, and Kia has impressed us even further with the redesigned, second-generation model. On the outside, the new sedan as a single contour line that runs the full length of the car and a more couple-like profile compared to the outgoing model. The grille takes on a new interpretation of the “Tiger Nose” design language, and the car has an overall look of simplicity and elegance. Inside, the redesign includes a new instrument cluster, lowered driver’s seat, a more upscale feel, and some new technology to bring it in line with the full sized market. The same engine from the last generation model carries over, but it has been detuned to offer a little less power and better fuel economy.

Competing against models like the BMW 5 Series and the Chrysler 300, Kia had to keep up. The fact that Kia is even competing with more luxurious brands like BMW and Chrysler is still pretty crazy, but the redesign imposed on the Cadenza for 2016 shows that Kia is surely up to the task. But you don’t have to take my word for it – take a look at our thorough review below to learn about all the fine details for yourself. It isn’t a car you want to overlook if you’re in the market for a new and somewhat sporty sedan.

Updated 03/24/2016: Kia unveiled the revised Cadenza at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2017 Kia Cadenza.

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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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2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

Kia’s newest family-sized green machine

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.

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2015 - 2016 Kia K900

2015 - 2016 Kia K900

At the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled its new, rear-wheel-drive flagship. Aimed at German luxury vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series, the sedan went on sale in the first quarter of 2014.

The K900 rides on the same platform as the Hyundai Equus, from which it also borrowed the powerful, 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that hooks up to an eight-speed transmission with three driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport.

According to the company, the K900 "is the next logical progression for Kia. It demonstrates what Kia is capable of and will help redefine what the Kia brand stands for." The flagship went on sale just in time to celebrate Kia’s 20th anniversary on the U.S. market.

Updated 11/25/2015: Kia announced details on the 2016 K900 - a model that adds a new V-6 engine. Unlike the 2015 model year, the 2016 K900 will be offered in three trim levels: V6 Premium, V6 Luxury and V8 Luxury, with prices ranging from $49,000 to $61,900.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia K900.

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2016 Kia Optima

2016 Kia Optima

Kia has made huge strides as far as overall quality and design goes since the brand entered the U.S. Market. That is more evident than ever in the 2016 Kia Optima. In terms of exterior styling, the new Optima gained restyled headlights and a new, more aggressive front fascia. The grille is now sleeker, and the side body profile is much sleeker than before. On the inside, Kia looked to its larger vehicles for inspiration, which resulted in an upscale, premium interior with quality and finish that is normally reserved for more luxurious nameplates. The center stack is even graced with an 8-inch UVO2 infotainment and connectivity system. Under the hood, Kia played the fuel economy game. Instead of upgrading, Kia opted to carry over the 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter from the previous generation with a decrease in power to accommodate an increase in fuel economy. A 1.6-liter, turbocharged unit has also been added to the list of powertrain options for 2016.

As you can see, Kia has a lot to be proud of when it comes to the new Optima. It’s not surprising, considering it was also inspired by the Sportspace Concept. The newly styled sedan raises the bar for styling and interior space and brings plenty of premium features that make it one comfortable chariot of those longer road trips. It’s hard to believe Kia has come this far, but it surely has. So, with that said, let’s look into the specifics of the new Optima and why it’s a major competitor for the midsized sedan market.

Updated 10/13/2015: Kia announced prices for the 2016 Optima which will go on sale in in five trim levels – LX, LX 1.6T, EX, SX and SXL. Prices will range from $21,840 for the LX with a 2.4-liter engine up to $35,790 for the SXL version equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder engine.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Kia Optima.

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2016 Kia Optima GT

2016 Kia Optima GT

The talk of whether or not Kia will ever build a full-on sports car at times seems like it will go on forever without the car ever actually materializing. But Kia does seem to be getting a little close with this, the new Optima GT, a sport sedan unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It’s not quite the same as getting a sports car, but having Kia thinking about performance at all is a welcome sign. The Optima GT is intended for the European market, and although Kia doesn’t specifically say that the car won’t be sold in North America, it is heavily implied.

The car being aimed at Europe actually follows Kia’s previous GT models, the cee’d GT and the 2014 Kia pro_cee’d GT. We haven’t gotten a GT version of those cars either, which are Europe’s versions of the 2014 Kia Forte5, but the Forte is just as fast without the GT suffix anyway. Kia also takes a different approach to the Optima in Europe, and this is why the GT will be staying on that side of the pond. It all seems much more complicated than it needs to be, but we’re here to explain it all.

Updated 09/24/2015: We’ve added a series of new photos we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find them in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Optima GT.

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2015 Kia K900 King James Edition

2015 Kia K900 King James Edition

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.

Bling bling.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia K900 King James Edition.

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2016 Kia Rio Sedan

2016 Kia Rio Sedan

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.

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