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2019 Kia Futuron Concept

2019 Kia Futuron Concept

A peek at the future of Kia design

Kia glided through the design process of its latest coupe SUV concept, the Futuron, drawing inspiration from outer space. With Level 4 autonomy, this SUV with a "360-degree core" represents a look at the future of Kia design with its novel approach to the tiger nose front grille and the eye-catching Star Cloud headlights and taillights. In fact, the concept features light sources all over the luscious bodywork that suggests this EV’s got some grunt. Expect to see at least some cues inside and out on future models of the Korean automaker.

South Korea has quickly risen, in the span of about two decades, from the doldrums of the auto industry to the very top and concepts such as Kia’s Futuron (in itself a pun on the words "future" and "on") signals to the world that Kia plans to stay at the top in the foreseeable future by incorporating the latest EV technology coupled with autonomous systems, all draped in a futuristic body with clean surfaces but also aggressive ridges and angles. We like it if it’s a sign that the two-door SUV is bound to make a comeback.

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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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2019 Kia Mohave Masterpiece Concept

2019 Kia Mohave Masterpiece Concept

The concept’s name brings serious pressure on Kia’s part to deliver

Most of us in the U.S. are familiar with Kia’s new large SUV, the Telluride. But just because the Telluride has arrived, that doesn’t mean we should completely ignore Kia’s other large SUV, the Mohave. It’s easy to forget about the Mohave because it’s not sold in the U.S. It was back then as the Borrego, but Kia discontinued that line when it introduced the Sorrento in 2011. But the Mohave SUV has lived on in other parts of the world, including in Kia’s home country of South Korea. It just so happened that the Seoul Motor Show was the site where Kia unveiled the next-generation, concept-form Mohave, called the Mohave Masterpiece Concept. The new concept shared the stage with the Kia Signature Concept and the Imagine Concept that made its global début at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in early March. The Mohave Masterpiece Concept took center stage, though, in part because it signals the arrival of another full-sized SUV that may or may not arrive in the U.S. market. There’s no timetable for when the production version of the concept hits production, but based on how the concept it looks like, the Mohave Masterpiece Concept looks like it’s ready to hit the streets of the world anytime soon.

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2019 Kia Sp Signature Concept

2019 Kia Sp Signature Concept

An exercise in minute changes that will only be noticed by the Sherlocks of the automotive world

One year after introducing the SP Concept at the Delhi Auto Show in India last year, Kia now presents the SP Signature version at the 2019 Seoul Auto Show. Both preview the South Korean automaker’s upcoming compact SUV that was originally slated to go on sale in India only but will now be sold globally, including in the U.S. The production model will be assembled in India, and it might make its world debut in production form as early as next month when the New York Auto Show kicks off.

The market is still crazy about crossovers and SUVs of almost any kind, and every manufacturer wants a piece of the action. Kia is becoming stronger and stronger in some regions of the world like Asia and the Middle East, but the company would like to grow its global footprint. One step in that direction might just be this new compact crossover SUV, rumored to be called ’Tusker’ once it hits production, although it might be sold under other monikers too (like Trazor or the SP2i). It will most likely be powered by a 1.5-liter, four-pot, some markets getting the option of a diesel unit. The engine will probably be mated to an automatic transmission although a manual isn’t off the table right now. Kia’s new vehicle will rival the Hyundai Creta (also known as the ix25) in India, a model we never got in the U.S. because it was deemed as too conservative as we were offered the Hyundai Kona.

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2020 Kia Sportage

2020 Kia Sportage

A Lot More Safety Gear And Cool Makeup For The 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.

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2020 Kia Telluride

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia’s contender for the premium midsize SUV market

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2020 Kia Telluride is the company’s largest SUV yet and the first vehicle the Korean brand developed specifically for the U.S. market. It is based on the Telluride concept shown in 2016 but the two share very few features inside and out. It shares underpinnings with the 2019 Hyundai Palisade, introduced in 2018.

Although it’s the largest Kia yet and it can seat up to eight people, the Telluride isn’t much bigger than the Sorento. However, the few extra inches it has in the wheelbase and width enable it to compete with the popular Honda Pilot and the newly introduced Volkswagen Atlas. Like most midsize SUVs, the Telluride comes with just one engine in the form of a V-6, but if the concept before it is any indication, a hybrid drivetrain will be offered soon.

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2019 Kia Niro EV

2019 Kia Niro EV

The battery-powered Niro is ready to play with the big boys!

The Kia Niro EV is the all-electric version of the Niro subcompact crossover that the Korean automaker launched for the 2017 model year. Unveiled in Autumn 2018 as the e-Niro for the European market, the Niro EV is the U.S.-spec model and broke cover at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Virtually identical to its European sibling, the Niro EV and e-Niro share the same features and specification, save for the less powerful base model. Kia chose to bring only the more powerful version to the U.S., where it will compete against its platform sibling, the Hyundai Kona Electric (or EV on this side of the pond). The Niro EV is Kia’s first all-electric crossover and among the first battery-powered SUVs for the non-premium market.

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2020 Kia Soul EV

2020 Kia Soul EV

Kia’s electric crossover is all grown up

Ever since the Kia Soul first broke into the auto scene in 2009, it has carved its own path unique path in the auto industry. Almost ten years later, the Soul is entering its third-generation, and it includes an improved EV model as well. The 2020 Kia Soul EV has arrived, and it’s a far departure from what we know of the Soul’s all-electric model. It has a fresh new look and, more importantly, a bigger battery pack to go with a more potent electric motor. You think that the 2020 Soul EV is the still the same electric crossover from year’s past? You’d be wrong. The 2020 Kia Soul EV will launch sometime in mid-2019 but pricing figures have yet to be announced.

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2019 Kia e-Niro

2019 Kia e-Niro

It’s the Euro-spec version of the Niro EV

After unveiling the Niro EV at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in South Korea, Kia has also revealed the European version, dubbed e-Niro, at this year’s Paris Motor Show. It comes with two battery pack options, a range of up to 301 miles (or 485 km) on one charge, and it even comes with a system called Coasting Guide Control which informs the driver of the best times to coast calculated based on a planned route.

You may also have noticed that its name sounds like the surname of Robert DeNiro and Kia has gone ahead and embraced this and featured the movie star in its TV, digital and print adverts.

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The Kia e-Niro Electric Crossover Has an All-Electric Range of 301 Miles

The Kia e-Niro Electric Crossover Has an All-Electric Range of 301 Miles

The Euro-spec e-Niro is different compared to the U.S.-spec Niro EV

The Kia e-Niro is all set to debut in its Euro-spec avatar at the Paris Motor Show next month. Essentially, it’s the same car as the U.S.-spec model, but there are quite a few differences apart from the name. For starters, the e-Niro has 65 miles of extra range over that of the Niro EV. Jealous? Don’t be. It’s because of the difference in the measuring cycles as well.

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2018 Kia Niro EV Concept

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept

Concept car previews 238-mile capable production EV

Launched for the 2017 model year, the Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover positioned below the popular Sportage. Previewed by a concept vehicle introduced in 2013, the Niro is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, and it’s available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo, in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. A gasoline-only version isn’t on a drawing table yet, but a fully electric model is definitely underway. Already spotted testing on public roads in 2017, the Niro EV broke cover at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in concept form.

Heavily based on the production model, the electric concept is more than just a Niro with an electric motor and a battery. Kia also meddled with the exterior design and created a new lighting system for the show car. Inside the cabin, it features an updated "human-machine interface" and an array of new safety features. Surprisingly enough, Kia redesigned the Niro’s interior for the all-electric model. Alongside the Niro EV, Kia also unveiled plans to launch 16 new electrified vehicles by 2025. The range includes five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five all-electric models, and a hydrogen-powered vehicle. The latter is planned to arrive in 2020 and could be based on the Hyundai Nexo, also unveiled at the 2018 CES.

The production version of the Niro EV is likely to debut by the end of 2018.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro EV concept.

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2018 Kia Stonic

2018 Kia Stonic

Kia’s very own Juke

Korean automaker Kia has expanded its lineup at an amazing rate in recent years, tackling numerous segments that it has ignored in the past. It also launched increasingly better vehicles in the last decade, to the extent that it can now give more established brands a run for their money in Europe and the United States. But Kia isn’t stopping here and now wants to enter the mini-SUV market. It will do so in late 2017 with the Stonic, a small crossover that will share underpinnings with a similar vehicle from sister company Hyundai. The Stonic will tackle the likes of the Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3, joining the Sportage and Sorento in the lineup.

Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2017, the Stonic is a small crossover based on the Rio and shares underpinnings with the tiny hatchback. It mirrors the Kia inside too, while the exterior borrows numerous features, blending them with unique cues that gives the Stonic an identity of its own. Sporty on the outside, modern on the inside, and packed with the latest technology for road-going cars, the Stonic seems to have all the attributes required by the mini SUV market and then some.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Kia Stonic.

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2016 Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

2016 Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

The familiar SUV trades wheels for tracks to climb ski slopes

Introduced in 2003, the Kia Sorento has been redesigned twice as of 2016, with the most recent upgrade being launched in 2014. The third-generation SUV made its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show and shares underpinnings with the Kia Sedona and Hyundai Santa Fe. The new generation brought a new, sportier design and a more upscale cabin, as well as a brand-new engine in the form of a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. In the U.S., the SUV also carried over with the familiar 2.4-liter four-pot and the 3.3-liter V-6.

At the 2016 SEMA Show, the Sorento family received a brand-new and rather unusual family member. Although just a concept car that won’t be put into production anytime soon, the Sorento Ski Gondola is exactly what its name suggest: a gondola with seating for four that can tackle the roughest terrains thanks to its heavy-duty tracks. Built by LUX Motorwerks and packed with numerous aftermarket features, the custom Sorento also employs autonomous drive and a bespoke interior.

It’s arguably one of the wildest concepts presented at the 2016 SEMA Show and proves that Kia has the ability to think out of the box and create unique vehicles.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sorento Ski Gondola.

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2016 Kia Sedona School of Rock

2016 Kia Sedona School of Rock

Is this what gig vans of the future will look like?

Some manufacturers have already said that even with the advancement of autonomous technology, they don’t want to force the steering wheel out of our hands, ultimately saying we’ll have a choice of driving ourselves or being driven autonomously. Of course, governmental agencies will probably pass a law banning human drivers anyway, but we’ll save that conversation for another time. The bottom line is that Kia is one of those companies that is pushing to remove the steering wheel forever. This has never been more evident than now, with every concept at SEMA being void of an actual steering wheel. Even the School of Rock Sedona you see here is 100-percent autonomous, with Kia making it a point to note that autonomous vehicles will eventually haul around our little ones for us to “accommodate their busy lives.”

All of that aside, Kia partnered up with the School of Rock and LGE-CTS to create this crazy gig van you see here. Like the rest of its concepts at SEMA, this one is fully autonomous. It has unique features like built-in amplifiers for roadside shows and an interior that features not only a studio but an area to chill as well. This concept supposedly maintains all of the framework that allowed the production Sedona to obtain a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA and a Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. But, the B-pillar on the driver side has been removed. Lack of a B-pillar may fly in some markets, but here in the U.S., it’s unacceptable for a Ford F-150 to park its front end inside a van in the event of a side collision. So, you should probably take that PR talk with a massive grain of salt.

With that said, let’s take a look at this crazy concept that offers a pretty awesome way for students at the School of Rock to get from point A to point B.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sedona School of Rock.

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2018 Kia Sorento

2018 Kia Sorento

Refresh adds new features, axes 2.0-liter engine

The Kia Sorento started life as a body-on-frame SUV for the 2002 model year and was redesigned in 2010 and 2014. Come 2017 and Kia gave the third-generation SUV its mid-cycle facelift by adding new design features on the outside and updating the tech package inside the cabin.

The refresh also saw one of the two four-cylinder engines discontinued, leaving the Sorento with a choice of two drivetrains. However, Kia did announce that the hauler will get a diesel soon. Info about the oil burner is not yet available, but we know everything else about this SUV, so let’s have a closer look at the data in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Kia Sorento

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2017 Kia Sportage

2017 Kia Sportage

Kia is unleashing the third generation of the Sportage for the 2017 model year with updated styling outside, including a redefined grille, new fog lamps, new headlights, new taillights and an overall sleek appearance. Inside, the passenger cabin is more driver-oriented, and the dash takes on the same look of width as the exterior. A new instrument cluster boasts a small LCD screen in the middle with the option for different color schemes and the infotainment system is available with a seven- or eight-inch display screen. We have yet to receive engine specifications for the U.S. market, but over in Europe, customers have the option between two gasoline engines and three diesels with output ranging anywhere between 113 horsepower and 182 horsepower.

As a competitor to models like the Nissan Rogue and the Mazda CX-5, the Sportage looks to push the envelope for quality and economy without being too expensive in such a competitive segment. With that said, the Sportage is available in three trim levels with prices ranging from $22,990 for the entry-level LX trim, all the way up to $34,000 for the range-topping Sportage SX. With a long list of optional packages and add-ons, the Sportage could end up being fairly cheap or somewhat expensive if you go for a fully loaded crossover.

The sportage is now and its third generation and only time will tell how well it performs during its lifecycle. But, you can make your own decision about the Sportage for yourself by checking out our detailed review below.

Updated 02/22/2016: Kia announced prices for the all new 2017 Sportgae which will go on sale later this spring. Prices will range from $22,990 to $34,000 depending on the trim version.

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

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2016 Kia Telluride Concept

2016 Kia Telluride Concept

Kia’s vision for a future full-sized luxury SUV that will sit above the Kia Sorento took shape at the 2016 North American International Auto Show with the debut of the Kia Telluride Concept.

The three-row, seven-seater SUV concept is actually based on an existing platform that already underpins the Sorento. To accommodate the bigger size of the Telluride, Kia stretched the wheelbase of the chassis to 121.3 inches, almost a foot longer than the wheelbase of the Sorento. Its massive size notwithstanding, the Telluride also comes with a dramatic body design that’s fixing to attract its fair share of fans. Inside, Kia loaded up on the technology, even though most of them is unlikely to make it to production anytime soon.

The whole SUV, for that matter, is simply a “theoretical” exercise for Kia so even if the Telluride does get positive reviews from the gathered folks at Detroit, there are no assurances that Kia will proceed with a production version anytime soon. That’s not to say that a full-sized luxury SUV isn’t going to happen for the Korean brand. It just means that we shouldn’t hold out hope of seeing the Telluride in showrooms in the near future.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Telluride Concept.

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2015 Kia Sorento PacWest Adventure

2015 Kia Sorento PacWest Adventure

Every year, the SEMA show gathers the best in aftermarket automotive equipment out in the desert of Las Vegas. But this year, Kia has a car that should put you in mind of an entirely different part of the country: the Pacific Northwest. And, if the photos and general motif of the Sorento-based concept don’t do it, Kia has named the show car “PacWest Adventure.” The concept is a shot at imbuing the Sorento with a bit more off-road credibility, and truthfully, Kia did a very thorough job with it. Of course, the Sorento generally isn’t the first vehicle that people think of for off-roading, so Kia did have something to prove with the concept.

The end result is barely recognizable as a Sorento, even though — with the exception of the rather elaborate paint job — almost all of the exterior modifications are bolt-ons. Moreover, outside of a couple of showy choices to attract the eyes of SEMA’s show-goers, this is primarily a sober, and highly practical machine for a weekend outing in the northwestern wilderness. Just look past the crazy paint and the odd choices made for the interior, and it’s difficult to think of a better way to outfit a Sorento for off-roading.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sorento PacWest Adventure.

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2015 Kia Sedona Photo Safari

2015 Kia Sedona Photo Safari

Minivans are versatile. Are they truly adventurous? America’s favorite uncool family hauler does a great many things well, but those things tend to be limited to on-pavement activities, preferably in the suburbs or on the open freeway. This imaginative concept from Kia, displayed at 2015 SEMA Show, takes the minivan in an entirely new direction.

Rather than being the cargo-hauler or the support vehicle, the Kia Sedona Photo Safari aims to get right in the middle of the action. The minivan has been re-imagined as a mobile shooting platform for wildlife photographers and fall color tour enthusiasts. After the addition of roof racks, camera mounts, lights, off-road tires and a radical roof-ectomy, this Sedona is a minivan with a mission.

Kia envisions the Sedona Photo Safari as an “image-capturing machine,” and teamed up with LGE-CTS Motorsports for the build. Professional photographers provided input on the best modifications to make throughout the building process, and the result is a little bit safari, a little bit post-apocalypse and strange enough to be kind of cool.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sedona Photo Safari.

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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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