Monthly Archives: February 2015

2015’s Best 15 Family cars named

Canadian Auto Dealer – February 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm, by Todd Phillips

Salespeople in dealerships are always looking for an edge, a talking point that helps tip the scales in their favour when helping a customer narrow their choice for a new vehicle. The editors of Kelley Blue Book have made it easier for some — and harder for others — by naming the Best 15 Family cars for 2015.

“Once again, we recruited families to assist our expert editors in this laborious evaluation, putting the Best Family Car candidates to a real-life test, including vehicles in two new car categories — full-size pickup trucks and compact cars,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.

“Evaluated on comfort and driving, safety, child seats, cargo space, rear-seat entertainment, and extra features, this year’s group of winners are deemed the most worthy of family duty.”

The editors concede that with the mix of models and crossovers and minivans, deciding what even constitutes a family car is changing with the times. But nonetheless, the editors have narrowed down their choices to 15 vehicles that they recommend.

The vehicles are evaluated on criteria such as comfort and driving, safety, child seats, cargo space, rear-seat entertainment (for those long drives with antsy kids) and extra features.

This year’s KBB.com’s 15 Best Family Cars of 2015 (in alphabetical order) are:

Kelley-winners-640

The editors analyzed three minivans, four compact SUVs, four mid-size sedans and three mid-size sedans, and included vehicles from other categories, including two full-size pickup trucks and three compact cars.

How to afford champagne tastes on a beer-league budget – Kia Cadenza

You can buy an all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz CLA compact sedan for $36,800 – all 208 horsepower of it and sporting the three-pointed star on the hood. Certainly the right brand for the brand-conscious buyer.

Or you could buy a 311-hp, mid-size Hyundai Genesis with AWD. When the CLA and the Genesis are uniformly equipped – anything standard on one is added to the other when available – the Genesis has a $3,305 price advantage.

That is, to get the CLA up to speed with the Genesis, you’ll need to add more than $9,000 in options. The Hyundai might be an option for the less-than-brand-conscious buyer who wants a ride with the look of luxury, but shies away from the price tag.

Mercedes will say its brand is a powerhouse and it could not be more correct. Interbrand ranks Mercedes No. 2 among all automotive brands (behind Toyota) and No. 10 among all global brands. Mercedes has earned its place based on financial performance, influence on customer choice, and price and earning strength. Merc is a powerhouse.

Hyundai, by contrast, is the No. 40 overall global brand and No. 7 among auto brands, just behind Ford but ahead of Audi. No one would reasonably argue that the Hyundai brand is as muscular as Mercedes, but no one is kicking sand in Hyundai’s face any longer, either. And the Genesis by any objective measure is simply more car than a CLA – more powerful, bigger, faster, and to some eyes at least as pretty, if not more so.

The point is, the Genesis has the look of luxury – and arguably the goods, too – even if the Hyundai brand is unquestionably mainstream. That’s what we’re about here. Cars with the look of luxury, but from mainstream brands at pleasing prices given the design, performance and equipment.

We went looking for champagne-like vehicles from what we’ll call beer-league brands – mainstream brands. Our list is subjective, though we think we can make the case for all 10.

Nissan Murano

Pricing: $29,998-$43,498

Body styles: SUV only

Top performing version: A 3.5-litre V-6 is the only motor, teamed with a CVT or continuously variable transmission.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GL, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKX, Infiniti QX60.

The luxury-look argument: The overall shapes are mouth-watering, but Nissan has gone beyond all that by focusing on the details: standard LED daytime running lights (LED headlamps optional), sexy LED taillamps, big wheels, sheetmetal details and even the available panoramic roof. Heads turn when the new Murano rolls by. Looks pricey, but isn’t.

Chevrolet Corvette

Pricing: $59,495-$92,745

Body styles: Coupe and convertible

Top performing version: Z06, all supercharged 650 hp of it. Base power: 460 hp.

Luxury brand rivals: Depending on your tastes and budget, the ’Vette could compete directly against the Audi R8, Porsche 911, Lamborghini Huracan, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 458 Italia, Lexus LFA, Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT, BMW M6 Coupe.

The luxury-look argument: Strip off the badging and this ’Vette could easily be mistaken for an Italian exotic selling for five or six time the price, or more. It’s a beauty, low and sleek and dangerous-looking. The on-road performance does not disappoint, either, and even the most basic version comes loaded with technology. The Chevy brand isn’t strong enough to support the pricing this car deserves. It’s that good.

Chevrolet Impala

Pricing: $31,845-$39,845

Body styles: Sedan only

Top performing version: All versions come with the same 305-hp V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, Lexus GS.

The luxury-look argument: We’re not saying the Impala is completely competitive with these high-end “rivals.” The Impala is a front-driver while these others are rear-drivers or all-wheel drive. But we would argue the Impala is a styling rival of most, if not all, of these other premium cars. Beyond that, the base engine in the BMW is a four-cylinder turbocharged power plant with 65 fewer horses. On top of that, the Chevy is available with an uptown infotainment system that is dead-easy to use. If nothing else, you must agree that this made-in-Canada Impala does not look like a police car.

Kia Cadenza

Pricing: $37,995-$45,395

Body styles: Sedan only

Top performing version: All versions come with the same 293-hp V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS, Volvo S60, Acura TLX, Lincoln MKZ, Audi A3.

The luxury-look argument: When last we checked, Kia had at least a $4,000 factory incentive on the Cadenza, which brings the price down into the low $30,000-range. That’s a terrific deal on a nice front-drive, upscale sedan, one loaded with features. Kia’s brand is not as weighty as BMW’s and such, but if you judge this car solely on the total package, minus the badge, the Cadenza stands up well. The design is conservative, but tasteful, while the execution in the cabin is a revelation at this price. Not a car for snobs, however.

Toyota Avalon

Pricing: $37,785-$39,786

Top performing version: Body styles: Large sedan only

All get a 268-hp V-6, six-speed automatic.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, Lexus GS

The luxury-look argument: We’re throwing out the same luxury car rivals as we did for the Chevrolet Impala. Except we’d suggest that the typical Avalon buyer is watching Cialis and Geritol ads more intently than those who drive any of these other cars – including the Impala. Still, the Avalon is a wonderful, safe, stately and reliable sedan with just enough power and more than enough electronic features to entertain buyers of what we’ll call a “certain age.” For many, the Avalon is so well built, it will more than likely be the last car ever.

Hyundai Genesis

Pricing: $43,000-$62,000

Body styles: Large sedan only

Top performing version: A 420-hp V-8 is the top motor, while a 311-hp V-6 is offered on the base version.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, Lexus GS

The luxury-look argument: The Genesis is aimed at a predictable luxury crowd – 5-Series, A6, E-Class … But you’ll get a lot more Genesis for the money than anything from Germany. Standard is AWD and features abound. The design is a tad tame and perhaps a bit derivative, but the total package is breathtaking. Match up one of the Germans against the Genesis, load them uniformly with features, and you might find the Hyundai has something in the neighbourhood of a $20,000 price advantage. You could buy a nice Hyundai Elantra compact with that $20,000, and make the kid happy.

Volkswagen CC

Pricing: $36,375-$50,175

Body styles: Sedan only

Top performing version: A 280 V-6 is the top motor, while a 200-hp turbocharged four-cylinder is offered on the base version.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS, Volvo S60, Acura TLX, Lincoln MKZ, Audi A3

The luxury-look argument: Many have asked, what was VW thinking with the CC? Doesn’t this in some way compete with the Passat? VW says no, the CC is one of those sporty, four-door coupes we keep hearing about, although a coupe by definition has only two doors. The CC does have an appealing look, however – expensive but not showy. VW sells so few of them, you might trick the country club set into thinking you’ve scrounged up an exotic car from Europe. If you can hide the VW badge, of course.

Mazda6

Pricing: $24,495-$32,295

Body styles: Sedan only

Top performing version: Even the GT has a 184-hp four-cylinder.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS, Volvo S60, Acura TLX, Lincoln MKZ, Audi A3

The luxury-look argument: The 6 has a slippery, exotic-like design; this is as effective an interpretation of Mazda “soul of motion” design language as you’ll find anywhere in the company’s lineup. Mazda also argues that the i-ACTIVSENSE suite of safety technologies is the equal if not the better of any luxury competitor.

Chrysler 200

Pricing: $22,495-$33,195

Body styles: Sedan only

Top performing version: A 295-hp V-6 is the top motor, with a 184-hp four-cylinder also in the mix.

Luxury brand rivals: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS, Volvo S60, Acura TLX, Lincoln MKZ, Audi A3

The luxury-look argument: The newly designed 200 is lovely. Chrysler’s chief designer, Canadian Ralph Gilles, has empowered his team to stretch the boundaries of a mainstream brand. The details are notable, the proportions nicely settled. This is so good, it’s enough to make one forget how a homely car the old 200 really was. So long to bow-wow.

Kia BUZZ: “Kia Soul EV wins 2015 MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Award”

Kia Soul EV wins 2015 MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Award

Kia’s first all-electric zero emissions vehicle for global markets, Soul EV, has been named the Best Eco-Friendly Vehicle at the MotorWeek’s 34th annual Drivers’ Choice Awards . Each year MotorWeek produces a list of winners for different car categories after analyzing industry trends, new products, and technologies, to provide car buyers with a reliable source of information. MotorWeek editors noticed the Soul EV’s roomy interior and cargo space, on top of its best-in-class range , in picking it as the best eco-friendly vehicle.

Soul_EV

Motorweek’s host and executive producer John Davis commented on Soul EV’s practicality and style, stating that “it has more power and range compared to other affordable all-electric vehicles. Plus, its funky style makes driving the Kia Soul EV really cool.” While retaining the iconic design of its gasoline-powered sibling, the Soul EV is offered in four color choices and with premium amenities such as navigation with an eight-inch touchscreen and a 6.6kW on-board charger. This award is a tremendous honor, coming as it did from such a respected source.

The latest accolade for Soul EV comes on the heels of recent recognition in Canada and Norway, being named as the ‘Best New City Car’ and ‘Car of the Year ’, respectively.

Build it Now: How Kia Can Get Away With a $30,000 Soul

More Soulful Packaging

Motortrend.com | By Zach Gale | February 13, 2015

It shouldn’t have worked so well — but it did, big time. For the 2013 model year, Subaru introduced what basically amounted to a lifted compact hatch with black wheel-arch cladding, roof rails, and distinctive wheels, but crucially, called it an SUV. The Impreza-based XV Crosstrek went on to become the third-best-selling Subaru in 2014, its 70,956 units sold overpowering the Legacy and even non-WRX/STI Imprezas.

Now it’s Kia’s turn with the Trail’ster.

Introducing a production-spec version of the Kia Trail’ster concept that debuts at the 2015 Chicago auto show is a no-brainer, and it’s surprising the crossover isn’t already in showrooms, sharing space with the Sportage. Rumors of a Soul-based crossover have swirled as far back as 2011, and some buyers already think of the Soul, a compact hatchback only offered with front-wheel drive, as a crossover.

The 185-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 in the Kia Trail’ster concept might alleviate at least one of the Soul 2.0’s shortcomings: relatively slow acceleration considering its middling fuel economy of 23-24/31 mpg city/highway. We’ve tested the Soul; the 164-hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I-4 reached 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. The 130-hp base engine is no more efficient, and is, of course, is slower. Then again, we’ve tested the popular Subaru XV Crosstrek with a CVT automatic reaching 60 mph in a leisurely 10.0 seconds. Transformed or marketed as an SUV with available all-wheel drive, the Kia’s numbers suddenly become competitive, and, with a Trail’ster production crossover, Kia could stop calling the Soul a hatchback on its media site yet a crossover on its consumer site.

Value might be tricky for a production Trail’ster, Soul X, Cross-Soul, or whatever Kia decides to call it. Unless the production model arrives with the underpowered base Soul’s 130-hp engine, a production Trail’ster would need to be priced a few thousand above the lowest Soul 2.0, which starts at $19,515 (all prices include destination charges). In the compact crossover field, the manual-transmission, front-drive 2016 Fiat 500X starts at $20,900, the automatic-transmission front-drive 2015 Chevrolet Trax at $20,995, and the manual-transmission all-wheel-drive 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek at $22,445, though the manual-transmission front-drive 2015 Jeep Renegade slides in at just $18,990.

The Trail’ster concept looks the part, with a ride height 2.5 inches higher than the regular Soul’s and plenty of rugged crossover styling cues all around, plus a “beefy gearshift lever,” in the words of Tom Kearns, the chief designer at Kia’s U.S. design center. The concept’s turbo-four and electric all-wheel-drive system combo is neat (good for 220 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque), but not necessary to keep existing Soul owners upgrading to a vehicle that could, with all-wheel drive and the Soul’s “Whole Shabang Package,” nearly touch $30,000 before any regional incentives. The Whole Shabang Package adds HID headlights, speaker lights, panoramic sunroof, navigation on an 8-inch display, Nappa leather seat trim, heated front and rear seats, and cooled front seats.

The Soul has turned into Kia’s second-best-selling vehicle, behind only the Optima midsize sedan in 2014. Sacrificing a few Soul and Sportage sales for a lifted, more SUV-stylish version of a compact hatch seems like a long-overdue and potentially profitable idea. Just ask Subaru.

At the 2015 Chicago auto show, Michael Sprague, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing for Kia Motors America, claimed that whether a production version of the Trail’ster concept is built comes largely down to consumer and media feedback (if the decision hasn’t already been made). So tell us what you think: Would a Soul-based crossover be a big mistake, or should Kia get it in dealerships tomorrow? How much would you pay for a Soul-based crossover?

Kia SPORTSPACE concept to be unveiled at Geneva

(SEOUL) February 17, 2015 – Kia Motors Europe will unveil an innovative new concept, the Kia SPORTSPACE, at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015.

Created for long distance driving, the SPORTSPACE has been designed for fast and efficient travel with maximum comfort and minimal stress, in the best grand touring tradition of the weekend getaway.

Designed at Kia’s Frankfurt design studio, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe, the SPORTSPACE features a unique and captivating body shape. The car is born out of a commitment to provide stylish and exciting transportation for four which is also spacious and functional, without sacrificing the performance, sustainability and economy that Kia is known for.

Recognizably a Kia due to its signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, finely judged proportions and simple, clean surfaces, SPORTSPACE has a bold, dynamic shape with real road presence. At the same time, it offers a high level of interior comfort and substantial practical load space.

“We set out to design a car that is a totally new breed of grand tourer – one for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend, but don’t want to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness,” explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe.

About Kia Motors Corporation

Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 3 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in 10 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 150 countries. Kia today has around 49,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of nearly US$45 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan – “The Power to Surprise” – represents the company’s global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca – www.facebook.com/kiacanada) a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 188 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 159 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, with an all-new state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia’s brand slogan “The Power to Surprise” represents the company’s global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

KIA CANADA REVEALS REAR-DRIVE GT4 STINGER CONCEPT

KIA CANADA REVEALS REAR-DRIVE GT4 STINGER CONCEPT

  • 2+2 seating configuration, 315 turbocharged horsepower and six-speed manual transmission make GT4 Stinger a true enthusiast’s machine.
  • GT4 Stinger was conceived by the “gearheads” in Kia’s Irvine, Calif., design studio, birthplace of iconic concept vehicles such as the Track’ster and Cross GT.

 

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2014 – Kia Canada today presented the Canadian Premier of the brand’s most aggressive concept car ever when the wraps came off the GT4 Stinger at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS). Kia’s eye-catching design language moves in a bold new direction with the introduction of the GT4 Stinger. The concept pushes the boundaries of performance with a rear-drive 2+2 sports car that places man and machine in harmony on the road or track. It comes as no surprise that the GT4 Stinger is the wild style child of Kia’s California design team, home to its 2012 predecessor, the Track’ster concept. And like the Track’ster, the GT4 Stinger’s racy appeal is more than skin deep.

“We are excited to unveil the GT4 Stinger concept, making its Canadian debut here in Toronto at the 2015 Canadian International Autoshow” said Maria Soklis, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kia Canada Inc.  “This 2+2 rear-wheel drive concept brings Kia design to new levels with its unsurpassed performance and track inspired DNA.”

“Driving enjoyment was the number one priority in designing the GT4 Stinger,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center America (KDCA). “It’s an authentic 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track. It’s about purity, simplicity and timelessness. The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to days when driving a car was a visceral experience that wasn’t muted by electronic gimmickry.”

Emboldened by the brand’s on-track success in the Pirelli World Challenge racing series with a pair of turbocharged, GTS-class Optimas, Kia’s U.S. design team approached the GT4 Stinger project with an eye toward weight reduction, functionality and pure driving enjoyment. The concept shuns the luxury trappings of a traditional Grand Touring car and embraces the elemental experience of truly engaging with the vehicle. “If anyone were to ask if Kia has the credibility to build a car like the GT4 Stinger,” noted Kearns. “I would simply point out that Kia races – and wins – against some of the world’s most legendary performance brands.”

Power, Poise and Proven Performance
Beneath the low wedge of the GT4 Stinger’s hood resides a tuned version of Kia’s proven 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injected (T-GDI) four-cylinder engine putting out an impressive 315 horsepower. “Our Optima racecars use the same engine and can produce more than 400 horsepower,” said Kearns. “So why not infuse our concept with the kind of power that will make people take notice?”

That power is put to the ground via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels, which are wrapped in 275/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires. Staggered 235/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zeros nestle beneath the front fenders, ensuring loads of corner-carving grip. Custom 20-inch aluminum center-lock wheels feature carbon fiber inserts for strength and weight reduction. Tucked inside the massive wheels are Brembo Gran Turismo two-piece 15-inch cross-drilled rotors and four-piston calipers with plenty of stopping power.

Underpinning the GT4 Stinger’s sculpted “Ignition Yellow” body is a custom chassis with independent double wishbone suspension. With a shorter wheelbase (103.1 inches) and overall length (169.7 inches) than a Forte sedan, a width (74.4 inches) greater than a Cadenza, and a swooping roofline nearly nine inches lower (49.2 inches) than a Rio subcompact, the GT4 Stinger cuts a menacing figure. It tips the scales at a scant 2,874 pounds, and weight distribution is spread nearly perfectly at 52 percent up front and 48 percent at the rear. The GT4 Stinger also features a quick-ratio steering rack for direct feedback and uncompromised control.

Simplicity By Design
Fans of Kia’s design language, set by Kia Motors Corporation president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer, will immediately recognize key styling elements of the GT4 Stinger. “We gave the car a shrink-wrapped appearance,” says Kearns. “It’s as if the body panels were formed around the chassis instead of merely welded to it.” In silhouette, the GT4 Stinger is simple yet powerful. The latest iteration of the signature Kia grille rests low to the ground for maximum engine cooling and cold-air induction. The grille surround glows white and features a multi-layered, satin-black border, a theme found throughout the car. Flanking the grille on both sides are vertical LED headlamps, and front-brake cooling vents intricately molded into the bumper provide a clean, smooth appearance. A carbon fiber front splitter mounted below the bumper provides added down force for the car at high speed to keep the GT4 Stinger’s front tires firmly planted to the tarmac.

The long hood gently rises to meet the cowl. Two chrome accent pieces add visual interest to the otherwise ripple-less pond of Ignition Yellow sheet metal. The hood closely embraces the front wheel arches, creating two protruding muscular fenders above the front tires. The result is a pronounced edge at the vehicle’s shoulders that eventually becomes the belt line.

Continuing around the car, the transparent A-pillars provide a more than 270-degree view from the driver’s seat. The layered slots cut into the pillars reduce weight while improving outward visibility. Paying homage to the iconic Soul, the greenhouse design provides an aggressive side profile. “It’s as if the GT4 Stinger is wearing wrap-around sunglasses,” notes Kearns. Similar to the Soul, the roof of the GT4 Stinger appears to “float” from the C-pillars. Along the rocker panels are satin black accent pieces with integrated functional cooling ducts to enhance air flow to the rear brakes.

Around back, the body widens to cover the large 275-series Pirelli rubber. The glass hatch opens to reveal a built-in storage compartment and rear strut-tower brace. The LED taillights illuminate from inside the outer edge of a blacked-out panel just above the dual exhaust ports in the rear bumper.

The interior is purposeful in design and practical in nature. A pull of the billet-aluminum door handles reveals incredibly lightweight doors, but their generous width makes dropping into the molded leather race-inspired bucket seats a breeze. There is no carpet, only a rubber floor mat underneath the billet-aluminum pedals. Front and center to the driver is a thick D-shaped steering wheel and red LED-illuminated instrument panel with large tachometer and gear indicator. In keeping with the track theme and taking inspiration from sports and competition cars of the past, interior door handles have been replaced by red-stitched pull straps. In fact, the GT4 Stinger makes due without the luxury of a stereo. “The audio system starts under the hood and the speakers are the exhaust pipes,” said Kearns. Underway, the GT4 Stinger’s free-flow exhaust burbles and blurts unabashedly and is music to the ears of driving enthusiasts everywhere.

While there are currently no plans to bring the concept to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia’s future. When asked who the GT4 Stinger is intended for, Kearns quips, “It’s a totally selfish design. The design team at KCDA is full of gearheads and enthusiasts, and the GT4 Stinger is the perfect car for that kind of crowd.”

Kia Soul wins Golden Klaxon award in Russia

The new Kia Soul continues to be recognized for its iconic design and popularity – this time in Moscow, Russia, where the ceremony for the prestigious Golden Klaxon automotive award was held. Golden Klaxon is one of Russia’s top 3 automotive awards and highly influential among car owners. Of more than 130 automobile models taking part in the competition, Kia Soul came out on top in the best compact SUV category.

soul-1

We are thrilled that the improvements made to the second generation Soul – the more masculine styling touches, enhanced comfort, and most importantly, improved safety features – were so well received. Ever since its launch in the spring of 2014, the new Kia Soul has proved its popularity not only in terms of high sales, but also through wide recognition among professional automobile communities. Since the introduction of the first generation model, Kia Soul has won more than 50 different international awards, including the Red Dot Design Award and the prestigious iF Design Award.

soul-2

Roman Tarasov, chairman of the jury and test editor of the Klaxon newspaper, said that “the second generation Kia Soul is a great example of the growth of the compact SUV segment; having retained all the best features of its predecessor, it became more mature and comfortable, and now features noticeably improved handling characteristics.

Winning this award is another important step for Kia in providing high-quality vehicles and delivering on our sales and after-sales service promises to Russian customers. We are excited to continue on this exciting streak and can’t wait to see what’s to come!

iF Design Award honors the all-new Kia Sorento

Outstanding design has been Kia’s signature brand value since the hiring of Peter Schreyer as our Chief Design Officer in 2006. Today, we have been honored with yet another prestigious iF Design Award for our flagship SUV, all-new Sorento, marking Kia’s seventh iF Design Award. Each year, the jury of the globally-recognized design award program selects the products that meet its high standards in overall design, finish, degree of innovation, and environmental impact & safety. The all-new Sorento has been recognized for its stylish and practical design features along with its high level of innovation.

sorento-post-img

“I am very proud of this award for the Kia Sorento because it is recognition of the great advance in quality we have succeeded in achieving with this model,” said Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company. “The Kia Sorento unites the classic poise of an SUV with a premium look and feel and that is particularly tangible in the cabin. It offers the very highest design quality and excellent value for money.”

sorento-2-post

The all-new Sorento’s elegant exterior earned high marks for its stylish and practical features while the interior was highly regarded for its spacious and luxurious look, with top-quality and eco-conscientious materials throughout the cabin. The model also incorporates some high-tech specifications such as the all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and Around View Monitor to enhance convenience.

sorento-3-post

In every year since 2010, Kia Motors has won an iF Design Award, starting with the Venga. Kia continued to demonstrate its focus on design with the Sportage and Optima winning in 2011, the Picanto in 2012, the pro_cee’d in 2013, and the Soul in 2014. And this year was our newest premium SUV’s turn. The all-new Sorento will launch into the global market in Q1 2015. We have come a long way in the design field, and this kind of global recognition would not have been possible without our fans’ support and feedback. We will always make sure to use design in a way that adds value and brings positive changes to you and your lives.