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Kia Motors Ranked Highest Mass Market Brand for Fifth Consecutive Year in J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study

  • Kia’s reported problem levels improved by two points over last year to secure the top spot over all non-luxury automakers and second among all brands, luxury and non-luxury
  • Four Kia models included among the top 10 vehicles in the industry, the most of any brand
  • The Rio subcompact, Forte compact, Sportage SUV and Sedona minivan each topped their respective segments

For the fifth consecutive year, Kia was named the number one non-luxury automotive brand today by J.D. Power in the 2019 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), with a reported 70 problems per 100 vehicles, a two-point improvement over last year’s results. Kia’s continued success in IQS was led by having four models – Rio, Forte, Sportage and Soul — included among the top 10 vehicles in the industry, the most of any brand. In addition, Kia had segment-topping performances from Rio (Small Car), Forte (Compact Car), Sportage (Small SUV) and Sedona (Minivan).

“Being ranked at the top of J.D. Power’s U.S. Initial Quality Study among all mass market brands once is a tremendous honor, but capturing this leadership position for five consecutive years unequivocally affirms Kia’s commitment to quality and the ownership experience,” said Michael Cole, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America. “With four segment winners – and three additional models ranking among the top three in their respective segments – Kia’s ‘Give It Everything’ brand philosophy has clearly yielded a world-class model lineup.”

The annual report analyzed responses from 76,256 respondents with regards to 257 vehicle models across 26 segments. Vehicles were evaluated on driving experience, engine and transmission performance and a broad range of quality issues reported by vehicle owners.

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On Alberta’s Icefields Parkway, the Kia Telluride stands out from bevy of big SUVs

The last time I drove through the Rockies with my mom, it was 1984, and we were sardined into my grandpa’s Buick Century with my grandparents, my dad and my six-year-old brother.

We drove from Edmonton to Vancouver in July. Without air conditioning. There was squabbling.

“That was terrible – this is definitely a much better trip than that one,” said my mom, Rose, as we drove a 2020 Kia Telluride along the Ice Fields Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise. “You guys would probably still have fought in this, but the rest of us would have been more comfortable.”

To test the three-row SUV, Kia asked journalists to bring along a family member – the Telluride’s tag line is “built for the modern family“ – for a 750-km-plus drive from Edmonton to Jasper, along the parkway to Lake Louise and then to Calgary.

Since that scarring eighties trip, minivans surged in popularity for a while (my mom went on to a series of them until switching from a Honda Odyssey to an easier-to-handle RAV4) but now we’re seeing the rise of the big three-row SUV. Companies that weren’t typically known for family haulers, such as BMW, Subaru and Volkswagen, have all been going bigger and bigger.

“A lot of people buy a large vehicle like this for the premium aspect – as a status symbol – but the Telluride is more specifically targeted to families,” said Marc Keller, the Telluride’s product planner.

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The Telluride is equipped with knobs for climate control and navigation and a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen.

So, Kia’s marketing focuses on space – 20 centimetres longer than Kia’s Sorrento, the Telluride seats eight (seven with the second-row captain’s seats in the top SX Limited trim), can fit three child seats and has more cargo space (601 litres) with the third-row seats up than its main competitors (the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer). It also focuses on anti-squabbling tech features such as seven USB ports, ceiling-mounted rear-seat climate controls to keep kids from reaching the buttons and a one-way intercom to the third seat (“Mom and dad can stay focused on the road while screaming to the kids not to touch each other,” Keller said).

“The role of the Telluride in the lineup is to be ‘not a minivan,’” said Robert Karwel, senior manager of the Power Information Network at J.D. Power Canada. “It allows Kia to keep people in the fold instead of having them cross-shop another brand because they believe other vehicles offer more size, space and flexibility.”

Kia initially hoped to sell 2,000 Tellurides in the first year, but in the first three weeks, they’ve already sold 438.

Unlike that crowded eighties trip, this time it was mostly only the two of us – we drove with another journalist from Edmonton to Jasper. We briefly considered finding four more people to replicate the experience. But even just with two, the Telluride didn’t feel like too much vehicle, unlike some bigger SUVs.

“I’m surprised. I was worried about driving this, but it doesn’t feel big like my van did,” said my mom, 72, who took a quick turn at the wheel. “We could have used something like this years ago. But, for that trip, we probably should have just flown.”

Tech specs


  • Price/as tested: $44,995-$53,995/ $49,995)
  • Engine: 3.8-litre Atkinson-cycle V-6
  • Transmission/Drive: Eight-speed automatic/all-wheel
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 12.5 city/9.6 highway
  • Alternatives: Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorrento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas

Looks


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The 2020 Kia Telluride might not turn heads, but some features make it stand out from a large pack of big SUVs.

It’s boxy and rugged – more truck-like, especially from the front and back, than other Kias – but it’s still classy. It might not turn heads, but subtle details, such as the chrome that creeps up the side of the B-pillar and the orange daytime running lights, helped it stand out a little from the bevy of big SUVs on Alberta roads.

Performance


On winding mountain roads, the Telluride was perfectly fine – and that’s a compliment. It drives more like a car than some big SUVs. Handling was sharp for a three-row vehicle. The 291-horsepower V-6 – there are no plans to add the Stinger’s twin-turbo V-6, although Kia said anything is possible – didn’t wow with breakneck acceleration, but it delivered plenty of power for passing. The ride was comfortable, but not too cushy. It tows 5,000 pounds. Thanks to the Atkinson-cycle engine, highway fuel economy is slightly better than Kia’s smaller Sorrento, but it’s still similar to its main rivals. Mazda’s less roomy CX-9 is more fun to drive.

Interior


It’s tough to find much to complain about inside. It’s not dripping with luxury and doesn’t wow with style, but it still feels like a pricier vehicle. Controls are simple and intuitive. There are knobs for climate control and navigation and a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen. A minor gripe? The labels on a strip of controls for the infotainment system are tough to see, but you’ll probably just be using the touchscreen. The back doors open wide for easy access. There’s plenty of room in the second row, and the third row is comfortable for two real-sized adults. Access to the third row is easy with push buttons at both the top and bottom of the seat on each side.

Technology


The well-equipped base Telluride EX ($44,995) comes standard with navigation, CarPlay and Android Auto and the full gamut of safety tech. The $49,995 SX adds a monitor next to the speedometer that shows your blind spot when you signal to turn. Another feature locks the child locks if you’re trying to get out of the rear and a vehicle is coming. And there’s plenty of other tech to play with. That one-way intercom (some others, like Honda, offer something similar) sounds a little echoey in the third row. And, you have to turn it on from the touch screen, which could be distracting while driving. Another feature lets you mute just the second- and third-row rear speakers if the kids fall asleep. The top trim, the $53,995 SX premium, adds a heads-up display.

Cargo


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The Telluride has plenty of room in the second row, and the third row is comfortable for two adults.

With the third row up, we fit in three carry-on-sized bags. With seats down, it’s similar to key competitors. The seats fold down easily.

The verdict: 8.


The Telluride has enough room, standard features and anti-squabbling tech to help minimize the chances of family feuds on most trips, whether they’re trips to Costco or to Colorado. Overall, you get plenty of bang for your buck – but there’s no turbo.

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

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Kia Niro EV Comes With No Excuses: It’s The Most Important New EV

There are no more excuses as to whether or not to buy the Niro EV, but does Kia have excuses for low production?

Tony Schaefer from What Drives Us recently test drove the Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) over a week and considers the South Korean EV the most important new electric car on the market.

On one side, it’s unremarkable, there is nothing really exceptional or extraordinary – he explains – you just drive it, easy, intuitive, but it’s all-electric. It’s a full-size car and a 5-seater with decent cargo space and long range.

The Niro EV turns out to be able to go further on a charge than 235 miles (378 km) (EPA), as gentle non-winter range could be 270-290 miles (434-467 km)!

Combined with rich equipment, there are really no excuses to not buy the Kia Niro EV. Well, the first 40 were already delivered in the U.S. in April and now the ball is on Kia’s side, as we are wondering if the automaker has the production capacity to meet what’s sure to be high demand.

The cool features noted in the review include a tire pressure indicator for each individual tire, heated and ventilated seats, sun visor that expands, useful cup holder/storage compartment, Lane Keep Assist and a rewind satellite radio feature to listen to a particular song from the beginning.

2019-kia-niro-ev

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Kia, Jaguar Take Home 2019 Canadian Car of the Year Trophies

Nearly 70 members cast more than 1,500 ballots on 55 entries that included last year’s category winners and this year’s new or significantly updated vehicles.

One of the most prestigious auto awards of the year was given out this morning at the Canadian International Auto Show. AJAC’s Canadian Car and Utility of the Year trophies were given out to the Kia Stinger and the Jaguar I-Pace respectively.

Every year, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada presents its Canadian Car and Canadian Utility of the year awards. Nearly 70 members cast more than 1,500 ballots on 55 entries that included last year’s category winners and this year’s new or significantly updated vehicles. This year, voting included not just ballots cast at the annual TestFest gathering of eligible vehicles, but for vehicles driven at home and on the road by journalists located from coast to coast.

The winners in each of this year’s 12 categories were announced last month at the Montreal Auto Show. From the 12 winners, there were three finalists for Canadian Car of the Year and three for Canadian Utility of the Year.

The three finalists for Canadian Car of the Year were the Kia Forte, Kia Stinger, and Volvo V90 R-Design. The winners of the small car, large car, and large premium car categories respectively. On the Utility side, which includes vans, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers, the finalists were the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-5, and Jaguar I-Pace EV for small utility, mid-size utility, and premium EV categories. It was the first time for a full EV to be a finalist for the awards.

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The winner of the 2019 AJAC Canadian Car of the Year award was the Kia Stinger. Kia’s sports sedan took high marks for styling and interior amenities, but also for performance scores like throttle response, engine refinement, and steering and handling.

Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing, KIA Canada accepted the award and said that “this is really exciting for us. We’re celebrating 20 years in Canada… To have Stinger, the halo of our brand to be recognized by the journalists here is a real honour.”

On the utility side, the winner of 2019 AJAC’s Canadian Utility of the Year Award was the Jaguar I-Pace. The all-electric crossover won big points for styling in class voting, but also for the response and performance of its electric powertrain and the ride and handling balance it offered.

The next stage in the awards are the trophies presented to the Best Green Car and Best Green Utility which will be awarded at the Vancouver Auto Show in March.

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The Kia Stinger is Canada’s 2019 Car of the Year, according to the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC)

  • Kia Stinger qualified for the award after being named AJAC’s Best Large Car in Canada for 2019
  • Kia Forte also qualified for the award after being named AJAC’s Best Small Car in Canada for 2019

TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in Toronto, the Kia Stinger has been named AJAC’s 2019 Canadian Car of the Year, after being named Best Large Car earlier this year. A grand touring sedan loaded with safety and convenience technologies, the Kia Stinger has found a special place in the heart and driveway of many Canadian drivers and is now even further recognized by many of Canada’s top automotive experts.

“Winning AJAC’s Car of the Year award for the Stinger is a great honour for everyone within the Kia family,” said Michael Kopke, Director of Marketing, Kia Canada. “As a young brand that has come a long way in 20 years here in Canada, we’re grateful to all of AJAC’s voting journalists for taking the time to review our vehicles and recognizing the quality that our brand has put so much focus on.”

For Kia, now celebrating its 20th year in Canada, this year’s AJAC awards demonstrate how far the brand has come in terms of quality, design and consumer-focused technologies and features.

“It’s a great achievement for a vehicle to win one of AJAC’s coveted Canadian Car of the Year awards, but it’s exceptional for the same automaker to make two award-winning vehicles in the same year,” said Mark Richardson, President, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. “Congratulations to Kia for the well-deserved success of the Stinger and Forte.”

For Canadians that have not yet considered a Kia, the awards are another reason to look at the brand with the ‘Power to Surprise.’ Both vehicles will be on display at this year’s Canadian auto shows and are currently available in dealerships across the country.

More information on Canada’s Car of the Year, Canada’s Best Large Car and the entire Kia lineup can be found at Kia.ca.

About the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC)
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) is an association of professional journalists, writers, photographers, and corporate members whose focus is the automobile and the Canadian automotive industry. Collectively, our primary objectives are to promote, encourage, support, and facilitate professionalism in Canadian automotive journalism and to ensure factual and ethical reporting about the automobile and automotive issues to Canadian consumers. This is achieved through the work of our members and AJAC’s annual vehicle testing and evaluation events, the Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards (CCOTY and CUVOTY), Innovation Awards, and EcoRun.

About Kia Canada Inc.
Kia Canada Inc. (KCI), established in 1999 and celebrating 20 years in Canada, is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) based in Seoul, South Korea. Kia’s full line of award-winning vehicles offers world-class quality and customer satisfaction through a network of 193 dealers nationwide. The company employs 170 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters, various locations across Canada and at its regional office in Montreal, Quebec. Kia’s brand slogan “The Power to Surprise” represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation. From compact to crossover to industry leading EV’s, every Kia delivers an extraordinary combination of precision engineering, outstanding performance, innovative features, and advanced safety systems. Having sold close to one million vehicles, popular Canadian models include Soul, Forte, Sportage, Sorento and Stinger. To learn more about the Kia advantage,

For more information about Kia Canada and our products, please visit our Media Centre at KiaMedia.ca or contact:

Mark James
Corporate Communications Manager
Kia Canada Inc.
T: 905-755-6251
E: mjames@kia.ca

Frederic Tremblay (Quebec Inquiries)
Directeur relations publiques et communications – Région de l’est
Kia Canada Inc.
T: 514-955-0505 x 2209
E: ftremblay@kia.ca

The Kia Stinger is one of the best cars I’ve driven all year — here’s how it matches up against its competition from BMW

Review

  • The Kia Stinger combines style, value, and performance in an appealing, sporty four-door package.

  • We’ve driven the car three times in 2018 and have come away very impressed.

  • BMW might make be the ultimate driving machine, but the Kia Stinger matches up pretty well against the best Bimmer has to offer.


Kia has scored a notable victory with the Kia Stinger, a high-performance sedan from a brand better known for affordable four-doors and SUVs.

The Stinger was the toast of the auto-show circuit in 2017. I first sampled the all-wheel-drive GT2 version of the car in California in early 2018. This $52,000 machine, with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 making a tasty 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of yummy torque, completely captivated me as I drove around the Bay Area.

Later, I enjoyed the same car in the New York/New Jersey area and was equally impressed. So was my colleague, Ben Zhang, who took his first crack at the Stinger.

We haven’t yet tested the base four-cylinder trim, priced at $32,000. But I just finished enjoying the rear-wheel-drive GT2, which clocked in at about $50,000. Full review coming later, but suffice it say that as much as I was ga-ga over the AWD Stinger, first-impressions aren’t everything; the more classically configured RWD GT2 is THE ONE. I just wanted to drive it, and drive it, and then drive it some more, and then have dreams about driving it.

I’m not usually this thorough taken by a car, but the Stinger combines style, value, performance, and versatility is such a brilliant way that all bets are off. Particularly when you consider that you can get the marvelous V6 in basic GT package for an astounding $38,350.

Consequently, I’ve been doing all manner of running comparisons in my head. For my money, while the Stinger is overtly taking on the entire luxury performance-sedan segment — Audi, Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW — the aim is squarely at BMW. Bimmers provide the reference driving dynamics that the Stinger is seeking to emulate.

As it happens, I’ve driven a bunch of Bimmers. Here’s how the Stinger stacks up against as many as I can think of.


First, let me just refresh your impressions of the Stinger, in GT2 AWD trim.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

“It’s an endlessly fun car, a literal joy to drive,” I wrote in my review.

“It fires up with a pleasing snarl (OK, an augmented one, but still) and growls cheerfully when pushed. It’s flat-out fast. The 0-60 time is supposed to be 4.7 seconds, but I thought it was notably quicker than that. And you have to watch yourself at cruising velocities, as the Stinger taps out the legal speed limit in a hurry, but do so with such poise and relative quiet that one can easily overlook the speedometer.”

The rear-wheel-drive car is cheaper and more fun. Stomping in the throttle and feeling that back end dig in is motoring bliss. Obviously, the RWD setup means that you’ll have an easier time testing the limits in the grip on those back tires, if that’s your thing.


 

How about the BMW M3?

Matthew DeBord/BI

Matthew DeBord/BI

The BMW M3 also has a six-banger under the hood, plus a pair of turbos. But this motor yields 425 horsepower to the Stinger’s 365 hp.

The M3 is also a more aggressive looking car.

But the M3 also starts at almost $68,000.


And what of the M4 convertible?

Matthew DeBord/BI

Matthew DeBord/BI

I checked out the convertible version, which offers two doors rather than the M3’s four but packs the same power under the hood: 425 horses.

Again, the Stinger loses on oomph — but then there’s the price difference: the M4 is a $70,000 car.

Additionally, the M4 drives like a German muscle car. The Stinger is sportier.


 

And what say you of the M2?

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The mighty little Bimmer coupé is close with the Stinger on the specs, boasting a 365-horsepower, 3.0-liter, twin-turbo’s inline six-cylinder engine.

It gives up two doors, but it’s in the Stinger’s price ballpark, at about $55,000.

What you’re getting here is one of the most fun BMWs to drive. But the package is smaller than the Stinger’s. Otherwise, serious competition.


How about the tweener M-car — the M240i convertible?

Matthew DeBord/BI

Matthew DeBord/BI

I’ve actually sampled both the coupé and convertible versions. What we have here is a 335-horsepower turbo six and a price tag of about $36,000.

For my money, this is the best BMW on the market, if you like to drive. However, the Stinger is more versatile, and the Kia’s V6 is more potent.


 

Moving away from the M-cars, how does the Stinger stack up against the 5-Series?

Hollis Johnson

Hollis Johnson

When we tested the 530i, we were perfectly OK with the 248-horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine. That 5-Series was crammed with tech and luxury and was priced at over $70,000, or $20,000 more than the base car.

The Stinger and the 5-Series aren’t really in the same segment, although I think the Stinger kind of sits between the 3-Series and the 5-Series thanks to a nice big trunk under the fastback hatch and a decent amount of rear legroom.

Obviously, you get a lot more motor for your money with the Stinger, even if you upgrade the BMW to a 335-horsepower 540i. Relatively speaking, you get less luxury. But the driving dynamics of the Stinger GT2’s are considerably more appealing.


 

And finally, how does the all-gas Stinger do when matched against the plug-in hybrid 3-Series?

2017 BMW 330e Bryan Logan/Business Insider

2017 BMW 330e Bryan Logan/Business Insider

We’ve generally been quite pleased with the BMW 330e; I drove it on the East Coast and BI’s Bryan Logan sampled it on the west.

It’s more of a BMW for the environmentally conscious buyer, however. It’s a pleasure to drive, but it doesn’t thrill like the Stinger, which obviously can’t be plugged in. And it can be had for less than $50,000.

Minus the blast-to-drive aspects, a key difference between the Stinger and it BMW competition is that the Kia is much easier to deal with as far as instruments and entertainment go. BMW’s have this busy, cockpit-like vibe; and the infotainment system, iDrive, while much-improved over the years remains quite complicated.

The Kia, by contrast, has some of the most intuitive controls of any vehicle on the market, plus a touchscreen infotainment system that’s among the best in the industry.


So what’s the verdict?

Matthew DeBord/BI

Matthew DeBord/BI

Let’s review.

Stinger vs M3: Stinger wins on price, loses on power.

Stinger vs M4: See above.

Stinger vs. M2: Competitive! The M2 is a stunning Bimmer. But the Stinger has four doors.

Stinger vs. M240i: Stinger wins on power, but the M240i is a great value in BMWs. I’d take the Stinger, though.

Stinger vs. 5-Series: The 5-Series is a legend, but the Stinger is more fun to drive.

Stinger vs. 3-Series plug-in hybrid: Not a very good head-to-head because the Stinger is vastly more fun to drive. The Stinger’s instruments and infotainment are also better designed.

As the Stinger has made it way into automotive consciousness, it’s increasingly being thought of as occupying a unique niche: going up against the BMW 3-Series, but with a much friskier attitude and better pricing.

The closest thing to this idea is actually no longer with us: Pontiac, the General Motors brand that was killed after the financial crisis. In fact, late in Pontiac’s life, the brand sold a re-badged Australian Holden in the US, the G8 GT, that had a 361-horsepower V8 under the hood and matched up nicely against the Stinger.

Here’s the thing, though. If you want exhilarating performance at a compelling price, with a premium if not luxurious interior and excellent versatility, the segment-of-one Stinger is an excellent BMW alternative.

Do I think BMW will lose sales to Kia? Maybe a few on the margins. Bimmer doesn’t have much to worry about. But there’s no question that the smart money is going to take a closer look at the Stinger.

2019 Kia K900 First Review

Source: Kelley Blue Book
Date: April 26th, 2018
Author: Rebecca Lindland

The first Kia K900 flagship large luxury sedan debuted in 2012 to a lukewarm reception, with consumers shying away from a $50,000-plus Kia. But Kia is good at self-examination and learns from feedback and critiques. So, they’re back at it, with a fully redesigned version of their flagship, the 2019 Kia K900, following on the heels of the highly-acclaimed 2018 Kia Stinger.

I had the opportunity to put the redesigned K900 to the test, driving through the city streets and countryside of Seoul, South Korea. The K900 (known locally as the K9) makes a large statement, coming in at 201.6 inches long, about 3 inches shorter than the Cadillac CT6 and 7 inches longer than the BMW 5-Series. Kia calls the new exterior design language “The Gravity of Prestige.” A collaborative effort by Kia’s global design headquarters in Namyang, Korea and Irvine, California, the new K900 sedan features organic lines with precise details.

My snow-white pearl test car sparkled in the Korean sunlight, cascading over the lines of the K900 even as the day time running lights of the bi-level headlamps winked in the brightness. The proportions of the vehicle cut a dashing profile, reflecting the rear-wheel-drive foundation of the all-new platform, with tires pushed to the edges and the overhangs kept to a minimum. The front is a bit busy for my taste and I fear it won’t age well, but the rear is elegant, with modern tail lamps topped off with dual chrome exhausts.

Luxe interior
Opening the door to the K900, your attention is captured by the high-end interior materials: Nappa premium leather, matte open-pore wood for added durability, touches of bright and matte chrome. The instrument panel is clean and inviting, anchored by an analog clock in the center designed by Swiss luxury watchmaker Maurice Lacroix exclusively for the new K900.

Settling into the contoured seat and using the 20-way power-adjustment to personalize my driving position, I also enjoyed the optional seat ventilation. The ergonomics of the cabin are intuitive and modern, with a layout that highlights the driver and welcomes the passenger. My phone is easy to connect and tucks neatly away in the center console.

The comfort isn’t confined to the front seats, though. The fully adjustable rear seats, in true Korean style, provides enough legroom for the tallest percentile without compromising the front seat occupants. The trunk is equally spacious, fitting an oversized hard-sided suitcase plus two bloated carry-ons comfortably, with a pass-through for long, skinny items like skis.

V6 and all-wheel drive
As suitable for today’s luxury sedan market, the 2019 K900 comes equipped with all-wheel-drive (AWD) with dynamic torque vectoring control for improved handling, stability and agility in every type of weather condition.

Kia pairs the AWD with a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 also available on the award-winning Kia Stinger sports sedan. This engine received a ton of well-deserved positive reviews and is another fine example of Kia’s ongoing evolution. The 365 horses–30 more than the BMW 5-Series and Cadillac CT6–provide exhilarating turbo power with no hesitation and the 8-speed gearbox transitions through its paces seamlessly as I accelerate onto a 4-lane highway. The V8 offered on the previous generation K900 has been dropped in the U.S. market.

Pulling out onto the busy streets of Seoul, the K900’s navigation kicks in, providing precise directions including specific lanes I need to be in to complete the next task. The K900 is also equipped with multiple driver assistance systems (ADAS), including the Surround View Monitor, which utilizes four cameras to provide a 360-degree top-down view of the car and its surroundings, while turn-signal activated blind-spot monitoring keeps an eye on adjacent lanes and shows up in the instrument panel.

Haptic feedback where the steering wheel vibrates is also available, further enhancing the driver’s visual cues to unsafe lane changes. The high-resolution video of the blind-spot monitoring is a bit distracting in the instrument cluster, but that’s a personal preference, and I found myself adapting quickly enough.

Quiet ride
Once at full highway speed, the extra attention to insulation Kia paid in this redesigned K900 is well represented, providing a level of quiet seen in far more expensive vehicles. There is no hint of road noise nor vibration. I’m taken with the peace, calm, and coziness of the cabin.

The suburban streets wind through neighborhoods and the K900 sedan hugs the road, the AWD and suspension handling the curves and many, many speed bumps with aplomb, barely missing a beat even as I fail to slow for some. The bumps act as a surrogate for the poor conditions of many roads in the U.S. and once stateside, Kia’s new sedan will be a formidable match for the potholed domestic landscape.

The 2019 Kia K900 offers ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ AWD driving modes, with the former providing an efficient driving experience while the latter is more engaging. I kept the new K900 in “normal” mode for the duration of the drive as the roads were not particularly conducive to “sport.” Other journalists who did venture into sport had mixed reviews–some felt minimal difference, others felt a lot.

The vehicles we drove are Korean-spec, so there’s still time for some fine-tuning, like a tighter “normal” mode set up when the K900 debuts in the states later this year and a distinctive difference for “Sport” similar to that found in vehicles such the BMW 5-Series.

Overall, the new Kia K900 is a fine representation of Korean luxury. There are plenty of emotional solutions the well-equipped car provides, from the elegant interior to the spacious cabin and the standard AWD. It’s a fine selection for someone considering a luxury sedan or even a crossover. The all-wheel drive of the K900 provides reassurance while the plentiful list of standard equipment speaks to Kia’s history of providing excellent value for the money.

Some key competitors for the K900 include the all-wheel drive versions of the BMW 5-Series, the Audi A6, and the Cadillac CT6. While the Kia brand may not immediately elicit oohs and aahs from the country club set, the appealing looks, lovely, relaxing interior, and driving performance certainly will. The 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty–significantly higher than key competitors–provides further assurance over the long haul.

Kia hasn’t announced pricing, but the current K900 goes for about $55,000 so you can expect the same for the all-new K900 when it goes on sale later this year.

2018 Kia Cadenza

Source: Car and Driver
Date: March 24th, 2018
Author: DREW DORIAN

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2018 Kia Cadenza

Quietly exceeding expectations of label snobs everywhere.

Overall Rating: 

Kia’s Cadenza is a compelling choice in a shrinking segment. For those who prefer sedans to SUVs, it not only represents a solid value but also provides near-luxury features throughout its model range. Inside its well-built cabin is room for four adults to stretch out in comfort, and the luxe features only get better the further up its range you climb. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, and highly sought-after active safety tech—automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and more—is provided as standard on the midrange Technology trim and the top-spec Limited. That the Cadenza wears a handsome and upscale design is icing on the automotive cake.

HIGHS
Intuitive infotainment system, technology-heavy equipment list, generous warranty.
LOWS
Tepid acceleration, lackluster braking performance, limited cargo flexibility.
VERDICT
The Cadenza is a high-tech haven for the upper-middle-class sedan buyer.

What’s New for 2018?

Kia saw fit to make just one change to the Cadenza lineup for 2018: Last year’s Panoramic Sunroof package (a large glass sunroof, power sunshade, and LED interior lighting) is now part of the Luxury package on the base Premium trim instead of being a separate $1000 option. The big glass roof is still standard on Technology and Limited trims.

What Was New for 2017?

The Cadenza was all new for 2017, marking Kia’s sophomore effort for a full-size near-luxury car. Completely redesigned from bumper to bumper, the sharper Cadenza features a sleeker interior and modern technologies such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an available head-up display. The 3.3-liter V-6 engine was retuned for better fuel economy and paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. For the first time, the Cadenza offers a full suite of active safety technology.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

We chose the midrange Technology trim last year, and we’d hold steady on that recommendation for 2018 as well. This year’s build is priced at $40,190 and calls up many modern and luxury items that attract buyers in this segment, including:

• Panoramic sunroof
• 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation
• 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio
• Proximity approach lighting

All of the Cadenza’s active safety technologies also come as standard on this midrange trim and on the top-spec Limited model.

2019 Kia Stinger

Source: MotorWeek
Date: February 08 2018
Author: N/A

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MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards

MotorWeek’s 2018 “Best of the Year” Revealed: Kia Stinger

Announced at the Chicago Auto Show, nation’s largest consumer auto show

CHICAGO – The all-new Kia Stinger is MotorWeek’s 2018 Drivers’ Choice Award winner for “Best of the Year,” announced today in Chicago at the nation’s largest consumer automotive showcase. Over an unprecedented 37 years of bringing weekly automotive news to consumers, MotorWeek has evaluated thousands of distinctive cars, all potentially deserving of their “best of” moniker. Every year, the pressure is on to thin the herd to a handful and then to just one winner overall.
The Kia Stinger luxury-sport sedan aimed itself squarely at the compact European sport sedan segment – and with its design team based in Germany, there is little doubt that it earned its style points alongside traditional luxury-performance brands while also looking very different from other cars in the Kia stable.
“Dynamic in both design and quality, the Stinger is a superlative example of how to successfully break into the established European sport sedan market – no easy task – but the Stinger proves it has what it takes,” says MotorWeek creator and host John Davis. “Delivering on both style and drive, the Stinger is incredibly responsive with great power as well as solid handling and brakes. That’s why the Stinger won our staff’s vote in the “Best Sport Sedan” category, which then put it in the running for our ‘Best of the Year’ honor.”
By design, Kia engineers skipped the typical four-door sedan formula and went directly to the five-door coupe-roofed hatchback so popular outside of America. Then they added capable power from a 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 for the top level Stinger GT, while base Stingers get a still-potent 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
“Kia knows it takes some splash to get noticed in the sport sedan segment, and they’ve delivered,” says Davis. “MotorWeek followers count on our awards to steer them towards the cars that are the most fun to drive – after all, that’s the point of our awards.”
In Stinger, the fast-roofed skin cloaks a finely-balanced, rear-drive chassis. Either of the two engine choices found under the long hood is paired with an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Both powertrains can also be fitted with all-wheel drive, a great benefit for buyers in the Midwest and Northeast especially.
“While the 2.0 is no slouch, the GT’s V6 powertrain really impressed us with its overall smoothness. Even the paddle shifters work with a quick precision we didn’t expect,” says Davis.
Starting at around $32,000 for the 2.0-liter and $40,000 for the GT, Kia has married good looks and a great drive with affordability.
All Drivers’ Choice Award winners are featured on Motorweek.org, and will appear on a special episode (#3723) of MotorWeek airing on public television stations beginning February 10, and on cable’s Velocity beginning February 20. MotorWeek and the 2018 Drivers’ Choice Awards are nationally sponsored by The Tire Rack, WeatherTech, RockAuto, State Farm and Hum by Verizon.
One of the auto industry’s most coveted honors, MotorWeek’s Drivers’ Choice Awards were announced at the largest consumer-driven auto show in North America, the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. In selecting the annual Drivers’ Choice Awards, the MotorWeek’s editorial staff evaluates more than 150 cars, trucks, and sports utility vehicles every year. Winners are chosen based on driving performance, technology, practicality, fuel efficiency, and value for the dollar.

2018 Drivers’ Choice Award Winners:

Best Small Car                                     Honda Civic**

Best Family Sedan                              Honda Accord

Best Convertible                                 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

Best Luxury Sedan                              BMW 5 Series

Best Sport Sedan                                Kia Stinger

Best Sport Coupe                               Lexus LC 500

Best Performance Car                       Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

                                                             Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Best Small Utility                               Mazda CX-5

Best Large Utility                               Volkswagen Atlas

Best Luxury Utility                             Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Best Minivan                                       Honda Odyssey

Best Pickup Truck                                Ford F-150

Best Eco-Friendly                                Chevrolet Bolt EV*

Best Dream Machine                         Aston Martin DB11

                                                           Porsche 911 GT2 RS

                                                           Mercedes-Benz G550 4X4²

MotorWeek is television’s longest-running and most-respected automotive series. Debuting in 1981, MotorWeek launched a new television genre by becoming the first weekly series to offer consumer-oriented car and truck reviews, do-it-yourself car care tips, and the latest auto industry news. Produced by Maryland Public Television, the award-winning series is now in its 37th season. The winner of numerous automotive journalism awards, MotorWeek is a reliable source of automotive news on television and on the web.

Distributed nationwide and overseas by Maryland Public Television, MotorWeek airs on 92 percent of PBS broadcast stations and can also be seen on the Velocity cable channel. Program excerpts are available to viewers on the program’s website, motorweek.org, and on its YouTube Channel, youtube.com/Motorweek. Fans can like MotorWeek on Facebook and also follow MotorWeek on Instagram and Twitter.
*Denotes Repeat Winner from 2017 **Denotes Repeat Winner from 2016 & 2017

2019 Kia Forte Sedan

Source: New York Daily News
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018, 10:50 AM
Author: KEVIN BARR

Gaining a more sophisticated design influenced by the Kia Stinger, the 2019 Forte remains one of the most appealing, affordable vehicles on the market.Both the interior and exterior of the Kia Forte are enhanced for 2019. Overall vehicle length is increased, allowing for extra passenger legroom and headroom, as well as increased cargo room in the trunk. A standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment center with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility is new, as well as the option for a wireless device charging tray.Three trim levels are available on the 2019 Kia Forte: LX, S, and EX. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque delivers power to the front wheels in all models. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the LX, with the option for a newly developed continuously variable transmission (CVT) (standard on S and EX trims).

Changes to the 2019 Kia Forte Sedan:

  • Redesigned exterior styling influenced by Stinger sedan
  • Newly developed continuously variable transmission
  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment center with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility

What We Think

With improvements being made to nearly every aspect of the car, including the new and improved exterior design, the 2019 Kia Forte remains one of the best choices in its segment.

Also noteworthy are the new Forte’s structural and safety enhancements. While the outgoing Forte was already impressive from a safety standpoint, the new 2019 model features increased chassis rigidity and higher-quality steel in hopes of achieving its highest safety test ratings yet.And although the Forte sedan has for quite some time presented an impressive value proposition, it continues to get even better for 2019.