Category Archives: Kia

Kia Teases 2019 Sorento Ahead Of L.A. Debut

The Kia Sorento has always been a favorite here at Autoinfoquest due to its blend of styling, capability, and affordability. With the 2017 L.A. Auto Show fast approaching, Kia has prepared a suite of updates to help keep the 2019 Sorento fresh in the minds of buyers.

The front fascia is lightly freshened with a new front bumper and tweaked headlights, but it still retains the basic styling formula that we have come to expect from Kia. The rear fascia is equally restrained, and comes equipped with lightly tweaked LED tail lights as well as new C-shaped pieces of chrome trim. While neither of these changes are evolutionary, they do help keep the Sorento fresh for a few more years, before it eventually migrates to the next model cycle.

The interior was not revealed with today’s image dump, but expect the usual suite of updates, including higher grade materials, updated infotainment offerings, and new optional extras. The model pictured here is the range topping SX Limited which currently starts at $44,600, but look for this magic to trickle down to the lower spec models as well. The engine lineup is not expected to change much, but the Sorento could finally gain an all new eight speed automatic  transmission that would help enhance fuel economy while also allowing it to catch up to some of its rivals.

The eight speed could also explain Kia’s decision to bring the Sorento to “Hell’s Revenge in the Moab desert, where the big Kia was said to have successfully completed the six and a half mile rock crawling course including the notoriously difficult Hell’s Gate obstacle. Kia admitted that the bulk of Sorento buyers will not push their vehicles this hard, but wanted to show that the 2019 Sorento can go beyond a typical grocery hauling vehicle if the need arises. We’re impressed, and we look forward to hearing more, especially when it makes its official debut at the L.A. Auto Show.

2018 GT Stinger

Kia Rules Out Range Topping Stinger GTR, Says Its Too Early To Go All In

While the Kia Stinger has yet to fully complete its distribution to all of the world’s markets, Kia is already shedding some light on potential variants of the already desirable liftback, including perhaps a range topping performance model that would slot above the current GT model, and possibly adopt the GTR moniker.

These revelations come from Albert Biermann the chief exec behind the company’s performance models during a recent interview with the folks at Motoring magazine. Biermann revealed that while “The car technically has more potential no doubt” the reason why Kia has not introduced any variants of the Stinger yet is actually very simple and straightforward.

According to Biermann before the company can introduce a “GTR or something” Kia has to know how  the current iterations of the Stinger will do in terms of overall sales, as well as their long term sustainability in the broader marketplace. Biermann also revealed that Kia needs to identify the customer base for the car, and after that it will then make its mind up on whether there should be a spicier version of the Stinger for buyers that want to have even more performance than the current range topping model, the Stinger GT.

With that said, it appears that for the moment, the Stinger GT (which is the fastest accelerating car Kia has ever produced) will remain the flagship version. As for U.S. buyers, the StingerGT will arrive in our country by the end of the year in either rear or all-wheel drive with a 3.3 liter biturbo V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to propel the car to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds, so look for the proposed performance model (whenever it arrives) to shave some seconds off of that figure as well as a higher top speed than the GT’s 167 mph.

Source: Motoring

2018 GT Stinger

Kia Unveils 2018 Stinger GT Sport Sedan [Live Images]

Concluding a string of compelling video teasers, Kia has formally unveiled the 2018 Kia GT Stinger sport sedan ahead of its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

The moniker does a good job invoking memories of the two door GT4 Stinger concept that made its debut three years ago in Detroit. At the time, many considered the car to perhaps2018 GT Stinger be a veiled preview to a contender that would rival entries such as the Subaru BRZ and the recently renamed Scion FR-S.

However, Kia pulled a swerve, and while the GT Stinger name carries over, it now graces a stylish four door sedan that was crafted to take advantage of its aggressive undertones. A long muscular hood and bold front fenders stretch nicely to the rear of the car. The roofline serves as a compelling transition to the short rear deck, which is becoming a must-have item in sport sedans these days. This allows the GT Stinger to be on par with stylish rivals such as the Audi A7 and the BMW Gran Coupe. Strong character lines located at the rocker panels help trim down visual heft in its overall profile, though the presentation is marred somewhat by a shiny fender vent.

The 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder that defined the original concept car has been pitched in lieu of a 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which is good for 365 horsepower, and allows the GT Stinger to rocket its way to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

Unfortunately, the concept’s six speed manual gearbox didn’t survive the transition from concept to reality, and the production sedan makes do with an 8-speed automatic 2018 GT Stingertransmission. This is fine with us, especially since the take rate for a pure manual offering would’ve been comparably low versus a more mass market oriented automatic. Hopefully, Kia will eventually add a manual gearbox in the future especially on a more hardcore version of the GT Stinger. As a bonus, the transmission helps channel all 376 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, which is another sport sedan must have feature.

The low slung cabin is a compelling balance of occupant coddling luxury and performance inspired cues. The front seats can be shod in ultra soft Nappa leather and come equipped with air cell bladders that deliver maximum levels of comfort and support. The center console is split into two distinct areas, and the gauges feature metal rims as well as bold red needles.

A bold color TFT screen between the gauges is home to performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times, and also engine oil pressure and can also display more traditional readouts such as navigation, diagnostics, and other ancillary information. The GT Stinger’s long wheelbase helps produce exceptional amounts of front and rear legroom while the low seating position provides good amounts of headroom in both the front and back seats.

This move is admittedly unexpected, especially at a time where the market is being motivated by the strong  demand for crossovers.  However, we are glad Kia is taking a step outside the box in producing not only a shapely throwback to proper four door sedans, but also a rolling tribute an era when non-alphanumeric nameplates ruled the streets. Stay tuned tomorrow when we will learn more about the GT Stinger, as well as live pictures from the show floor.

 

 

Kia Unveils New GT Concept Teaser Video

Kia has big things planned for its upcoming GT Concept, and has released a new video that sheds new light on its upcoming sport sedan entry.

The new video dubbed “The Silhouette” was shot in darkness, and teases the outline of the car from various angles. While it has just about as much detail as Kia’s first video, there are still several new hints that leap their way to the surface.

For instance the walkaround reveals elements that steal a page or two from the Ford Mustang playbook especially with its hood sculpting and intergrated rear spoiler. A glimpse of the wheels round out the package, and they look very stylish though time will tell if they will make the jump to production or not.

Like last time, the interior was not revealed, but look for it to be a sportier departure from Kia’s more tech oriented theme especially in terms of the basic design for the gauge cluster, as well as sportier seats and splashes of performance inspired trim. This will allow the car to standout from rivals like BMW, and also give it a leg up over the Dodge Charger especially in regards to interior dedign and fit and finish.

Kia is expected to formally unveil its new sport sedan at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in a few weeks. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for further updates as well as our live coverage of the unveiling.

 

Kia Teases Production GT Concept Car [Video]

With the clock ticking ever closer to its official debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Kia has launched a new micro site to promote the debut of its all new sport sedan which is based on the GT Concept car.

According to the site, the car is scheduled to make its formal debut on January 8th which is one day before the kickoff of the North American International Auto Show. Kia also provided a brief teaser video which debuted in conjunction with the site.

In the video we see a car being pushed through its paces at the famed Nurburgring Racetrack in Germany. While no lap time was released (a change of pace,) the brief clip does show that the car is built for performance with the speedometer going past 150 mph at one point.

The vehicle in the video is most likely the production car, and will share styling cues with the GT concept as well as a mystery car that was unfortunatley leaked to the internet a few days ago. A key element of the new sport sedan is its sloping roofline which will give the four door a coupe like profile, and allow it to capitalize on the recent success of other four door coupes.

The formal name of the car is also a mystery at this point. In Korea the sedan will most likely be called the K8 which is reflective of the alphanumeric naming scheme Kia has in its home market. As for the U.S. the sleek four door could adopt the Stinger nameplate which first made its apperance on the GT4 Stinger concept car a few years back.

Regardless of which moniker it will ultimately assume, the new sport sedan will share its platform with the upcoming Genesis G70 which is expected to arrive with standard rear wheel drive. All wheel drive could make its way to the slick Kia later in its production cycle, which should please potential buyers out in the snowbelt.

Performance will most likely come from a suite of V6 engines including the 3.3 liter turbocharged V6 used in the Genesis lineup. A turbocharged four cylinder could also make an apperance in the base model, but we’ll have to wait until it is formally unveiled to know if it is indeed the case.

Kia is already promoting its next teaser video so stay tuned for more information as it becomes avalible. In the mean time you can check out the forementioned video below.

 

Kia Considering All Electric Version Of Nero CUV

With the launch of the hybrid version of the Niro CUV, a new report suggests that Kia is considering an all electric version of the Niro in a bid to help it nab sales as well as increase Kia’s reputation and pedigree in the growing green car segment.

This comes from a statement released by Kia Motors operating chief Tae-Hyun-Oh who revealed in an interview with the British publication Car Dealer magazine that the Niro’s size, utility, as well as stricter emissions laws could force the Korean firm to build a Niro EV. Kia’s sister company Hyundai already sells the Tuscon Fuel Cell crossover in limited markets, as such Kia could also be considering a fuel cell car in order to further expand the brand’s experience in this segment even further.

Currently the Niro has done relatively well for Kia with the brand selling roughly 1,000 units to customers since it made its formal debut in dealer lots back in August. The all-electric version of the Niro would be underpinned on the same platform as the Kia Ioniq. The Ioniq was designed to feature hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric variants with all three part of a unified “three pronged attack” that was designed to help maximize the Ioniq’s exposure in the marketplace. The all electric version of the Ioniq made its debut in South Korea and is expected to make its way to the U.S. before the end of 2016. When it eventually arrives, the car will feature a 28 kilowatt-hour battery pack that provides a driving range of about 110 miles on a single charge.

At the moment, Kia sells an all electric version of the Soul crossover in select markets. That model has a 93 mile driving range but it could increase thanks to a 2018 refresh that Kia has planned for the Soul. This boost would allow the Soul EV to better compete against rivals like the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3.

Look for the momentum of this project to hinge on sales of the Niro hybrid and whether they are high enough to justify expanding the Niro family especially as an all electric vehicle which tends to make development expensive.

Kia Reveals Revamped 2017 Rio Compact

The Kia Rio has always been a peculiar case in styling with older Rios being known more for their bland aesthetics and equally bland performance numbers. A redesign in 2012 helped bring much needed refinement and modern technology to the Rio but was chided for being cute-sy. Kia claims that it has resolved this dilemma with the 2017 Rio.

The exterior styling of the 2017 Kia Rio loudly broadcasts this, and will not be mistaken for being just another cute entry. The front fascia for example features slimmer headlights that ditch the bubble looking units for much needed aggression. Some of the gentle 4th generation kia rio_rear_mediumcurves have also been shelved in favor of more flat planes which helps further enhance its styling. As a bonus, the 2017 Rio is slightly longer, wider, and shorter than the old model. Kia claims that these new dimensions also influenced the styling with the Korean firm claiming that many of the changes highlight the extra width inside and out.

Kia also touched up the Rio’s interior and has added a much nicer blend of plastics and materials that aims to eliminate complaints about the Rio’s cheap plastics. The design is sound for the most part, but the infotainment system stands out as the lone oddball of the group. Kia claims that the unit was designed to achieve a “floating” effect with the unit 2017 Kia Rio Interiorextending up and over the dashboard a trick also used by the Honda Civic. The good news is that Kia chose to retain physical buttons and knobs for ease of use and ergonomics, the bad news is that the overall setup looks odd with some of the buttons actually extend up with the screen. This makes the system look like it was added as an afterthought and could cause initial confusion with its overall layout.

Kia did not reveal performance information or any other specifics on the car. But unlike the British spec version (pictured) look for the U.S. grade Rio to retain its all four cylinder engine lineup with slight gains in emissions and overall performance. Look for the 2017 Kia Rio to make its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show in September with the first units arriving in U.S. showrooms sometime next year.

Kia Soul Gains Turbocharged Variant

Recently Kia revealed the return of its popular hamster mascots who proceeded to tackle “Dueling Banjos” in their newest commercial. The ad was cute and very entertaining, but the rodents also released a compelling taste of the future at the end slide, an early confirmation that a turbocharged version of the Soul is coming.

This potential injection of performance would be a welcome addition to the current generation Soul which has been with us since 2013. The funky crossover recently received a mid cycle update based on the Track’ster concept and offers four different engines including an electric and diesel variants. However, one notable flaw lies with the most powerful engine currently in the Soul lineup which makes a measly 162 horsepower and an equally mundane 148 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the Soul is currently slower than many of its rivals but that would change with the addition of a turbocharged performance model.

It is currently unknown what will ultimately power the new variant, but a strong contender is the current 1.6 liter twin-scroll turbocharged four cylinder engine. Already seeing duty in the Kia Optima, Koup, and Forte sedan it is capable of producing 201 horsepower and it was developed closely with its sister brand Hyundai (who also use it in the Veloster Turbo.) In addition to its potent power, the engine can also be mated to either a six speed manual gearbox, or a more advanced dual clutch automatic transmission which should please performance enthusiasts that want the perfect engine and transmission combo in their performance vehicle purchase.

The current generation Soul was designed to primarily flaunt its funky exterior styling versus carving corners at the local race track, but Kia engineers could add some spice to the overall package including bigger, brakes, a sport tuned suspension, as well as model exclusive exterior styling that would not only allow the car to broadcast its sporting intentions, but also add a degree of functionality to the car as well. Kia for its part has not released any further comment on the matter, but look for more clues to emerge in the near future in other Hamster themed advertisements.

Kia Unveils Niro Hybrid CUV

Kia used the Windy City to debut the production version of its Niro concept. More than just a mere model family, the Niro also heralds the eventual proliferation of an all new eco car platform that will be used in other models.

As for the Niro itself, the exterior styling is a textbook exercise in Kia’s brand of distinctiveness though subtle influences from the larger Sorento are also present especially near the D-pillar. The front fascia features swept back headlights, a lower front bumper, and Kia’s familiar “tiger nose” grille. The rear fascia is a bit more conservative, but it does feature over sized tailights that help add some excitement to the otherwise blandNiro backdrop. The interior of the Niro also features many of the recent innovations that Kia has made in cabin quality. While there is some noticeable hard plastics, I did like the high driving position which is reminiscent of the Kia Soul as well as the ergonomically friendly button arraignment. A 7.0 inch captive touchscreen is standard equipment, and comes equipped with the firm’s UVO3 infotainment system.

Performance for the Niro comes from Kias 1.4 liter Kappa four cylinder engine which is typically good for 103 horsepower by itself. However, overall output grows to 146 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque when you factor the Niro’s electric motor into the equation. Kia claims that a plug-in version of the Niro will be offered but it’s unknown when that model will be unveiled.

The Niro will arrive with the second generation of Kia’s six speed dual clutch transmission. Kia revealed that the reason why they chose the DCT was because they wanted the Niro to still deliver a solid driving experience to go along with its fuel saving prowess. The Niro’s electric motor is powered by a lithium ion polymer battery pack that is located under the Niro 2rear seat. The Niro’s new platform was designed to be lightweight, with aluminum being used for the hood, tailgate, as well as several suspension components. The conventional 12 volt battery was pitched in lieu of a lightweight battery that further aides efficiency. The Niro will arrive with two new fuel saving technologies that will help boost mileage. The first is the all new Eco-Driver Assistance System that features a built in Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. The first bit of technology boosts economy by teaching the driver when to brake, while the latter item uses the Niro’s navigation system to anticipate the road ahead, and adjust throttle or brake inputs accordingly.

“The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout hybrid” stated Orth Hedrick vice president of product planning for KMA. He also elaborated further claiming “The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.”

Kia has not formally announced when the Niro will make its way to dealer lots, but look for the tiny CUV to eventually go on sale by the end of the year where it will compete with the Honda HR-V, and the Mazda CX-3.

Kia K900 Gains New V6 Base Model

With the Kia K900 establishing its hold on the luxury car market, Kia has addressed the K900’s key weakness with the unveiling of an all new entry level model that aims to open the car up to more buyers while also putting the pressure on V6 versions of many of its rivals.

The exterior styling remains largely the same for all K900’s, but Kia designers have made several minor tweaks to the formula that include a revised front grille as well as a tweaked rear end with more chrome trim, a new rear bumper, updated exhaust pipes, and a 2016 K900new tail light design. A new Smart Power trunk and emergency braking capability also highlight some of the technology updates for 2016, and help bring the big four door more in line with contemporary luxury car offerings.

The interior boasts an improved navigation system that now features a beefy 9.2 inch HD touchscreen, while Kia’s remote apps gain a new start/stop function, climate control app, and lock/unlock capability. Meanwhile, parents that let their 2016 K900children drive can now set a curfew time as well as speed alerts while geofencing technology allows them to track their whereabouts at all times, and sends an alarm when the car strays from the pre-determined boundary.

The bulk of the updates however can be found under the hood of the newly minted “V6 Premium” trim which houses an all new 3.8 liter V6. Good for a healthy 311 horsepower, the V6 aims to not only make the K900 more fuel efficient, but also make the model more accessible to buyers as well. Prior to the arrival of the new V6, the K900 was only available with a 420 horsepower V8 that also sees duty in the range topping Hyundai Equus (similar to the situation that Jaguar faced when it first unveiled the current generation XJ.) The V6 will also help lessen the strain on your wallet with the ‘V6 Premium” trim featuring a base MSRP of $49,950 which is nearly $10,000 less than a fully loaded V8 powered K900. However this does not mean that you get skimped on luxury appointments with the V6 model featuring leather seats, 18-inch wheels, a navigation system, and a panoramic sunroof.