Friday, August 29, 2014
By Roger St. Pierre – 28 August 2014
Accounting for a quarter of all the Korean company’s burgeoning sales in the UK and Ireland, Kia's Sportage crossover has written a success story all down the line.
Now this automotive best-seller opens a new chapter with an expanded 16-model range, new safety and infotainment features and major equipment and styling upgrades.
Combining the rugged stance of a compact SUV with the sleeker profile of a coupé, the bodywork has been subtly re-styled while premium-car touches have been added to its stylish and spacious interior. However, poor rearward visibility remains a de-merit.
Beneath the bonnet there’s now an even wider choice of power plants in the 16-model range, with a 2.0-litre 134 bhp engine now offered with the entry level all-wheel drive KX-1 trim grade, while the 1.7-litre 114 bhp turbo-diesel is now an option with the two-wheel drive range topping 4 grade.
For 2014 the range is based on five trim designations, giving buyers the opportunity to virtually customise their vehicle.
There are now new-style 16, 17 and 18-inch alloys available for all trim grades and, I’m glad to report that not only do they come with locking wheel nuts but there’s a full-size spare and a tyre pressure monitoring system comes as standard.
Sportage has found a ready market among the caravan community, so all versions are now fitted with a clever trailer stability assist system. This works through the electronic stability control device and continually monitors and controls the vehicle’s stance, gently applying a little braking force when needed to bring things under control.
Top end Sportages now have Kia’s flex steer system, which allows three different levels of power assistance, controlled by a button on the steering wheel. The driver can stay in normal mode or increase assistance for effortless parking or decrease it to give a more direct feel when pressing on.
To make this very sensible car truly fit for purpose there’s a host of storage spaces dotted around the cabin. New for this year are a removable tray within the centre console and handily illuminated cup holders.
Six-speed manual or auto gearboxes ensure plenty of get up and go while combined cycle fuel consumption ranges from 44 to 53 mpg, dependent on model. Expect to reach 62 mph from a standing start in around 10 seconds while top speeds range from 107 to 121-mph, dependent on model.
The Sportage is manufactured at Kia’s ultra-modern Zilina factory at the foot of Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains, a region redolent with the kind of demanding driving conditions under which this car thrives.
On the road prices run from £17,500 to £29,505 and include Kia’s generous seven-year warranty, which make it highly competitive against its closest competitor, the Nissan Qashqai.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The with the sales number of diesel powered vehicles on the rise in the US, manufacturers might want to seriously consider bringing in more of their diesel powered model into the US market. In fact, Kia could be the next to join Chrysler and General Motors in bringing in their diesel models. Possibly the Kia Sorento and Kia Optima.
Although the more popular diesel model right now in the US market is mostly large vehicles like the Ram 1500, the extensive line up of Kia might have a few that could pass the regulation and enter the market. Kia Motors America’s Vice president of product planning Orth Hedrick think that the diesel model will arrive in three to four years time.
“The problem right now is that there are different emissions standards in Europe and the U.S., which means we would be faced with different after-treatments, and that makes it very expensive. But with EU6 in 2017-18 there would be the same standards in both Europe and the U.S., and that gives us a better chance,” Hedrick told Just Auto.
Kia with their extensive list of vehicles will gain even more with their sale of the diesel model. They are even planning to venture into the green segment with a Soul EV.
Expected the numbers of diesel models to rise since the sales of diesel powered cars are now on a rise.
By Anita Yeung
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
There’s something “electric” about Kia Motors’ all-new Kia Soul vehicle for 2015.
The original Kia Soul debuted in 2008, and since then, the Kia hamster characters have been the faces of the car line’s flashy television ads. Each TV ad in the past has utilized a catchy tune from a popular artist, including Lady Gaga‘s ‘Applause,’ LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ and Calvin Harris‘ ‘Colours.’
So which song did Kia opt to go with for their newest model in the Kia Soul line?
For Kia’s latest commercial featuring the new 2015 Kia Soul EV, the company chose to go with Maroon 5‘s ‘Animals’ for the background music. The ad features the tagline “Fully charged,” a reference to the vehicle’s all-electric nature. We see the Kia hamsters experimenting turning an ordinary Kia Soul into a sexy-looking, electric-powered vehicle. When a mini-hamster accidentally finds her way into the crosshairs of the electric lasers, the mini-hamster is turned into a full-figured hamster babe. The scientists, amazed by their new discovery, go to a pet store to adopt several more hamsters, and a full-on dance party ensues with the help of some new female companions.
‘Animals’ is the latest single of Maroon 5′s ‘V’ album, which is set to be released on Aug. 29, 2014.
Author: Thomas Chau
Monday, August 25, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Published: August 18, 2014 12:00 PM
Software fix will keep Santa Fe’s control screen aglow all winter
An old tall tale goes that it got so cold last winter, our words froze in midair, and we had to heat them in a skillet to hear what we were talking about. That’s how it felt in our Hyundai Santa Fe last winter. On really frigid mornings with single-digit temperatures, the center-dash infotainment screen wouldn’t wake up. That’s the touch screen that manages the audio, phone, navigation, and rear-camera image, but not, thankfully, the seat and steering-wheel heaters. This was unusual, inconvenient, and especially aggravating, since we’d just decided to name the Santa Fe our Top Pick among midsized SUVs. When contacted, Hyundai told us that it knew about it and that a free fix would soon be coming. Just in time for the dog days of August, we’ve learned that Hyundai has developed a software update that will keep the screen alive when the mercury takes a nosedive. It’s described in a technical service bulletin (TSB no. 14-01-031) now in dealers’ hands.
That TSB mentions that the cold-weather screen-freeze problem also afflicts some versions of the 2015 Elantra and Tucson. If you own any of those, it might be a good idea to check with your local dealership and maybe book an appointment, before you have to break out the skillet.
Gary Rome Kia technician Jonathan Rivera does ice bucket challenge for the ALS foundation. For donations please visit www.alsa.org/donate.
www.GaryRomeKia.com or 866-688-4279
www.GaryRomeKia.com or 866-688-4279