Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Do You Think Only Expensive Cars Are Built Well? Well You Got It Wrong

A recent study done by J.D Power for the most reliable car brand for year 2016, has revealed that KIA has topped the rankings this year.

For the first time in 27 years, a non-luxury car brand has come on top in this criteria. Last year, Porsche was on top of the list. According to Reuters, this year, owners of non-premium cars have reported less problems compared to those of luxury cars.

                              kia cars

The top ten car brands which are on list of most reliable brands are Kia, Porsche, Hyundai, Toyota, BMW, Chevrolet, Buick, Lexus, Lincoln, and Nissan. Another interesting fact is that US car brands have earned better scores compared to rivals.

If you still think that Toyota is the leading reliable brand, then check out this new report from J.D Power. There was always a debate if KIA should build a sports car like the GT4 Stinger to compete against Toyota and Lexus, but it has already won it in the reliability grounds.

Monday, August 22, 2016

2017 Kia Cadenza first drive, moving up

Just what Kia wants to be when it grows up remains something of a mystery—but if it’s a purveyor of premium-feeling, stylish cars, the Cadenza goes a long way toward fulfilling that mission.
While this big sedan doesn’t bring much new to the table against rivals like the Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon, and Hyundai Azera, it delivers a thoroughly polished feel. There’s not an element of the latest Cadenza that reminds us that, just a decade ago, Kia was building cars best described as uncouth.
The new-for-2017 Cadenza builds on the look and feel of its predecessor, but it comes at the full-size sedan segment with a little more vigor. And it needs to, since the last Cadenza was a mere blip in the sales charts overshadowed by almost every rival. Don’t look for the Cadenza to suddenly become Kia’s best seller, but its refinement sets a new high bar for the brand and, with any luck, it will continue to trickle down to the mainstream Optima and Forte.

2017 Kia Cadenza
Fitting in
Kia doesn’t position the Cadenza as a volume model, meaning that even the entry-level Premium model, priced at roughly $33,000, is better equipped than, say, the Chevrolet Impala. Leather seats and 18-inch alloy wheels are standard, a reminder that Kia still delivers a lot of value for the money.
An option package on the Premium—the only optional extra on any Cadenza—adds navigation, a panoramic sunroof, 630 watts of Harman/Kardon audio, blind spot monitors, and rear cross traffic alerts. The Technology trim level (at about $40,000) adds to that adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, LED headlamps, and ventilated front seats. Topping the line is the decadent, roughly $45,000 SXL with upgraded leather, a power trunk lid, and a color head-up display that washes out with polarized sunglasses.
All models are priced about on par with the Buick LaCrosse and Toyota Avalon, though we give Kia credit for making automatic emergency braking a mandatory feature on the Technology and SXL grades.

But refinement is as crucial a selling point in the big sedan segment as value, and the Cadenza certainly delivers that, too. Nearly silent inside, it masks any hint of the outside world with sound deadening materials and laminated glass. That serenity extends to its ride quality, which is firm yet thoroughly devoid of sportiness. Its dashboard recalls Lexus of a decade ago, without ergonomic quirks thanks to logically grouped buttons and a simple infotainment system. Trendy design gestures are limited only to the odd but attractive quilted leather seating surfaces on the range-topping SXL.

Full Source

Kia Motors rolls out new Soul

Kia Motors, South Korea’s second-largest carmaker, on Aug. 22 unveiled the latest version of its popular compact crossover utility vehicle Soul. 

The new Soul is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission to offer improved mileage, the company said. 

The vehicle comes in two engine types, gasoline and diesel models. The gasoline model, powered with a 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection engine, has a 132 horsepower, maximum torque of 16.4 kilogram-meters and a combined fuel efficiency of 11.9 kilometers per liter. The diesel model, equipped with a 1.6-liter variable-geometry turbocharger engine, outputs 136 horsepower, maximum torque of 30.6 kg-m and a combined fuel efficiency of 15.2 kpl. 

Kia Motors unveils the new Soul in Seoul on Aug. 22.

It also provides enhanced functionality, including a rollover sensor system in the side curtain airbags, power windows and push-button ignition. 

The company added five new colors, including russet brown, wild orange, mysterious blue and two-tone colors that are a mix of russet brown and clear white and of mysterious blue and clear white. 

Kia Motors also unveiled the 2017 edition of its Soul electric vehicle. 

“The new Soul, boosted with style, safety and convenience, is the best choice for young consumers who put emphasis on style and practicality,” the company said in a statement. 


Friday, August 19, 2016

Kia's Latest Cadenza Brings Flair To A Shrinking Large Sedan Segment

Non-luxury large sedans used to be a staple of the U.S. auto market. Once ubiquitous on American highways across the land, the segment has been in decline over decades. Even so, large sedans still comprised 7.3% of the total light vehicle market ten years ago in 2006, selling over 1.2 million units. However, industry forecaster AutoPacific estimates that large sedans will make up a scant 2.3% of the light vehicle market this year, with just over 400,000 units moving off new car dealer lots. In five years, AutoPacific forecasts that large sedans will represent just 1.7% of the light vehicle market, with just over 280,000 units expected to find homes in 2021.

What is behind the decline of the quintessential large sedan? First, sedans in general are declining in popularity as the market continues to migrate to crossover SUVs. With more slippery aerodynamics and advanced powertrain technologies, today’s crossover SUVs offer fuel economy tantalizingly close to that of equivalent sedans. For example, a 2016 Toyota Camry achieves 28 mpg combined, compared to 26 mpg combined for a similarly priced Toyota RAV4. With crossover SUVs offering better visibility, easier ingress/egress, more utility, and a more youthful attitude, with little to no fuel economy penalty, it’s not hard to see why consumer preference is shifting from sedans.
Second, large sedans in particular attract an older customer. AutoPacific’s 2016 New Vehicle Satisfaction Study shows that the median age of today’s large sedan buyer is 61. This means that each year, more people who would be in the market for these traditional large sedans are retiring and buying vehicles less frequently, and some are simply getting out of the market because they have stopped driving altogether.

And so we come to the second generation Kia Cadenza, all new for the 2017 model year. Unveiled at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, it is positioned above the mid-sized Optima and below the K900 luxury sedan. It features attractive and distinctive styling and lots of premium features and finishes for the money. I drove the new Cadenza this week at the national media launch for the car in Middleburg, Virginia, completely relaxed as the big cruiser wafted effortlessly down the state’s scenic highways. I was impressed at the car’s overall refinement, as well as the car’s impressive interior materials and amenities that made it feel like a real luxury car. What other car at its price point offers an Alcantara (synthetic suede) headliner and rear package shelf? None come to mind.

Yet, given the large car segment’s decline and its appeal to older customers, what does Kia, which prides itself on being a dynamic and edgy brand, see in continuing to compete in this market space? From the perspective of Hyundai Motor Group (which oversees both the Hyundai and Kia brands), market realities of the large car segment are being addressed because the similarly sized Hyundai Azera is expected to be withdrawn from the U.S. market soon. Thus, between the Hyundai and Kia brands, only the new Cadenza will go after large sedan buyers in the U.S.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

2017 Kia Cadenza, even MORE luxury and refinement.

The second generation of the Kia Cadenza hits the US market, promising to offer better handling, more refinement and improved quality.

The new Cadenza is based on a new lighter chassis that’s more than 35 per cent stiffer than the one used by the outgoing model. This is not only improving the handling character of the new model but also helps in achieving a better score in the NVH department. 

Power comes from a revised version of the company’s 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine offering 290hp and 253lb ft of peak torque. Kia’s first FWD-based eight-speed automatic gearbox promises a more engaging driving experience as well. 

The new chassis is complimented by adaptive shock absorbers and what Kia calls a ‘Hydraulic Rebound Stopper’ that offers a smoother ride over harsh or broken surfaces. 18-inch alloy wheels are offered as standard with optional 19s also available, shod in 245/40 Michelin tires. 

Apart from the better quality the cockpit now features a Head Up Display, an updated version of the Surround View Monitor, a wireless phone charger, Kia’s latest UVO infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard and an optional 12-speaker 630-watt Harman/Kardon audio system. 

“The new Cadenza adds an extra dose of excitement to the large-car segment with its striking looks and premium refinements,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America. “The Cadenza’s cabin has been improved in early every way, but it’s underneath where the Cadenza truly shines with a stiffer and lighter chassis, eight-speed transmission and vastly improved driving dynamics.”

Lower trim models will come with the “Diamond Butterfly” front grille, known from other Kia models while higher trim ones will get the “Intaglio” grille with the vertically oriented blades. Kia has yet to announce US pricing for the new Cadenza. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kia to focus on localized products

Korean car maker Kia Motors has kick-started the process of developing products specifically built for the Indian market to compete with Maruti Suzuki, the biggest car maker.

The company, more than one-third of which is owned by India's second largest firm Hyundai, thus opened a research and development centre in Hyderabad that is already operational.

Kia, known globally for its compact cars, has begun talks with states for finalising a green field manufacturing plant in India. Government officials from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where Hyundai has its plant, have met Kia officials and offered land, according to sources.

The R&D centre in Hyderabad supports design and evaluation of automobiles with a focus on developing localised products, a note in Kia's latest annual report said. The India centre is one of six outside Korea. Kia, Korea's second largest company after Hyundai, has such R&D centres in the US, Europe, Japan and China. While a R&D centre specially for India may not be new, what makes Kia stand out is that it has not followed the product-first-R&D centre-later norm. For instance, Hyundai's R&D centre came up around a decade after the company set foot in India. French car maker Renault too adopted a similar pattern. Companies generally test the waters before committing investments when entering a new market.

Kia, however, has made a break from that pattern and aims to go after volumes that it hopes would come from products developed keeping in mind local taste and needs. This investment is despite sales slowing in the world's biggest auto market, China. Besides China, Kia is facing slowdown in Russia and other Asian markets. Last year, Kia witnessed worldwide retail sales of 2.91 million units, reporting a flat growth compared to a year ago, when it recorded sales of 2.90 million units.

Kia's retail entry into India, expected to happen before the turn of the decade, will most certainly impact Maruti Suzuki. Kia could look at the compact car segment, which forms around half the domestic market. As Hyundai has already declared its intentions of shifting focus to the premium customers with products like Creta and Elite i20, the void in the cost-competitive segment (sub Rs 4.5 lakh) could be filled by Kia.

Globally, Hyundai and Kia, like Volkswagen and Skoda, and Renault and Nissan, share platforms to make projects cost-effective and generate profits faster. Kia has developed its own models based on shared platforms, which Hyundai has used for making the i10, i20, Elantra, Accent and Tucson. The affordable small car segment has shown a resurgence recently with robust demand seen for the Renault Kwid, Tata Tiago and Datsun redi-Go. Maruti too has shifted focus from its bread-and-butter Alto-Wagon R segment to the premium segment with products like Baleno, Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ciaz. This has allowed rivals to eat into its market share.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Kia Rondo 2016 Platinum Review

“Help me Rondo yeah”… I’ve always wanted to weave a Beach Boys lyric into a vehicular review and the 2017 Kia Rondo Platinum has been the best – if somewhat lame – opportunity for me to do so.
The Kia Rondo sits in an automotive no man’s land. It’s not a people mover and it’s not an SUV, but if you need to transport some vertically challenged singing troubadours (See what I did there?) around town, the three-row Rondo might just be the most space-efficient way to get the job done.
Like the Beach Boys’ last chart topper, it’s been a while between drinks for us at CarAdvice in regard to the Rondo. Just over 12 months in fact, since we last stepped into one (in Platinum guise that time too) and gave it a solid 7.5 overall.
The Kia Rondo might not have made Matt Campbell’s recent list of cars Australians should be buying more of but don’t, but it remains a sensible, compact people-moving option for family buyers on a budget. You might get trampled in the rush toward the Sportage or Sorento in your Kia dealership, but that doesn’t mean the smart money isn’t being spent just outside the wildly popular SUV segments.
While the Rondo doesn’t have many competitors and while it isn’t quite sure exactly what it is, there’s little doubt it’s a good-looking compact people mover. Have you looked at a BMW 2-Series Active Tourer recently? You can’t unsee what you’ve already seen. The Rondo, on the other hand, is nicely proportioned, well executed and devoid of any styling ugliness.