Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kia, Hyundai Both Named Most Economical Cars Of 2012 By Forbes, Kelly Blue Book

Initial cost is not the only thing that makes a car an economical purchase.  It's actually the long-term investment aspect that plays the biggest role.  A cheaper vehicle up-front may, in actuality, cost more to maintain over its lifespan.

“Car shoppers should take the time to compare vehicles on their consideration lists to fully understand the financial implications involved with cost of ownership,” says Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book.  “While a vehicle might be less expensive up front, the cost of fuel for that model, insurance and other expenditures could make it the less appealing choice for their wallet in the long run.”

Forbes recommends doing thorough research before making a purchase.  They consulted Kelley Blue Book, which recently announced its inaugural Total Cost of Ownership Awards.  The website focuses on these variables of cost, among others:

1) Depreciation Value: How will the car hold up over time? bases its predictions on historical data (how the model has performed in the past) and economic factors.
2) Fuel Economy: Gas is expected to rise going into the summer months.  Significant amounts of money can be saved by buying a more fuel efficient vehicle; estimates put savings due to fuel costs at close to $900/year.  That's close to $4500 of savings over the standard 5-yr span.
3) Auto Insurance: Insurance is mostly based on the driver's past experience, age, credit rating, address, etc., but it is also based on the model of the car.  Luxury brands and sports cars tend to have higher insurance costs to start, while family minivans and SUVs will have a lower starting insurance cost.

According to, the Best Brand for 2012 in their Total Cost of Ownership Awards is none other than Kia.  Kia is sweeping the Unites States car scene off its feet with its stellar fuel economy and resale value.  The Kia Soul heads KBB's Compact Car category because "its lowest-in-category fair purchase price matched with outstanding fuel and insurance cost figures combined to give it nearly a $1,300 advantage over the Hyundai Elantra."

In the Mid-Sized car category Kia and its sister company Hyundai switched places; the Hyundai Sonata beat out Kia's Optima to win the top spot.  Similarly, the Hyundai Santa Fe outpaced the Kia Sorento in the Crossover category "based on its combination of lowest fair purchase price and lowest long-term depreciation coupled with lower maintenance and insurance costs."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best In Show: Kia Optima

2012 has been a very good year already for the North Korean automaker Kia.  Kia cars have been garnering awards and accolades for their newest models left and right.  The latest of these honors is the Kia Optima's title of "2012 Car of the Year" by Canada's Motoring TV, a weekly national half hour magazine style television program.  The Optima also scored Motoring TV's "Best New Family Car" and the Kia Rio won "Best Small Car Under $21,000" category.  Kia's win marks the first time in the 22-year history of giving out these distinctions that Motoring TV has awarded the same company "Car of the Year" back-to-back.  The Kia Sportage earned the designation last year.

"The Kia Optima can be all things to all potential customers," said Brad Diamond of Motoring TV. "You have the regular sedan, the go faster model with its 274 turbo charged horsepower, and hybrid for those looking to do their bit for the planet."

"The 2012 Optima is a world-class vehicle encompassing a dynamic modern design, a driver-oriented award-winning interior, technology and top safety elements that have all contributed to make it a "Car of the Year" winner," said William Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kia Canada Inc. "Having some of the top automotive journalists in Canada from Motoring TV validate the Optima and Rio further supports our flourishing brand value."

A big reason for the win was the Optima's new five-star safety rating under the recently revamped crash safety testing system conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA).  Only 12 other car models have earned the NHSTA five-star rating.  The new system includes tougher crash tests, and, for the first time, provides consumers with a single overall safety score per vehicle. Standard safety features on the Optima include: 

  • Six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain)
  • Anti-whiplash front active headrests
  • Side-impact door beams
  • Height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners
  • Three-point seatbelts for all seating positions
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)
  • Four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Vehicle Stability Management system (VSM),
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Hill Assist Control (HAC)

Available in several trim variations - LX, EX, SX and Hybrid - the Optima is sure to offer a vehicle that suits your needs.  Each variation maintains impressive mileage; the 2012 Kia Optima delivers EPA fuel economy ratings of up to 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, among the highest in the class and on par with some smaller cars.  For maximum economy, the Optima Hybrid delivers 36 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.  The Optima combines the amazing fuel economy with an elegant design, everyday comfort, and an exciting array of technological features like  Bluetooth wireless technology with steering wheel-mounted controls, USB and auxiliary input jacks, and Sirius XM satellite radio capabilities.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

So You Think You Know Jack?

Is your child or pet a big fan of Gary Rome Auto Group?  Catch them on video reacting to a Gary Rome Auto Group commercial and one lucky winner could be the new star of the next Gary Rome Auto Group commercial!


Go to to submit your entry.

1. Contest Dates:
The “So You Think You Know Jack?” contest begins February 1, 2012, and ends March 31, 2012.

VIDEO SUBMISSION PERIOD: February 1, 2012 - March 31, 2012
SELECTION OF BEST VIDEOS: April 1, 2012 - April 13, 2012
NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: April 16, 2012 - April 20, 2012

2. Eligibility:
Submitting a video in this contest is open to persons who on the date of entry are legal residents of one
(1) of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, at least eighteen (18) years of age (or age of majority if greater than 18), and who are registered users of or Employees, officers, directors and their immediate family members of the contest
entities and each of their respective parents, affiliated and subsidiary companies, advertising and
promotion agencies, legal and financial advisors, and any and all other companies associated with this contest are not eligible to enter. For purposes of this contest, "immediate family members" means
parents, spouses, children, siblings, in-laws, grandmothers, or grandfathers.

3. Video Submission Requirements:
  • Running Time: Five (5) minute maximum, including any credits. If entry is longer than five (5) minutes, the entry may be disqualified in the Administrator’s sole discretion.
  • Language: English
  • Video: The video should feature your pet or your child's reaction to watching a Gary Rome Auto Group commercial.
  • Age: Any child recorded in the video must be ten (10) years of age or younger.

4. Judging to Determine the Potential Winners:
All eligible video submissions received during the video submission period will be watched and
judged.  The judges will score each eligible entrant’s video based on the following judging criteria,
each given equal weight:
  • Does the video feature either a pet and/or a child (under the age of ten (10))?
  • How original/creative/entertaining, to all age groups, is the video submission?
  • How favorable is the Video Submission to Gary Rome Auto Group?
  • For helpful examples, check out the following links:

Based on the above judging criteria, the winning videos will be chosen. 

5. Additional Terms:
All entrants of  the “So You Think You Know Jack?” contest must agree to the following terms and
conditions. DO NOT enter this contest if you do not agree with these terms and conditions. Your video submissions may be used for a Gary Rome Auto Group commercial but may not be copied, sold or distributed to other persons.
We reserve the rights to change the rules and prizes without any written notice.

6. Disclaimer of Warranties and Liabilities:
The undersigned (the participant or the legal guardian, if the former is less than 18 years of age) for and in consideration of the granting of permission to Gary Rome Auto Group, agrees to refrain from suing and discharges Gary Rome Auto Group and its officers, agents and employees from all liability arising out of the participation of the contestant in the “So You Think You Know Jack?” contest. The
undersigned agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Gary Rome Auto Group for any loss or damage that the contestant may incur due to the acts or the omissions of the contestant while participating in the aforementioned event. The undersigned having read and understood agrees to comply with the rules and the safety provisions established for the contest.

7. Consent of Release:
By submitting your video you give Gary Rome Auto Group the rights to use your video in any/or all
promotional spots. As a guardian, you will be required to fill out a consent form for any contestant under the age of eighteen (18). Proof of guardianship will be required.

8. Who Won:
The winning entrants will be notified on or by April 20, 2012.
Grand prize: The lucky winner will be featured in an upcoming Gary Rome Auto Group commercial
& receive a choice of a $250 American Express gift card or a $250 Dave's Soda & Pet City gift card.
Transportation to the filming studio, in West Springfield, MA, is the responsibility of the winner.
Every valid submission will receive a stuffed Jack doll.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kudos To Kia

Kia Motors has continued its rise to brand stardom in recent months, racking up awards and accolades for various achievements. Design, safety, eco-friendly -- Kia has it all.

In November, the Kia Picanto won the International Forum (iF) Design award. The three-door Picanto, only available in Europe, won the award for its "pure design quality, workmanship, innovation and eco-friendliness." The Picanto boasts a sporty exterior, Bluetooth voice activation, and other nifty features, as well as a low CO2 emissions rate of 95 g/km. Along with its 7-year/100,000 mile warranty, and low price, it's no wonder the Kia Picanto won the fourth Kia iF Design Award in three years.

Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer said: "Receiving the iF product design award for the new Kia Picanto is a great success for our design team and it is welcome recognition of our brand's design-oriented strategy."

A month later, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named their Top Safety Picks for 2012. A record 115 models all made the cut for various vehicle segments. The IIHS rating tests include:

• 40 mph frontal offset crash tests
• 31 mph side-impact tests
• A roof test requiring the vehicle to withstand a force of four times the vehicle's weight before reaching 5 inches of crush. (The IIHS roof test is more severe than the government's, though a tougher federal rule takes effect for 2013 models.)
• A 20 mph rear crash that also tests the head restraint protection

The Kia Soul and Forte sedan both won Top Safety Pick awards for the small-car classification. The Optima won for midsize moderately priced cars, the Sportage for small SUVs, and the Sorento for midsize SUVs. came out with their first ever Cars of the Year Awards for 2011. Who did they choose for Best Hatchback? The Kia Rio SX! In their words the Rio is "fantastically roomy, agile on the road, zippy and low priced. Honestly, what more could any driver want?" We couldn't put it better ourselves. The Rio also gets great gas mileage at 30 mpg-city/40 mpg-highway.

Two weeks ago Kia scooped the What Car? Ultra Low Carbon Award for its environmentally efficient range of cars, in particular the Rio and Pecanto models. The Rio, with CO2 emissions as low as 85 g/km, making it the cleanest non-electric car in the world. What Car? Magazine honored the Picanto last summer at their Green Awards ceremony.

Paul Philpott, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, received the Ultra Low Carbon Award saying, ”Kia has been striving over recent years not only to deliver exciting, attractive, high-quality cars - but also to deliver real benefits to customers in the form of cleaner technologies that don’t carry a price premium. We are delighted that What Car? – one of Europe’s leading consumer magazines – has recognized our efforts.”

To learn more about buying your own amazing Kia contact Gary Rome Auto Group today!