May 14th, 2013
Step aside Optima, there’s a new flagship in town. Kia has leveled-up their American fleet with the Cadenza. Italian for cadence, it launched as the K7 in South Korea in 2009. For now, it only has one trim level and is priced around $36,000. The passenger space is the largest of the class and comes loaded with goodies. UVO, advanced navigation, and Bluetooth will keep you connected and they are controlled by an eight-inch touch screen. That screen also displays a rearview camera and the front seats are powered and heated.
Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection System, and Kia’s first-ever Lane Departure Warning System will help keep you safe. The Cadenza is powered by a 3.3L V6 and offers 293 HP to the sports-tuned, automatic, six-speed transmission. It will join the Forte and the Sorento as a 2014 model year.
The Optima Turbo scored points in California as the Pirelli World Challenge ends round three. Mark Wilkins drove the number 38 car to another top-five finish. The number 36 Optima had to battle into seventh place as a last-minute turbo repair forced driver Nic Johnnson to start at the back of the field. Both drivers are in the top five for points, with Wilkins sitting fourth. As a team, Kia is in third. You can watch the race on Sunday, May 5 at 2:00 p.m. EST on the NBC Sports Network. If you want to watch it online, the replay is available on the PWC site. The Pirelli World Challenge heads to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on May 17-19. You can watch that live on their website as it happens.
April 5th, 2013
The most popular Kia has gotten a few upgrades for its 2014 model year. The Optima‘s aerodynamics have been improved, the exterior lighting has been redesigned and the mirrors are now heated. On the inside, push-to-start and a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster come standard. There are many optional upgrades, including 8-inch navigation and telematics screen, UVO, and a blind Spot Detection system. There are four different trim levels: LX, EX, SX and SX-Limited. The SX-Limited is set to appeal to the luxury market, as it includes final touches like Nappa leather seats and chrome accents.
There will be two engine options to power the 2014 Optima, and both will be Theta II. The SX-Limited will employ a 2.0L GDI turbo engine, while the other trim levels will use a 2.4L GDI four-cylinder.
Pricing and MPG estimates will be available near the time the Optima hits the lots, sometime this fall.
Also making a debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show is the 2014 Soul. The 2014 version has gotten a touch wider and longer (to increase stability) and sees an increase in cargo room. The exterior has been refreshed, giving the auto an edgier look. Its uniqueness made it popular in 2009 and, while Kia wanted to retain the essence of the original, they know it has to constantly evolve. The interior has been reimagined to better represent its role as one of Kia’s symbols. The hard plastic has been replaced with softer materials, the controls and displays have been improved, and road noise has been dramatically reduced.
The 2014 Soul will also hit the lots this fall and further information will be available beforehand.
March 25th, 2013
Edmunds.com recently selected 10 cars that offer the most comfort and safety for pets at a great price and the Soul made that list. Edmunds credited the rear head room and passenger curtain airbags as some of the key deciding factors. Edmunds also credited the appealing price tag for swaying their votes.
Speaking of prices, the Soul was named one of the “Best Car Deals Under $15,000” by Reader’s Digest. There were five different categories, and the Soul won the spot for “the best car for high-tech drivers “ Like every Kia, the Soul comes loaded inside and out including “Bluetooth hands free connectivity and USB connections for audio.” They also liked the Eco package for its focus on efficiency.
There’s another Optima Hybrid coming, and the 2013 version is going to be lighter, stronger, and faster than the 2012 version. The battery and electric motor have been upgraded, with the electric motor adding 47HP to the 152HP combustion engine. Though its 199 total HP is less than the 206HP of the 2012, the reduced weight of the 2013 will give it a better power-to-weight ratio.