Kia Earns Top Spot in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study for Second Year in a Row

Miami Lakes JD Power Initial Quality Kia

The results of the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) have been released, and Kia Motors did better than any other brand for the second year in a row. In fact, it turns out, many 2017 model year vehicles did great this year.

Every year, J.D. Power and Associates conduct various studies, and the Initial Quality Study focuses on vehicle quality reported by drivers after 90 days of ownership. Surveys are sent out between February and May each year, and this year (2017) more than 77,000 responses were collected from owners and lessees of 2017 model year vehicles. To gain the top spot in the IQS, an auto brand has to have the least amount of problems and hiccups during those 90 days. Kia Motors only had 72 problems for every 100 vehicles.

Kia Motors didn’t just earn the top spot, but also several Kia models earned many model-level rewards. These include the Kia Cadenza in the large sedan segment; the Kia Forte in the compact car category; the new Kia Niro in the small SUV segment; the Kia Sorento in the midsize SUV segment; and the hip Kia Soul in the small multi-purpose vehicle segment.

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2017 Kia Soul Named Best Budget Vehicle by Two Publications

Miami Lakes Kia Soul Named Best

Kia keeps making rounds around success lane, and there is no stopping them in sight. The Kia Soul, a favorite vehicle of college kids, was just named the best budget vehicle in 2017 by Parents magazine and Edmunds. Not a surprise, really. Starting at only $16,100 – it’s one of the better budget vehicles out there, and the price isn’t the only thing to talk about.

The 2017 Kia Soul was selected for its value, performance, safety, and family-friendly features. This can be attested to its (1) standard 130-horsepower 1.6-liter I4 engine; (2) UVO eServices, which is  Kia’s infotainment package; and (3) its many advanced safety features.

This will be the tenth year that Parents magazine and Edmunds have partnered up together to share the Best Budget award, amongst other rewards, and to provide a reliable source for families looking to purchase cars for their new drivers.

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UVO eServices and Features Available on All Kia Vehicles

 

Miami Lakes Kia Technology UVO eServices

Although Kia may be in connection with Hyundai, the auto brand actually has its own infotainment system offered on its vehicles. Ever hear of UVO eServices? Like many infotainment systems, it’s more than a basic car radio. It’s advanced car technology that helps to change the way people think about cars.

What is UVO eServices?

UVO eServices is a subscription based infotainment system found in modern Kia vehicles (model-year 2011 and up). Using voice-recognition technology, this system can help drivers do a lot without ever needing to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road. Plus, it comes with its own smartphone app that further enhances the driver experience when subscribed to UVO. Possibly the best part – Kia vehicle owners don’t need to choose between multiple versions of UVO to install. Every system is basically the same, with the main differences being the size of the touchscreen and the features available via subscription, such as voice-command navigation, SiriusXM Traffic, HD Radio, and smartphone connectivity.

UVO eServices Features

When looking at the features offered by UVO eServices, many wonder about the types of entertainment offered. Some of that comes down to the sound system offered in a Kia vehicle, but when it comes to UVO, there’s a lot there.

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2017 Kia Soul Listed on KBB Coolest Cars List

Miami Lakes 2017 Kia Soul KBB Coolest Car

We all knew the Kia Soul is one of the cool cars out there. It’s been around since 2009, and a lot of college kids end up in it at some point. It’s practical, it’s got a funky exterior, it’s fun to drive, and it’s very affordable. Now, its cool factor is official. Kelley Blue Book just named the Kia Soul on their list, “Coolest Car Under $18,000”.

We already knew the Kia Soul was pretty cool. It’s a great choice for Millennials to drive the Kia Soul, and it hasn’t dropped in popularity. Plus, it’s received 5-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), so parents know it’s safe. By the way, this isn’t the first time the Kia Soul made KBB’s list. It’s actually the sixth year in a row (2017), meaning it didn’t take long for Kia to get it right on the money, unlike some vehicles that may take several years to make it a worthwhile investment.

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The ABCs of Electric Vehicle Recharging

Miami Lakes Electric Vehicle Recharging

Jeez the auto market is being taken over by hybrids isn’t it? To think the first hybrids started to make headway into the industry about a decade ago, and to see how many are on the road today is pretty impressive. Today, auto names like Kia Motors are quickly adding hybrids, plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs), and electric vehicles (EVs) to their lineup, and one day, you may find yourself in one and in need of a charge.

Different Types of Charging

Due to innovative systems that recycle various types of energy, like regenerative braking, PHEVs and EVs both recharge their vehicle’s battery (or batteries) while on the road. However, this happens little-by-litte, whereas recharging can get a battery to 80% full in a couple of hours. While PHEVs can be powered by gas, electricity, or both, EVs are only powered by electricity. Thus, EV drivers can only refuel at a charging station, and that makes it’s important for a driver to know all about charging their vehicle, what’s the fastest method of recharging, what’s the most cost effective method of recharging, and what is the most practical?

Home Charging

The most practical and convenient way to recharge a PHEV or EV is by plugging into the wall or installing a 240-volt home charger. The latter is becoming pretty popular, and we discuss more on that below. Sure, there may be a little bump in the monthly electric bill, but it isn’t all that bad. According to FuelEconomy.gov and the current national average of electricity, the average cost of electricity for the Kia Soul EV to travel 25 miles is about $1.04 The national average for electricity, or about $4.16 to travel 100 miles? That’s not much.

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Pet Proofing Your Vehicle

Many of us hate leaving our furry friends behind when we have to hit the road and often times we like to take them with us for a ride in the car or to the dog park. However, just because we love ’em doesn’t mean we love the damage they can do to our car. Here’s a few tips on how to pet proof your vehicle.

Preliminaries

Before bringing your pet with you into a car, there’s a couple of things you should do to make traveling with pets easier.

Give your pet and the interior of your vehicle a good cleaning. Pets love getting dirty – why? Who knows? But if your animal or car is dirty, then dirt is either going to end up on your animal or in your car.

Train your pet with a designated space in the car, such as the backseat, so they’re not jumping all over the place while you’re driving because that’s a quick way to end up in an accident.

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Pros and Cons of Gas, Hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs

Miami Lakes Kia Alternative Fuel

The fuels we use to power automobiles today are starting to vary greatly. For the better part of the last century, all we had was gasoline and diesel. Although alternatively powered vehicles were being invented as early as 1828, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle didn’t come about until 1997. Today, the auto industry has pushed past that, and we’re seeing more plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) than ever before. Some companies are even researching and developing hydrogen fuel cells as a new source, but the practicality and popularity of that is a little ways down the road. Today, it all comes down to cars powered by gasoline, a hybrid, a PHEV, or an EV for getting where you need to go. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, though, and they’re worth taking into consideration the next time you’re in the market for an automobile.

Gasoline Vehicles

It was the first fuel source for vehicles we had, but it won’t be the last. We all know how they work. We fill up, we drive, we fill up again. So let’s get right down to it.

A lot of the advantages of gasoline powered vehicles are pretty out-dated with the new fuel sources we have now. They used to travel further than most vehicles, unless we’re talking about diesel-power, and the smaller the car the further it will go before it needs to be filled up. However, because gasoline vehicles are practical and conventional, when running on fumes, there’s bound to be a gas station around the corner unless we’re on the interstate, and even then, a place to fill up could be right off the next exit. Plus, when it comes to hauling a payload or towing, gasoline and diesel engines are really the best choice to make ‘cause they’ll definitely get the job done.

We know the disadvantages like the back of our hand. Gasoline vehicles are killing the environment – the Kia Sportage uses 14.3 barrels of petroleum every year! It also emits 397 grams per mile of greenhouse gas emissions. Gasoline prices are never the same, and the more oil we use, the higher the prices will be. Those of you driving around the Bush era know what we’re talking about – $4/gallon, what is this?! And there’s definitely no special perks like the federal tax credits you’ll find below. The main perk is they’re becoming cheaper to build with aluminum and other lighter resources going into auto body construction, so most gasoline-powered vehicles will save you more upfront than an alternative fuel-powered vehicle.

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2017 Kia Cadenza Received Top Safety Pick +

Miami Lakes 2017 Kia Cadenza IIHS

Wow, we’re not even in the middle of 2017 and the Kia Cadenza already grabbed an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus (TPS+) award for the midsize car class. IIHS, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, knows a safe car when they see it, and a TPS+ means the 2017 Kia Cadenza is top-of-the-line. With superior ratings in numerous crash tests, it seems Kia just isn’t making powerful cars like the 2018 Kia Stinger – they’re also making safe vehicles for everyone.

For the 2017 model year, Kia changed things up a bit for the Cadenza. So when the IIHS put it through its five crash tests, the top ratings the Cadenza received may have been unexpected. The five tests consist of the following for crash avoidance and mitigation: small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints. That first one is the hardest, and most vehicles have difficulty with it; it replicates what happens when the corner of a car hits a static object at 40 mph.

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Some Items to Bring for the Next Road Trip

Miami Lakes Kia Road Trip Gadgets

Summer is coming up, possibly the best time to take a family vacation or go on a road trip. When driving far away from home, it’s usually nice to get away and be free from the responsibilities left behind. Responsibility doesn’t disappear though; if on a road trip, as the driver, one should be prepared to not only keep occupants busy but also make sure the trip won’t have any speed bumps. Of course, that’s easier said than done, so we scoured the internet for helpful gadgets for making a road trip great.

Be Prepared

Let’s get some of the emergency situations out of the way. Although we’d like smooth sailing, or driving as it were, we can’t expect 100 percent clear skies.

Most automobiles today come with a driver information center, but if your ol’ clunker is a little dated, purchasing a vehicle diagnostic kit is a great idea for making sure your automobile is in shape, as well as preemptively taking care of potential maintenance issues. In the worst case scenario, say the car breaking down, having some LED road flares on hand will help other drivers see you and possibly avoid an accident.

This is priority, especially if you are camping. Speaking of camping, if someone in the group is/was a boy/girl scout, help them earn a merit badge by providing them with a SteriPen Traveler, a neat item that can recognize and kill bacteria and germs found in foreign water supplies.

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Kia Announces 2018 Kia Stonic EV

Miami Lakes Kia Stonic EV

Kia has been on a roll over the last year, constantly coming out with new models. It seems like every couple of months they’re rolling out the red carpet, and now more than ever, they’re bringing hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) to the stage. The Kia Optima and Kia Soul were one of the first to get a new powertrain, and then Kia Motors made the Kia Niro, a hybrid crossover. Now they have the Kia Stonic coming out, a new SUV, and have already announced an EV variation will soon debut as well.

As it currently stands, by the end of 2018 or so, Kia will be releasing three all-electric vehicles. Most recently, they announced the Kia Stonic EV. The original 2018 Kia Stonic SUV was only spied several weeks ago, so it’s a bit of a surprise that an EV model is already in the mix. We gotta say Kia is sounding pretty confident about their SUVs and crossovers if they’re postulating possible future electric models before their release. Like many automakers, Kia is focusing on their larger vehicles, but with so many to choose from, we have to dig a little to learn why.

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