2017 Kia Niro PHEV Debut

Miami Lakes Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid PHEVKia has been kicking some auto industry butt hasn’t it? When they unleashed the Kia Stinger, we were all pretty impressed. Then came the Niro, a hybrid crossover, and we were happy to see another green vehicle. Now they’ve unveiled a Kia Niro PHEV, and we couldn’t be more stoked about its debut.

When turning a hybrid vehicle into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), two of the biggest changes is how you charge the battery and the size of the battery itself. In terms of the Kia Niro PHEV, the vehicle gets a bigger 8.9 kWh battery. The battery will be paired with its standard 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection engine, and due to a larger battery, its electric-only driving range is currently said to lie somewhere between 25-34 miles on a single charge in tandem with regenerative braking.

PHEVs tend to have two or three charging ports, with the third usually set up to charge a majority of the battery in half an hour. There is no word on the set up the Kia Niro PHEV will have yet, but rest assured it will have the usual Level 1 (120v) charging port for overnight charging and a Level 2 (240v) charging port for quicker (about 3 hours is the standard) charging at public stations. Although not a lot of news on the PHEV yet, there is one surprise Kia gave us that might interest crossover drivers that use it to carry equipment.

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Will a Future Kia Niro PHEV Take its Cues From the New Optima PHEV?

Miami Lakes 2017 Kia Optima Phev Kia Niro

Crossovers and types of alternative fuel are the future of the automarket. CUVs not only offer safety and capability, but today they also offer convenience, entertainment, and fuel efficiency. With vehicles like the new 2018 Kia Niro, a hybrid that may also be available as a PHEV in the future, it seems that automakers are combining CUVs and alternative fuel technologies to create the perfect vehicle.

Kia has several hybrid and electric vehicles in the lineup – Kia Optima Hybrid, Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), Kia Soul EV, and the all-new Kia Niro. The specs aren’t definite for the Niro PHEV, however it was debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and many were given a glimpse of what it could be capable of. Let’s take a look at the Kia Optima PHEV and see if Kia really made a crossover PHEV that can match a sedan PHEV.

Kia Optima PHEV

The third variation of the Kia Optima, the Optima PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter GDI engine and an electric motor that is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery. This is known as a full parallel hybrid system, and its combined battery and engine power produce 202 horsepower with an amazing fuel economy – 38 miles in the city, 43 miles on the highway. That’s just the beginning of its capabilities though.’

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Consumer Reports Top Picks of 2017: Kia Optima, Chevy Cruze and Chevy Impala

Miami Lakes Consumer Reports 2017 Top Picks

Consumer Reports recently released its “10 Top Picks of 2017: Best Cars of the Year” list, and we’re happy to see some of our vehicles made the list. The 2017 Kia Optima, Chevrolet Cruze, and Chevrolet Impala all earned great ratings, and they are all available at Miami Lakes Automall.  

So, what makes a car worthy of the top 10 list? Consumer Reports judged vehicles in four categories (road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety) and then factored all scores into one overall score.

Here’s how three of our cars matched up.

2017 Kia Optima – Midsize Sedan

Anyone who owns a Kia finds themselves satisfied with a reliable and fun car to drive (they were the highest ranking brand in Customer Satisfaction in the 2016 J.D. Power Study). Rocking an 86 on the road test, the Kia Optima is a great sedan. It is the perfect blend of family car and  performance sedan that’s user-friendly and spacious.

Stylish and filled with value, it’s surprising to find features such as music streaming, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto compatibility, and others one would expect to only find in a luxury vehicle. Powered by an available 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine with 37 mpg on the highway, and protected by several safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, advanced smart cruise control, a surround view monitor, and a forward-collision warning system, it’s no surprise the Kia Optima made the list.

Starting MSRP at $22,200.

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Kia’s Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Miami Lakes Kia Hybrid Electric Niro Crossover

Kia has been coming out with a lot of new vehicles lately. This year we were treated to the debut of the Kia Stinger, and at SEMA, we got a glimpse of some autonomous vehicles Kia is developing. However, until autonomous vehicles become the norm, automakers need to focus on where the money is, and right now that’s crossovers, SUVs, and hybrids. No wonder Kia has four of their own, including the 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover.

SO, where did it all start? We’re thinking the Kia Optima Hybrid set the stage, a variation of the original Optima, followed by the Optima PHEV and Kia Soul EV – another variation of an original model. The 2017 Kia Niro is the most recent of the trend.

Kia Optima Hybrids

The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid and PHEV are both variations of the original Kia Optima. They may look the same and share similar characteristics, but the powertrain is much different. Starting with the Kia Optima Hybrid, a 2.0-liter I4 Full Parallel Hybrid System runs things with a 2.0-liter GDI engine with CVVT and a 38 kW motor powered by a 1.76 kWh lithium polymer battery. It may not seem like much, but the engine designs GDI and CVVT completely change the game.

“GDI” stands for gasoline direct injection, a type of fuel injection system that injects highly pressurized fuel directly into the cylinders of an engine during the combustion cycle. Due to its resulting optimization of horsepower and fuel economy, it’s starting to replace other injection systems. “CVVT”, or Continuously Variable Valve Timing, like “CVT” transmission, can alter the timing of air intake and exhaust valve lift events to suit all speeds and conditions, without losing fuel or power. Together, this leads to a total output of 193-horsepower for the Kia Optima Hybrid, with a fuel economy of 39/46 mpg city/highway.

Unlike the Kia Optima Hybrid, that relies on regenerative braking to charge the battery (a process of transferring the power used to top a vehicle (braking) into a generator for the electric motor), the Kia Optima PHEV is a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. This means drivers can rely on regenerative braking or just charge the battery via an electrical outlet/charging station. With that comes the ability to drive on electricity-alone with zero emissions.

The Kia Optima PHEV is powered by a 156-hp 2.0-liter GDI engine and a 50 kW electric motor, powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The combined fuel economy currently sits at 40 mpg, and that’s when it is in hybrid mode. If running on electricity-alone, drivers can cover over 30 miles before needing power from the engine. It has three ways to charge the battery: regenerative braking, a Level 1 (120v) charger that receives a full charge in 9 hours, and a Level 2 (240v) charger for use at public station to charge up in less than 3 hours.

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2017 Kia Sportage Named KBB Small SUV Best Buy

Miami Lakes Kelly Blue Book Fest Family Cars

Kelley Blue Book recently published a list of the 12 best family cars, and the 2017 Kia Sportage made the list. With a combination of comfort and quality interior with an affordable price, the Kia Sportage is an excellent compact SUV for families. Let’s take a look at it from the top.

Power

The standard engine for the 2017 Kia Sportage is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that generates up to 181 horsepower and has an average fuel economy of 30 mpg on the highway. Buyers that want a little more kick can opt for the Sportage SX Turbo that is equipped with a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, but the 2.4-liter is already pretty powerful. Available on a front-wheel drivetrain or all-wheel drive, both engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

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Kia Models Overseas

Miami Lakes Kia Models Overseas Pro'ceed

Sometimes it feels like the U.S. is getting short-changed on the types of vehicles in the world, right? Look at Mitsubishi, some of their best models are only available in Europe and Asia- here’s looking at you Outlander PHEV. Well, there’s another auto brand that doesn’t introduce some models in the U.S. — Kia Motors.

Like other manufacturers, Kia names  one car model differently depending on the location it is available. After narrowing it down, we found three vehicles that haven’t made it to the U.S. that are available in other countries around the world – the Kia Carens Rondo, the Kia Cee’d, and Kia Optima Sportswagon.

Kia Carens Rondo

Prepare for a bit of a pattern here, because all of these vehicles have some hatchback variation to it. Maybe hatchbacks never made a comeback in the states and that’s why midsize SUVs like the Kia Carens Rondo are still hiding elsewhere. Currently in its third generation, the Kia Carens Rondo is actually sold north of the U.S. in Canada. Earlier generations were sold in the states before, but were discontinued in 2011.

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New Kia Spotted – the 2018 Kia Stonic

Miami Lakes 2018 Kia Stonic Spotted

Kia Motors has certainly been buzzing with automobile concepts and debuts in the last year. The Kia GT, that ultimately became the Kia Stinger, was recently unleashed, and many of us want on the road asap. Now, Kia is adding a new crossover (CUV) to the mix, its very own response to competitors focusing on SUVs and CUVs.

Spied late last year was the 2018 Kia Stonic, a subcompact crossover. Kia Motors is currently testing its weather conditions in Northern Sweden, yikes. If that’s the case, one would think some kind of high-tech traction system will be in order – at the moment, all-wheel drive is slated as an optional drivetrain for various driving conditions.

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2017 Kia Niro Available at Miami Lakes Automall

New Kia Niro available at Miami Lakes Automall

Lately, Kia has maintained a strong presence in the auto industry with headlines about their great new vehicles coming out. While some new models like the Kia Stinger, Kia Optima Hybrid, and Optima PHEV won’t be available for a bit, the 2017 Kia Niro, a hybrid CUV, is finally available at dealerships. When they said they were changing the game, they weren’t kidding.

The 2017 Kia Niro first debuted, along two autonomous vehicles, at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas. Shortly after, Kia released the Kia NiroBot chatbot on Facebook so prospective buyers could talk to an A.I. chat program and learn about the upcoming crossover. In December 2016, the Kia Niro set a Guinness World Record, setting a new standard for hybrids across the country.

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Kia Safety Features Overview

Miami Lakes Auto Kia Safety Features

Kia Motors is all about safety and they have received many awards for their designs and implementations of safety features. Many vehicles have safety features, but some don’t go very far past the basics. Today, there’s a lot of automatic features that lessen the risks of an auto accident, and Kia Motors probably has the most of them.

Keeping an Eye on Things

These features are like giving the driver eyes on the back of their head, and all around the vehicle for that matter.

The rear parking assist system is a sonar system that detects obstacles when backing up. When an object is detected, it emits an audible warning. Another variation of this detects objects in the front and back, found on the K900, Soul EV, and Sportage.

For a complete view of the drivers surroundings, the touchscreen comes with a Surround View Monitor, or in other words, a bird’s eye view of the car that uses four cameras to show obstacles behind the car and in its immediate vicinity. Blind-Spot Detection also helps with this, alerting the driver to vehicles in their blind spot with a visual cue in their exterior mirror. There are more advanced versions of this in the next section.

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Kia Optima Lineup is More Fuel Efficient with Hybrid and PHEV Options

Miami Lakes Kia Optima Hybrid PHEV

The Kia Optima has been steadily earning awards over the years and in 2016, the Kia Optima was ranked highest in vehicle appeal among midsize cars by J.D. Power, so for the 2017 model year, Kia expanded its lineup. New for 2017 are two new Kia Optima models, the Kia Optima Hybrid and the Kia Optima PHEV.

When a vehicle gets a hybrid version things tend to change, though most of it takes place under the hood. So what exactly is powering the three 2017 Kia Optima models – the 2017 Kia Optima, 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid, and 2017 Kia Optima PHEV?

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