When the electric vehicle variation of the Kia Niro debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there was a lot of interesting information to learn. Kia Motors just keeps pushing the envelope when it comes to their alternative fuel vehicle lineup, continuously expanding it whenever they have a winner on their hands. We can’t complain – honestly, it feels good to go green, and if we can drive a fancy car and help the environment, then why not? During the initial debut, the Kia Niro EV was just a concept, and much of the interior was like a cardboard cut-out. Recently, a more fine-tuned prototype of the Kia Niro EV was revealed in Busan, South Korea, and a savvy commentator, Jose Guerrero, took the chance to make a video and upload it for everyone to enjoy. Thanks, Jose!
Recap of the Powertrain Details
During the initial debut of the Kia Niro EV concept, the powerain details were pretty hush-hush at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas. Kia called it a “next-generation electric powertrain [with] new production technologies earmarked for near-future EVs from Kia [with a 64 kWh battery] paired to a powerful 150-kilowatt ([200-horsepower]) electric motor.” With an entirely new 64-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a rated 238 miles of range, that’s not too bad for an all-electric vehicle. That’s the samerange for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV.
So the Kia Niro EV concept is said to share the longest-range of an affordable electric car with the Chevy Bolt EV. The concept had some style changes, doing away with the tiger-nose grille, and replacing it with a pair of very thin lamps and a smooth, front bumper with a recharging outlet on the driver’s side of the front fascia. Kia said the interior would have a “”pure, minimalist, and digital [approach to provide] an innate sense of space and calm [while inside the car].”
If the auto industry was a game of billiards, and the balls were safety features, Kia Motors would win, because they’ve been racking up awards from various automotive safety organizations for the past few months. In May 2018,eight models from Kia Motors were awarded a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Later in May, two organizations named several Kia vehicles for their safety on their safe car lists, and again in June, there were two more reports of Kia vehicles being named for their safety. Now we’re in July, and to keep the pattern going, we’ve got one more Kia models with some notable safety features for the 2018 model year.
The eight Kia models that got in the good graces of the IIHS were the 2019 Kia Sorento SUV, 2018 Kia Forte sedan, 2018 Kia Optima sedan, and 2018 Soul compact car for a Top Safety Pick+ rating. The other four vehicles, the 2018 Kia Cadenza sedan, 2018 Kia Sedona minivan, 2018 Kia Sorento SUV, and 2018 Kia Sportage crossover all received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. It wasn’t the first time either – Kia models have been winning safety awards since 2016.
First it was theDodge Charger Pursuit made for Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) looking to get a one up on criminals that think they can outrun the boys in blue. Then came the2018 Dodge Durango Pursuit immediately followed by the 2019 Dodge Durango Pursuit. It was only a matter of time before the POs decided to look at other automakers and the fast vehicles they’re producing. Assuming no one wants to beat up a Chevy Corvette, the best choice for a sports car to get a badge is the one and only Kia Stinger.
There is no official name for the fleet of Kia Stinger police cruisers, but when it comes to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in Australia, they surely won’t have any trouble catching up with the bad guys. Although the Kia Stinger GT trims are more powerful, to start, the Queensland Police will be putting 50 units of the 365hp 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Stinger into service this year alone. Seems police forces around the world are starting to discover the potential of Kia Motors.
There’s no word yet on what kind of modifications one would see on a Kia Stinger police cruiser. It could take some cues from theWest Coast Customs modified 2018 Kia Stinger for a power boost and mods for better handling in tough road conditions. It would be wise to grab a few ideas from the current Pursuit vehicles in America, such as special door panels made from high-grade kevlar and able to withstand gunfire from a 44 Magnum and lower, performance-tuned suspension, larger brake rotors, high-performance tires, and the QPS may want to look into a couple of safety add-ons. The 2018 Kia Stinger V6 trims may come with a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, and a front and rear park assist system, but for the Dodge police cruisers, these were upgraded to also warn the police officer if someone is approaching the vehicle and then engages safety protocols for maximum security.
For the past few years, Kia Motors has increasingly met and exceeded consumers expectations. Ever since their“The Curve Ahead” promo for theKia Stinger, the automaker has been doubling up on their improvements to push the brand forward. Now, for the fourth consecutive year, Kia Motors is the highest ranked non-luxury brand according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) results. Along with Genesis, Kia Motors is leading the brand, and four Kia models ranked highest in their respective segments.
J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study
Every year, J.D. Power and Associates conduct the Initial Quality Study, a survey-based study that focuses on vehicle quality reported by drivers after 90 days of ownership. The study is conducted each year, with the survey period lasting from February to May, and the 2018 IQS is based on responses from 75,712 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles. Survey participants answer 233-questions organized into eight vehicle categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement.
Let’s talk about style. The 2018 Kia Stinger is one sexy-looking machine, mechanophilia’s rejoice! Not only is the Kia Stinger immediately recognizable, but it can attract car enthusiasts and sports car lovers within a 50-foot radius (this actually happened, no joke). But there is something quite obvious about the Kia Stinger that we’d like to mention. The 2018 Kia Stinger is a sports car – not an SUV, not a crossover, not a truck. Thank the Automotive Gods we don’t have to deal with another SUV or crossover. Sure,the auto market is shifting towards crossovers, but we don’t all want a big car. So it’s nice to see a change by a well-known and loved automotive brand, Kia Motors.
And do you know why the 2018 Kia Stinger won the “10 Best Interiors Trophy from WardsAuto”? It could be because every trim of the Kia Stinger features leather upholstery; or because the Stinger, yet elegant, roomy, and athletic, takes some cues from the popular Kia Optima for a roomy and comfortable cabin; or because the interior is designed intuitively, giving drivers a sense of a second skin or an extension of themselves. Now that is something you won’t hear about most automobiles.
TheKia Optima has been one of the major bread winners for Kia Motors for years now, and because of that, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Currently in its fourth generation and having produced ahybrid andplug-in hybrid variant, the Kia Optima enters its 2019 model year with updates to give its competitors a run for their money. We can already see Kia Motors winning many awards in 2019 with the likes of the Kia Optima in tow. Check out these highlights for a peek at what’s to come with the 2019 Kia Optima.
The powertrain for the 2019 Kia Optima is unchanged – the 2.4-liter DOHC, turbocharged 1.6-liter DOHC, and turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC engines are all still there for their respective trims. With an affordable price range, many consumers tend to lean towards the high-end 2018 Kia Optima SX for the turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC engine for a boost of 245 horsepower and a fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Moreover, the Optima SX offers several driving modes that can enhance their driving experience.
Offering Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart, drivers can either: (1) set the driving mode to Comfort, or what can be described as granny driving, (2) go the fuel efficient route with Eco, (3) turn on Sport for an amazing driving experience with great control and handling, or (4) turn on Smart, the setting that will adapt to the driver’s style. It’s nice to have choices, isn’t it? And the 2019 model comes with the added “Comfort” and “Smart” driving modes, whereas the 2018 model only has “Normal, Eco, and Sport”.
Kia Motors is super popular as of late. Many organizations and news sources, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and U.S. News & World Report, are heralding many Kia vehicles. Two of Kia Motors’ newest vehicles, the Kia Stinger and the Kia Niro were both named on a list by U.S. News & Report, along with the Kia Optima Hybrid. Both, the Kia Optima Hybrid and the Niro hybrid crossover were also named on the same list. Can you guess what list? It has to do with their fuel type.
U.S. News List of Best Hybrids
Yes, the 2018 Kia Niro and 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid have both been named on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best hybrids on the auto market today. Cheers! If thinking about making the switch to a more eco-friendly way of driving, then one of these hybrids is the ticket to get going. Looking for the flexibility of a crossover, or is the handling and a control of a sedan a better fit? It all comes down to lifestyle.
We can understand why both of these Kia Motors vehicles made the list. To start, the Kia Niro is the world’s first hybrid crossover. Powered by a combination of two different power sources working together, an internal combustion, or a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and generator attached to an electric motor. Together, the hybrid system produces 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, U.S. News & World Report points out the substantial fuel economy not normally found on larger vehicles.
“It’s EPA rated to earn up to 52 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. If you want to get that kind of mileage, however, you’ll want to opt for the base model … Also making the Niro stand out from competitors in the SUV hybrid world, was the model’s offering of a six-speed automatic transmission, one of only a few hybrids that feature it” – John Vincent, writer of U.S. News & World Report.
When we saidKia Motors is Quickly Becoming the Safest Car Brand in America, we weren’t kidding. Back then, Kia Motors had just been ranked as one of 2018’s “Most Trusted Automotive Brands” by AMCI Global, a reliable name in the industry, and their Cadenza mid-size car was named by U.S. News & World Report on their list for “The Safest Cars of 2018”. With studies continuing to conclude into the summer as we hit the middle of the year, more vehicles are being analyzed for technology, affordability, style, and safety. Most recently, two names we’ve been hearing a lot, the U.S. News & World Report and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have both named two more Kia vehicles for their safety features and security.
2018 Kia Niro Hybrid and the IIHS
Well, this is a surprise, though we’re not actually surprised. With all the acknowledgements Kia Motors has been winning, and with their award-winning lineup of vehicles of all sizes and fuel types, the Kia Niro hybrid crossover is not only the first hybrid crossover in the world but also one of the vehicles that is putting Kia Motors in top honors with big names like J.D. Power and Associates. We also know that the Kia Niro was recently named as a“Great First Time Alternative Fuel Vehicle” by U.S. News & World Report.
Now, the Kia Niro has just earned its first-ever Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. Only in its second model year, this is quite the achievement, much of which can be attested to its high-strength structure and optional add-ons for visibility and safety. Remember, for a vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must receive good ratings in all six crashworthiness tests conducted by the IIHS – driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraints, and seats. They must also receive an advanced or superior rating in the crash avoidance and mitigation category, and good rated headlights.
About a year ago, exactly June 2017, the 2017 Kia Soul was selected by Edmunds and Parents magazine to be their “Best Budget Vehicle”. A lot of this can be attested to three things – value, performance, and safety.
One, the value of the Kia Soul, currently at a starting MSRP of $16,200* for the 2018 Kia Soul base trim.
Two, its performance; yeah, a 1.6-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine may not win any track records, but the combined fuel economy of 27 mpg makes the 2018 Kia Soul hatchback a very fuel efficient vehicle.
And three, the Kia Soul is known for its technology for safety and family-friendly features. If the available UVO eServices infotainment system on a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities doesn’t impress, then maybe the available advanced safety features will. These include autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, smart cruise control, a blind-spot detection system, and a rear cross-traffic alert.
That was the tenth year that Parents magazine and Edmunds have partnered up together to share the Best Budget award. Not everyone has heard of either unless you’re a parent or work in the auto industry. So working together not only raises awareness of these two publications, but also helps to provide a reliable source for families looking to purchase cars for their new drivers.
“The Kia Soul offers more than just unique styling at a reasonable price … It’s also a practical hatchback that packs plenty of useful features into a surprisingly spacious cabin.” – Ed Hellwig, Edmunds senior editor.
Kia Motors has been doing exceptionally well as of late. With sale numbers on the rise and many vehicles being awarded every week, the auto industry may soon have a new set of standards to meet. Recently,Kia Motors was named as the most highly safety rated brand by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with eight models in total receiving either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + rating. A new mild-hybrid powertrain system is going to be released later into 2018 for the 2018 Kia Sportage, known asEcoDynamics. And now, the Kia Rio has won two awards from Auto Trader during the New Car Awards 2018.
Auto Trader New Car Awards and Kia Rio
During the Auto Trader New Car Awards, a survey of more than 43,000 car owners, all of which help owners rate their car in 16 key areas, collect answers and feedback that is then analyzed to make up a score. The score would tell Auto Trader which model car buyers had found most satisfying to own. For these awards, the new Kia Rio came out on top for a total of two awards.
With a starting MSRP of $13,900* and a price range that barely scratches past $20k, the 2018 Kia Rio is as affordable as it is fun, available with UVO eServices on a 7-inch touchscreen and six speaker sound system. Moreover, for the “Best Value New Car”, the Kia Rio was commended for its low running costs and equipment available at affordable prices. The editors themselves commented on why the Kia Rio received the award.
“It’s important to stress that ‘value’ doesn’t mean ‘cheap’, and there are plenty of similar cars out there that cost less than the Rio. What the Rio gives you, though, is a vast amount of ability for a very affordable outlay, and most of the time, that’s far more appealing to buyers than a bargain-basement price tag. It’s good to drive, practical, nice inside, well equipped and comes with a fantastic warranty to make owning it even better value.” – Ivan Aistrop, Auto Trader’s Road Test Editor.