A Look at the New 2021 Kia Optima


Near the end of October 2019, renderings of the K5 in South Korea started making rounds on the internet. One of the reasons why the new K5 garnered interest was because K5 is the name given to the Kia Optima in the South Korean market. Put two and two together, and word was that these new renderings were also concept renderings for the new 2021 Kia Optima. It may not look as futuristic as the rendering, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say the new 2021 Kia Optima is looking fresher than ever. There’s even some sports car appeal in there.

From Render to Reality

You know, it’s not often that a concept or render will keep the same looks and features once the vehicle goes into production. The 2020 Kia Telluride SUV is a prime example of an automaker beefing up a concept with a bunch of cool technology that gets left on the cutting room floor. We expected the same to happen to the 2021 Kia Optima, but so far, it’s looking a lot like the render Kia Motors promised. Starting with the front fascia, those lightning-bolt shaped headlights are still drawing attention to the new mean tiger-face grille that Kia Motors is using to replace their well-known tiger-nose grille. This vehicle is most likely not electric, so there are still two grilles integrated into the front, but with the Kia Futuron concept, an all-electric vehicle from Kia Motors may already be on the way.

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What Happened to All the Cool Kia Telluride Concepts?


The 2020 Kia Telluride is Kia Motors largest SUV. Blurring the lines of luxury and receiving a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Telluride has a lot going for it. The 2020 Kia Telluride even wins out on comparisons with competitors – even the Hyundai Palisade pales in the face of the 2020 Kia Telluride. However, when the 2020 Kia Telluride concept was first unveiled, there was a lot more in store than what made it into production. One of the reasons the 2020 Kia Telluride got the green light for production, and the reasons why it got the green light in the first place, was because of the great reception the concept received from consumers and reporters when it debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. So, imagine the surprise when half of the reasons why people liked it disappeared.


What We Were Promised

When the first concept of the 2020 Kia Telluride debuted in Detroit, it was supposed to be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) SUV. If Kia Motors could do it with a crossover, an SUV was the next logical step. We knew an internal combustion engine (ICE) would make up half the powertrain, but 3.8-liter Lambda DOHC 24-valve V6 engine dashed that plan. With Kia Motors planning to go all-electric, the Telluride PHEV may already be on the cutting room floor.

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Kia Motors New All-Electric Futuron Concept


When Kia Motors first said it was going to become an all-electric automaker, there was a little confusion. How can an automaker that has plans to produce GT vehicles like the recent 2020 Kia Forte also become an all-electric automaker? Kia Motors GT-line is how it sounds – it’s a lineup within the lineup and only certain vehicles like the Kia Forte, the Kia Soul, and the Kia Optima may get GT-specific trims. Electric vehicles on the other hand? Well, Kia leaked a rendering of the new 2021 Kia Optima, known as the K5 overseas, and the grille is all but absent. So, imagine our excitement when we saw this little number – the Kia Futuron concept (pictured above).

Yeah, that’s hot. Although the 2019 SEMA Show is happening between November 5 – November 8, 2019, Kia Motors decided to debut their new concept overseas during the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. A bit of a shame, we’d love to get a better look at a prototype, but all the current media on it only shows renders. Either way, the Kia Futuron concept is an all-wheel drive SUV coupe with a fully electric powertrain.

Based on first looks alone, this concept definitely looks like a sports car. The flowing shapes and streamlined design definitely create an aero-efficient profile that can slice through the atmosphere, and the low-profile keeps it looking strong yet also elegant. Some may be wondering why we’ve never seen a design like this before, with the wide stance and long wheelbase. It’s the Futuron’s fully-electric powertrain that makes this possible.

Mounted low in the vehicle’s body, beneath the cabin floor, a high-capacity battery not only provides electrical energy to four powerful electric motors embedded in the wheels but can also help to keep the vehicle grounded with a low center of gravity. Matched with a cutting-edge e-AWD system, and we have the beginnings of an all-electric sports car. We assume they’re talking about the all-wheel drivetrain transfer case Kia Motors was working on back in 2018.

Shown in the concept renders, the roof is a diamond-shaped panoramic glasshouse that floods the cabin with natural light and offers everyone inside a great view. On top of this, inching closer to self-driving vehicles, the Futuron concept comes with a network of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors capable of providing Level 4 autonomous driving. That’s when the driver doesn’t even need to control the vehicle in a majority of driving conditions.

The new “tiger-face” Kia Motors keeps pushing is also apparent in the design of the Futuron. No longer subtle and soft, Kia is going for a tighter, more aggressive, yet elegant “tiger face”. If we’re being real, this concept looks a lot like the Imagine by Kia concept the automaker unveiled at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. The Futuron also has a new interesting take on headlamps with a “Star Cloud” design made to reflect the look of nebulae in the night sky with a geometric patchwork of matrix LED lighting.

Step inside and an all-electric powertrain definitely makes for a more spacious cabin for the driver and passengers. Plus, the two front seats are made out of flexible materials and can offer an upright “driving” position or a reclined “rest” position. With the level 4 autonomy engaged, the two front seats will actually fully recline, and the steering wheel retracts to offer a “zero-gravity” seating position for some rest and relaxation on a long drive.


Going for a little unique flare, the interior comes with Star Cloud lighting and scaled Dragon Skin motifs that pay respects to Chinese legend Dragons and the scaled armor that adorns Chinese dragons in mythology and modern-day cultural celebrations. Drivers and passengers will definitely feel like they’ve stepped into a fantasy world with a glittering interactive ambient lighting system in the cabin. The most notable feature though, although a little difficult to see in the provided images, is a graphical user interface (GUI) that merges the instrument cluster and the audio-visual display into the center of the dashboard. Operated by artificial intelligence (AI), the GUI displays useful information about the vehicle, such as various autonomous driving features, powertrain, and navigation.

Here’s hoping we get a better look at the Kia Futuron Concept here in the states. Share your thoughts about the new concept on Miami Lakes Kia social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media

The Many Reasons to Love the 2020 Kia Telluride


There are plenty of reasons to love the new large SUV from Kia Motors. We’ve already shown you why the 2020 Kia Telluride is better than the 2020 Hyundai Palisade (currently only sold overseas) and how easily the Kia Telluride beats the Ford Explorer – spoilers, the Telluride mops the floor with the Explorer. However, sometimes it’s easier to just spell it out, and we’d be happy to. It all comes down to luxury, power, and amenities. Check out all the 2020 Kia Telluride has to offer.

A Life of Luxury

The high-end style of the Kia Telluride can be seen inside and out. While the starting price of the 2020 Kia Telluride is $31,690 (plus destination fee) for a bare bones LX trim, the range doesn’t go much further than $40k until the high-end SX trim and all the extra bells and whistles that come with it. The Telluride has that large, aggressive look SUVs are known for and is ready to tackle some off-road terrain but its sharp lines and smooth design give it a sense of class.

Inside is just a lovely with enough room to seat eight passengers comfortably and has ease of access to the third-row with the push of a button. Soft-touch materials can be found throughout the cabin and if consumers high-end trim, the SX, rich Nappa leather upholstery further enhances the feeling of a luxury SUV without the luxury price tag. There are also many clever storage solutions in the Telluride to help keep valuables safe.

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Kia Optima Renderings Look Insanely Cool


We got word over a new design for the 2021 Kia Optima ahead of the 2020 Kia Optima over the summer. Although Kia Motors has yet to give us a whole lot to go on, overseas in their home country of South Korea, the current promo images they’re advertising for the Kia K5 have piqued our interest. Why? Because “K5” is actually the name given to the Kia Optima in the South Korean market. Yeah, we have your interest now. If all goes well, even these virtual renderings of the new K5 could become reality.

Kia K5 Renderings

Yes, they’re sadly renderings, so it’s unclear how much the new K5 and 2021 Kia Optima will look at launch. Previously, we only had the below image to go on. It’s definitely an Optima in that picture, but these renders make the Optima look a lot more like the Kia Stinger – not that we’re complaining. The automaker is also going for a bit of a futuristic look and feel inside and out, and if the automaker’s claims to become the next all-electric automaker is anything to go by, the K5 render backs that up with a near-absent grille (seen above).


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Time for Halloween and Trunk or Treat


Isn’t Halloween just the best? Dressing up, letting loose, having or giving a good scare, and a few laughs with friends. Well, that’s how it is for those of us who are also of drinking age – not that anyone needs alcohol to have fun. That being said, what about youngsters? Even younger – like, kids who are trick-or-treating for the first time and don’t need to go home with PTSD ‘cause some hooligan with a crazy clown mask jumped out from the bushes or they got caught in the crossfire of a rotten egg throwing match. So how can a parent ensure that their child has a memorable and enjoyable first Halloween? How about ‘rounding up other parents and family friends with kids and hosting your Trunk or Treat?

What IS Trunk or Treat?

Having been around for several years and still making traction, there are some of us who don’t know about Trunk or Treat, especially if we don’t have kids of our own. Trunk or Treat also isn’t as literal as it sounds – jeez, really who came up with that name, this involves kids and a trunk? Getting past that, Trunk or Treat is all about offering children a safe way to enjoy trick-or-treating and give parents peace of mind that their child isn’t getting suspicious candy, harmful objects, or maybe even treats they’re allergic to while collecting the goods.

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Learning-Based Smart Cruise Control Coming to a Kia Motors Vehicle Near You


If there’s one automaker that you can bet on to achieve their goals, it’s Kia Motors. Almost two years ago, in January 2018, Kia Motors claimed that they would be offering artificial intelligence in cars in 2019. More than likely, this would come from the Hyundai Motor Group, an automobile group that Kia Motors is a part of, and more often than not shares technology with. Here we are, in the final quarter of 2019, and the Hyundai Motor Group announced that they have developed the world’s first Machine Learning based Smart Cruise Control (SCC-ML).

Learning-based Smart Cruise Control

Being called an industry first, this new technology from the Hyundai Motor Group utilizes artificial intelligence to learn the driver’s patterns and then replicate them while operating Smart Cruise Control (SCC). The artificial intelligence was previously made available in one form with SCC, also known as an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) feature. For those that haven’t experienced SCC before, just like cruise control, SCC keeps the vehicle at a set speed while driving. Unlike regular cruise control, SCC will attempt to slow down if approaching the vehicle ahead too quickly and then speed back up if the driver moves into a clear lane. SCC can also use electric stop-go technology to stop the car (at a reasonable speed) and start it back up again, say if in traffic and the driver has SCC on.

These features of SCC are exactly what will make up the core of SCC-ML. By integrating this advanced artificial intelligence, the fine-tuning of the previous SCC will no longer be a problem. When it comes to the SCC available presently, the driver needs to manually adjust the driving patterns of the vehicle, such as the distance from the preceding vehicle, acceleration, as well as the speed. With SCC-ML, by learning how the driver behaves in normal conditions, when activated, it will attempt to drive as the driver would.

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2020 Kia Seltos Hits 50,000 Units in Two Months


Back in August when the new Kia Seltos was first making the rounds overseas, we weren’t quite sure how we felt about it. When the vehicle first launched, over 6000 people reserved the Kia Seltos in July. The response was unexpected, but it’s not too surprising. It seems like every new model that comes from Kia Motors does well on its first round of sales. When the Kia e-Niro was first released overseas, only 10,000 units were delivered to start and all 10,000 were sold within the first month. Released back in March 2019, the new 2020 Kia Telluride SUV spearheaded sales for the automaker, making up a tenth of total sales. Now with all the fuss about the Kia Seltos, we’re starting to wonder if this new compact SUV really will make it to North American shores. It’s been only months and already over 50,000 consumers have purchased the Kia Seltos.

Wow, now that is some crazy milestone, and it’s in less than three months since its release in August. That’s a little over 10-percent more than the almighty Kia Telluride has sold since release (39,209 units since September 30, 2019). Although the Kia Seltos is only offered in two trim levels (HT and GT) overseas, we can already see why it’s received such quick praise – along with testing a new intelligent personal agent on the Kia Seltos, the compact SUV also came with its own GT-Line. If the GT aesthetic of other vehicles crossover, that would mean a sportier exterior, black side mirrors, red accents, narrow headlights, and a grille that has a more angular design. Kia Motors has recently reshaped its iconic tiger-nose grille to give it a sharper look these days.

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Comparison of 2020 Kia Telluride and 2020 Ford Explorer


With SUVs and crossovers still dominating the majority of the auto market, every so often we hear about consumers stuck between two vehicles. The decision on which vehicle to buy gets even more difficult with how similar one SUV can be to another. Not too long ago, the 2020 Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade came out – two SUVs from the same automobile group, Hyundai Motors. There were pretty close contenders, so we decided to pick something different this time around. That’s right, it’s comparison time, and we’re put the 2020 Kia Telluride up against the 2020 Ford Explorer.

Start Your Engines

When it comes to an SUV, towing power comes to mind, and because of that, consumers may be quick to flock to the Ford Explorer. Under the hood is a 2.3-liter turbo-four engine able to generate 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That might seem like a big deal and the winning choice, given the Kia Telluride is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 able to generate 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, but how well a car handles all that power is the real winning ticket. No one wants to feel like they’re out of control when behind the wheel of an SUV.

That’s where the Ford Explorer pales – a lack of response for acceleration and chippy transitioning between gears is no match for the eight-speed automatic paired to the V6 in the Kia Telluride. Drivers get smooth transitions between gears at all speeds for a leisurely ride down any highway. Speaking of the ride, the Kia Telluride also comes with improved body control and suspension for stability and comfort, whereas the Explorer can feel a little bouncy at times. And forget about leisurely rides on the highway with the sounds of the engine and wind battering the vehicle.

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Could Kia Motors Have Self-Driving Cars in Five Years?


Wow, who thought the joint venture between the Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv would pay off so soon? The recent partnership between one of the industry’s most innovative vehicle technology providers and one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers hit the ground running to design, develop, and commercialize SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies. The South Korean based automobile group, Hyundai Motors, recently held a luncheon session in New York to expand on the $4 billion deal between the two companies. The most exciting news executive vice chairman Chung Euisun shared was that the Hyundai Motor Group will begin the mass production of self-driving cars within the next five years.

That’s still awhile away but it’s nice to know that self-driving cars are still on the horizon for the auto market. When it comes to the partnership between the Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, both companies are holding an equal share of investment, responsibility, and ownership. With the $4 billion total in mind, Aptiv will be contributing its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property, and approximately 700 employees focused on the development of scalable autonomous driving solutions to the joint-venture – this amounts to their share of USD 2 billion. In Hyundai Motors corner, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis will start off with a contribution of $0.4 billion in vehicle engineering services, R&D resources, and access to intellectual property, but will collectively pay USD 1.6 billion in cash at closing. Simultaneously, the Hyundai Motor Group holds the same number of shares as Aptiv in their company. Meaning, even after the joint-venture ends, Hyundai Motors and automakers affiliated with it (Kia Motors included) will have the ability to transform itself through the use of Aptiv technology from a mere car manufacturer into a future mobility solutions provider.

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