Whoo, Kia Motors is really pulling on heartstrings in 2019. First, they used the Super Bowl to announce their “The Great Unknowns Scholarship,” where Kia Motors distributes a small portion of proceeds from every Kia vehicle purchased to a scholarship program that will give young people the foothold they need to seek higher education. In another connection with the youth, Kia Motors became the official sponsor of the K-Pop music group, BLACKPINK World Tour. Furthering their stardom with eSports, Kia also became the official sponsor for the European Championship for League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game for PC and Mac computers. Most recently, Kia Motors and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) are partnering up to launch the inaugural UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour Driven by Kia.
UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour
What is the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour Driven by Kia? Across Europe, football fans will be able to see the iconic UEFA Europa League trophy as the competition’s 2018/19 knockout stage unfolds. Seriously, it’s a tour for a trophy, a very heavy piece of silverware. Here’s a picture for scale.
But hey, it’s for a good cause. Throughout the duration of the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour, everyone attending the tour will be encouraged to donate used and unwanted boots to a campaign going on at the same time. Through the partnership, with the UEFA Foundation for children, donated boots will be taken to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to be given to Syrian refugees of all ages. On top of that, every fan who donates a pair of boots will be entered into a contest where they can win tickets to the UEFA Europa League final and other prizes.
Kia Motors has always been an automaker quick to embrace change it seems. Their lineup is one of the most expansive and welcoming of alternative fuel vehicles. They have the Kia Soul EV, the Kia Niro hybrid, and Kia Niro Hybrid Plug-in. The2020 Kia Telluride went into production, and one day Kia Motors spoke of turning it into a hybrid SUV. We thought Kia was going to take a break from alternative fuel after they made a lot of commotion at the2018 Los Angeles Auto Show with the 2020 Kia Soul EV, and the2019 Kia Niro EV finding its way to city streets soon enough. Why take a break with all that success? Kia Motors teases a new electric concept for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
That’s right, Kia Motors is also bringing a new concept to Geneva. Oddly enough, Kia Motors in Mitsubishi Motors seem to be in-sync these days. Both automakers broughtnew autonomous technology to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, and now Kia will be debuting a new model at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show alongside Mitsubishi. Maybe it’s just a coincidence?
Sure, it’s an SUV. Can consumers really expect amazing numbers from a large vehicle? The 2020 Kia Telluride doesn’t use any fancy tricks to lower its fuel consumption – the three-row midsize SUV doesn’t break any records. It does, however, still provide enough for consumers that wouldn’t be a deal breaker. The 2020 Telluride will only arrive with one powertrain option in the spring of 2019. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V6 engine, able to generate up to 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the most change consumers will see in the fuel economy is their choice of powertrain.
Front-wheel drive (FWD) is the standard setup for the 2020 Kia Telluride. Kia Motors has noticed the rise in consumer desire for all-wheel drive (AWD) however and has added the option to the SUV for additional security and driver control. If sticking with the standard drivetrain (FWD), then consumers can expect a fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. If choosing AWD, there’s a slight drop to 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
The Old Concept
One would hope the hybrid option returns. That would make the 2020 Kia Telluride the first hybrid SUV, and with some of the technology, the original concept boasted, a real kick in the pants for the auto market. The sunroof was designed to be a wing-shaped, ceiling mounted LED panel that would act as a Light-Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) therapeutic system for passengers. Smart Sensors were to be embedded into the front four seats that will monitor the health information of the first and second-row passengers, and a Swipe Command touch-sensitive second-row media-control band were also supposed to show up.
Perhaps Kia Motors is working out the kinks before putting such ground-breaking technology into the new crossover. We only got a glimpse of the new V-Touch, short for “virtual touch”, the world’s first virtual touch-type gesture control technology straight from Kia Motors at the 2019 CES. With a simple finger gesture, consumers can change the cabin environment, including lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning), and entertainment systems. We do get a simple version of theKia Motors Sound Zone Technology with a “Quiet Mode” that plays music only in the front of the vehicle with the touch of a button.
The2020 Kia Soul EV was revealed at the 2018 LA Auto Show, and although there was a lot of interesting style and technology, its performance specs only shared its numbers for power. Now, after putting the third-generation Kia Soul EV to the test, we know what its 64-kWh lithium-ion battery can do. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2020 Kia Soul EV has a driving range of over 200 miles! It’s not the only EV from Kia Motors doing well either – the Niro EV and Soul EV are knocking their competitors around with the larger stick in the auto market.
Kia Soul EV Driving Range
After being tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 2020 Kia Soul EV was found to have a total range of 243 miles. When it comes to its fuel economy, being that this is an electric vehicle (EV), fuel efficiency is measured in miles-per-gallon equivalent, developed by EPA that converts the power used by an electric vehicle into a term that’s more familiar to American drivers. The EPA estimates 127/101/114 MPGe (city/highway/combined) for the 2020 Kia Soul EV. As supported by fueleconomy.gov, the EPA also states that buyers will save an estimated $3,250 over the course of five years when driving the 2020 Kia Soul EV versus a gasoline-powered vehicle.
After all the talk aboutKia Motors turning into a GT automotive brand, there was a lot of speculation about which vehicles could benefit from a GT. They had to be real winners of the Kia Motors lineup. After all, it would seem that the already popular Kia Stinger sports car started the GT theme with its three “GT” trims. It didn’t take too much time for Kia to name a few winners – the2020 Kia Soul GT, the 2019/20Kia Forte GT, and theKia Rio GT. We all know the Kia Soul will always be funky, and the Forte holds a bit of class. Although the Kia Rio has been around for a bit, it’s still one of those models that fly under the radar. Let’s take a look at what makes this sedan so great, and why Kia chose it for their first round of GT models.
When it comes to the U.S. market, small cars are all but dead. Big name Ford pulled all of their sedans from American shores, except for their beloved Mustang, practically giving up the game. Still, in the midst of what seems like a dying age for sedans, with a quickly saturating SUV and crossover market, Kia Motors is willing to back their Kia Rio.
Ridesharing is slowly starting to become a much-desired market for automakers to enter. If it isn’t the ability to swap vehicles for a trial-by-fire test drive through the new rideshare and swap services by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), then it’s theRenault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance collaborating with the Didi Auto Alliance, an intelligent ride-sharing alliance that uses artificial intelligence and autonomous technology. Now, another similar company is coming to light, Vulog, and who better to partner up with the company than Kia Motors? Yes, Kia Motors is in the building, and jumping into the ridesharing market.
Vulog, how does one pronounce it? We’re not sure, but the shared mobility technology company recently claimed its new release of its AiMA (artificial intelligence mobility applied) platform will significantly increase the user appeal of shared services. How is it any different from current services? Vulog calls this new platform an upgrade from the typical ridesharing service, like an Uber or car swap.
Imagine owning a rental car service, and any day, the right vehicle for the job can be driven that day. That’s what Vulog’s AiMA provides, by enabling an operator with a single fleet of vehicles to be selected, able to offer multiple different possibilities. It works just like any other rental service too. Called a “free-floating scheme”, users of the platform can access vehicles instantly anywhere. They plug in, say, an area code to provide the platform with a geofenced area, and then pick out a convenient time to operate the vehicle and where, and then that vehicle can be reserved for a specific time at the location selected by the user. Pretty nifty.
The new year is only two months in, but Kia Motors has already begun to blow us away with the2019 Kia Niro EV, the electric vehicle (EV) variant of the original Kia Niro hybrid crossover, thedebut of the 2020 Kia Telluride at the 2019 NAIAS, andautonomous technology concepts at the 2019 CES designed in conjunction with their parent group company, the Hyundai Motor Group. Speaking of which, both Hyundai and Kia Motors popped up on the “2019 Best Cars for the Money” list by U.S. News & World Report. As some may know, this accredited publication doesn’t mess around when it comes to their yearly lists, and the “Best Cars for the Money” is one to get attention.
SUVs and Minivans
Winning “Best 3-Row SUV” is the2019 Kia Sorento, built with an upscale cabin, seating capacity of seven, and a low starting price of $26,290 (plus destination fee). Even the base trim, L, comes with UVO play on a 7-inch touch screen with a six-speaker system, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay at that price. Runner-ups, or finalists in this category consisted of the Kia Sportage for “Best Compact SUV” and the Kia Sedona for “Best Minivan”.
The Super Bowl recently concluded with the New England Patriots taking home the winnings. During this time of year, many product brands and services are able to put together a great commercial that will hopefully burn into the mind of every viewer so that their product and/or service will be remembered for the many months to come. Who still remembers, “WHASSSSUUUUUP?” Say it aloud, and we’re sure someone nearby will respond appropriately. Well, aside from humor, some brands are reaching out a bit more to the youth. One of these automotive brands is Kia Motors.