Kia Telluride SUV Wins 2020 NEMPA Winter SUV of the Year

The Kia Telluride SUV will definitely never see a shortage of awards and accolades. In late 2019, it seemed like automotive journalists and publications couldn’t get enough of the largest SUV in the Kia Motors lineup. The Telluride was the first SUV to win the “Triple Crown of Automotive Awards”, and recently received the “World Car of the Year” title. Also recently, the New England Motor Press Association got together for its annual Winter Vehicle Driving Event, and named the Kia Telluride the 2020 New England Motor Press Association Winter SUV of the Year.

“The Kia Telluride was the hands-down winner with a majority of NEMPA members…In this hotly contested three-row SUV category the Telluride excels, checking off all the boxes. Members were impressed with the overall quality of materials, ride, functionality, quiet cabin and the ability to handle historically brutal New England winters. The Telluride doesn’t just answer the cost quality equation, it knocks it out of the park with good looks, ride quality, functionality, and impressive safety technology all at a great price.” –  NEMPA president John Paul

Every year, NEMPA members get together and compile a list of eligible vehicles for the contest. Once finished, every vehicle is driven to give members a chance to evaluate a variety of vehicles in many segments and categories and different manufacturers. This all took place in February 2020 at NEMPA headquarters in Middleborough, Massachusetts, but the announcement of winners wasn’t made until recently. Not like we needed another source to tell us how great this SUV is.

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Kia Telluride Lands on Another Best Interiors List

It’s not hard to keep the 2020 Kia Telluride, the largest SUV in the Kia Motors lineup, in the spotlight. Just about every automotive journalist, media outlet, and news source is drooling over this one-of-a-kind, all-powerful and adventurous SUV. Recently named the 2020 New England Motor Press Association Winter SUV of the Year during its annual Winter Vehicle Driving Event, the Kia Telluride has also been celebrated by well-known name Autotrader. Having popped on two lists, Autotrader has placed the Kia Telluride on its Best New Cars of 2020 List and put the Kia Telluride on its Best Interiors Under $50k List. Now, another well-known name amongst automotive journalists just sank its teeth into the Kia Telluride and also found that it has a really nice interior cabin. WardsAuto placed the Kia Telluride on its “10 Best Interiors List”.

The 2020 Kia Telluride is definitely not alone. Also riding with this large SUV are the 2018 Stinger, 2015 Sedona, 2014 Soul, 2013 Forte, and 2011 Optima – all of which have also landed on WardsAuto “10 Best Interiors List” for their respective model year. The exterior of the Kia Telluride is stylish and screams adventure with all the accessories one can add on. Powered by a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 and able to offer active on-demand all-wheel drive, the only thing that makes the Telluride better is everything the cabin offers. A perfect combination of aesthetics, comfort, ergonomics, material use, fit-and-finish and user-friendly technology, the WardsAuto accolade holds the Telluride in high regard for the large SUV segment in leadership, innovation, design, safety, driver satisfaction, and overall value.

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Kia Releases Digital Owner’s Manual App with Google Cloud and Megazone

We were just talking about Kia Motors and all the cool technology that comes from this automaker, like the UVO infotainment system and its various versions available on the 2020 Kia Seltos. Recently, the automaker announced another new piece of tech coming to future vehicles. Developed in partnership with Google Cloud and Megazone, Kia Motors just launched the Kia Owner’s Manual App, an AI-based owner’s manual that makes navigating one’s way around a new Kia vehicle easier and intuitive.

We say intuitive, because although most Kia Motors vehicles come with a touchscreen, some form of UVO, or an LCD screen for various functions, most consumers don’t think to look through all the various options to them. Did you know most vehicles by Kia have a function that plays a welcome tune when opening the driver’s side door? If you own a Kia and don’t know about this, then it’s a great example of the tidbits many consumers don’t know about their Kia.

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The Different Types of Kia UVO

Kia Motors is one automaker that has always been on top of things. With a lineup that’s ever-growing with alternative fuel options, Kia Motors is set to become an all-electric automaker with concepts like the upcoming Kia Futuron. With the automaker placing a focus on purpose-built vehicles, sedans, and even micro electric vehicles, what comes next from Kia Motors is anyone’s guess. There is another part of technology from Kia Motors that’s also been slowly growing, and it gives consumers a whole new way to “connect” with their automobile. It’s the UVO infotainment system, and it has the attention of a renowned name in the automotive world – J.D. Power.

The Kia UVO infotainment system has come a long way. What started as a simple infotainment system that did most of the basic things – play music, navigate, make phone calls – the system eventually evolved. Although Kia Motors isn’t known to hold out on high tech for high-end trims, the new UVO system actually wasn’t made available on all trims of some of the new models. The new 2020 Kia Telluride and 2020 Kia Seltos offer the UVO but depending on the trim consumers may get a different version.

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Kia Motors Quick to Find Out What the Public Wants Post-Quarantine

Kia Motors, and the Hyundai Motor Group overall, have been in talks of developing and producing purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) in the coming years. Although PBVs sound very interesting concepts, automated Chinese takeout delivery vans, revolutionary for the food truck industry, but also mobile hubs for social gatherings. However, after the pandemic, social distancing is still recommended and the Coronavirus is still going to affect people over the coming months, maybe years. Even with the first PBVs designed to help with patients’ transportation and delivery services, along with other medical needs, we may not want to hold our breath.

Kia Motors’ new Design Chief Karim Habib spoke with Car Magazine about the future design of vehicles. Before the pandemic hit, the auto industry was working towards an ecosystem of mobility where everyone and anyone could get access to private or public transportation. Instead, private may be the way to go, with people less likely to risk their or their family’s health by having a lot of people in a car at once, which could greatly affect SUV sales. With many fit to seat more than five people at once, social distancing is impossible, and anyone stressed about getting infected might be in for an uncomfortable trip.

“We’re going to have talks with psychologists and anthropologists to really understand how the public’s psyche is going to be in future…There are things we’ve already been talking about: can we have anti-viral coatings in our interiors? Can you use temperature or ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces? These are things that we will have to think about rather soon. So, yes – Covid-19 will very much influence the way we design our cars in future.” – Habib told Car Magazine

Last month, we talked about the many developments coming from Kia Motors, PBVs included, but the automaker is also discussing shifting to the development of sedans, or vehicles made to seat less than 5 passengers. It may sound a little crazy, especially given all of the success of the Kia Telluride. The Telluride is Kia Motors largest SUV and won many awards – the Kia Telluride even won the Triple Crown of Automotive awards, winning the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year from North American Car of the Year (NACTOY); MotorTrend SUV of the Year; and landing on a Car and Driver 10 Best list. The Kia Seltos is also a strong contender when it comes to the larger vehicles, although the latter seats only five.

In late May, Kia Motors announced a new plan. With sedans like the Kia Stinger getting a mid-cycle refresh and a growing GT line from Kia Motors, the shift might lead to even smaller cars. Micro EVs may be next on the menu if trends prove to be worrisome for larger vehicles in the coming years. Consumers are concerned about the spread of germs and auto manufacturers are finding ways to tackle the spread of viruses, going so far as to design interior surfaces with virus-resisting materials, such as copper. However, overhauling the design for vehicles could cost automakers even more problems to deal with. Perhaps just focusing on smaller designs may be the better plan.

What do you think? Would you rather smaller cars with the way the world is handling the pandemic or do you still prefer your larger car? Let us know on Miami Lakes Kia social media.

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Kia Motors Heat Pump Improves EV Driving Range

Sometimes Kia Motors feels like the leader of electric vehicles (EV) in technology and sales. If anything, the automaker’s Plan S strategy and claims to become the next all-electric automaker. Already underway, the Futuron concept is set to release in the coming years, along with another EV model. Engineering new ways to make use of electric vehicle power, Kia Motors is working with parent group Hyundai Motor on a new piece of technology that will not only optimize the features already used by EVs, but will also help to improve the distance and driving range of upcoming models, especially in the cooler temperatures.

South Florida and many parts of America may be entering the summer this month (June 2020), and although the summer season is a cause for heat, these storms have been leaving the atmosphere a little cool, and come autumn and winter, it can be pretty chilly. What does that mean for EV drivers who want a little extra heat in the cabin? The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system works harder, and that can decrease the power of the battery, reducing its driving range. To combat this, Hyundai and Kia Motors have presented a heat pump, and it’s been working in cars like the Kia Soul EV since its first generation.

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Kia Motors Sells Large SUVs for Little Vacations

The auto industry is picking itself up by the bootstraps and automakers are starting to get back to work, with Kia Motors charging forward like a warrior into battle. Even with the economy and many industries taking a hit during the Coronavirus pandemic, Kia Motors, surprisingly, didn’t do half bad during May 2020. As far as we can see, the total sales year-to-date (YTD) in 2020 when compared with the YTD sales in 2019, Kia Motors is only about 30k off. The vehicles matching the closest with last year’s numbers are large vehicles, and those are the perfect vehicles for a road trip when practicing social distancing.

“With our expanded lineup of award-winning SUVs leading the way, Kia continues to defy expectations and outperform the industry. In fact, Sportage set a new retail sales record for the month of May…And with several exciting new products debuting in the months ahead and our dealers implementing touchless shopping and servicing practices, we continue to focus not only on exceeding the needs of our customers but also on their health and well-being.” – Bill Peffer, vice president, sales operations, Kia Motors America

In May 2020, Kia Motors sold 7,756 units of the Kia Sportage, with the Kia Sorento close behind with 7,262 units sold. Even the Kia Sedona minivan, a dying breed, sold more units in 2020 than it did in 2019 with 1482 units sold. Although vehicles with 5-8 passenger seating capacity may not be the best idea fully packed during a worldwide pandemic, even post-quarantine. However, all the space a 5-8 passenger vehicle can offer makes it easy for the driver and passengers to practice social distancing, if only three-feet-apart versus six.

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Kia Optima Officially Renamed the K5

By the end of 2019, Kia Motors was already announcing upcoming changes to its lineup for the upcoming years. The COVID-19 pandemic may have sent many industries into a frenzy, but as auto manufacturers start re-opening plants and getting back to work, plans for 2020 need to get picked back up where they were left off. That means big things like Kia Motors investing in a new 800-volt battery system pack for electric vehicles, or small things like the new Kia Optima getting a name change. Well, that’s not all that’s new about the 2021 Kia Optima, or it seems like we should start saying “2021 Kia K5”.

It’s official, the Kia Optima will henceforth become known as the Kia K5, and not just overseas but in the U.S. too. Yes, the Kia K5 has been the moniker for the Optima in South Korea, homeland of the large sedan, but will now be adopting the same name for the next generation of the model in 2021. Aside from this tidbit of knowledge, there hasn’t been much else information shared about the new Kia K5 except an all-wheel drivetrain (AWD) has been confirmed along with the new name change.

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