We’ve heard a lot about the new Kia Stinger coming to the lineup. Updated with a mid-cycle refresh, the Kia Stinger is getting a boost only after a few years in the market. When it first came out, there was an initial rush to get the Stinger, we couldn’t keep them on the lot. When COVID-19 hit, all automobile sales went down, and some of the newer models suddenly seemed outside of budget for many consumers. Although the pandemic is still worldwide, we have a better handle on it, and the automotive industry is starting to bloom once more. Already nearing the end of the third quarter for 2021, Kia Motors decides to tease the new Kia Stinger a week ahead of schedule.
Oh, why do automakers do this? A tease is good to get people talking and to spread some hype, but too many times is a tease about a year or so too early. We’re hoping that isn’t the case with the newly refined Kia Stinger. Skipping a model year and going straight to 2022, the Kia Stinger was named the best sport sedan in the world, able to outrace luxury sports cars while still costing a fraction of the price. The mid-cycle refresh only chooses to push the envelope further with more power, more technology, and a refined design. Full press materials and specs will be shared next week on March 16, 2020.
If there is one thing Kia Motors hasn’t been well-known for is luxury cars. Sure, the interiors are roomy and often come packed with technology, and their cars drive as nice as they look. But when it comes to car segments, Kia Motors is not classified as a luxury automaker. Even J.D. Power, that ranked Kia Motor as the highest brand during the 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study did so as the highest non-luxury brand. Considered a mass-market automaker, it’s still a title Kia Motors has held for five years in-a-row now, but luxury? That’s definitely new, and Kia Motors is shooting for the title with its new K8 luxury sports car.
We saw inklings of what luxury means to Kia Motors when the automaker first released the new K5, previously named the Kia Optima, back with a more sporty appeal and high-end materials. Now that the automaker has shown us what it can do, it would seem Kia decided to go all in with a luxury vehicle when it came to designing and producing the Kia K8. A premium sports sedan, the interior is a first-class interior lounge that blends premium luxury style and comfort.
“The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid…The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.”
Words spoken by Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning Kia Motors America (KMA) when the Kia Niro hybrid was first released. Known as the first hybrid crossover to ever be debuted and actually hit the streets, consumers from all over were shocked. Kia lovers, consumers going green, and fans of crossovers all showed an interest in the Niro. Many people purchased a new one within months of its release. In the years that followed, the Niro was soon joined by the Niro Plug-in Hybrid and Niro EV, or electric vehicle. The crossover was so successful, it came with a mid-cycle refresh in 2020.
This refresh for the 2020 Kia Niro consisted of a redesigned front and rear fascia’s, possibly featuring the new generation of the Kia trademark tiger-nose face. This new front fascia fits in with a new diamond-pattern grille, dual chevron-shaped LED daytime running lights, new fog lamps, and updated projector-type headlights. Towards the rear, a faux skid plate is wider and more pronounced, with rear LED combination lights flashing above new 16-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
Not every vehicle receives a cycle refresh, but some could use a pick me up when the allure dies down. Other vehicles are so successful, that the automaker sells enough units to warrant a special package or edition of the vehicle to offer a little extra. When it came to the Kia Niro, the automaker released a special edition in 2020, the 2020 Kia Niro Touring SE. Designed to stand out from the rest of the lineup, the Touring Special Edition had its own line of features to set it apart, along with new upgrades.
In terms of style, the Niro Touring SE changed the look of the exterior with LED headlights, and offered an exclusive Solar Orange exterior paint color not yet seen on other trims. Inside, the cabin got a little more upscale with leatherette seating surfaces with orange stitching to match the new paint job, or blue accent stitching if going with a different color for contrast. In addition, technology gets an upgrade with the addition of the large 10.25-inch LCD touchscreen introduced recently by Kia Motors, a premium eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, onboard navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Available for 2020 (2021 not yet announced), the Touring Special Edition is the fourth trim in the vehicle lineup. With a starting MSRP of $30,790 (plus destination fee), it’s not a bad deal to basically get the Touring with added features for a little over $2k. All trims are powered by the same engine, so no real difference in powertrain between the trims, and it sure beats an extra $4k to get everything the EX Premium adds on – not a huge loss unless you’ll absolutely die without a wireless phone charger and rear parking assist sensors in your car.
Looking to get behind the wheel of a 2020 Kia Niro? Come test drive yours at Miami Lakes Automall.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia.com
Kia Motors has been busy in recent months, reworking and releasing new versions of some of its popular vehicles, like the Kia Stinger refresh and new generation Kia Sorento. The automaker also recently revealed its Carnival Multipurpose Vehicle (or MPV), following the talk of purpose-built vehicles (PBV). The Kia Stinger received a mid-cycle refresh, and the Sorento is all new. Recently, Car and Driver magazine put together its Editors’ Choice Awards list, and one of the vehicles here made it – along with several other vehicles from Kia Motors – the Telluride, Sorento, Soul, K5, and Rio were all named as “2021 Editors’ Choice Award” winners.
Car and Driver 2021 Editors’ Choice Awards
Most consumers should know the name “Car and Driver”. Founded back in 1955, Car and Driver is one of the top names in the auto industry when it comes to reviews, news, and advice for new car shoppers in the market. Always able to provide expert content and leading-edge insights on all things automotive, Car and Driver has earned its right to be called the “definitive voice for in-market car shoppers, enthusiasts, and industry leaders”. With over 12 million unique visitors to the website every month, and plenty of readers, when Car and Driver puts a vehicle on the Editors’ Choice Award, you know it’s a big deal.
There has been talk about a mid-cycle refresh for the Kia Stinger sports car since last summer (August 2020). The mid-cycle refresh was destined for the 2021 model year, but it seems that Kia Motors held off for the 2022 model year, because the most recent news about the Kia Stinger is also introducing a new powertrain to the lineup and will be replacing one of the current options. No sense in releasing a less-powerful engine and then replacing it with a more powerful version halfway through the year – that’s just a quick way to get angry consumers feeling cheated. With this new 2.5-liter turbo engine, the new 2022 Kia Stinger should be worth the wait.
Currently, the 2021 Kia Stinger is powered by one of two engine options. The standard engine, found only on the base GT-Line trim, is a Twin Scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC I4 engine, optimized with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) for added performance, can generate up to 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The next engine up powering the rest of the GT trims – yes, all trims on the Kia Stinger are GT trims, but only the base is a part of the GT-Line collection – is a twin turbocharged 3.3-liter DOHC V6, also optimized with CVVT, able to deliver up to 365 horsepower 376 lb-ft of torque.
Just the other week, Kia Motors announced the virtual reveal of its Kia Carnival MPV, or Multi-Purpose Vehicle, spurned from its earlier motivation to produce purpose-built vehicles (PBV) after the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We didn’t know much, aside from a V6 engine and possibly three-rows, but now that the official reveal has taken place, Kia Motors has released all of the details on the all-new 2022 Kia Carnival MPV. Set to replace the outgoing Sedona, the Carnival MPV will be the first vehicle to be sold in the U.S. with Kia’s new logo, we can expect to see it in dealerships by the second quarter of this year.
Available in LX, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige trim levels, a single source makes up the powertrain for this new vehicle. A simple 3.5-liter V6 engine optimized with gasoline direct injection (GDI), and able to produce a best-in-class 290 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. torque is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Already showing some of its multiple purposes, the Carnival MPV has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds. Built on the same all-new 3rd generation “N3” platform as the capable Sorento and sporty K5, this new MPV is lighter, stronger and quieter than the outgoing Sedona. Plus, better driving dynamics equals better fuel economy.
By the end of 2020, Kia Motors had two vehicles it was putting all the spotlight on – the new Kia K5 sports car and Kia Sorento SUV. A new generation rendition of both vehicles, each had something to say, the Kia was more than happy to put ad spots, press releases, and plenty of promos to highlights everything coming to the lineup. We saw everything from powertrain options to safety tech for the new 2021 Kia Sorento and the crazy performance of the Kia K5 with death-defying stunt antics. Well, they got the attention they wanted, because Autotrader had just named the Kia K5 and Kia Sorento as the “Best New Cars for 2021”.
Best new car of the year is a pretty sweet title to start rocking only two months in. Getting that title from Autotrader is another huge plus for the automaker. Like many organizations out there, Autotrader conducts many reviews of all new cars and helps inform consumers currently in the market. Autotrader is also the most recognized third-party car listings brand online, constantly collecting and publishing new data on the automotive industry for new and old vehicles. Not everyone is looking for the newest, shiniest vehicle – that’s why Kia Motors has some of the best pre-owned vehicles with their Certified Kia Pre-Owned vehicle program. But we’re talking about the new Kia K5 and Kia Sorento here.
When the Coronavirus pandemic first hit U.S. soil, everyone started going into quarantine. Some of us still are, and latest scientific reports claim that we may just have to learn to live with COVID-19 as a chemical threat out there until it becomes no worse than the common cold with the different types of antibodies that will eventually spread. Going forward on that note, the automotive industry took a huge hit during the first wave of the pandemic, but electric vehicle sales continued to go up. Not only this, but many vehicles were being repurposed and used as mass-transit passenger vehicles, delivery trucks and vans for getting important equipment where they need to go, and this gave Kia Motors and the Hyundai Motor Group (The Group) an idea. Why not introduce purpose-built vehicles to the auto market?
What is a Purpose-Built Vehicle (PBV)? Exactly how it sounds – it’s an automobile designed with a sole purpose and operation in mind, outside of normal means of just going from point A to B. Many automakers have done this already, producing commercial vans that consumers can then customize, even with entirely new interiors for making a mobile office, a delivery truck, or even a news station on wheels. The popularity of PBVs grew during the first waves of the pandemic, but the interest in them didn’t die. They were a new brand of utility vehicles that could be expanded upon, and that’s what The Group aims to do.
The Kia Niro EV has been slow to build as much attention as its hybrid and plug-in hybrid counterparts stateside, but overseas it has been selling like hot cakes. Maybe the name of a well-known company for reviewing and conducting studies on the latest new vehicles will get people talking. Well, it’s just in time for J.D. Power & Associates to put their automotive department to work and collect all the latest data for the J.D. Power 2021 Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study, focused on ranking the number one electric vehicle (EV) among all other mass-market brands available today.
When it comes to J.D. Power studies, every study works by sending out surveys to owners and lessees of EVs who have purchased or leased the vehicle for at least 90 days. So, like any other study, the EVX study comes from survey responses from 9,632 owners of 2015-2021 model year BEVs and PHEVs between October and November 2020. Conducted in partnership with PlugShare, the leading EV driver app maker and research firm, J.D. Power was able to make quick work of this study to find the leading models and brands.
Every year, automotive publications collect and analyze data to provide new consumers with helpful car buying information to make an informed decision. Many of these publications also hold their own awards and put together “Best of” lists throughout the year. One of these publications and U.S. News & World Report, and although this business covers a multitude of topics, it also collects plenty of information about the auto industry and often puts together many lists to help new car buyers wade through the muck and find a gem. One automaker always shining is Kia Motors, having recently received the Trifecta of 2021 “Best Cars for the Money” awards this year from U.S. News.
What is U.S. News & World Report? As mentioned, it is a global leader in digital news and information that collects information from a number of industries and offers well-informed opinions to offer consumers with advice, as well as providing their own rankings about Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, and Civics. With over 80 years of experience, it is one of many trusted names in the business, like Kelley Blue Book or Autotrader, and recently put together its 2021 “Best Cars for the Money” list. The awards cover 11 different automotive classes and study them for overall quality and value for its respective car segment or class – car, SUV, crossover, truck, etc.