Posts Tagged ‘kia crossover’
Kia has been on a roll over the last year, constantly coming out with new models. It seems like every couple of months they’re rolling out the red carpet, and now more than ever, they’re bringing hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) to the stage. The Kia Optima and Kia Soul were one of the first to get a new powertrain, and then Kia Motors made the Kia Niro, a hybrid crossover. Now they have the Kia Stonic coming out, a new SUV, and have already announced an EV variation will soon debut as well.
As it currently stands, by the end of 2018 or so, Kia will be releasing three all-electric vehicles. Most recently, they announced the Kia Stonic EV. The original 2018 Kia Stonic SUV was only spied several weeks ago, so it’s a bit of a surprise that an EV model is already in the mix. We gotta say Kia is sounding pretty confident about their SUVs and crossovers if they’re postulating possible future electric models before their release. Like many automakers, Kia is focusing on their larger vehicles, but with so many to choose from, we have to dig a little to learn why.
Kia has been coming out with a lot of new vehicles lately. This year we were treated to the debut of the Kia Stinger, and at SEMA, we got a glimpse of some autonomous vehicles Kia is developing. However, until autonomous vehicles become the norm, automakers need to focus on where the money is, and right now that’s crossovers, SUVs, and hybrids. No wonder Kia has four of their own, including the 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover.
SO, where did it all start? We’re thinking the Kia Optima Hybrid set the stage, a variation of the original Optima, followed by the Optima PHEV and Kia Soul EV – another variation of an original model. The 2017 Kia Niro is the most recent of the trend.
Kia Optima Hybrids
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid and PHEV are both variations of the original Kia Optima. They may look the same and share similar characteristics, but the powertrain is much different. Starting with the Kia Optima Hybrid, a 2.0-liter I4 Full Parallel Hybrid System runs things with a 2.0-liter GDI engine with CVVT and a 38 kW motor powered by a 1.76 kWh lithium polymer battery. It may not seem like much, but the engine designs GDI and CVVT completely change the game.
“GDI” stands for gasoline direct injection, a type of fuel injection system that injects highly pressurized fuel directly into the cylinders of an engine during the combustion cycle. Due to its resulting optimization of horsepower and fuel economy, it’s starting to replace other injection systems. “CVVT”, or Continuously Variable Valve Timing, like “CVT” transmission, can alter the timing of air intake and exhaust valve lift events to suit all speeds and conditions, without losing fuel or power. Together, this leads to a total output of 193-horsepower for the Kia Optima Hybrid, with a fuel economy of 39/46 mpg city/highway.
Unlike the Kia Optima Hybrid, that relies on regenerative braking to charge the battery (a process of transferring the power used to top a vehicle (braking) into a generator for the electric motor), the Kia Optima PHEV is a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. This means drivers can rely on regenerative braking or just charge the battery via an electrical outlet/charging station. With that comes the ability to drive on electricity-alone with zero emissions.
The Kia Optima PHEV is powered by a 156-hp 2.0-liter GDI engine and a 50 kW electric motor, powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The combined fuel economy currently sits at 40 mpg, and that’s when it is in hybrid mode. If running on electricity-alone, drivers can cover over 30 miles before needing power from the engine. It has three ways to charge the battery: regenerative braking, a Level 1 (120v) charger that receives a full charge in 9 hours, and a Level 2 (240v) charger for use at public station to charge up in less than 3 hours.
Kia Motors has certainly been buzzing with automobile concepts and debuts in the last year. The Kia GT, that ultimately became the Kia Stinger, was recently unleashed, and many of us want on the road asap. Now, Kia is adding a new crossover (CUV) to the mix, its very own response to competitors focusing on SUVs and CUVs.
Spied late last year was the 2018 Kia Stonic, a subcompact crossover. Kia Motors is currently testing its weather conditions in Northern Sweden, yikes. If that’s the case, one would think some kind of high-tech traction system will be in order – at the moment, all-wheel drive is slated as an optional drivetrain for various driving conditions.
Kia Motors is all about safety and they have received many awards for their designs and implementations of safety features. Many vehicles have safety features, but some don’t go very far past the basics. Today, there’s a lot of automatic features that lessen the risks of an auto accident, and Kia Motors probably has the most of them.
Keeping an Eye on Things
These features are like giving the driver eyes on the back of their head, and all around the vehicle for that matter.
The rear parking assist system is a sonar system that detects obstacles when backing up. When an object is detected, it emits an audible warning. Another variation of this detects objects in the front and back, found on the K900, Soul EV, and Sportage.
For a complete view of the drivers surroundings, the touchscreen comes with a Surround View Monitor, or in other words, a bird’s eye view of the car that uses four cameras to show obstacles behind the car and in its immediate vicinity. Blind-Spot Detection also helps with this, alerting the driver to vehicles in their blind spot with a visual cue in their exterior mirror. There are more advanced versions of this in the next section.
Breaking a record in the Guinness Book of World Records used to be a huge thing back in the day. Kinda like setting the new high score on old arcade games, it was always a source of pride for those who achieved them. Today, it might seem like getting in the Guinness Book for a record is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean people or companies have stopped trying. Take the Kia Niro for instance – it just set earned the Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the U.S. from coast to coast in a hybrid car.
The Niro crossover will be Kia’s first dedicated hybrid automobile, and although they have yet to be released, drivers and Kia fans will be pleased to know that the fancy CUV shown off at SEMA has a hybrid version with as much bark as bite. With an EPA-estimated 50 mpg combined, that’s enough to set it apart from other hybrids in its class. In fact, to make things official, Kia got together with Guinness and created a new record category just for this – a sort of “come at me bro” from Kia to the rest of the auto industry.
Brimming with the abilities of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) whilst also featuring the mobility and handling characteristics of a hatchback for makes crossovers a highly sought after models. Since CUVs have become so popular, many manufacturers have been getting in the CUV game, and now, Kia is jumping into the crossover market with their own vehicle.
In recent years, Kia has been making noise and this is just another example of how they’re making waves in the auto industry. Their crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is currently under wraps, and the whole project is quiet, but there are reports of it resembling the Kia’s old Provo concept car. If that’s anything to go by, it’s bound to look appealing (baby, got back!)