The all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV earns title as “Best New City Car”

Date : December 2, 2014

(Toronto, ON) December 2, 2014 – Kia Canada was presented an Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Car of the Year category award. The all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV Urban Hatchback was announced winner of the “Best New City Car” award by AJAC.

The Soul EV faced tough competition throughout AJAC’s week-long comprehensive testing period, known as TestFest, which occurred in October in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

“Kia Canada is elated with the category win of the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV during AJAC’s comprehensive testing program in its respective category”, said Maria Soklis, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kia Canada Inc. “This recognition is a testament to Kia’s ongoing commitment to provide environmentally friendly automotive solutions to consumers without compromising on design or comfort.”

This prestigious award automatically qualifies the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV for consideration as the 2015 AJAC ‘Canadian Car of the Year’ title, which will be awarded on February 12th 2015, at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

Best small car over $21,000: Kia Forte5 LX+

Toronto Star,

By: Gary Grant

In today’s world, a car must satisfy a variety of needs. My wife wants reliability and practicality, but I want connectivity and a fun driving experience. Affordability is a must, and this category offers several vehicles that tick all five boxes.

Base price: $19,495

As tested: $21,695

Stylish but no nonsense inside and out, the Forte5 offers an almost unheard-of level of creature comforts in a vehicle at this price point. Quiet and comfortable, the cabin seats five comfortably with a cargo area that will easily swallow a couple of hockey bags. The 2.0L gasoline four cylinder generates 173 horsepower and can be had with a choice of six-speed automatic or manual transmissions, ensuring a sprightly driving experience.

WE LIKE

Sporty good looks set off by 16” alloy wheels

Economical to drive, yet fun on a twisty road

Fantastic infotainment package for this price point includes Bluetooth and satellite radio

Rear seat actually seats three teenagers

Very large cargo space for a small car

Engine: 2.0L I4 GDI

Power/torque: 173 hp/154 lbs.-ft.

Fuel consumption (regular) L/100 km: 9.7 city, 6.9 hwy.

What’s best: Most standard features in the class

What’s worst: More demure styling than some competitors

Value for money: Best of the bunch

 

Don’t be fooled by the badge. Kia’s posh, comfy luxo-barge rivals Germany’s best, at fraction of the cost

By John LeBlanc

It’s been decades since American luxury brands led the way in the flagship sedan classes. Think Cadillac DeVille, Chrysler Imperial or Lincoln Continental. All replaced by sportier-to-drive German luxobarges like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series in the 1980s, followed by even more impressive Japanese luxury sedans like the Lexus LS and Infiniti Q45 in the 1990s. And now Korea’s Kia, with its new 2015 K900, is looking to sway buyers who prefer their sedans big, comfortable and luxurious.

Launched as Kia’s first rear-wheel-drive sedan in South Korea in 2012, the five-passenger, four-door K900 sports Kia’s typically aggressive exterior styling. Yet the full-size sedan shares most of its nuts and bolts with its Hyundai Equus platform-mate. But does the K900 have the chops to be considered alongside other so-called “flagship” sedans?

As buyers have come to expect, “value” is a big part of the K900’s appeal. The base K900 V6 starts at $51,480 (all prices include freight and pre-delivery inspection fees). My tester was the top-line, all-inclusive $71,480 K900 V8 Elite.

While that may sound like a lot of  money for a “Kia”, you don’t need to hold an economics degree to know that the K900 can be had for tens of thousands of dollars less than comparably equipped German and Japanese rivals. Unlike, say, a BMW 7 Series, the K900’s price doesn’t explode when you start adding what most luxury buyers would consider basic features.

For example, the V6 K900 comes standard with a power trunk lid, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a power rear sunshade, a 17-speaker Lexicon surround-sound audio system – and more. Opt for the V8 K900, and you’ll find such niceties added as a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert system, lane departure warning system, heated steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery — well, you get the idea.

Slipping between the slightly larger Equus and the last-generation Hyundai Genesis, the K900 is very close to the $86,645 Lexus LS 460 in size. Not surprisingly, this allows for suite-like accommodations for anyone boarding the big Kia.

More than just roomy, the K900 is also a very nice place to be — whether you are the chauffeur or a lucky passenger. Overall, the use of black-piano finishes, real wood and quality leather is tastefully and extremely well fitted together in the Kia’s cabin. The front seats — if lacking the sort of support some of the optional “sport” seats the German brands offer — are easy to get comfortable in and offer an array of adjustability.

Perhaps, however, the best seats in the K900 are the thrones in the back. Not only is there plenty of legroom for full-sized adults, the seats recline and adjust — just the thing for naps after a long day at the office while James drives you home.

With only 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque needing to pull around 2,000 kilograms of Kia luxobarge, the base 3.8-litre six-cylinder gas engine seems, well, inappropriate. But the willing 5.0L eight-cylinder certainly feels more like a proper flagship sedan powerplant.

Making 420 hp and 376 lb.-ft., and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the K900 V8 smoothly swooshes the from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in just 5.7 seconds. If that reads quick, that’s because it is: Not only is the K900 V8 the quickest Kia ever, it’s also over a half-second quicker than the $86,645 Lexis LS 460.

Kia Rio5 SX Fun-to-drive hatchback is big on entertainment and easy on the wallet

By Graeme Fletcher

The popularity of any car is, in part, governed by its style. For example, Acura has been losing ground ever since the controversial “beak” was applied to its corporate nose. Conversely, Kia’s popularity has been growing under the penmanship of chief designer Peter Schreyer.

When Kia landed in Canada its portfolio was as attractive as a brick and just about as much fun to drive. Since then the company has pulled a 180 and now boasts one of the most dynamic portfolios on the market — dynamic to the eye (the Rio5 SX’s LED daytime running lights and taillights) and to the driver’s built-in yaw sensor. No, you will not mistake the Rio5 SX for a small Porsche, but compared to its peers it has a fun quotient many cannot match.

However, said outward appeal must also extend to the cabin. So it is with the Rio5 SX. To begin with, Kia’s cheesy plastics and hit and miss assembly quality has vanished in favour of a look and feel that has substance and style. Yes, there is still a lot of plastic, at least in the base model, but it is richly textured and soft to the touch. Likewise, the fit and finish is now on par with its peers.

Look a little deeper and things get even better — the content list is long and better than many of the Rio5’s peers. The height-adjustable driver’s seat is comfortable, as are the rest of the seats, the instrumentation is clean and, in spite of the hatchback design, the sightlines around the car are uncluttered. Besides, there was also a back-up camera on the test car. It is a combination that’s destined to appeal to those shopping on a budget.

This is reinforced by the content list. It reads like it belongs to something far more expensive. Heated leather front bucket seats, automatic climate control, heated steering wheel and a smart key with push-button start to go along with the usual power items and cruise control. It also had rain-sensing wipers and an auto-defog system that actively monitors the moisture on the windshield and automatically switches to defrost to clear the mess before reverting back to the driver’s preset setting. Now that is heady stuff! Heck, the tester even had a power moonroof and a full-on navigation system.

The Rio5 has the flexibility demanded of a hatch. True, sitting three adults in the rear seat is optimistic, but there is plenty of head- and legroom and enough cargo capacity to satisfy most eventualities. With the seats upright there’s 425-litres of space and 1,410 L with them folded flat.

The Rio5 is powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine that features everything its more expensive rivals do — direct injection, variable cam phasing and a variable intake. In this instant, it produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. Pair this with a six-speed automatic with a manual mode and paddle shifters, and the powertrain’s work ethic is such that there is plenty of pull off the line (enough to chirp the tires) and a purposeful mid-range. No, I am not talking road rocket here, but for most eventualities the Rio5 satisfies driver demand. It runs to 100 kilometres an hour in 10 seconds and accomplishes the more important 80 to 120 km/h passing move in 7.3 seconds. Not outstanding, but in this segment it’s more than competitive — in a moment of exuberance I dusted a more expensive Fiat 500. The latter ambles its way to the metric ton in around 12 seconds, which is enough time to get half way through a crossword!

The Rio5’s ride and handling sits above many of its competitors. No, it’s not the sports suspension (it is taut, which limits body roll, but lets road imperfections filter through) or the ability to tailor the weight of the steering (Comfort, Normal and Sport modes). The latter, when in Sport, delivers a pleasant amount of weight without being too difficult to wheel in a parking lot. What is impressive is the advanced stability control system that keeps the Rio5 shiny side up. It not only uses the usual brake intervention to correct oversteer, it employs the steering to counter-steer out of the problem in a manner that remains invisible to the driver. Plus, the set up is such it allows the driver to take some liberties before it clamps down on the fun. The Rio5 SX and its larger P205/45R17 tires reinforced this playful nature as they bring a ton of lateral grip, which means the stability control is even less inclined to intervene. The SX also benefits from larger front brakes than the lesser models, which brings better fade resistance.

The Rio5, and its sedan counterpart, delivers a light, tight, city-friendly car that is big on entertainment and easy on the wallet — a test average fuel economy of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres and a starting price of $14,495. The bottom line is simple: If you want and/or need to cut your transportation budget without giving up on life’s luxuries the Rio5 is an ideal candidate. It has the right content and a fun-to-drive factor many cars at this end of the price spectrum simply can’t match.

Consumer Survey: Kia Sorento and Sportage ‘Best Value

 by KIA Canada

RVINE, Calif., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Kia Motors America (KMA) is one of the fastest-growing car companies in the U.S., and its two popular crossover utility vehicles have acquired an impressive collection of awards and accolades from industry observers. This week, the brand’s two CUVs received a different type of recognition when Strategic Vision revealed that new car buyers identified the 2013 Sorento and 2013 Sportage as the number one ranked vehicles in Total Value in the Medium and Small SUV segments, respectively, in the research firm’s latest Total Value Index@ (TVI) study.

More than 350 new vehicles were vetted and over 77,000 buyers who purchased models from September 2011 to June 2012 were surveyed to compile Strategic Vision’s 16th annual TVI study, which revealed that quality and innovation shaped buyers’ opinion of overall values. “The result shows that innovation is the strongest single predictor of which cars, brands and corporations are seen as the best value, or ‘Total Value’ in our study,” stated Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision.

“Kia takes great pride in advancing value to new levels of sophistication, and Strategic Vision’s ‘Total Value’ recognition is gratifying because it is based on feedback from Sorento and Sportage customers,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “This honor speaks to Kia’s goal of producing cars that are not only affordable but also dynamic in terms of their design, performance and cutting-edge technology attributes.” The Sorento combines fun and functionality in a refined and value-minded CUV with impressive power. Kia’s longest running nameplate, the Sportage, offers design and performance in a compact CUV with modern amenities and a fun-to-drive personality.

Kia’s Unprecedented Growth

Kia Motors is one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality[2] and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking[3]. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds two of the company’s best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia’s value and technology-laden lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

About the 2013 Sorento

The 2013 Sorento incorporates all of the comforts of Kia’s signature crossover utility vehicle with the functionality consumers have come to expect. Built at Kia Motors’ U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, the Sorento can be powered by any one of three capable engines including a robust 3.5-liter V6 engine with sportmatic shifting. The Sorento also offers optional All-Wheel Drive, third-row seven-passenger seating, Bluetooth@[4], SiriusXM radio[5], Infinity@[6] surround sound and Kia’s UVO powered by Microsoft@ voice- activated infotainment and communication system[7]. The refined and value-minded 2013 Sorento is offered at a starting MSRP of $23,150[8].

About the 2013 Sportage

The 2013 Kia Sportage offers value-, image- and safety-conscious consumers a striking design and a standout combination of fun-to-drive performance, the latest in-vehicle technologies, and an abundance of comfort, convenience and safety features all at a tremendous value. The sleek and modern Sportage is available with either a 2.4-liter, 176 horsepower engine or a 2.0-liter, 260 horsepower Turbo GDI engine. Inside the cabin, the Sportage offers a host of available technology features, including Kia’s all new UVO Powered by Microsoft@ hands-free, voice-activated infotainment system. The 2013 Sportage features a starting MSRP of $19,000[9].

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. [10] Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website –www.kia.com.  For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.

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