2012 Kia Rio

Friday May 13th, 2011 at 10:55 AM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Kia Rio

The all-new, redesigned 2012 Kia Rio (Rio5 in North America) features a 1.6-liter, GDI 4-cylinder, 138-horsepower engine and a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, that both achieve 40-mpg on the highway and 30-mpg in the city. The Rio will come in 3 trims, the LX, EX and the SX and will also offer ISG technology, which turns the vehicle’s engine off when it’s not in motion for lower fuel consumption. The Rio also has increased space by becoming longer, wider, and lower and features a reduced engine weight of 29 pounds over previous models.

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2011 Kia Optima Review – Not Your Average Mid-Size Sedan

Friday April 8th, 2011 at 7:44 AM
Posted by: mtan

2011 Kia Optima
By Ming Tan


  • Feature and amenity laden
  • Smooth design aesthetics
  • Peppy 2.4L 4 cylinder motor
  • Sporty handling suspension


  • A few oddly placed function buttons
  • Narrow trunk pass through
  • Awkward blind spots
  • Light steering feel

Just what is an “average” sedan? This is an interesting question in a world dominated by Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet. Is average boring? Is it plainly functional? Or should even an average car stimulate your senses and make you want to take a detour just to spend a little more time in it?

The marketing hype surrounding Kia’s new Optima, which culminated in an eye-popping Super Bowl commercial involving alien abduction and Mayan sacrifice, has absolutely peaked my interest. Having owned both Hondas and Toyotas in the past, I know what an average sedan feels like. I want to feel something different. Not often do thoughts of mid-sized sedans evoke passion and verve, but why shouldn’t they?

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40 MPG Cars – Affordable and Fuel Efficient

Tuesday March 29th, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2011 Chevy CruzeWith fuel prices continually rising, 40+ mpg cars are looking like a great option for consumers who can’t afford or don’t want hybrid technology. Without breaking the bank, these affordable fuel efficient cars range from $15,000 to about $20,000 and all provide 40 mpg or more highway mpg driving. Companies that have joined the 40-mpg club are Ford, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, and Smart.

Automakers are achieving the 40 mpg mark by using lighter-weight materials, modern gasoline powered engines with direct injection and six-speed automatic transmissions along with additional fuel-saving technologies such as low-rolling-resistance tires.

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Posted in Audi, Chevrolet, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Press and News, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , || 4 Comments »

Car Companies are Spending Big Bucks on Super Bowl Ads

Tuesday February 1st, 2011 at 3:22 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2011 Super Bowl XLV (45)2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) , the biggest television event of the year is coming up this Sunday, February 6, and the auto companies are spending big bucks ($3 million for 30 seconds) on advertising that will rival beer companies’ air time. Car makers such as Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, Volkswagen, and Bridgestone are all going to be making TV appearances from pre-game through post-game shows. Some companies have already started to build their campaigns before Super Bowl Sunday through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Audi is stirring up interest for their A8 Super Bowl commercials by posting the “Audi Estate Sale” on Facebook and messages on Twitter. Audi will also takeover YouTube’s homepage on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Posted in Audi, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Press and News, Viral Video |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »

2011 Kia Sportage EX FWD First Impression Review – The Sportage comes of age

Monday November 8th, 2010 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Kia Sportage

  • Sharp styling
  • Good acceleration
  • Better than average MPG
  • Baby friendly access for moms and dads
  • Bluetooth® music streaming


  • Temperamental power steering
  • Slightly harsh ride

Driving Impressions

The redesigned Kia Sportage makes a very good first impression, having inherited its handsome looks from the Kue concept of 2007. The sloping windshield makes this one of the most sporty looking crossovers on the road today. The Kia Sportage has a more distinctive design than any of the competition – the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, even its close cousin Hyundai Tucson.

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2010 Kia Forte Koup SX Review – Kopious Kar for the Kash

Friday June 4th, 2010 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2010 Kia Koupe Forte

By Kurt Gensheimer


  • Outstanding value
  • Head-turning exterior design
  • Performance on par with Civic Si
  • Class-leading rear seat legroom


  • Rage-inducing drive-by-wire throttle
  • Vague clutch takeup
  • Cheeseball speaker LEDs
  • Rear seat headroom fit for the Headless Horseman

Ruling: Behold, the very first Kia that you’d actually want to be seen in.

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2011 Kia Sorento EX 3.5 Review – A Lot More Than Meets the Eye

Tuesday May 25th, 2010 at 3:55 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Kia Sorento

By Danny Chang


  • Third-row seating
  • Good power & decent MPG
  • Great backseat AC
  • Panoramic sunroof


  • Narrow cabin
  • Temperamental iPod jack
  • Slightly harsh ride

After seeing Kia’s TV commercial for the Sorento that features the oversized stuffed animal monkey with freaky button eyes, an orange one-eyed monster, a teddy bear, and the robot daydreaming about cruising around town having a blast, I’ve been curious about this SUV. Is it really that much fun that toys dream about driving this thing around town and getting mom tattoos sewn onto their stuffed animal arms? I wondered. I thought about renting a monkey suit to drive the Sorento around town, but quickly realized that I don’t have the budget to do so.

Driving Impressions

Even without the monkey suit, the Kia Sorento EX has a 3.5L V6 that pumps out 276 horses and 248 lb-ft of torque which was actually very decent for this 3,896-lb. SUV. Get-up was good and I felt like a champ merging into traffic on the 280 in the morning. High-end acceleration was also good as I passed up those suckers on my way to the carpool lane. Life is good. Steering feel is solid and the SUV handled well at highway speeds as well as at 35 MPH down Main Street in Los Altos. The ride was smooth for the most part with an occasional creak from the rear of the vehicle. The view out of the side of the vehicle was less than ideal, since the C pillar is pretty darn thick.

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First Impressions: 2010 Kia Forte Koup

Thursday April 22nd, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2010 Kia Forte Koup

By Alex Kramer


  • Gutsy 173 hp engine
  • Appropriately agile in the turns
  • Nicely finished interior for the money
  • Excellent value overall


  • Manual tranny needs refinement
  • Suspension could be a bit firmer
  • Styling is somewhat bland

Ahhh, to be young again. Footloose and fancy free, and looking for that perfect set of wheels with which to cruise into summer. But what to buy? A nice little pocket rocket should fit the bill, and luckily there are quite a few sporty compact cars available. Unfortunately, a quick look at favorites like the GTI or Civic SI and you’re in for some sticker shock, with prices starting well over the $20k mark.

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2010 Kia Forte Review – The Forte shows off its strengths

Thursday December 10th, 2009 at 6:1212 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2010 Kia Forte

By Danny Chang


  • Stylish design inside and out for a compact
  • Rich features
  • Great steering feel
  • Good MPG


  • Underwhelming acceleration
  • Rear headroom a little tight

Kia has made great strides over the past few years on the design of their cars. While they have always looked better than their Hyundai cousins, the styling still left something to be desired, just look at the Amanti. Then came the Kia Sorento, a design inspired by (or copied from) the first Lexus RX. The Rio subcompact was a good effort as well, and then they launched the distinctive Soul. While the Forte sedan is not as dramatic as the Soul, it is very easy on the eye and is arguably one of the best looking compact cars on the market today.

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2010 Kia Soul Sport Review – I Heart Soul

Tuesday August 4th, 2009 at 9:88 AM
Posted by: mash

2010 Kia Soul
By Mary Ellen Ash


  • Lots of style
  • Well equipped tech features
  • Bang-for-buck value
  • Super fun to drive


  • Imprecise shifting
  • Limited cargo space
  • Petite engine power

The Soul is Kia’s foray into the youthful box-car market, currently dominated by the Scion xB, Nissan Cube and the Honda Element. The Soul will definitely be attractive to first time buyers, with its low cost, curious design, vibrant interior and multitude of techie gadgets. But it’ll also be enjoyed by older family oriented consumers with its versatile drive, good fuel economy, and ample passenger space. For this review, we tested the top of the line 2010 Kia Soul Sport featuring a sports-tuned suspension and other modifications yielding a more responsive ride.

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