Monday, September 19, 2016

Kia Soul EV

Fully electric vehicles can lead to a drastic change of habits and spending from gas guzzling vehicles. As I am constantly educating consumers to know and understand what it’s like to live fully electric and it’s more than an amazing car. It really is a car electrified.

It can be recharged by plugging the car into a standard household outlet– same one you’d use to charge your phone.  The Soul EV is the first car ever manufactured to feature a true “driver-only” ventilation system. By pressing a button on the dashboard marked “driver-only”, the driver can simply switch off dashboard and foot well ventilation to other passengers to save on energy.

On average the Soul EV will take you about 90 miles on one charge.  95% of US drivers’ commute is under 40 miles and the average commute is only 13.6 miles.  It also qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 depending on the state you live in.

As most of you that know and those that don’t, National Drive Electric Week is an event to heighten awareness of all-electric vehicles. It was great to see the Soul EV before but today Kia is here to raise awareness for this more sustainable and eco-friendly vehicle. Kia uses an increased range of bio-based materials in order to stay true to the car’s green philosophy.

Come by and see what other eco-friendly things we are working on at Westside Kia 23005 Katy Freeway Katy, Texas or give us a call at 281-392-5858 today!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kia Optima PHEV

I want to apologize right off the bat for not getting too excited about the whole plug in electric car thing.  Sure I recognize the need to conserve energy and all that jazz but there are just some things I would not sacrifice to make that happen and most of the vehicles offered are just that, a big sacrifice.  Introducing the Kia Optima PHEV.

Its 154-horsepower 2.0-liter direct injection gas engine is paired with a 67-horsepower electric motor powered by a 9.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. With the electric motor replacing the torque converter in the six-speed automatic gearbox, the system produces 202 horsepower and 276 lb.-ft. of torque at full throttle.

Kia replaced the standard Optima's grill with an active air flap which lowers the car's drag co-efficient (Cd) to 0.25 when closed. With the batteries integrated in the spare wheel well and the capacity of the fuel tank reduced by four gallons, the plug-in offers 10.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Kia says this car can do "up to 33 miles of pure-electric driving at speeds as high as 75 mph, with 0-60 acceleration in 9.1 seconds in hybrid mode."

Inside, the PHEV is more generously equipped than regular Optima’s. The 8.0-inch touchscreen features Android Auto, Apple Car play and all the extra software you need to improve your hypermiling skills. You also get a 270-degree around-view monitor and a 10-speaker Harman/Hardon stereo with Clari-Fi technology that restores the sound quality of your heavily compressed digital files.

This is one to get excited about.  Come see why at Westside Kia 23005 Katy Freeway Katy, Texas or give us a call at 281-392-5858 today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2014 Kia Cadenza 4dr Sdn Premium

It's been awhile since Kia has offered a large sedan. Remember the Amanti, which was last produced for 2009? Don't feel bad, since most of our staff doesn't either. The 2014 Kia Cadenza, however, should prove more memorable, as it fills that spot in Kia's lineup quite nicely. This ever-improving Korean carmaker has been hitting home runs in nearly every segment recently, and the Cadenza looks like it'll be the latest one to go soaring out of the park and onto consumers' consideration lists.
The front-wheel-drive Cadenza is longer and wider than the Optima and essentially shares its platform with cousin Hyundai's Azera. As such, it packs a 3.3-liter V6 with 293 horsepower along with a six-speed automatic. Kia tweaked the steering and suspension to give it a more sporting personality than its relative. But this is still more a luxury cruiser than a sport sedan. And as we'd now expect from Kia, the Cadenza offers a wealth of standard and optional high-end features along with sharp styling that manages to make it stand apart from the crowd without looking strange.
Initially, Kia offered the Cadenza in just one well-equipped trim level but later in the model year it was joined by the even more luxurious Limited version. Unlike some other competitors, the 2014 Kia Cadenza doesn't offer other powertrain choices such as a fuel-sipping four-cylinder turbo or a hybrid. That said, we certainly have no complaint with its V6's smooth and spirited performance.
This segment has a handful of heavy hitters that are also worthy of your scouting report. The Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon similarly offer effortless performance, smooth rides and roomy, well-trimmed cabins. The former offers the option of muscular V8 power while the latter also comes as a hybrid. There's also the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Passat that, like the others, offer various powertrain options, even a thrifty turbodiesel in the VW's case. Overall, though, we think Kia's new 2014 Cadenza is an excellent choice for a large sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Kia Cadenza is a large sedan that comes in two trim levels: the very well-equipped Premium and even more lavish Limited.
Standard features on the Premium include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding sideview mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power driver seat, four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats and a ventilated driver seat. Standard high-tech features include a rearview camera, rear park assist, an 8-inch touchscreen display, Kia's Uvo voice command system, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone/audio and a 12-speaker Infinity sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod/auxiliary audio inputs.
Optional on the Premium is the Luxury package, which includes active xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a windshield wiper de-icer, a 7-inch gauge cluster display, upgraded leather upholstery, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, heated rear seats, driver memory settings, a power driver seat cushion extender and a power rear window sunshade.
The Limited trim includes all the above, as well as 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, an electronic parking brake, water-repellent front windows and blind spot/lane departure warning systems.
Optional at no cost for the Limited are a pair of color-themed packages. The White Interior package features white leather upholstery, added wood-grain accents and suede headliner/sun visor/rear shelf trim. The Gray Interior package is similar, but with a gray color scheme.

Powertrains and Performance

Every Cadenza is fitted with a 3.3-liter V6 generating 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. It sends its thrust to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds testing, the Cadenza accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, an average time for this segment.
Fuel economy numbers stand at an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city/28 mpg highway).


Standard safety features on the 2014 Kia Cadenza include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and hill start assist. A rearview camera and rear park assist are standard, while blind-zone and lane departure warning systems are optional.
During Edmunds testing, the Cadenza came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, an average performance for this class.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cadenza its highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests. The Cadenza's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

Despite being loaded with upscale high-tech features, the Cadenza's cabin manages to be cleanly styled and ergonomically friendly. Handsome design and quality materials are seen throughout, while controls for the audio, climate, phone and navigation systems are easy to find and use. The touchscreen in particular features large virtual "buttons" with logical placements. Along with Chrysler's/Dodge's unit, this is one of the best examples of this multitasking interface we've seen in any car, regardless of cost.
The Cadenza's comfort is also top-notch, with plump, well-shaped seats front and rear that provide solid back and leg support. The cabin is roomy all around, though taller drivers may want to reconsider getting the panoramic sunroof, as it robs a few inches worth of headroom. A wide range of steering wheel and seat adjustments means drivers of all sizes should be able to get ideally situated behind the wheel.

Driving Impressions

Though it's a large sedan, the 2014 Kia Cadenza isn't the floaty, luxury barge you might expect. It's composed when driven through turns, and in general this full-size Kia just feels smaller than it is. Around town, the Cadenza's somewhat firm suspension tuning still ably absorbs broken pavement. Out on the open road, interstate cruises are serene and relaxing thanks to the quiet cabin and comfortable seating.
Performance is similarly unstressed, as the Cadenza swiftly powers up on-ramps and passes other, slower cars with ease. Power delivery is very smooth and the transmission provides timely shifts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The 2017 Kia Sorento looks to double down on last year's full redesign, adding deeper smartphone integration and more advanced safety features to its dossier. But the story remains the upward mobility that Kia's midsize crossover has lately shown. Previously known as a midsize crossover at a relatively compact price, the Sorento has graduated to full-fledged midsize status, competing on luxury and performance (and, yes, price) with the segment's best.
Offering no fewer than three engines, the Sorento maintains a presence on the value-oriented end of the spectrum with its base 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Step up to the 3.3-liter V6, however, and you're looking at acceleration and refinement that easily justify the higher cost, although we're lukewarm on the available turbocharged 2.0-liter four. You can go with a two-row layout or a three-row setup -- the latter offers adequate space in the way-back for kids. A number of three-row rivals boast more interior volume overall, but with its easily manageable size, the Sorento provides a nice combination of maneuverability and versatility.
If you're looking for alternatives, it depends on which Sorento you're considering. If it's the two-row version, we'd suggest checking out the well-rounded Ford Edge or the Sorento's corporate cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, with the luxurious Jeep Grand Cherokee entering the conversation at the Kia's higher trim levels. Three-row competitors include the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Highlander. Overall, we like how the 2017 Kia Sorento brings a little something for everyone, and as such it merits consideration from a wide range of crossover SUV shoppers.
The 2017 Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV available in five- and seven-passenger configurations. There are five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. Note that the L model, the SX Limited and the EX with the turbocharged engine (EX 2.0T) are five-passenger only, while the EX V6 and the SX are seven-passenger only. The four-cylinder LX comes standard with five-passenger seating and can be optioned with the third row; the LX V6 is seven-passenger only.
The base L comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, stain-resistant fabric upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 40/20/40 split-second-row seats (fold, slide and recline), Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, satellite radio and USB and auxiliary audio inputs.
The Sorento LX adds a sound-reducing windshield, roof rails, a rearview camera,a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface and two rapid-charge USB ports.
Optional on LX is the Convenience package, which adds Uvo eServices with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, rear parking sensors, an eight-way power driver seat (plus two-way power lumbar), heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. When the V6 engine is specified, the Convenience package also includes a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. The third-row seat can be added to the Convenience package on the four-cylinder LX (it comes standard on LX V6).
The LX's optional Advanced Technology package adds an upgraded instrument cluster with a 7-inch driver information display, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and an electronic parking brake.
The Sorento EX comes standard with the LX's Convenience package (except the blind-spot monitor), 18-inch wheels, sound-reducing front side glass, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles (2.0T engine only) and second-row manual side sunshades. The EX Premium package adds the blind-spot monitor, a 110-volt household-style plug, an adjustable-height hands-free power liftgate, power-folding mirrors and the upgraded instrument cluster. The Advanced Touring package can be added to the Premium package and includes a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting and the safety components of the LX's Advanced Technology package.
When you go with the Sorento SX you get the Premium and Advanced Touring package equipment (minus the safety components of the LX's Advanced Technology package) and adds upgraded steering, 19-inch wheels, LED running lights and taillights, special exterior trim, a 10-way power driver seat (plus four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings, an 8-inch touchscreen interface with a navigation system and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system with Clari-Fi digital music improvement technology. Optional on SX is an Advanced Technology package that adds adaptive xenon headlights, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and the safety components of the LX's Advanced Technology package.
Finally, there's the SX Limited with the full contents of the SX's Advanced Technology package plus chrome-clad 19-inch wheels, LED foglights, upgraded leather upholstery, a leather-and-wood-trimmed steering wheel and heated second-row outboard seats.
Every 2017 Kia Sorento comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, and front- and second-row side curtain airbags. All but the LX come standard with a rearview camera. Optional on LX and standard on EX, SX and SX Limited are rear parking sensors and Uvo eServices (geo-fencing, speed alert and curfew alert for secondary drivers). Other available safety technologies include a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking.
In Edmunds brake testing, an SX V6 needed 121 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is about average.
In government crash tests, the 2017 Sorento received the top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. Likewise, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2017 Sorento the best possible score of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal-offset, moderate-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Sorento's seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts. 
Most surfaces in the 2017 Kia Sorento are soft to the touch and richly textured, while available two-tone color schemes accentuate these quality materials. There's enough of a premium look and feel that higher trim levels seem properly luxurious. Much the same can be said for the appealing dashboard design, which happily also includes user-friendly controls. Kia's touchscreens are generally among the simpler electronics interfaces around, with big virtual buttons and clear labeling.
Legroom is generous in the second row, and you can further customize the Sorento for greater comfort or cargo space as the second row seats slide, recline and fold flat via levers in the cargo area. This versatility is present regardless of seating configuration, which isn't always the case in competing SUVs. As for the third-row seat, it's got room for kids or smaller adults; however, larger crossovers like the Toyota Highlander do have more adult-friendly space (as well as seatbelts for eight).
Cargo capacity behind the third row (11.3 cubic feet) is really only good for a pair of small suitcases or several grocery bags. There's roughly 38 cubic feet behind the second-row seat, with maximum capacity reaching up to 73.5 cubes when you fold the second row. That's more than you'll find in many five-passenger midsize SUVs, but less than what a number of competitive three-row crossovers offer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


When a vehicle's been around for a few generations, as the Sportage has, its basic characteristics are usually well-established, so you know what to expect from the next one. But for the fully redesigned 2017 Sportage, Kia directly addressed two of our primary complaints about the previous model. First, the formerly cramped backseat is now remarkably roomy, to the point that a family might not need anything more. And second, the formerly firm ride is now relatively compliant.
In short, we're running out of reasons why the Sportage isn't a head-of-the-class standout among small crossover SUVs.

The new 2017 Kia Sportage has a fresh face that prominently features Kia's corporate grille.
If there's one thing that still holds the Sportage back, it's lackluster fuel economy, which we called out last year and must underscore again for 2017 despite mild improvements. This is a predictable problem, as both available engines and the mandatory six-speed automatic transmission are largely carryover items from the outgoing Sportage. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel-drive combo is pegged at 22 mpg in combined driving, according to EPA estimates, trailing the Honda CR-V by a significant 5 mpg, while the optional 2.0-liter turbo can only manage 21 mpg in combined driving. On the bright side, the engines are quiet and refined, and the smooth-shifting transmission responds quickly when you need a downshift.
By the numbers, at least, another 2017 Sportage shortcoming is its cargo capacity, which is limited to 60.1 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down, easily outdone by the RAV4's 73.3 cubes and the CR-V's 70.9. Still, you might find it more than adequate for your needs, and the Sportage is notably nose-to-tail shorter than both rivals, making it a bit more maneuverable in close quarters. Additional strengths include an upscale cabin that's surprisingly quiet at speed, an excellent optional 8-inch Uvo touchscreen and responsive steering that gives this Kia an appropriately sporting feel.
The 2017 Kia Sportage joins a group of affordable crossovers that's never been more competitive. In addition to the above-mentioned RAV4 and CR-V, there's the smaller Honda HR-V, which offers an exceptionally spacious interior for its size and impressive fuel economy but suffers from laggardly acceleration. The Mazda CX-5 is a perennial favorite among our staffers for its capable handling and well-rounded feature set, while the reinvented 2017 Ford Escape merits strong consideration. But if you're shopping for a crossover in this genre, you owe yourself a drive in the thoughtfully redesigned 2017 Sportage.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2017 Kia Sportage is a small crossover SUV with seating for five. It's offered in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX Turbo.
All 2017 Sportage versions have a central control layout that wraps toward you for ease of access.
The LX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, automatic headlights, rear privacy-tinted windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, rear climate vents, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port, an auxiliary input jack and satellite radio.
The EX upgrades to 18-inch wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, roof rails, a gloss-black grille, a windshield-wiper de-icer, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rear USB charging port and a 7-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Kia's Uvo infotainment system (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).
The SX Turbo boasts 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high beams, LED foglights and taillights, power-folding mirrors with LED turn signals, a sport-tuned suspension, a hands-free power tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a heated flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, an upgraded driver information display, an eight-way power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, dashboard accent stitching, gloss-black interior accents, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, a navigation system and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
A number of these standard features can be added to lower trim levels as options. For the LX, the Popular package adds the roof rails, heated mirrors, windshield-wiper de-icer, power driver seat, heated front seats and illuminated vanity mirrors, while the Cool and Connected package throws in the 7-inch touchscreen with Uvo and the automatic climate control. For the EX, the Premium package adds the panoramic sunroof, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED interior lighting and heated steering wheel (though this wheel lacks the SX Turbo's flat-bottom design and shift paddles), while the Technology package tacks on the automatic high beams, hands-free power tailgate, ventilated front seats, power passenger seat, 8-inch touchscreen and Harman Kardon audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

In LX and EX trim, the 2017 Kia Sportage is motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The SX Turbo model gets a stronger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available as an option.
Given the turbocharged engine's surprising thirst and so-so acceleration, we'd lean toward the regular 2.4-liter engine that comes standard in this 2017 Sportage EX.
According to the EPA, the Sportage LX should return 26 mpg combined (23 city/30 highway) with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg combined (21/25) with all-wheel drive. The Sportage EX's official estimates are slightly different, but expect essentially the same in real-world driving. The SX Turbo drops to 23 mpg combined (21/26) with FWD and 21 mpg combined (20/23) with AWD.
Although these fuel economy numbers are a tick or two better than those of the previous Sportage, they're still unimpressive for a small crossover with four-cylinder power. Many rivals, especially those with AWD, are typically better.


Standard safety features on all 2017 Kia Sportage models include antilock disc brakes, traction control and stability control, a rearview camera, hill-start assist, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
The SX Turbo additionally includes a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and front and rear parking sensors. These items are optional on the Sportage EX, with the blind-spot monitor/cross-traffic alert included in the Premium package and the other items included in the Technology package.
Kia's Uvo telematics suite, standard on the EX and SX Turbo trims (and optional on LX), includes emergency and roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking, geo-fencing and speed tracking (allowing parents to set limits for teen drivers) and other smartphone-enabled features accessible via the Uvo app.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2017 Sportage's interior is impressively executed. The dashboard has a substantial, upmarket look and includes a broad central control layout that tilts toward the driver, giving the cockpit a sporty character to match the name. Materials quality is class-competitive, and we've noted no squeaks or rattles in our test vehicles to date. The base LX trim is rather sparsely equipped by today's standards, but one could argue that it gives you most of what you need, including Bluetooth, a USB port and a small touchscreen. Higher trims can be outfitted with a high-resolution 8-inch touchscreen that features sharp graphics and quick response times, but even the LX is eligible for an upgrade to the EX's standard 7-inch touchscreen with Uvo infotainment functions (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full smartphone integration).
Passenger space and comfort are outstanding for this size class. As expected in a crossover, the driver and front passenger have plenty of head- and legroom, and the available power seats include bottom cushions that tilt independently for additional customization. Rear occupants are hardly worse off, however. Even with a 6-footer in the driver seat, another 6-footer can sit immediately astern without issue, and he or she will enjoy ample thigh support. This level of accommodation is normally associated with midsize crossovers, so it's a welcome surprise in the compact Sportage.
Although the 2017 Sportage trails segment leaders in terms of outright cargo capacity, this is still a pretty handy vehicle if you've got stuff to haul.
With all that space devoted to making rear passengers happy, there's not a whole lot left over for the cargo area. You get 30.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seatbacks, which trails class leaders by about 4-6 cubes, while folding down those seatbacks opens up a similarly modest 60.1 cubic feet. That's still a fair amount of hauling capability, though, so it's worth taking a look at the dealership to see if you think you really need more.

Driving Impressions

The Sportage has evolved noticeably from the firm-riding crossover it used to be. Kia seems to have realized that crossover buyers appreciate comfort, too, because the 2017 Sportage strikes a rewarding balance between ride compliance and handling control. There's still a certain athleticism to the way this crossover steers and takes a corner, but impacts now tend to be absorbed or shrugged off rather than transmitted vividly to the cabin. We also appreciate how quiet the reasonably priced Sportage remains at speed; not too long ago, you would have needed a luxury-brand model to enjoy such isolation from the elements.
Given how accomplished the Sportage is otherwise, the engines are something of a letdown. The base 2.4-liter engine operates smoothly, but while it keeps you moving with traffic well enough, there's not much surplus power for passing. We like that Kia provides a higher-performance engine in the SX Turbo, but it doesn't give you the punch you'd expect based on its extra 59 hp, and its fuel economy penalty may be hard to swallow. In any event, we're fans of the six-speed automatic, which is one of the best-mannered transmissions you'll find in this segment.