Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 KIA Optima

Searching and ultimately laying out your hard-earned money for a new ride is somewhat similar to choosing the love of your life.  You may shop around a lot using your computer, do a test drive or two, and maybe ask some friends or relatives for opinions.  It seems though, in buying a new car that taking the advice of owners is the most meaningful. 

That theory is backed up by the trustworthy Consumer Reports organization.  When they surveyed owners of mid-sized sedans, the car with the highest overall score was the Kia Optima.  Go figure!  This very popular family vehicle is ready for your own due diligence with the friendly folks at Westside KIA

Find out why this Optima is just a very huggable sedan.  Consumer Reports stated: “Owners love their Optima because it does so many things so well.  It drives nicely with responsive secure handling and a ride evocative of higher priced European sedans”.  An impressive 82% said they would definitely buy another Kia Optima.  Wonder why? 

To start with the Kia Optima has been redesigned, but at first glance you might think it kind of looks like its predecessor.  There is a saying; “looks can fool you”.  But this new Optima is longer, wider and still has its famous tiger nose grill along with the stylish chrome along the roof edge and the belt line that sweeps up the rear.  What is under its stylish metal- zeroes in on making your drive time a very enjoyable experience. 

The biggest change to the delight of its drivers is another aggressive engine.  Kia placed under its stylish hood a new lively 1.6-liter turbocharged four cylinder that is matched up to a quick and smooth shifting seven speed dual clutch automatic.  This feisty turbo can deliver 178 horses and an asphalt gripping 195 lb-ft of torque; it loves red turning to green.  This setup has the smoothness of a torque-converter automatic at the lower speed and delivers well executed and timed shifts when you punch it down.  The other tried and true power-plants you also can test drive are the 2.4-liter four that punches out 185 horses.  Then take a spin in the SX or SX-L models and experience the awesome 2.0-liter turbo with 245 thoroughbreds and connected to a six-speed automatic.  If you desire fantastic fuel economy, then look closely at the Optima Plug-in Hybrid that can get 99 mpg.  Not a misprint! 
When you slide into the Optima's wide and comfy seats, you and yours will realize that the cabin space has also increased.  Your passengers especially in the rear seats will appreciate the added room.  Also, in your test drive you'll discover a stiffer structure and re-tuned suspension as you take on those curves for a more controlled quiet driving experience.  Other features that are uncommon at this level are available leather, panoramic sunroof and even a 360 degree parking camera.   Another big bonus is that you will receive Kia's highly rated infotainment system with all the tools you need for entertainment, communication and safety. 

This new Kia Optima is a great blend of performance, value, styling and right in the mix with today's elite mid-sized family sedans.  Go ahead and check out the Optima at http://www.westsidekiahouston.com today!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2017 KIA FORTE BROWN LX

What's New for 2017

The 2017 Forte receives mildly updated front-end styling with available adaptive xenon headlights, plus new taillights (with available LED lighting). There's a new S sedan trim level with sporty accents and a firmer suspension, and the sedan's base engine is now a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is rated to deliver slightly better overall fuel economy than the discontinued 1.8-liter unit. The EX receives some formerly optional luxuries as standard, while newly available features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and a suite of advanced safety technologies. Finally, the Forte5 SX hatchback now offers a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission instead of last year's more traditional automatic.

Read Review
Summary Review Body Styles
The perennial small-car sales leaders have never faced stiffer competition, and the 2017 Kia Forte is the latest shot over the bow. Although it falls short of a full redesign, the 2017 Forte offers freshened styling, a new standard engine for the sedan, a sport-themed S sedan trim level, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and optional safety technologies such as automatic emergency braking that are still rare in this class. With fuel economy as high as 38 mpg highway and just about every available feature one could ask for in this price range, the 2017 Forte makes a strong case for itself against its more established foes.
The sedan's base 2.0-liter engine is perhaps the biggest news, as it's not often that a car swaps out its primary powerplant in the middle of its production cycle. Although it's slightly larger, the new 2.0-liter is more efficient than the smaller engine it replaces. Paired with the revised six-speed automatic transmission, the new engine increases combined fuel economy to 32 mpg (up one from 31 mpg), but the city rating gets a big boost from 26 mpg to 29 mpg. Notably, the top-of-the-line EX trim level gets a different, carryover 2.0-liter engine that makes a bit more power (though less than last year) but gives up an eye-opening 4 mpg in combined driving.
If you're shopping for a small car like the Forte, you probably already have two names in mind: Civic and Corolla. In terms of resale value, you can't beat 'em, and the current Civic also happens to be an unusually rewarding car to drive, especially with the optional turbocharged engine. The Corolla doesn't fare nearly as well on the merits, however, and the Forte undoubtedly offers more bang for the buck than both. We also recommend the sharp-handling Mazda 3 and Ford Focus, but their backseat space pales by comparison.
Summary Body Styles
Read Review Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options Performance
As of this writing, the 2017 Kia Forte is available as a sedan in LX, S and EX trim levels, while the hatchback Forte5 model is offered in LX, EX and SX trims. The two-door 2017 Forte Koup will be announced at a later date.
Standard features on the LX sedan include 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, USB connectivity and an auxiliary audio jack.
Optional for the LX (but only with the automatic transmission) is the Popular package, which includes automatic headlights, cruise control, upgraded interior upholstery and trim, a sliding front armrest, a rear seat armrest, a rearview camera, a 4.3-inch touchscreen and six speakers.
The S sedan starts with most of those items and upgrades to a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, a chrome exhaust outlet, adjustable drive modes (including steering effort), unique black cloth upholstery with white contrast stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (late availability) and Kia's Uvo eServices telematics.
The S sedan's Technology package adds foglights, LED taillights, and keyless entry and ignition plus a few safety technologies (lane departure warning and prevention, blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking). There's also a Premium package that builds on the Technology package with a sunroof, heated front seats, a power driver seat, driver memory settings, a sliding front armrest, and a navigation system with voice controls.
The EX sedan drops the sport-themed extras but adds the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, foglights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED turn signal indicators on the mirror housings (and puddle lamps underneath), LED taillights, keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic temperature control with rear vents.
For the EX, there's an optional Premium Plus package that adds a sunroof, power driver seat and the extra safety technologies plus adaptive xenon headlights, a navigation system, cooled front seats and driver memory settings.
From a features standpoint, the Forte5 LX and Forte5 EX largely mirror the LX and S sedan, with minor differences such as standard 16-inch steel wheels for the Forte5 LX and standard leather upholstery for the Forte5 EX, which gets 17-inch alloy wheels but lacks the S sedan's sport-tuned suspension (standard on the Forte5 SX) and other specific sport-themed flourishes. The Forte5 SX adds a turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips and unique front and rear styling, plus an Orange Color package (new for 2017) with orange leather seat inserts and contrast stitching. Forte5 options also largely mirror those of the sedan, although a couple of the sedan's advanced safety features (automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning and prevention) are not currently offered.
Read Review Performance
Body Styles Powertrains and Performance Safety
The Forte LX and S sedans are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Power runs to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission (LX only) or a six-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy estimates are 32 mpg combined (29 city/38 highway) with the automatic and a rather disappointing 28 mpg combined (25 city/34 highway) with the manual.
The EX sedan gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque (or 160 and 149, respectively, in SULEV specification). This engine comes only with the six-speed automatic and returns an EPA-rated 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway), which is decidedly unimpressive given the relatively modest power output. Note that the Forte5 LX and EX are also equipped with this powertrain, although the numbers had not been finalized as of this writing.
The SX version of the Forte5 has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that will be rated at or around last year's 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, with both output and EPA numbers also yet to be finalized. This model offers either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.
Body Styles Safety
Performance Safety Special Features
Every 2017 Kia Forte comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the LX and standard on the other trims. The optional Uvo eServices telematics bundle includes roadside assistance, emergency crash notification, and secondary driver (i.e., teenage) monitoring features that include notifications when curfew, vehicle speed and vehicle location limits are exceeded.
As noted above, the sedan offers automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, and blind-spot monitoring, although the Forte5 only offers the latter.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Forte EX sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, while a Forte5 SX turned in a 114-foot effort. Both results are slightly shorter than average for this segment.
Government crash tests of the 2017 Forte sedan saw it earn a five-star rating (out of five), with four stars for overall front-impact protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection.
Performance Special Features
Safety Interior Design and Special Features Driving Impressions
The 2017 Kia Forte is much more than just an economy car stuffed with gadgets. Boasting a handsome cabin furnished with quality materials, especially in the higher trim levels, the Forte gives other top compacts a run for their money. In addition, the Forte's high-tech features are well-designed and easy to use. The 7-inch touchscreen interface, with large, logically positioned virtual buttons, is one of the better examples of this technology.
Seat comfort front and rear in the sedan and Forte5 is very good, and even 6-foot adults should be comfortable sitting in back. The Forte sedan offers very generous cargo capacity, with a trunk capacity of 14.9 cubic feet, while the Forte5 hatchback boasts 23.2 cubic feet with the rear seat up and plenty more with the seatbacks folded down.
Safety Driving Impressions
Special Features Driving Impressions
Based on our experience with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra that uses the same 2.0-liter engine as the base Forte, we're not expecting quick acceleration from the base Forte sedan. The new engine is fuel-efficient, however, at least with the automatic transmission, and should feel adequate in terms of power delivery to most drivers. The Forte5's available turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is the logical choice for those who want extra zest, as it transforms the Kia into a genuinely speedy little car. The EX sedan's 2.0-liter engine is caught in the middle, providing no more power than the standard engines in many rival sedans yet sucking down fuel at a relatively prodigious rate.
The six-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifts, and it's surprisingly responsive during typical passing and merging situations. The slick-shifting six-speed manual in the Forte5 SX is pleasant to operate and makes the most of the turbocharged engine's power.
Most shoppers in this segment will likely be satisfied with the Forte's overall ride quality, but the Forte's suspension is occasionally a bit firm and unrefined. Rougher roads produce a somewhat busy ride; in comparison, rivals such as the Focus and Mazda 3 feel relatively cushy over broken pavement. The Forte feels steady on winding roads, but it's not particularly engaging.

Friday, October 28, 2016

2017 KIA Sorento

Consumer Reports recently ran an article on the best cars for families.  The one that rose to the top for families with school age children was the popular Kia Sorento.  That was really no big surprise since this year Consumer Reports also awarded the Sorento one of their “Top Ten” picks for a vehicle in the category for a mid-sized SUV.  You will see why when you see this sharp-looking redesigned family hauler at Westside KIA.

The CR organization said: “Our top-rated mid-sized SUV provides the room and space to keep a family comfortable and to bring along their gear”.   Owners of the Sorento would add that this vehicle is just fun to drive.  Anyway, this positive recognition by Consumer Reports and many other car critics is really a “no brainier”.  You will agree that everything just comes together for a family car from high owner satisfaction to being very dependable and reliable.  The Sorento is a perfect source of transportation for today's busy families. 
The “icing on the cake” is this Kia Sorento has been redesigned and re-engineered for 2016.  It is significantly roomier and more refined in nearly every way inside and out.  The Sorento still offers a third row to bump up the passenger capacity to seven.  As the well-known commercial goes...but wait, there is more!  All models are longer, wider and taller, which means more interior room.  That is one of the improvements you will quickly see and feel when you slide into those comfy seats for that important test drive from the friendly folks. 

Also, you and yours will appreciate the Sorento's handsome cabin and upscale materials that you would see in those “pricey” S UV's out there and delivers more usable cargo space then some of the two row SUV's .  This new Sorento offers a plethora of high tech systems that today's drivers expect for communication and entertainment.  They include the available Kia UVO infotainment setup, an awesome 10 speaker Infinity surround-sound system that will just “rock you”, a panoramic sun roof and much more. 

Since the Sorento is meant for families, Kia offers a slew of safety features from adaptive cruise control to the very effective and important forward collision warning.  Safety organizations highly recommend to invest in as many safety systems that you can afford.  The payback in dividends could be huge. 

Now, when you drive off in your new Sorento on the test drive, you will quickly appreciate how this re-engineered Kia responds and performs.  The Sorento's new suspension keeps a firm and composed and quiet ride.  What may be under the hood is the standard and peppy 2.4-liter four with 185 lively horses that punches out 185 hp.  If you desire more horses in your stable, then also test drive the popular 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horses and a pavement grabbing 252 lb-ft of torque.  New for this year is the the aggressive 2.0-liter Turbo that punches out 240 hp and delivers 20/27 mpg.  It even gets better as all-wheel drive is now available for drivers who want more stability in quirky driving conditions.  This is a first for this class of vehicle. 


Make the short drive to Westside KIA or visit them online at http://www.westsidekia.com and check out the redesigned Sorento and bring the crew.  One is waiting for you with your color, style and budget and still comes with the best warranty in the business.

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!