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  1. As far as sports sedans go, they don’t come much better than the Kia Stinger. It’s no surprise that this great looking vehicle has become a must have for driving enthusiasts looking for a combination of style and performance. The … Continue reading → Lees volledige artikel
  2. Hyundai and Kia have unveiled a new way to charge electrified vehicles: Roof or body-mounted solar panels. Despite being talked about for years, solar roofs on automobiles haven’t seen widespread adoption. Cost, practicality, and rollover safety concerns mean the largest user of the technology is the Japanese and European-market Toyota Prius Prime. Now, Hyundai wants to go solar in a big way, starting next year. The automaker wants buyers to know that solar roofs aren’t useless for regular gas-powered vehicles, either. There are three solar charging systems under development, Hyundai Motor Group claims, targeting electric, hybrid, and ICE Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Obviously, the largest benefit of a roof containing a photovoltaic array is that EV or PHEV vehicles can charge themselves while parked, eliminating some of the need to plug into an electric grid. While the amount of current headed to the car’s battery wouldn’t be large, it would make a difference. ALSO SEE: Audi to Add Clear Solar Panels in its Sun Roofs Without mentioning the markets where it plans to offer the technology, Hyundai said the first system — applied to hybrids — will become available in 2019. It didn’t mention models, either, but Hyundai’s Ioniq and Kia’s Niro seem like likely candidates. There’s also the Sonata and Optima to consider. In a hybrid model, the solar roof can apparently top up a propulsion battery by 30 or 60 percent over the course of a day. Depending on the vehicle, the technology might also make it to the hood, boosting the amount charging power. The maximum generation capacity of these systems is 100 watts. Using an Ioniq Hybrid as an example, a max generation solar array operating under optimal conditions would top up the car’s 1.6 kWh battery to the tune of 50 percent in eight hours, though a smaller, roof-only system would mean less charge. A plug-in hybrid variant would likely need more than a week to fully charge its 8.9 kWh battery. As for the 28 kWh Ioniq Electric, well, you’d best bring that charging cord. A system designed solely for use with conventional gas-powered cars would utilize a semi-transparent roof and send current to the car’s battery. This would be great in cold climes, assuming the sun peeks above the horizon (or through the clouds), though you’d also want some kind of insulation beneath that roof. Whether we’ll see this technology in North America remains to be seen. Road safety regulators put the kibosh on the solar-roofed Prius after it was determined the panel would shatter during a rollover. Hyundai says its panels are made of silicon, though its crashworthiness isn’t yet known. That said, if solar isn’t a go, something else might show up to generate a money-saving charge (likely at an additional expense to the buyer). Jeong-gil Park, the automaker’s engineering chief, said solar panels are not the extent of its electricity-generating tech. “In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles,” Park said in a statement. “The solar roof is the first of these technologies, and will mean that automobiles no longer passively consume energy, but will begin to produce it actively.” A version of this article originally appeared on The post Hyundai, Kia Aiming for Solar Roofs Starting in 2019 appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  3. The 2020 Kia Forte GT debuted at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, a show where automakers typically go overboard on crazy paint colors an unrealistic mods. The Kia Forte is the second car in the Korean automaker’s lineup to get the GT designation after the much-hyped Stinger GT. In Kia land, GT denotes a top trim that is focused on luxury and sporty driving dynamics. The Forte GT is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gives it 201 horsepower, a 54-hp bump over the standard Forte. At the time of writing, no torque figure was released and we’ve asked for more clarification, but it’s the same engine in the Soul Turbo, and that makes 195 lb-ft. ALSO SEE: 2019 Kia Forte Review Other goodies include a fully independent front and rear suspension, a sport-tuned exhaust, available 18-inch performance tires, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, alloy sport pedals, new two-tone wheels, LED headlights, projector fog lights, rear spoiler and a bunch of other unique trim pieces. Drivers can pick a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and sport seats with contrast piping are also available. The new Kia Forte got great reviews and feels much more expensive than it is, and the driving dynamics were already quite good, so we’re sure the GT version will be even better. The 2020 Kia Forte GT will be offered in GT1 and GT2 trims, available summer 2019. More information and photos should be available in the near future. Discuss this article on our Kia Forte Forum The post 2020 Kia Forte GT is the Little Stinger You Asked For appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  4. If you don’t like taking trips back to the dealership with your brand new car, here are this year’s most reliable cars. Based on Consumer Reports 2018 Annual Auto Survey, these models are the 10 most reliable cars today. The publication predicts these vehicles will give owners fewer problems than their competitors, based on data collected from over 500,000 survey respondents. The study takes a look at 17 different trouble areas, ranging from broken interior trim and squeaky brakes to out-of-warranty transmission repairs and issues with four-wheel-drive systems. SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 Each vehicle gets a Predicted Reliability Score which is then combined with data collected from Consumer Reports‘ own track testing, along with owner-satisfaction survey results and safety data. 10. Toyota Highlander Ranked as one of the best midsized three-row SUVs is the Toyota Highlander, offering a balance of an absorbent ride, responsive handling, and generous interior space. Powering the Highlander is a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic, helping improve fuel economy to 22 mpg compared to the previous six-speed unit. There is also a hybrid variant that returns 25 mpg overall. Consumer Reports does note that it’s a long reach to some controls inside the cabin, particularly the touchscreen. 9. Kia Sedona There aren’t very minivans left in today’s market, but the Kia Sedona is one of the most reliable. Refreshed for the 2019 model year, the Sedona offers a 3.3-liter V6 engine with 276 horsepower paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s available with either seven- or eight-passenger seating and has a quiet, roomy cabin. The ride, however, is overly stiff and doesn’t compare to the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna. It’s also not as enjoyable to drive, with ungainly handling, but does feel secure. It does get praises for its nicely finished and inviting interior, as well as a new front console that offers handy concealed storage. 8. Honda Fit A popular model for decades, the Honda Fit offers similar versatility to that of a small, subcompact crossover. It returns 33-mpg overall, but it is noisy with its CVT that keeps the engine at high revs. The ride is stiff but handling is responsive. Unfortunately, the cabin is loud, which makes the Fit uncomfortable for long drives. One major complaint with the Honda Fit is its button-free, touchscreen radio found on the EX and higher trims, which can be frustrating to use. Also, the seats and driving position aren’t particularly comfortable. ALSO SEE: 2018 Honda Fit Review: Tiny Hints of Type R Lineage 7. Toyota Prius Arguably the most recognized hybrid in the automotive industry, the Toyota Prius is a safe bet if you’re looking for something reliable. Returning 52 mpg overall in Consumer Reports testing, the Prius handles more responsively and rides more comfortably than its predecessor. The seats, however, offer mediocre support and tire noise is noticeable during drives. In addition, the car’s lower stance makes it a challenge to get into and out of. 6. Lexus NX The Lexus NX is the Japanese luxury automaker’s offering in the compact crossover market, delivering responsive handling but a rather firm ride and a somewhat noisy cabin. The standard NX 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that returns 24 mpg overall, while the NX 300h hybrid nets 29 mpg overall. The hybrid, however, does feel a bit underpowered, says Consumer Reports. Front cabin room is tight on this model, and its styling does compromise rear visibility and cuts into cargo space. Another noticeable complaint is its fussy touchpad, which is used for most controls. The publication notes its frustrating and distracting to use. ALSO SEE: Top 10 Least Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 5. Toyota Corolla For decades, the Toyota Corolla has delivered reliable performance on a budget. It continues to offer a comfortable ride and a quiet, spacious interior, although handling is lackluster but secure. The CVT does its job well, but does make the engine a bit noisy under higher revs. Fuel economy on the Corolla is impressive, delivering 32-mpg overall and 43 mpg on the highway. 4. Mazda MX-5 Miata Now in its fourth generation, the Mazda MX-5 Miata finds itself on the list of top 10 most reliable cars. Returning 34-mpg overall, the Miata features a “delightfully accurate” six-speed manual transmission, although an automatic is available as an option. As expected, the Miata delivers quick and precise steering, although some body roll is noticeable. Taking some points off the car, however, are high levels of noise, thin and unsupportive seats, and a stiff ride. Overall, cabin space is snug and opening or closing the convertible top is a breeze. Power did get increased from 155 hp to 181 hp for the 2019 model year. Consumer Reports did note the optional dial-controlled infotainment system takes some time to master. 3. Toyota Prius Prime Joining the standard Toyota Prius on the list is the plug-in hybrid version, the Prius Prime. Complaints about the Prius Prime include its seating for four, lack of a rear wiper, and an unintuitive infotainment system. Its ride is complaint and it does offer responsive handling, similar to what can be found on the standard Prius. 2. Toyota Prius c Rounding off the Prius family is the compact Prius c, less expensive than the standard Prius. It’s not really a substitute for a Prius, with the c offering a harsher ride, a noisy engine, and slow acceleration. In addition, the interior looks and feels cheap, the driving position and rear seats are cramped, and it offers little cargo space. But it does return 43-mpg overall and 37 mpg in the city, making it a natural fit for urban driving. It’s worth mentioning that the 2019 model year is the final year for the Prius c. 1. Lexus GX Topping the list and serving as this year’s most reliable vehicle is the Lexus GX, which is one of very few body-on-frame SUVs left on the market. Despite its size, the Lexus GX is quick and very quiet, and is even capable off-road while offering a 6,500-pound tow rating. It’s powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, but returns just 17 mpg overall. Its ride is comfortable, but the body does tend to jostle when driving over uneven payment. As you would expect from a Lexus, the interior is plush and well-finished, offering a good driving position. ALSO SEE: The Only 15 ‘Real’ SUVs Left on the Market The post Top 10 Most Reliable Cars: 2018 Consumer Reports appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  5. American automakers continue to have some of the least reliable cars available. Consumer Reports has released its annual Car Reliability Survey, which takes the responses from over 500,000 vehicle owners and studies 17 trouble areas to determine which vehicles are the last reliable. Trouble areas that go under study range from squeaky brakes and broken interior trim to major issues such as out-of-warranty transmission repairs or problems with four-wheel-drive systems. SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 Here are the top 10 least reliable vehicles based on Consumer Reports‘ 2018 Car Reliability Survey. 10. Honda Odyssey Honda’s popular minivan gets praised for its refinement, quietness, fuel economy, and relatively intuitive infotainment system, but it’s plagued by issues with its in-car electronics, power equipment, and body hardware. Other complaints include the push-button gear selector being troublesome to use when parking and the optional eight-inch infotainment touchscreen can be distracting. 9. Volkswagen Atlas Volkswagen’s three-row crossover offering drives well, has a comfortable ride, and surprisingly agile handling. But owners have experienced issues with its climate system, transmission, noises, and leaks. Still, the cabin is quiet and very accommodating and the infotainment system is easy to use. The V6 engine, which is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, is smooth but acceleration doesn’t keep up with the competition and its 20-mpg overall fuel economy leaves a bit to be desired. ALSO SEE: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 Review 8. Buick Enclave Redesigned for the 2018 model year, the Buick Enclave is another three-row offering that suffers minor problems with its transmission, issues with its climate system, and emissions/fuel system. Consumer Reports tested the Enclave to return 18-mpg overall and found the 3.6-liter V6 engine to be lively while the nine-speed automatic transmission was smooth and responsive. Although the infotainment system is easy to use, the gear selector is unintuitive and a nuisance in parking maneuvers. 7. Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Chevrolet’s heavy-duty offering, the Silverado 2500 HD, received complaints about major engine issues, noises and leaks, as well as its in-car electronics. Its twin, the GMC Sierra HD, shares reliability ratings with the Silverado 2500 HD. 6. Kia Cadenza Kia as a brand fares well in this year’s study, but the Cadenza large sedan suffers from issues with its climate control and fuel/emissions systems. Competitive with the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon, the Kia Cadenza is better suited for long-distance cruising, according to Consumer Reports. Powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine that is both slick and powerful, the Cadenza offers 290 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly. 5. Chevrolet Traverse Although it’s a competent challenger in the three-row crossover segment, the Chevrolet Traverse does suffer from minor transmission issues, and problems with its in-car electronics. Powering the model is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that returns 20-mpg overall, while its infotainment system is intuitive and an eight-passenger configuration is available. ALSO SEE: Top 10 Most Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 4. Honda Clarity The Honda Clarity is the Japanese automaker’s focus on alternative powertrains, available in fully electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen-powered variants. Owners, however, experienced issues with its climate control and fuel/emissions system, as well as its body hardware. Consumer Reports does note that the plug-in hybrid’s engine “makes a loud ruckus” while in hybrid mode and the front seats are uncomfortable due to their short bottom cushion and lack of lower back support. 3. Cadillac ATS Although the Cadillac ATS sedan has been discontinued for the 2019 model year, the American automaker still offers the coupe. Issues with this model include problems with its in-car electronics, climate system, and drive system. The Cadillac ATS coupe is available with either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V6 that is smooth and refined. Stepping up to the ATS-V gets a twin-turbo V6 engine with 464 hp. 2. Tesla Model X The Tesla Model X remains troublesome for its owners, with in-car electronics problems, noises and leaks, and issues with body hardware. The all-electric crossover does handle well and offers great performance, but Consumer Reports does note that ride comfort and noise isolation on the Model X isn’t as good as in the Model S. 1. Ram 3500 Ram’s 3500 heavy-duty pickup truck has some reliability concerns, with owners stating issues with its steering/suspension, fuel/emissions system, engine cooling, noises, and leaks. Engine choices on this pickup include a 5.7-liter V8, 6.4-liter V8, and a 6.7-liter Cummins turbocharged diesel engine. The post Top 10 Least Reliable Cars: 2018 Consumer Reports appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  6. Consumer Reports has released its annual Car Reliability Survey and there are a few surprises. This year’s survey collected data from over 500,000 Consumer Reports members to determine what problems or issues vehicle owners can expect. Those problems range from troublesome turbocharged engines to infuriating infotainment systems, as well as transmission issues and other problems. The publication said this year’s survey reinforces its recommendation that consumers should avoid brand new or redesigned models, instead waiting a year or two until the automaker has had a chance to work out the issues that often arise. Below, you will find the top 10 most reliable automakers from this year’s study. SEE ALSO: Japanese Brands Shine, American Automakers Tumble in Consumer Reports’ Latest Reliability Survey 9. Hyundai With an average reliability score of 57, Hyundai ties in ninth place this year. According to Consumer Reports, the Korean automaker’s least reliable model is the Ioniq, while its most reliable model is the Santa Fe XL. Hyundai Tucson owners have been complaining about the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual clutch transmission, saying the transmission suffers from rough shifting, computer problems, and slipping. Overall, the Ioniq Hybrid has below average reliability, with owners complaining about rough shifts from the six-speed transmission and engine problems. Hyundai’s overall ranking did not change from last year and a total of five models were considered in the survey. 9. MINI MINI ties Hyundai with an average reliability score of 57, but it’s worth noting the British automaker didn’t even have a ranking last year. Two models were considered in the survey, with the Cooper being MINI’s least reliable and the Countryman being its most reliable. The Cooper did improve to average, while the Countryman has an above average reliability rating. 8. BMW In this year’s survey, BMW drops three spots to eighth place with seven models analyzed in the study. The German automaker received an average reliability score of 58, with the X1 being its least reliable model and the i3 being its most reliable model. The redesigned BMW X3 was noticeably below average, with owners complaining about climate system issues, including coolant leaks. Seat controls that required the seatback to be replaced were also noted. The BMW X1 crossover dropped to below average due to suspension problems, premature brake wear, and steering wheel vibrations. 7. Audi Also dropping three spots this year, Audi edges out competitor BMW with an average reliability score of 60 to land itself in seventh place. Six models were considered in the survey, with the Audi A3 being the least reliable and the Audi Q5 being the most reliable. Overall, all the Audi models that Consumer Reports has sufficient reliability data for rated average or better, although the scores were not as high as they have been in previous years. 5. Infiniti With four models with sufficient reliability data, Infiniti went up one spot this year to tie for fifth place. The Japanese luxury automaker’s least reliable model is the Q50, while the Q60 was the most reliable model. The brand scored 61 in this year’s survey, and both the Q50 sedan and QX60 improved to average reliability ratings. 5. Kia With the same average reliability score as Infiniti, Kia dropped two spots to tie for fifth place. Eight models were considered in this year’s survey, with the Cadenza being reported as the least reliable model. The Sedona minivan topped reliability for the brand. Although the Kia Sportage is similar to the Hyundai Tucson, it has been much more reliable. The same applies to the Niro Hybrid, which has above-average predicted reliability.‘s Car of the Year, the 2018 Kia Stinger, has average reliability. Hurting the Cadenza’s reliability score are issues with faulty thermostat sensors, problems with the climate system, and engine cooling. 4. Subaru Making a two-spot jump to fourth place, Subaru has an average reliability score of 65 in this year’s study. Six models provided sufficient data, with the Subaru WRX being the least reliable model and the Crosstrek being the most reliable offering from the brand. According to Consumer Reports, the redesigned Impreza has problems last year but has rebounded this year with better than average reliability. The redesigned Crosstrek has much better than average first-year reliability, while the WRX was the only Subaru model with below average reliability due to transmission problems. 3. Mazda Mazda saw a huge jump in this year’s survey, climbing nine spots to third place with an average reliability score of 69. The Japanese automaker had six models analyzed in this year’s survey with the CX-3 being noted as the least reliable and the MX-5 Miata as the most reliable. It appears Mazda has managed to work out the issues that plagued the CX-9 and MX-5 Miata, but the CX-3 is still rated below average due to climate system problems. 2. Toyota Toyota lost the crown in this year’s survey, dropping one spot to second place. With 14 models supplying reliability data, the Japanese automaker received an average reliability score of 76. Its most reliable model is the Prius c, while the least reliable model is the Tacoma. The Tacoma continues to have issues with the driver system and in the transmission minor trouble spots, while the 2018 Camry saw a slight drop in reliability to better than average. Owners say they experienced problems with the Entune infotainment system and rough shifting from the eight-speed automatic transmission. 1. Lexus Toyota may have lost the top spot this year, but at least the honors went to its luxury arm, Lexus. Rising one spot, Lexus had six models accounted for in this year’s study, earning an average reliability score of 78. The brand’s least reliable model is the IS while its most reliable model is the GX. This year, all Lexus models with sufficient data were rated average or above, although the redesigned LS was not taken into consideration since there wasn’t sufficient data. The post Top 10 Most Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  7. [See image gallery at] The new Kia Soul and Soul EV will allegedly debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Intel on the arrival of the new Soul and Soul EV comes from the Hyundai-Kia obsessed folks over at Korean Car Blog. Kia itself hasn’t made an announcement, so take the report with a grain of salt, but we trust KCB in this scenario. Prototypes for the Soul and Soul EV have been consistently spotted all year long and the most recent sighting showed the vehicle looking very production-ready indeed, so the unveiling is definitely happening soon. The new Soul is expected to tap the Hyundai Kona’s platform. The Kona supports all-wheel drive, so it’s possible that the Soul could finally receive it. The entry-level Soul should share the Kona’s 147 hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine, with Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-liter possibly appearing in better-equipped models. The Kona gets a seven-speed DCT transmission, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up in the Kona too. SEE ALSO: EPA Rates 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Range at 258 Miles As for the Soul EV, expect similar or identical specs to the Kona EV. If you need a refresher, the long-range version of the Kona EV has a 64 kWh battery pack that provides an EPA-certified 258 miles of range. Power comes from a single electric motor making 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque, which enables a 0-60 mph sprint of 7.6s and a top speed of 104 mph. The long-range Kona EV starts at 39,000 euros in Europe, which is equivalent to around $45,000 USD. As for the new Soul’s styling, expect the slightly boxy shape to stick around. Spy shots have revealed a single-frame LED light bar out front, vertically-mounted LED taillights and other small changes, but we’re not expecting a dramatic shift in styling. Look for the new Kia Soul and Soul EV to debut after the LA Auto Show press days kick off on November 27th. [Source: Korean Car Blog] The post New Kia Soul, Soul EV Coming to 2018 LA Auto Show appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  8. [See image gallery at] The Kia e-Niro crossover just made its debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. It’s the South Korean automaker’s first all-electric crossover. This will be the third vehicle in the Niro range, joining the hybrid and plug-in models. It will also be Kia’s second pure-electric vehicle offered globally, following in the Soul EV’s tire tracks. Two battery capacities will be available in the e-Niro. A 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer pack is standard, offering a driving range of up to 193 miles (312 km) on the WLTP combined cycle. It’s matched to a 134-horsepower motor that can move this crossover from a standstill to 62 miles an hour (100 km/h) in 9.8 seconds. For drivers that want more, a 64-kWh battery of the same chemistry is optional. On the WLTP combined cycle it should deliver a driving range of 301 miles (485 km); on the WLTP urban circuit that figure increases to an impressive 382 miles (615 km). Further differentiating this upscale version of the e-Niro from the base version, that larger battery pack is paired with a more powerful electric motor, one delivering 201 horsepower and a zero-to-62-mile-an-hour time of just 7.8 seconds. Improving its driving range, a heat pump helps the HVAC system by recycling energy that would normally be wasted. SEE ALSO: 2018 Paris Motor Show Coverage Visually separating this all-electric vehicle from its stable-mates are things like reworked bumpers front and rear, 17-inch wheels, blue exterior accents as well as a slightly more aerodynamic body. Ten exterior paint colors are available. Inside, one of the biggest changes with this vehicle is the addition of a rotary-dial shifter in lieu of a traditional gear selector. This alteration frees up space on the center console. Paddles mounted behind the steering wheel allow the driver to change how aggressive the regenerative braking is. Three levels are offered. The Kia e-Niro’s cabin is further dressed up with a pair of seven-inch displays, one on the dashboard and another in the gauge cluster. This new all-electric Kia will be, not surprisingly, assembled in South Korea. Production begins in the second half of 2018 with the vehicle going on sale in Europe before the end of the year. Discuss this story on our Kia Niro Forum. The post All-Electric Model Joins Kia Niro Lineup appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  9. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles exhibit a certain purity that performance enthusiasts look for. Although more and more automakers are opting to have both axles powered, there are still a lot of rear-drive cars offering the thrills drivers want. Here are’s picks for the 10 best rear-wheel-drive cars you can buy, in alphabetical order. Alfa Romeo Giulia The Alfa Romeo Giulia isn’t perfect, but it has so much personality and is so engaging to drive that we find ourselves forgiving its flaws easily. The Giulia has a few things that its German competitors often lack: Swagger, drop-dead gorgeous styling, and an undeniable cool factor. With a balanced chassis, tactile and responsive steering, and a playful rear-drive architecture, the Giulia feels alive. The Giulia has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood that outputs 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. The Quadrifoglio variant, a ridiculously quick carbon fiber beast of a car that gives us all the feels, is powered by a Ferrari-sourced 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. ALSO SEE: Alfa Romeo Giulia Review BMW 2 Series The M2 and M240i are the shining stars of the 2 Series lineup and are both cars we’d happily have in our garage. These two cars are essentially the purest BMWs you can currently buy and exhibit the driving dynamics and engaging performance that rocketed the German automaker to the forefront of the luxury sport market back in the day. The M2 and M240i have a playfulness that seems to be lacking from a lot of BMW’s lineup. Equipped with powerful 3.0L turbo inline six-cylinder engines and manual transmissions that send power to the rear wheels, these small performance coupes are what driving joy is made of. ALSO SEE: BMW M240i Coupe Review Chevrolet Camaro Built on a fantastic, balanced chassis and an excellent rear-drive architecture, the new Chevrolet Camaro is impressive in many ways. From the base four-cylinder model to the SS and all the way up to the bonkers supercharged ZL1, there’s also a Camaro for every type of driver. Muscle cars democratized performance and brought speed to the masses; the Camaro continues that tradition while at the same time being more refined than ever. We adore the chassis the Camaro is built on — it makes the muscle car engaging and entirely capable. Ford Mustang The popular Ford Mustang is also backed by a rich, half-century history of attainable performance. The Mustang has legions of faithful fans and has sold millions of units since the muscle car stormed onto the market more than 50 years ago — more than 10,000,000 have rolled off the assembly line. It has been the world’s best-selling sports car for the past three years. Drivers also have a wide range of Mustangs to pick from — there are four-cylinder EcoBoost coupes and convertibles, V8-powered GT models, and for people who want something more hardcore and track-focused, there’s the thunderous Shelby GT350, which is one of our favorite cars to drive. All Mustangs are fun and represent the American Dream in a way no other car can. ALSO SEE: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review Genesis G70 Genesis is the luxury arm of Hyundai and has been making huge waves in the luxury sport market with driving dynamics and luxury that you’d expect from more established German automakers like BMW and Audi. The Genesis G70 is a really impressive car with its buttoned-down driving dynamics, excellent attention to luxurious details, and a personality that actually makes it fun. The G70 doesn’t make too many compromises — you can take it on a twisty road and be entertained, but still drive home and do groceries comfortably. It’s also handsome, well-priced, and legitimately athletic. You can get the Genesis with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.3L twin-turbo V6. Rear-wheel drive is standard with both engines, but AWD is available as an option (in Canada, AWD is standard except on the manual Sport model). The G70 is a heavy hitter and proves that Genesis is serious about building great cars. ALSO SEE: 2019 Genesis G70 Review Jaguar F-Type The Jaguar F-Type is one of the prettiest cars you can buy right now and also happens to be one of our favorite rear-drive cars. It is gorgeous from every angle and it is aging very gracefully. We also think it will be a future classic. If there was an award for “Best Sounding Cars,” the F-Type would also dominate on that list as well. Simply put, the F-Type has a lot going for it. With coupe and convertible models, manuals or automatics, available AWD on some models, and three engine choices (a base turbo four-cylinder, a supercharged V6, and a supercharged V8), there’s an F-Type for every driver. This car is all kinds of sexy and we love driving it. ALSO SEE: 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR and 400 Sport Review Kia Stinger The Kia Stinger was so impressive that we awarded it as’s 2018 Car of the Year. It shares a platform with the Genesis G70 but brings a lot to the table like a practical and handsome sportback body style and its own unique personality. The rear-drive grand touring car is exciting, dramatic, and it gets all sorts of admiring looks from passers-by. Besides looking good, its driving dynamics are genuinely engaging thanks to a well-engineered chassis, responsive steering, and rear-drive architecture (AWD is standard in Canada but is still rear-biased). It is really refreshing to experience a car where you can tell that passionate people worked on it and didn’t cut any corners. The Kia Stinger is a very compelling car in many ways. ALSO SEE: 2018 Kia Stinger Review | Kia Stinger GT Review Mazda MX-5 Miata No list of rear-drive cars or sports cars can be complete without the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This special little roadster perfected the quintessential sports car formula and is one of the purest and most engaging ones you can buy today. Lightweight, rear-drive, and affordable, the Miata might be a car you don’t understand until you drive it and it charms the hell out of you — it communicates with you, makes you feel like a superhero, makes you smile, and engages you like almost no other sports car out there. The MX-5 Miata is a car you can tell was made by people who obsessed over the smallest details and the result is something they can be really proud of. ALSO SEE: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review Porsche 718 Cayman/Boxster The mid-engine Porsche 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster set the benchmark for serious sports cars and are so good that they can step on the toes of some 911s. With steering feel, performance, balanced handling, purity, and prestige that few others can match, the 718s are also among the most affordable mid-engine cars you can get. Plus, they’re practical! In addition to a usable trunk, there is a deep front trunk (a frunk) under the hood. The 718s are bred from race cars, something that is immediately obvious once you drive them, even though they are still comfortable and forgiving. ALSO SEE: 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS Review Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ Following a similar formula as the Mazda MX-5, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 are a pair of lightweight, super chuckable, back-to-basics, and engaging rear-drive sports cars that have legions of faithful fans. Born from a collaboration between the two Japanese automakers, the BRZ and 86 are silly fun — they’re goofy sports cars with a ton of outward personality. Easy to drive at the limit, these coupes are really good at communicating with the driver so you can always swing around a corner without fearing that you’ll stuff it into the guardrail. The post The 10 Best Rear-Wheel-Drive Cars You Can Buy appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  10. [See image gallery at] If the world were perfect, wagon sales would be booming right now and consumers would recognize crossovers for what they truly are: worse handling, less economical, more expensive hatchbacks. The world’s not perfect, though. In our downtrodden reality, most consumers are crossover obsessed and avoid anything even vaguely wagon-shaped like the plague. For that reason, we won’t be getting the handsome new Kia Proceed wagon in the United States or Canada. SEE ALSO: New 2020 Kia Telluride 3-Row SUV Debuts Looking Big and Boxy While not nearly as handsome as the Proceed Concept, the production-ready Proceed is still quite a looker with a svelte ‘shooting brake’ silhouette, full-width LED taillights and available 18-inch wheels (17s are standard). Three gas engines are available in the wagon from launch: a 118 hp 1.0-liter turbo, a 138 hp 1.4-liter turbo or a 201 hp 1.6-liter turbo. There’s also a 134 hp 1.6-liter diesel. Two transmission options are also available: a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Kia Proceed will be manufactured in Slovakia and will go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of next year. Pricing has yet to be announced, but more information should come to light once the wagon makes its official in-person debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Discuss this story on our Kia Forums. The post Kia Proceed is Another Handsome Wagon That America Can’t Have appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  11. In a surprise move, the 2020 Kia Telluride has debuted four months ahead of schedule. The three-row, eight-passenger SUV was originally scheduled to debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January but made an unexpected debut at New York Fashion Week this weekend. The SUV that debuted has some rugged extras that obviously won’t come with the production model, as it was a bespoke creation influenced by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s Texas-inspired collection that debuted alongside the Telluride. ALSO SEE: Kia Telluride Three-Row SUV Caught Completely Uncovered We’re not sure which parts of this ranch-ready creation will make it to the production model (the snorkel, winch, off-road lights, ram bar, side ladder, luggage rack, and rear-mounted spare tire surely won’t), but the general boxy yet modern design is there for all to see. The big, rectangular upright grille uses a chrome mesh and Telluride is spelled out boldly on the hood and on the tailgate. Around back, it gets two-piece vertical taillights, while saddle-colored leather and natural wood finishes can be seen inside of this one-off SUV. When it debuts, the Telluride will be powered by a V6 (probably optional) and will be much bigger and more luxurious than the seven-passenger Sorento. A turbocharged four-cylinder is also likely to be offered as the base engine. The 2020 Kia Telluride, which was designed at Kia‘s California design studio and will be built in Georgia, is expected to land at dealerships in early 2019 and will compete with vehicles like the Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Atlas, and Subaru Ascent. It will share a platform with Hyundai’s upcoming three-row crossover, predicted to be called the Palisade. Discuss this article on our Kia Forum The post New 2020 Kia Telluride 3-Row SUV Debuts Looking Big and Boxy appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  12. The upcoming Kia three-row SUV, which may be called the Telluride, has been photographed completely uncovered. Images of the largest Kia yet surfaced on social media this week, showing the SUV completely uncovered from its front, side and rear. It looks as though the production SUV will stay very true to the Telluride Concept first shown in 2016, sporting a similar rectangle grille and squarish headlights, along with the same L-shaped taillights. The full-size SUV is expected to utilize a larger version of the platform that underpins the new Hyundai Santa Fe. It may feature Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The Telluride Concept was powered by a 400 hp hybrid system consisting of a 3.5-liter V6 and an electric motor, although it’s not clear if Kia is considering a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the Telluride. SEE ALSO: Kia to Make Announcement on Production Telluride SUV Soon Speaking to AutoGuide at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, Kia product boss Orth Hedrick said the company would have an announcement to make in regards to the Telluride “soon.” We’re expecting it to debut sometime this year or early next year, but we think a debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show this fall is most likely. The SUV is also expected to spawn a Hyundai variant called the Palisade. More information on the Kia Telluride, or whatever the automaker decides to call the production version of the three-row SUV, should become available soon. In the meantime, check out the leaked photos embedded in the Instagram post above. Discuss this story on our Kia Forum. The post Kia Telluride Three Row SUV Caught Completely Uncovered appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  13. Hyundai/Kia has filed a patent application for a sun visor with a small, built-in traffic light. The sun visor features a front-facing camera and a mini traffic light on the rear just to the right of the vanity mirror. The camera records the status of a traffic light, with a computer then processing the camera data and displaying the correct light on the back of the visor. The idea is that you’ll still be able to easily see if a light is red, yellow or green, even if your sun visor is down and obstructing your view of the light. The system would also use GPS and map data to locate traffic lights and ensure the vehicle is at an intersection with a traffic light. “When the sun visor is in use, the sun visor is located close to the eyes of the driver, thereby interrupting the driver’s visibility and, accordingly, the driver needs to bend his body or move to another location to verify a traffic light at an intersection,” the patent application says. As such, this technology will enable a driver to “determine a signal of a traffic light located in front of the vehicle without an effort, even when the visibility of a driver is interrupted by the sun visor while the sun visor is in use.” Such a system may seem like it has limited use, but in addition to helping to view the light with the sun visor down, it could also be useful in the event that a traffic light is out of the driver’s sight – like those that are mounted off to the side of the road or obstructed by an object. SEE ALSO: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Review We think this system could be particularly helpful for those who are in their cars very frequently and who drive in cities often, so in other words, taxi drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers may also appreciate such technology – anything that makes the task of driving easier during those long workdays, right? This technology also seems as though it would be relatively inexpensive to implement, making it a realistic add-on for Hyundai and Kia’s budget-minded buyers. Whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen, though. Discuss this story on our Hyundai Forums. The post Hyundai Patents Sun Visor With Built-In Traffic Lights appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  14. The 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study has been released. This year, the industry average APEAL score increased to 820 points from 810 a year ago, with significantly higher scores in all 10 vehicle evaluation categories. The study also found that 23 of the 31 automakers included made gains in their performance compared to 2017. Other key findings in this year’s study include mass market brands continuing to close in on the luxury segment, with the average APEAL score for mass market hitting 814, marking a 10-point improvement compared to 2017. The luxury segment, meanwhile, improved 6 points to 851. J.D. Power says the gap between the two segments has narrowed to an all-time low of 37 points. SEE ALSO: Most Dependable Vehicles of 2018: J.D. Power The annual APEAL Study examines 10 vehicle categories: driving dynamics; visibility and safety; engine/transmission; audio/communication/entertainment/navigation; seats; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; exterior; interior; storage and space; and fuel economy. The highest-ranked brand in this year’s study is Genesis, with a score of 884. Porsche came in second with 883 points, followed by BMW (863), Lincoln (861), and Mercedes-Benz (858). Among mass market brands, Chevrolet and GMC tied at the top with a score of 826. Ram came in third with a score of 825, followed by Dodge and Ford both scoring 824. The following vehicles earned rewards for being the most appealing vehicle in their segment. Small Car: Kia Rio Topping the small car segment is the Kia Rio, beating out the Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Bolt, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Mirage, and Toyota Prius c. The Rio received high marks in overall performance and design, comfort, features and instrument panel, and style. Compact Car: Volkswagen Jetta Topping the compact car segment is the Volkswagen Jetta, which received high marks in overall performance and design, as well as comfort. The Jetta beat out the Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius, Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Beetle, Nissan Leaf, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Forte, Ford Focus, Mazda3, Chevrolet Volt, and Subaru Impreza. Midsize Car: Honda Accord The Honda Accord takes home the award for the midsize car category, receiving top marks in overall performance and design, performance, comfort, features and instrument panel, and style. The Accord is the only vehicle in its class to receive top marks in all five J.D. Power factors, beating the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat, Chevrolet Malibu, Subaru Legacy, Hyundai Sonata, and Honda Clarity. Large Car: Nissan Maxima In the large car segment, the Nissan Maxima tops the list while receiving highest marks in all five J.D. Power factors, just like the Accord. The Maxima is more appealing than the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Avalon. Small Premium Car: Audi A3 Not a crowded segment, but the Audi A3 beat out the BMW 2 Series and the Mercedes-Benz CLA to claim the small premium car category. The Audi A3 received highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, features and instrument panel, and style. Compact Premium Car: Kia Stinger With top marks in overall performance and design, comfort, features and instrument panel, and style, the Kia Stinger goes home with the award for the compact premium car segment. The Stinger beat out some serious competition including the Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 4 Series, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Lexus ES, Acura TLX, Lincoln MKZ, Cadillac ATS, and Volvo S60. Midsize Premium Car: Lincoln Continental Moving to the midsize premium car category, the Lincoln Continental stole the show with highest marks in overall performance and design, features and instrument panel, and style. The Continental scored higher than the Genesis G80, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CT6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo S90, Lexus GS, and Audi A6. Midsize Sporty Car: Ford Mustang Only the big three American muscle cars competed in the midsize sporty car segment, with the Mustang leaving with the award despite only receiving highest marks in overall performance and design. The Mustang beat out the Camaro and Challenger. Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica Somehow there are more competitors in the minivan segment than there is in the midsize sporty car category. The Chrysler Pacifica, which received highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, features and instrument panel, and style, beat out the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and Dodge Grand Caravan. Small SUV: MINI Countryman This segment is becoming increasingly more competitive each year and this year the MINI Countryman sits at the top. Receiving highest marks in all five J.D. Power factors, the Countryman is more appealing than the Toyota C-HR, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Buick Encore, Jeep Compass, Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport, Mazda CX-3, and Honda HR-V. Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox Another crowded segment, the Chevrolet Equinox takes home the award in the compact SUV category after receiving highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, and comfort. Competition in the segment includes the Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V, Buick Envision, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, GMC Terrain, Mitsubishi Outlander, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and Jeep Wrangler. Midsize SUV: Chevrolet Traverse One of the most competitive segments in this year’s APEAL Study is the midsize SUV category. The Traverse receives highest marks in all five factors, beating out 18 other vehicles in the segment: Buick Enclave, Nissan Murano, Volkswagen Atlas, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, GMC Acadia, Subaru Outback, Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Ford Flex, and Dodge Journey. Large SUV: Ford Expedition Another award winner for Ford is the Expedition in the large SUV category. It also received top marks in all five factors, beating out the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Sequoia, and Nissan Armada. Small Premium SUV: BMW X1 For now, there are only four competitors in the small premium SUV segment, but expect that number to grow in the coming years. The BMW X1 takes home the award this year, receiving top marks in overall performance and design, performance, and comfort. The X1 is more appealing than the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Infiniti QX30, and Audi Q3. Compact Premium SUV: BMW X3 BMW’s appeal continues in the compact premium SUV category, with the X3 taking home the award. It received highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, comfort, and features and instrument panel. Competitors in the segment include the Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60, Audi Q5, Range Rover Velar, Lincoln MKC, Lexus NX, Jaguar F-Pace, and Acura RDX. Midsize Premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne The popular Porsche Cayenne tops the midsize premium SUV segment, receiving highest marks in all five factors except for comfort. The Cayenne scored better than the Lexus RX, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX60, Lexus GX, and Acura MDX. Midsize Pickup: Honda Ridgeline This may come as a surprise to some, but a Japanese model is what’s most appealing in the midsize pickup category. The Honda Ridgeline scored highest marks in all five factors, besting the GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier in this year’s study. Large Light Duty Pickup: Ford F-150 There’s several reasons why the Ford F-150 is a perennial best-selling vehicle. It is this year’s most appealing large light duty pickup truck, scoring highest marks in overall performance and design, and performance. Trailing behind the F-150 is the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra. Large Heavy Duty Pickup: GMC Sierra HD Ford doesn’t dominate large heavy duty pickup category however, as the GMC Sierra HD is the recipient for this year’s award. Scoring top marks in all factors except for comfort, the Sierra HD beat out the Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Ram 2500/3500 models. The post Most Appealing Cars of 2018: J.D. Power appeared first on Lees volledige artikel
  15. [See image gallery at] The Kia Niro EV will go on sale in the United States in early 2019, the Korean automaker has announced. The fully electric, front-wheel drive crossover has a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 201 hp electric motor, which provide an estimated driving range of 239-miles, or 385 kilometers. Using the available 100 kW fast-charger, the battery pack will charge from flat to 80% capacity in around 54 minutes. A smaller 39.2 kWh battery pack is also offered, which has a max driving range of 153 miles or 246 kilometers. Pricing has not yet been announced, but you can expect the long-range version to come in at under $40,000 USD. SEE ALSO: 2017 Kia Niro Review Inside, the Niro EV also benefits from a 7.0-inch touchscreen with some EV-specific features installed. The operating system allows users to locate nearby charging points and easily monitor the battery pack’s remaining range and charge level. A 7.0-inch LCD driver’s display, which is also unique to the Niro EV, also allows the driver to easily check up on the driving range and other EV powertrain information while on-the-move. Other interior features include a wireless smartphone charger and a light on the dashboard that changes color when the vehicle is charging or fully charged when plugged in. The Niro EV is available to purchase in South Korea now. European sales will commence in Q4 of this year, with the vehicle arriving in the US in early 2019. Discuss this story on our Kia Forum. The post Kia Niro EV Sales to Start in the US Early Next Year appeared first on Lees volledige artikel