2019 Kia buyers guide

14 Jan 2019 | 506 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Kia is one busy carmaker these days. First, it's introducing new ---and quite well-done--products virtually every model year. Secondly, Kia continues to garner acclaim for the styling, performance and quality of its products, and given that American car makers are leaving the sedan market, Kia, which produces some of the best sedans in the business from the bottom to the top of the market, will likely see its sales explode over the next year or two to come. Contrary to what the Big Three seem to think, there are tons of people who strongly prefer sedans over anything else, especially those who are buying their first car, those who want fuel economy first, and those who dread piloting a crossover in tight urban areas. Kia also is spreading its wings into new market niches, too.  Take the Kia Stinger, a mid-sized, sleek barnstormer of a sedan that has won tons of positive reviews, thanks to its performance and its ability to compete quite well with German luxury sports sedans. The big news for 2019 is the all-new Kia K900, its top of the line luxury sedan.   [caption id="attachment_9813" align="alignnone" width="740"] 2019 K900[/caption] It now has the same awesome powerplant found in the Stinger, a 3.3 liter, twin turbocharged V-6 engine that hits 60 in 5.3 seconds, and has fuel economy ratings of 17/24 miles per gallon. When you see it, you will notice that, although it retains much of the appearance of its predecessor, the 2018 K900, it actually is bigger, wider and roomier than the older model. It also has an eight speed automatic transmission, a torque vectoring all-wheel drive system, and an al-new 12.3 inch touchscreen infotainment system. and a 9.7 inch heads-up display system, and--wait for it--a ventilated 20 position delivers seat. There's a surround-view monitor system, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and safe exit assist system all included in its list of driver-assist features. The warranty is 5 years or/60,000 miles, whichever comes first.   The second piece of big news is a total redo of the Kia Forte, a front wheel drive compact sedan that was plenty good already to start with. It is about 3.2 inches longer and a large-for its class 15-cubic foot trunk, and looks more contemporary and "flowing" than ever, with character lines and curves just in the right places, and aggressive looking sloping hood and New features including slit-like headlights and the Kia family grille design.  Power comes from a 2.0 liter, 147 horsepower four cylinder engine that produces 47 horsepower and either a six speed manual or an all-new  CVT automatic transmission. Fuel economy ratings are 27 to 30 city, and 35 to 38 miles per gallon on the highway. You will see 60  in 7.1 to 8.7 seconds in the Forte. Available features include blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, and if you want to spring for it, a 320 watt audio system. You will also enjoy a standard 8.0 inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and available wireless charging system. The basic warranty is for five years/60,000 miles. But we are saving arguably the biggest news for last:  The pending arrival of the all-new Telluride, a big, luxurious SUV that will be chock full of luxury features like a top drawer audio system, Nappa leather upholstery, real wood trim inside along with second row captain's seats, and of course, the very latest in driver assist features and other technology. [caption id="attachment_9811" align="alignnone" width="740"] 2020 Telluride[/caption] Kia plans to use a 3.3 liter, 290 horsepower V-6 that will come with front wheel drive or all wheel drive. Most important, the Telluride will come at a which comes relatively modest price for all this: $35,000 to $55,000, depending on the version you buy.         Fuel economy estimates are between 17 city and 23 highway. Sorento, The strong-selling SUV, available in front wheel or all wheel drive versions, has a new front and rear ends, LED headlights that are now optional,  now standard AppleCarPlay and Android Auto, and it can now sat seven no matter what trim package we choose.  Driver assist features are available on the EX and higher versions of trims. Power comes from  any of several versions: 2.4 liter, 185 horsepower four cylinder as standard equipment, 3.3 liter, 290 horsepower V-6, and a 2.2liter, 190 horsepower diesel four. As for the rest of the Kia lineup: Soul, a funky, wildly popular hatchback, is awaiting an all-new version for next year.  Hence--nothing much than maybe new wheel designs and colors for the 2019 model. Prices start at about $17,00 to about$33,000.      Rio, redone last year, is holding steady this year with nothing much in changes planned for the little subcompact, front wheel drive sedan. It is Kia's least expensive sedan, coKia Sedona minivan ($28,000 to $43,000)sting between $15,000 and $19,500. Niro: Kia's hybrid or plug-in little wagon, with its suave looks and high gas mileage figures of 46 to 52 city and 40 to 49 miles on the highway, is pretty much unchanged, too.  Prices range from $24,500 to $29,000. Optima, Kia's popular midsized sedan ($24,000 to $36,000), Sedona minivan, $28,000 to $43,000)  Stinger sports sedan ($33,000 to $41,000)  

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