2022 KIA STINGER GT2 TEST DRIVE

For its first and apparently last refresh, the 2022 Stinger receives updated styling, better electronics and more safety tech. With the highest starting MSRP of any Kia model at $37,135, the Stinger is Kia’s halo car and expectedly sells in very small numbers; about 1,200 per month. It was introduced to take on the stalwart German sport sedans; Kia flexing their engineering muscles showing that they too can go fast and handle a curvy road. But the Stinger doesn’t fit into Kia’s Plan S which aims to transition the Korean brand to electric mobility by 2025. So it’s expected that the Stinger will disappear sometime next year meaning if you want one don’t linger. The biggest news for this 2022 model actually revolves around the base GT-Line’s new, more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. But I’m back in the saddle of the most potent Stinger; the GT2 with its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 now producing 368 horsepower – that’s 3 more than before but I can’t say that I noticed. With 376 pound-feet of torque and a launch control feature, this car will get after 60mph in less than 5 seconds. And when you go full GT2 Kia adds in a number of key performance features, most notably an electronically controlled suspension that maximizes comfort and is connected to the 4 drive modes for either a relaxed or firmer feel. This stellar Ceramic Silver paint is a $495 option and is worth every penny nicely playing off of the red Brembo brake calipers. And the more aggressively styled exhaust tips elevate the Stinger’s presence. The rear seats are spacious, comfortable and heated but the large tunnel really makes this a 4-seater. And because it’s a hatchback there’s way more room in here than in a typical sports sedan. Drop the rear seats and now you’re ready for bigscreen TV duty. The hatch also opens automatically, hands-free, just by standing near it with the key fob on you. The Stinger is a great looking car, it’s engaging to drive and luxuriously appointed for pennies on the dollar. So if this turns out to be its swan song it’s going out with a win.

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2022 KIA CARNIVAL TEST DRIVE

We all know the stigma that minivans carry and for some that’s simply enough to deter a purchase even though deep down we know they’re more comfortable and versatile than SUVs. So Kia decided to design one that flips the script on what’s cool and what isn’t. This is the first-ever 2022 Carnival MPV. The Carnival does distinguish itself mainly in its SUV-like styling. And the other aspect that’s been throwing people off is this new KIA badge, making its debut on the Carnival. No one has any clue what it is and for some reason even the mysterious logo has attracted lots of attention. I like it and so does everyone else that sees it. Until now the Pacifica had cool design firmly in its back pocket but now the Honda Odyssey is really the only one left out of the cool kids’ club. If you take the Carnival all the way to the top like this one you’re looking at a $47,770 MSRP or a $582/month lease. That’s cheaper than a range-topping, front-wheel drive Odyssey and Sienna and about the same as a Pacifica. It’s powered by a 290 horsepower V6 and an 8-speed auto. So what are the Carnival’s shortcomings versus the few other available minivans?

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2021 Kia Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD

The Sorento is one of Kia’s best-selling nameplates.  It arrived in 2002 and has since grown into a 3-row segment heavy hitter, battling the likes of the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder.  But with this all-new 4th generation model, Kia is giving the Sorento a fresh perspective.  The V6 is gone, a pair of hybrids is in and this hero model takes the Sorento in a more premium yet rugged direction.   

This X-Line SX-Prestige gets the “off-road look” with exclusive bumpers, unique 20” wheels and a bridge-type roof rack.  There’s also a 1” increase in ride height, standard all-wheel drive with a center locking differential and hill decent control.  So this is the Sorento you want if you have a more adventurous family.

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KIA UNVEILS SORENTO YOSEMITE AND ZION EDITIONS

KIA UNVEILS SORENTO YOSEMITE AND ZION EDITIONS. Since the arrival of the award-winning Telluride last year and the head-turning Seltos in early 2020, Kia Motors America (KMA) has had its sights on building a robust and reimagined SUV line-up. As the next step in this capability-focused product strategy, the all-new 2021 Sorento is poised to bring customers a new level of trail-ready toughness not yet seen from the brand. To celebrate this rugged personality, KMA unveiled a pair of custom-built Sorento SUVs – the Yosemite Edition and the Zion Edition – during the brand’s virtual national dealer meeting this week. The two wilderness-themed SUVs build upon the production Sorento X-Line model, a variant that highlights off-road prowess with unique 20-inch wheels, increased ride height to 8.3-in., improved approach/departure angles, more advanced AWD with snow-mode, and a more robust roof rack than the outgoing Sorento.
Customized by LGE-CTE Motorsports of San Dimas, CA, each vehicle receives its namesake and inspiration from the outdoor environments found in America’s great national parks. The Sorento Yosemite Edition is a dream build for high elevation adventuring and mountain living, painted in “Pine Green” in a matte finish with gloss and matte black accents. The Sorento Zion Edition is a desert escape vehicle made for stomping dunes, painted in “Desert Sand” in a gloss finish with gloss black accents.
Both feature custom fender flares that sit atop 20-inch wheels and 32-inch all-terrain tires. Body armor includes custom skid plates and brush guards in a satin chrome finish. For packing gear, the Yosemite edition wears a brawny roof rack, while the Zion Edition comes equipped with a full-length cargo top. The duo will be making special appearances around the country to capture the imagination of adventurers and enthusiasts, alike.
While most customers will not take their Sorento to the level of customization seen on the Yosemite and Zion Editions, many have shown a penchant for personalizing their Kia SUVs. To satisfy that desire, Kia will offer an exciting range of port-installed and dealer-installed accessories. Customers can tailor their Sorento to their lifestyle and needs with attachments such as roof rack crossbars, tow hitches for trailers, and side steps for easier load-in of toys.
The 2021 Kia Sorento will arrive in showrooms beginning in November.

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2021 KIA SORENTO FIRST LOOK

2021 KIA SORENTO FIRST LOOK BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. A 3-row family vehicle, the Sorento is offered with optional 2nd row captain’s chairs for either 6- or 7-passenger seating. Kia says the redesigned model provides more interior flexibility with improved legroom and cargo room. The platform it’s built upon is lighter and stronger, affording improved driving dynamics, including acceleration and ride and handling. An available full digital gauge cluster, Connected Routing for real-time navigation that can predict upcoming traffic, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration, and enhanced voice controls highlight the tech improvements. A new feature called Last Mile Navigation even provides walking directions to the driver’s final destination if the vehicle is parked within a 1.2 mile radius and the Find My Car feature uses the Sorento’s cameras to capture pictures of the car and its surroundings which are then accessible via the UVO app. All very cool stuff. And the depth of new driver assistance features is off the charts…if you get into an accident with this Sorento you’ll have no one to blame but the man in the mirror.
About the powertrain options; it starts with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder paired to a traditional 8-speed automatic making 191 horsepower, then a turbocharged version of that motor hooked up to a 8-speed dual clutch transmission producing 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Moving up, there’s a front-wheel drive only, gas-electric hybrid rated at 37mpg in mixed driving and finally an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid with an estimated 30 mile all-electric range. Kia’s optional all-wheel drive system uses torque-vectoring and a center-locking differential to give added power to the rear wheels when needed.
The X-Line SX-Prestige gets the off-road look with exclusive bumpers, unique 20” wheels and bridge-type roof rack to complement its 1” increase in ride height, standard all-wheel drive and hill decent control. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date near the end of 2020.

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