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Kia is one of the world’s fastest-growing automobile brands. Hailing from the Republic of Korea (more commonly known as South Korea), Kia entered the market years ago as a more affordable alternative to the more common Japanese, American, and European cars. However, Kia has since shed its budget roots, and current Kia car models now compete on even ground with the best vehicles in their segments.
Kia has invested particularly heavily in integrating advanced technology in its vehicles, and even its base models offer top of the line infotainment systems and active safety technology. This technology focus also extends to hybrid and battery vehicles, and Kia currently offers some of the most capable electric vehicles on the market. In recent years Kia has also been producing more performance-oriented cars, ranging from the new 2020 Kia Forte GT up to the luxury sport Kia Stinger. But no matter what you are looking for in a vehicle, there is a Kia car model for you, and it could be one of the following.
The 2020 Kia Optima is a midsize sedan that comes in many flavors. Depending on the trim, it can be practical, eco-friendly, or sporty. But it is always comfortable and well-equipped. With a combined fuel economy of up to 31 MPG in its basic configuration, the Optima will cost far less to drive than any SUV. And if you really want to save money on gasoline while protecting the environment, then Optima is also available as either a 42 mile per gallon hybrid or as a plug-in hybrid with 28 miles of range on battery power alone. But if you don’t mind paying a little more at the pump, then the Optima’s SX trim comes with a 2.0L turbocharged engine that produces a shocking 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque for an exciting driving experience.
Inside the 2020 Optima, you will find plenty of technology and features. The standard infotainment system sports an 8” touch screen with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easy smartphone integration. Upgraded infotainment options include SiriusXM satellite radio, built-in navigation with voice commands, and a ten-speaker Harman Kardon QuantumLogic premium surround sound system. A ten-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and power smart trunk are standard on all but the lowest trim, and luxury features from a panoramic sunroof to a heated steering wheel are also available for maximum comfort.
And last but not least, the Kia Optima is one of the safest car models on the road, and has been named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+, the automobile industry’s most prestigious independent safety rating. This rating not only requires excellent crash test results but also examines often underlooked safety features such as headlight brightness and active safety technologies. The Optima scores particularly well in this last category, coming standard with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warnings, and driver attention warning on all trims. The Optima is sure to get you where you want to go both smoothly and safely.
The most exciting vehicle in Kia’s car lineup, the 2020 Kia Stinger, is the company’s sport sedan. With standout looks, a powerful engine, and luxurious interior, this sleek fastback competes with the more traditional performance cars from Germany and Japan. Powered by a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 engine producing 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, the Stinger can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds. However, this Kia is far more than just a powerful engine stuffed into a pretty package.
The entire car was built from the ground up with performance in mind. From its near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution to its electronic-controlled suspension, every aspect of the Stinger contributes to the driving experience. And despite costing far less than some of its competitors, no expenses were spared from the Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires to the limited-slip differential for maximum cornering power.
But while the Kia Stinger is an uncompromised performance machine, it also lives up to the luxury feel expected of a sport sedan. Premium features abound from its fifteen-speaker Harman Kardon QuantumLogic sound system to its sixteen-way power driver’s seat with adjustable side bolstering and thigh support. Even the basic interior design stands out for its clean, modern feel and quality materials.
Just sliding into the driver’s position with its flat-bottom leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and bright aluminum alloy pedals let you know that the Stinger is made to drive. And although its performance and luxury may conceal the fact, the Kia Stinger is also a highly practical vehicle. Its liftback design offers over 40 cubic feet of cargo space, while its high-performance all-wheel drive system gives it remarkable traction in bad weather. Not only is this a fun, fast car, but a safe one as well.
The Kia Forte is the company’s compact car, and the current version was just introduced for the 2019 model year, making it one of the newest vehicles in its class. However, the 2020 model has only improved on the base design with the introduction of the sporty new GT and GT-line trims, in addition to some minor upgrades to the available features on the existing trims. Overall, the 2020 Forte is a highly efficient and safe vehicle packed with features. Combined fuel economy is rated for up to 35 miles per gallon, ensuring that your gas bill will be kept low. And as an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety pick, you can rest easy knowing that the Forte is safer than many far larger and more expensive vehicles on the road.
A large part of the safety of the 2020 Forte comes from the surprisingly high level of technology that Kia has packaged into this compact sedan. All trims of the Forte come standard with forward collision alert, and automatic emergency braking as well as lane departure warning and lane-keep assist. Higher trims add even more advanced safety systems including blind spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and rear parking sonar, for a comprehensive suite of driver assistance technologies. But the Forte’s technology is far from limited to safety alone.
The standard infotainment system includes an 8” touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for effortless smartphone integration, while built-in navigation with voice commands, SiriusXM satellite radio, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system are also available in the higher trims. When combined with other options such as power seats, a sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control, this makes the 2020 Kia Forte a comfortable and high-value vehicle.
However, if you want capability as well as comfort, then take a look at the new GT trim. Equipped with a 1.6L turbocharged engine producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, this performance version of the Kia Forte competes head to head with traditional Japanese and European sporty compact cars. And the GT upgrades are not limited to the engine alone. The transmission options are either a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual for the purists, and even the rear suspension was completely redesigned, with a performance multi-link setup replacing the torsion bar system found in the standard trims.
All-wheel drive can play an important role in taking on all of life’s unpredictable twists and turns. And because of its usefulness, demand for all-wheel drive vehicles is growing rapidly. Luckily, Kia has an abundance of all-wheel drive vehicles to offer drivers. In fact, Kia fans will be happy to learn that their favorite brand offers several options for all-wheel drive vehicles, including both sedans and SUVs.
First of all, it is pretty special that drivers can enjoy the convenience and driveability of a sedan, with the all-wheel drive dependability of an SUV. An example of this seamless combination of luxury and performance is the Kia Stinger. Standard models are fitted with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional if preferred. And the Stringer is not the only Kia sedan to offer all-wheel drive; the K900 has the option as well!
And while right now only two of Kia's smaller vehicles offer all-wheel drive, the success of these two sedans may prompt the line of all-wheel drive cars to expand in the future. But of course, Kia also has all-wheel drive SUVs, including the Kia Seltos, Sportage, Sorento, and Telluride. So if a luxury sedan isn’t your speed, and you desire all-wheel drive, one of these excellent SUVs might be worth considering. Overall, Kia has six options for all-wheel drive vehicles, which means finding one to suit your lifestyle likely will not be hard.
There are two Kia models that offer hybrid versions. These models are the Optima, which is a sedan, and the Niro, a crossover. This means that whether you are searching for a smaller vehicle or one with ample cargo space, you will have the option to go hybrid.
The Kia Optima is the only sedan currently available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. By combining a 2-liter GDI 4-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor, the Kia Optima Hybrid gets up to 42 MPG combined while still providing 271 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the plug-in hybrid versions of the Kia Optima are all-electric. With this, drivers can enjoy an EPA-estimated 28-mile range and 101 MPGe all for an MSRP of only $36,090.
If you want the plug-in hybrid version but are worried about where to charge your Kia Optima, you’ll be happy to hear that public charging stations are on the rise. There are over 43,000 compatible fast-charging stations around the country, with more popping up every day. These Level 2 stations are 240 volts, meaning you’ll get a full charge in just three hours or less. Plus, you can buy a level 1 charger (120 volts), which is best for overnight charging and use the same wall outlet as typical home appliances.
The Kia Niro is the other hybrid to keep in mind. The Kia Niro EV is small enough to drive like a sedan with the fun features of an SUV available at every turn. The Niro comes in three different hybrid versions, including the regular hybrid, the plug-in hybrid, and the EV. The regular hybrid version gets up to 50 MPG combined, the plug-in hybrid up to 105 MPGe combined, and the EV receiving up to 112 MPGe.
Both the Optima and Niro present undeniably impressive fuel economy ratings, making them some of the best hybrid vehicles in the world. If you are looking for a hybrid, Kia certainly has you covered.
The short answer to this question is a resounding YES! All Kias are built to last, and there are several examples that drive this point home. Firstly, because Kia is always ahead of the curve with its technology offerings, Kia vehicles will continue to stay relevant for years to come. According to Consumer Reports, “Kia’s lineup of cars and SUVs with modern design and excellent equipment levels for the money. The Korean brand continues to expand and freshen its line up. Kia’s powertrain offerings generally deliver respectable acceleration and fuel economy. The combination of strong reliability and owner satisfaction has Kia ranked highly among all brands.”
Based on this quote, and cold hard facts, not only do Kia vehicles stay relevant due to their sophisticated and luxury appeal, but also because they are long-lasting and reliable. And Kia is so confident in the quality vehicles they put out, that they offer a fantastic warranty to supplement it. Kia’s warranty is a 100,000 mile/10-year guarantee on any vehicle. Along with the powertrain warranty, buyers receive roadside assistance and trip interruption coverage. This means if you run into trouble with your Kia and you’re 150 miles or more from home, Kia will help you out with expenses like meal reimbursement, rental car expenses, and lodging.
You don’t have to be an insurance expert to see that Kia believes in its product. By equipping their cars with ample safety equipment from the get-go, Kia saves its drivers from costly and dangerous expenses that can come from avoidable accidents and breakdowns. And, the high-end and timeless design features used to craft every model prevents Kia cars from going out of style for many years to come. And in the rare case that, for any reason, the reliability does not hold up, the warranty will have drivers covered.
Year after year, Kia has continued to impress drivers and gradually accelerate past its competition of pricier cars. Kias are now being recognized for the value they provide and building a loyal fan base that’s unlikely to opt back into more boring brands. Kia’s intuitive design keeps drivers happy, preventing even the slightest inkling of buyers-regret even after many years.
Raceway Kia of Freehold is conveniently located less than half a mile down the road from Jersey Freeze, the best ice cream in town, at 4044 US Highway 9. No matter which direction you’re coming from, getting here is simple.
If you’re headed here from the Monmouth Battlefield State Park (about 3 miles away), head southeast and turn left onto NJ 33 Business E. Next, you’ll turn left at the first cross street, which is Wemrock Road. Follow Wemrock Road for a half a mile and turn right onto Freehold Englishtown Road. Turn left to merge onto US 9 South towards Lakewood. We’re just a half a mile down the road on your right-hand side.
If you’re on your way over from the Bella Vista Country Club, you can expect to get here in about 12 minutes. First, go southeast and take a right on School Road, followed by another right onto Dutch Lane Road. After driving for 2 miles, turn right onto Kozloski Road. Continue straight on East Freehold Road for 1.9 miles. Stay in the left two lanes to turn onto US 9 South, and we’re less than 2 miles down on the right.
And getting here from the Georgian Court University area couldn’t be easier. Follow Lakewood Avenue and 9th Street to US 9 North/Madison Avenue. Drive to US 9 South in Freehold Township (just over 13 miles away), and you can’t miss us.
No matter what direction you are coming from, finding us at Raceway Kia is simple - and worthwhile! So we hope to see you soon.
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