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LA Auto Show: Kia Steals the Show


I have been attending the LA Auto Show for many years, and this year there was one clear brand that truly stood out amongst the rest – Kia. As I arrived at the LA Auto Show, the convention center had the Kia logo branded all over the building, letting guests know that it is the brand they don’t want to miss seeing.

As I entered the show floor, Kia had the corner booth right by the door, and I found myself not wanting to explore further after spending time exploring their vehicle line-up. The first car that caught my eye was the beautiful Kia Stinger. The car is a true Gran Turismo with an innovative design, dynamic features, a powerful engine. The Stinger has a top speed of 167 mph and can go 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. It is faster than an Audi A7, Porche Panamera, BMW 6-series, and was recently named a finalist for the North American Car of the Year which is truly a historic moment for the brand.

After exploring the Kia Stinger, I sat down to watch the press conference where I would learn more about the brand and see the unveiling of the 2019 Kia Sorento and 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid. After driving the Kia Sorento since last May, I have fallen in love with the car, and couldn’t wait to see the new model.

Saad Chehab, Vice President of Marketing Communications for Kia Motors America kicked off the press conference by saying, “It has been a special year for Kia, and one for us to be proud of.” This year, they have launched five cars, all new vehicles, including the popular Niro. They’ve added their first-ever plug-in with the stunning Optima PHEV. “We’ve proved to that small can do big things,” said Chehab. Kia has ranked #1 in initial quality for the second year in a row, with the Cadenza earning the best score among all models ranked in the IQS study. One of the most exciting things to hear was….

“The Niro was named most reliable vehicle in the United States!!”

Then it was time for them to introduce the newest addition to their high energy efficient, eco-dynamic line-up, the 2018 Niro PHEV. Kia is committed to offering clean, high-efficiency, eco-friendly, well-built, beautiful cars that offer consumers daily driving with astounding range. The 2018 Niro PHEV offers 26 miles of driving with zero emissions. Together with the gas engine, you are looking at 560 miles of total range!

Then the time had come that I was waiting for, the unveiling of the 2019 Kia Sorento. The Sorento is Kia’s best selling SUV and it rugged yet refined with a sporty drive that I love! Another thing that I love about the Sorento is that it is proudly made right here in the United States in Georgia.

As they continued to talk about the Sorento, the anticipation in the audience was building, and they finally pulled the cover off the beautiful new Sorento. The all-new 2019 Kia Sorento will come standard as a seven-passenger with 3rd-row seating on every trim level. They took everything great about the Sorento and made it even better!

The outside is restyled. It is tighter, sharper, and has a more articulated tiger nose grill with more aggressive headlights. It has a redesigned tailgate with new tail lamps and new muffler tips. There is a new wheel design with sizes ranging from 17-19″.

One the inside they made changes to the important parts of the Sorento to make it even more upscale and purposeful with unexpected comforts and cargo versatility. They changed the instrument cluster, air vents, and the center console design. They gave the steering wheel and shifter knob a makeover.

It is one tech-savvy SUV and is loaded with next level technology including an upgraded navigation system with available Android and Apple car play. If you have an android or apple 8/10 you can leave the charging cord at home thanks to an available wireless charging tray. The technology extends to safety features with new lane keep assist that alerts the driver and even steers the vehicle should it come into a situation when it is drifting out of the lane.

When it comes to safety it is simple – Kia delivers.

One of the biggest changes for the 2019 Kia Sorento is the in-house design 8-speed automatic transmission which is offered with a powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine. It is the same transmission that is found in the Cadenza premium sedan. The result is a smoother driving experience, improved efficiency while still retaining its 5k pound towing capacity.

I found myself test the AWD on my Kia Sorento this past summer and I was curious to see how the 2019 would handle in an off-road situation. They put the 2019 Kia Sorento to the test and set a team out to find the most challenging and brutal off-road course to test the Sorento. They found themselves putting the car literally to ‘Hell’ and back by taking it to Moab, Utah to attempt one of the most challenging trails – Hell’s Revenge. The only modification they made was by adding a set of all-wheel drive tires, and a skid plate under the oil pan. Guess what? The Sorento made it – it made it on a course that many off-road vehicles could never make. Then they announced that the same car that completed the course was going to join us at the auto show, and everyone in the crowd got out of their seats with excitement to check out the Sorento that successfully made it along Hell’s Revenge!

So many luxury car brands thought that they were all alone at the top, and then there was Kia. Kia kept getting a little bigger, a little closer, and now they have done it. Kia has passed them all to become the #1 car brand in the industry. Whether you are looking for a sporty Stinger, a rugged SUV or an energy efficient car, Kia will deliver one of the most reliable cars available!

Don’t miss bringing your family to learn more about the Kia brand at the LA Auto Show. The LA Auto Show is happening until December 10th at the LA Convention Center.

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