• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Kia UVO


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    September 20, 2013

    For the past few years, Kia has become the brand that offers a lot of equipment for a very surprising price. Kia is now applying that idea into their infotainment systems. Last year, Kia introduced the next-generation of their UVO which brings forth a new layout, more features, and what Kia calls UVO eServices. I had the chance to play around with UVO in the 2014 Kia Cadenza I reviewed earlier this week.

    First, a quick history on UVO. Introduced back in 2010, UVO was jointly developed by Kia and Microsoft. The system used a 4.3-inch color display and a advanced voice recognition system that allows drivers to take phone calls, send SMS messages, and access media through a variety of sources. Sadly, you couldn't get UVO if your Kia came equipped with navigation. The new version of UVO addresses that as you can get UVO with or without navigation. On certain Kia models, you have the choice of a 4.3-inch screen without navigation or an 8-inch screen with navigation. All Cadenzas come equipped with the 8-inch screen as standard.

    gallery_10485_690_744129.jpg

    Using UVO on a daily basis was a breeze thanks to a simple, yet elegant interface with large touch points. The system responded very quickly whenever I changed stations, inputs, or different functions. Not bad for a new infotainment system. Voice commands also worked pretty flawlessly. No matter what I spoke, the system was able to comprehend and perform the task. Whether it was to play a certain song off my iPod or making a phone, UVO did it.

    The only real downside to using UVO deals with the button layout in the center stack. As I wrote in my Cadenza review, the buttons are too similar in size and shape. Add in the fact the buttons are mounted low in the center stack and you have someone taking their eyes of the road longer than necessary.

    Now on to the star of the next-generation UVO system, eServices. UVO eServices is much like General Motor's OnStar where it offers a number of services for drivers in day-to-day use and in the event of an emergency. Where it differs from OnStar and number of other services is how it connects. With OnStar and other systems like it, they have a cellular connection in the vehicle to offer those services, hence why you have pay a fee to you use it. With UVO eServices, the system uses your cell phone to provide the connection via the Bluetooth system.

    gallery_10485_690_1179625.jpg

    Once your phone is paired with the system, you can use eServices. The services available are;

    • Roadside assist: Calls Kia's Roadside Assistance
    • Vehicle diagnostics: Reports if there is anything wrong with the vehicle and allows a driver the option of to call a nearby dealer to schedule an appointment or call for roadside assistance.
    • Parking minder: Sends coordinates of where the vehicle is parked to your smartphone via the UVO smartphone app.
    • My POIs: Stores specific points of interest for quick recall; i.e. Your Home.
    • eServices Guide: Walks users through some of eServices functions
    • GPS Info: Displays coordinates of the GPS system.

    Other features of eServices include automatic 911 notification if the airbags deploy, a UVO smartphone app that allows your iPhone or Android smartphone some connection to the vehicle, and MyUVO.com where you can get basic diagnostic information and can schedule a dealer appointment.

    While I didn't get the chance to play around with all of the eServices, I can say Kia has a very impressive package here. UVO's eServices doesn't offer all of the services like OnStar, but it does cover the basics really well. Add in the fact that you don't have to pay an annual fee to use it only increases the value.

    gallery_10485_690_1054073.jpg

    It's hard to believe that Kia could be one of the automakers leading the way with infotainment systems. But with the new UVO system and UVO eServices, Kia has a one-two punch that's places it at the top of the infotainment pile.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


      Report Article
    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Very ingenious of KIA to mimic a majority of OnStar services without the additional fee & cell-network of GM's service. I think GM should take notice of this and find a way to bring down their cost, or at least offer an OnStar-lite that competes with UVO's 'free' functionality.

    @Mudmonster: Were there any instances of latency during transitions or functions at all?

    If no, then that's actually quite impressive on Microsoft and KIA's part, as the CPU is merely a 400MHz ARM chip with similar specifications as the first generation Ford Sync system. Ford's new MyTouch system has a more powerful chip, yet has an awful user experience and Cadillac's CUE has a more modern triple-core CPU, yet it still exhibits latency and hangs.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    @Mudmonster: Were there any instances of latency during transitions or functions at all?

    Not really. Moving between functions was pretty quick. I was surprised by how fast this system was in its first generation.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This is all quite impressive actually. You can get similar technology like this in more expensive brands like Lexus or Audi but it's available in a Kia.

    You get a lot of value from new cars now.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    Loading...



  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. sciguy_0504
      sciguy_0504
      (30 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Kia Motors America Announces Record November Sales
      Forte and Sportage Post Best-Ever November Totals; Year-to-Date Sales Up 3.8% IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced record November sales of 52,504 units, a 15.3 percent increase over the same period last year. The brand's seventh monthly sales record of the year included:
      Best-ever November sales of the Forte family of compact cars and Sportage CUV Double digit increases over November 2015 for five models: Rio, Soul, Forte, Sportage and Sedona "With the election occupying everyone's attention early in the month, sales picked up throughout November and culminated in a strong Black Friday weekend as our 'Holidays On Us' sales event drew significant showroom traffic," said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, KMA. "With third party experts continuing to validate the new Kia as a world-class automaker, and the arrivals of the all-new Cadenza and first-ever turbocharged Soul, we are well positioned to finish strong and carry that momentum into the New Year."
        MONTH OF NOVEMBER
      YEAR-TO-DATE
      Model
      2016
      2015
      2016
      2015
      Rio
      1,440
      898
      27,431
      22,745
      Forte
      8,111
      5,010
      95,732
      73,508
      Optima
      12,330
      13,048
      111,631
      145,732
      Cadenza
      268
      847
      4,310
      6,745
      K900
      52
      228
      754
      2,362
      Sportage
      5,608
      4,211
      74,859
      47,695
      Sorento
      9,698
      9,023
      102,951
      103,377
      Sedona
      2,515
      2,243
      42,236
      34,439
      Soul
      12,482
      10,045
      133,341
      134,974
      Total
      52,504
      45,553
      593,245
      571,577
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
      As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models.  But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
      As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models.  But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A
    • By William Maley
      Only a few months after we got the first spy shots of the upcoming Kia GT on U.S. soil, a leaked photo showing the production GT without any camouflage has come out.
      Kia-World.net got their hands on this photo which shows a pre-production GT sitting in one of Kia's factory. The design is toned down from the 2011 GT Concept, but the key details are here - similar roofline, vents on the hood, and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. It is expected that the GT will feature a turbocharged 3.3L V6 - introduced in the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport - along with a turbo-four.
      Kia-World says the GT will be called the K8 in Korea.
      No word on when Kia will show off the production version.
      Source: Kia-World.net
      Image Credit: Kia-World.net

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Only a few months after we got the first spy shots of the upcoming Kia GT on U.S. soil, a leaked photo showing the production GT without any camouflage has come out.
      Kia-World.net got their hands on this photo which shows a pre-production GT sitting in one of Kia's factory. The design is toned down from the 2011 GT Concept, but the key details are here - similar roofline, vents on the hood, and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. It is expected that the GT will feature a turbocharged 3.3L V6 - introduced in the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport - along with a turbo-four.
      Kia-World says the GT will be called the K8 in Korea.
      No word on when Kia will show off the production version.
      Source: Kia-World.net
      Image Credit: Kia-World.net
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)