Jump to content

  • Quick Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride SX AWD

    • Kia brings a credible challenger to the large SUV field...

    2020 Kia Telluride-4.jpgAt an event in May, I got to spend some time with the 2020 Kia Telluride. The Telluride is an all-new model for Kia, though it is based on the Kia Sorento’s platform.  Being a good bit longer than the 7-passenger Sorento, it is substantially roomier inside, allowing for 7 or 8 passenger configurations depending on trim level.  The version I tested was the top of the line SX package with all-wheel drive and an additional Prestige Package.  Kia makes standard a whole host of active safety equipment.  Thankfully, I didn’t get to test any of the more important ones. One important safety feature on my shopping list is Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and the Kia has it standard.

    On appearance alone, Kia is going to have a hit on their hands.  Though on the same platform as the Kia Sorento, the Telluride strikes a handsome square and almost truck-like silhouette. The overall look is of a vehicle even bigger than it is. Up front are an attractive set of headlight clusters with yellow surround daytime running lamps. As this is a new entry to the segment, Kia spells out the model name across the front of the hood making sure you know what model vehicle it is.  It still manages to look classy. My tester had the black 20-inch wheels, LED headlamps, and rear fix-glass sunroof that comes with the SX trim level.  

    2020 Kia Telluride-6.jpgBecause this was the top of the line SX with Prestige Package, it came with beautiful Napa leather chairs, second-row captain chairs, heads up display, and premium cloth headliner and sun visors.  The overall fit and finish of my tester was excellent. Switchgear is nicely weighted and has a premium, if not luxury, feel to it. The styling inside is handsome if conservative, and passengers could be fooled into thinking they were in a vehicle of higher pedigree.  While it is roomier than the Sorento, is it still smaller than some of its primary competition. The Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and Buick Enclave all boast roomier interiors.  Still, second-row comfort was good and third-row accessibility is acceptable, though best left to the kids.

    My experience with the Telluride’s 10-inch infotainment system was limited, however, it is based on the same UVO system found in their other vehicles.  Even in its native modes, I find Kia UVO to be one of the easier systems to use, but if you use the included Android Auto and Apple Car Play most often, you won’t be in the native system much anyway.

    2020 Kia Telluride-1.jpgThe only engine option on the Kia Telluride is a 291 horsepower 3.8 liter direct-injected V6.  Torque comes in at 261 lb-ft, about average for this segment.  Coupled to the engine is an 8-speed automatic, and if you check the box for an additional $2,000, you get an active AWD system.  The system constantly monitors traction and via a controller in the cabin, the driver can select between 80/20 (Comfort and Snow), 65/35 (Sport), and 50/50 (Lock, best used for off-roading).  If you do care to do off-roading, you have 8-inches of ground clearance to play with. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds which again is pretty much the expected capacity for the segment. EPA fuel economy is rated at 19 city / 24 highway / 21 combined.  The 2020 Telluride has not yet received a crash test rating.

    Though the engine only puts out 261 lb-ft of torque, the 8-speed automatic makes quick work of it and acceleration is sufficient at a reported 7.1 seconds.  Engine noise is hushed and refined.

    2020 Kia Telluride-5.jpgOne of my favorite things about the Kia Telluride is its ride. The suspension is soft and comfortable.  The big 20-inch wheels can slam hard if one hits some more serious potholes, but overall this is one of the nicest riding big SUVs.  That soft suspension does have a downside; body roll and handling are not what you would call sporting. Though the steering is precise and well weighted, the big Kia hefts and leans through corners. Take it slow with grandma in the back and all will be well.  The towing package adds a hitch receiver and a load leveling suspension.

    Kia is not a brand known for luxury vehicles, but in SX Prestige trim, this Telluride can certainly count as one.  That leads us to the price. At $46,860 after destination charges, the Telluride handily undercuts the competition, some of which don’t even offer the level of active safety technology the Kia offers as standard.  If you’re shopping in the large SUV segment, the Kia Telluride is definitely one to add to your test drive list.

    Year: 2020
    Make: Kia 
    Model: Telluride
    Trim: SX
    Engine: 3.8L Gasoline Direct Injected V6
    Driveline: All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm
    Torque @ RPM: 262 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm 
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
    Curb Weight: 4482 lb.
    Location of Manufacture: West Point, GA
    Base Price: $31,690
    As Tested Price: $45,815
    Destination Charge: $1,045

    Options:
    SX Prestige Package - $2,000
    Carpeted Floor Mats - $210
    Carpeted Cargo Mat w/ Seat Back Protection - $115


    • Upvote 1


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Kia definitely checked off the popularity box because I am seeing more and more of them around here (not sure what that means nationally though). 

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I have to say, I tested out 9 vehicles that day and the Telluride is the one that made the biggest impression on me. 

    • Upvote 4

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Just saw a new one this morning running errands, first I have seen in the wild. Sharp looking and green is very popular here in the greater Seattle Area.

    Agree, I think they checked all the right popular boxes of what this auto needed and while the engine is no rock star for power, it is enough to motivate the SUV to move.

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    ocnblu

    Posted (edited)

    Love this in the green color.  I would have one if I could look past some things.  Third row seat would be permanently folded down.  Also, I understand it has pretty decent off-road ability, TFL tested it on their hill climb course and came away with a positive review as well.

    I believe that every AWD CUV needs a system that is fully effective in any on-road weather condition (some are clearly better than others), but when one also can handle moderate off-roading, it earns extra points in my book.

    I read where Kia may put together an upgraded off-road package for the Telluride.  Will be interesting to see it go against the 2020 Acadia AT4.

    Edited by ocnblu

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Too bad a similarly equipped Acadia Denali or a Traverse Premier would cost at least $5000 more.  I wonder what is missing from this top-level Telluride.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Still shocks me a bit that Kia and GMC are being seriously compared.  Makes me sad for GMC.

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Love this in the green color.  I would have one if I could look past some things.  Third row seat would be permanently folded down.  Also, I understand it has pretty decent off-road ability, TFL tested it on their hill climb course and came away with a positive review as well.

    I believe that every AWD CUV needs a system that is fully effective in any on-road weather condition (some are clearly better than others), but when one also can handle moderate off-roading, it earns extra points in my book.

    I read where Kia may put together an upgraded off-road package for the Telluride.  Will be interesting to see it go against the 2020 Acadia AT4.

    All they need to do is have a Trail Rated Test Package version like Jeep and this would truly Rock! :metal:

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Bummer that the SX Prestige Package is only available in black on this SUV.

    image.png

    This just makes no sense to me to limit these features to just lousy black. :( 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I think they will sell a lot of these.  I suspect the Hyundai Palisade will sell well also.  They both look good, they both are packed with content and both cost less than most of the rivals.   The Atlas and Ascent I think are mostly just to appeal to existing VW and Subaru owners that need a 3rd row, they don't really make any breakthroughs.  The  Hyundai/Kia cousins I think came to conquest sales.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    20 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Bummer that the SX Prestige Package is only available in black on this SUV.

    image.png

    This just makes no sense to me to limit these features to just lousy black. :( 

    The Nappa leather is just not available in certain colors. 

    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    Too bad a similarly equipped Acadia Denali or a Traverse Premier would cost at least $5000 more.  I wonder what is missing from this top-level Telluride.

    Not much, if anything. 

    • Thanks 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Since this is my first review in a while, would those of you with twitter or Facebook mind sharing this or sharing the tweets and FB posts I already made?  Trying to get into this more full time, but I need page views to do that. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Look how much nicer finished the Kia Sorento load area is, compared to the Acadia.  GM, WTH has happened to you?

     

    8-2017-kia-sorento-213-ms-1535564116.jpg

    9-2017-gmc-acadia-151-cdams-1535564115.jpg

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    5 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    Look how much nicer finished the Kia Sorento load area is, compared to the Acadia.  GM, WTH has happened to you?

     

    8-2017-kia-sorento-213-ms-1535564116.jpg

    9-2017-gmc-acadia-151-cdams-1535564115.jpg

    I think the word you are looking for is DGAF.  As in GM DGAF about certain details while other automakers do.

    • Sad 1
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Love the Telluride. Not a single person we're referred to it is anything less than thrilled.

    Money spent on design, refinement, quality of materials, and keeping features standard, not optional, with a great 3.8L V6 & 8-speed underhood, plus a real AWD system that can handle more than...say a Highlander, etc. that'll just spin.

    Biggest market challenge, to others: the Telluride is far NICER, yet at a "normal" far lower price point.

    Look at a Telluride S AWD, with the bigger great looking wheels, and leatherette. It looks nearly identical to the high end SX, yet can be found for a $36-38k sticker...

    Kia got the message, antithesis of GM and others, that keep the prices in line, and spend effort maximizing the vehicle, and you'll get it.

    The only other vehicle in this class priced similarly, and even not as low in ways vs. trim level, is the Subaru Ascent. Both max out around $46-47k with EVERYTHING.

    Yet...these drive nicer, are far more refined, are better built, have more features, are higher quality than...a $45-59k Traverse, a $45-60k+ Enclave, an all over the place Explorer price. You can say "but incentives..." all you want, but that's such a head in the clouds, and they're still thousands more, for less.

    And like Drew said after real experience...this vs. an Acadia? 😂 No comparison. Cargo area trimming above is only a small item.

    We drove a Sorento last year, when testing Traverse replacements, and out of 8 crossovers..."GM only mom", put it in 2nd place next to the Jeep Grand Cherokee she ended up buying. "It drove the best, the power was great, the features and interior seemed the best design...I really liked it, but the Jeep is just more overall what I want."

    Go...Telluride👌

     

    Edited by caddycruiser
    • Thanks 2
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    2 minutes ago, ykX said:

    @Drew Dowdell Out of curiosity, have you driven the new Explorer?

    If you did, how it compares to Telluride?

    I have not yet.  I had a conflict and couldn't make it to the test drive event.   What I can say is that the interior of the Telluride is still nicer than the Explorer.  Explorer, for it's good looks, still had some cheapness built into the interior. 

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    @Drew Dowdell thanks!

    How about Hyundai twin?  Or is it going to be a separate review?

    Personally, I like externally Hyundai a little more than Kia.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Just now, ykX said:

    @Drew Dowdell thanks!

    How about Hyundai twin?  Or is it going to be a separate review?

    Personally, I like externally Hyundai a little more than Kia.

    No, they haven't been at an event that I've been at yet.   They are mechanically identical, so I would expect the performance to be the same. Maybe some slight differences in suspension tuning, but I don't know that for a fact.   It may just come down to taste, I like the interior and exterior of the Telluride better than the Palisade.   My only experience with the Palisade was on the show floor in LA in November... so my recollection of the interior is a bit foggy. 

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I got to play with one as one was one of my bosses rental. It is nice, and I see more of them every day.

    Kia rolls out a few more of theses, and and pretty much makes GMC irrrelivent .....

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 6/25/2019 at 12:21 AM, daves87rs said:

    I got to play with one as one was one of my bosses rental. It is nice, and I see more of them every day.

    Kia rolls out a few more of theses, and and pretty much makes GMC irrrelivent .....

    Agreed. Normal customer goes to see the Telluride then "let's check out an Acadia too..."

    Jogs back to Kia. No contest.

    Having seen the Hyundai Palisade now, meh. Same guts & size, semi weird bubble styling, no shifter, etc. The Kia still wins for me overall, in size, shape, fit, and such. But glad to see both give 2 different flavors, with far more quality, refinement, etc. for thousands less than the competition. Tellurides are all over NY.

    Dealer I visited in Buffalo area last week..."it's great. We only have 2 left right now, and good example, last night a customer with a newer Q7 came in and said "I'm over the Audi. Tried it. I need a Telluride. Can you get me one?" Taking orders and doing swaps as much as they can to keep up.

    Edited by caddycruiser
    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, caddycruiser said:

    Agreed. Normal customer goes to see the Telluride then "let's check out an Acadia too..."

    Jogs back to Kia. No contest.

    Having seen the Hyundai Palisade now, meh. Same guts & size, semi weird bubble styling, no shifter, etc. The Kia still wins for me overall, in size, shape, fit, and such. But glad to see both give 2 different flavors, with far more quality, refinement, etc. for thousands less than the competition. Tellurides are all over NY.

    Dealer I visited in Buffalo area last week..."it's great. We only have 2 left right now, and good example, last night a customer with a newer Q7 came in and said "I'm over the Audi. Tried it. I need a Telluride. Can you get me one?" Taking orders and doing swaps as much as they can to keep up.

    Yep, and my favorite part being cheaper as well! I think they could throw on some light rebates and really move these well!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I’ve seen a couple on the road by me, they look presentable. But the standard driver safety features would make it a hard ‘no’ for me.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By Drew Dowdell
      The Volkswagen Arteon is the vehicle that effectively replaces the Volkswagen CC in VW’s lineup, however, it comes at the segment with a noticeably different approach. The Arteon is much more interesting looking than the old CC and comes as a hatchback rather than a sedan.
      I would hesitate to use the word “bold” about the Arteon’s looks, as feels rather conservative to me, but it still has a gravitas that lets passers-by know that this is not an ordinary Volkswagen. The front end has a lot of detailing with multiple creases in the hood and a deep, wide grille. Thick wheel arches give the car a muscular look. Around back, the hatch area fits between a set of thick thighs and a set of tail lights that almost look Benz-like. Down below there is a chrome strip that runs around the entire perimeter of the car.
       
      As handsome as the exterior is, the interior is a bit of a letdown. In the SEL version I drove, the interior materials were not up to snuff for a car with a $42,795 sticker price and the design is fairly sterile. There is a wide strip that traverses the dash and mimics the look of the grille and below that, another wood (plood?) strip runs parallel. The center stack is neatly organized with all knobs and buttons within easy reach.  If you are a bit of a neat freak like me about your car, keep a microfiber duster in the glovebox to wipe down the piano black surfaces.  The seats are flat and firm but without much lateral support. As a hatchback, rear passengers get cut out of a bit of headroom, but there is plenty of legroom back there for them to stretch out.  Cargo room for this size of a car can only be described as cavernous. The hatch lifts up high and out of the way giving you easy access to anything you can rear. Fold the rear seats down and you may even say “Crossover, what?”, there is 55 cubic feet of cargo room back there.
      The Arteon comes with an 8-inch touch screen display that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Android Auto is easy to set up and I stayed in that mode during my entire drive.
      Driving the Arteon is probably the best part about it. My tester came equipped with 4motion, Volkswagen’s all-wheel-drive system. It works well and the car feels glued to the road during the twisties.  No matter which level of Arteon you buy, you have a single choice of engine. Standard is a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It is this engine that delayed the Arteon’s entry into the U.S. due to a backlog of certification testing. This setup is merely adequate. It neither thrills you nor lets you down.  I do wish a V6 were available, but small-displacement turbo-4s are where the market is going these days.  Unfortunately, even with the small displacement 4-cylinder, you still get V6-like fuel economy.  The Arteon is rated for 20 city / 27 highway / 23 combined. For reference, that’s about the same as an AWD Buick Lacrosse with a big V6 and 310 horsepower, in fact, the Buick does a little better on the highway and so do most other V6 sedans. In normal mode the transmission is a bit lazy, upshifting early and reluctant to downshift. In sport mode, it wakes up a little but there is still a lag when downshifting.
      The ride and drive of the Arteon is definitely dialed towards comfort over sport. It comes equipped with a DCC adaptive ride system, but I notice almost no difference between the Sport and Comfort modes. Cruising along in the Arteon is serene with very little noise from the outside entering the cabin. It is certainly a car that can get you into trouble with the leasing company for mileage.
      Is the Arteon a car I can recommend?  Yes and no.  If you’re a die-hard VW fan, then the Arteon is an easy choice to make. Otherwise, there are more powerful and more upscale options out there for the price, but you wouldn’t be wrong to choose this one.
      Year: 2019
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Arteon
      Trim: SEL w/4Motion
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged Direct Injected 4-cylinder
      Driveline: 8-Speed automatic with all-wheel-drive
      Horsepower: 268
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 0 - 3,600
      Curb Weight: 3,655 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Emden, Germany
      Base Price: $35,845
      As Tested Price: $42,790 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      The Volkswagen Arteon is the vehicle that effectively replaces the Volkswagen CC in VW’s lineup, however, it comes at the segment with a noticeably different approach. The Arteon is much more interesting looking than the old CC and comes as a hatchback rather than a sedan.
      I would hesitate to use the word “bold” about the Arteon’s looks, as feels rather conservative to me, but it still has a gravitas that lets passers-by know that this is not an ordinary Volkswagen. The front end has a lot of detailing with multiple creases in the hood and a deep, wide grille. Thick wheel arches give the car a muscular look. Around back, the hatch area fits between a set of thick thighs and a set of tail lights that almost look Benz-like. Down below there is a chrome strip that runs around the entire perimeter of the car.
       
      As handsome as the exterior is, the interior is a bit of a letdown. In the SEL version I drove, the interior materials were not up to snuff for a car with a $42,795 sticker price and the design is fairly sterile. There is a wide strip that traverses the dash and mimics the look of the grille and below that, another wood (plood?) strip runs parallel. The center stack is neatly organized with all knobs and buttons within easy reach.  If you are a bit of a neat freak like me about your car, keep a microfiber duster in the glovebox to wipe down the piano black surfaces.  The seats are flat and firm but without much lateral support. As a hatchback, rear passengers get cut out of a bit of headroom, but there is plenty of legroom back there for them to stretch out.  Cargo room for this size of a car can only be described as cavernous. The hatch lifts up high and out of the way giving you easy access to anything you can rear. Fold the rear seats down and you may even say “Crossover, what?”, there is 55 cubic feet of cargo room back there.
      The Arteon comes with an 8-inch touch screen display that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Android Auto is easy to set up and I stayed in that mode during my entire drive.
      Driving the Arteon is probably the best part about it. My tester came equipped with 4motion, Volkswagen’s all-wheel-drive system. It works well and the car feels glued to the road during the twisties.  No matter which level of Arteon you buy, you have a single choice of engine. Standard is a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It is this engine that delayed the Arteon’s entry into the U.S. due to a backlog of certification testing. This setup is merely adequate. It neither thrills you nor lets you down.  I do wish a V6 were available, but small-displacement turbo-4s are where the market is going these days.  Unfortunately, even with the small displacement 4-cylinder, you still get V6-like fuel economy.  The Arteon is rated for 20 city / 27 highway / 23 combined. For reference, that’s about the same as an AWD Buick Lacrosse with a big V6 and 310 horsepower, in fact, the Buick does a little better on the highway and so do most other V6 sedans. In normal mode the transmission is a bit lazy, upshifting early and reluctant to downshift. In sport mode, it wakes up a little but there is still a lag when downshifting.
      The ride and drive of the Arteon is definitely dialed towards comfort over sport. It comes equipped with a DCC adaptive ride system, but I notice almost no difference between the Sport and Comfort modes. Cruising along in the Arteon is serene with very little noise from the outside entering the cabin. It is certainly a car that can get you into trouble with the leasing company for mileage.
      Is the Arteon a car I can recommend?  Yes and no.  If you’re a die-hard VW fan, then the Arteon is an easy choice to make. Otherwise, there are more powerful and more upscale options out there for the price, but you wouldn’t be wrong to choose this one.
      Year: 2019
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Arteon
      Trim: SEL w/4Motion
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged Direct Injected 4-cylinder
      Driveline: 8-Speed automatic with all-wheel-drive
      Horsepower: 268
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 0 - 3,600
      Curb Weight: 3,655 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Emden, Germany
      Base Price: $35,845
      As Tested Price: $42,790 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
    • By William Maley
      What a difference that four years make. That's the timeframe from the first Kia electric I reviewed (Soul EV) to the model seen here, the 2019 Niro EV. So much has changed in terms of battery technology and overall range that I could see myself having an electric vehicle as a primary mode of transport. There are some still some issues that make me think twice, but they are getting smaller.
      Kia avoided the trend of going crazy with the Niro EV’s design. Little touches such as blue accent trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, and closed-front grille hiding the charging port help the EV stand apart from other Niro models. Changes inside are even smaller with a new center console featuring a dial control for the drive selector. This move is very smart as many buyers really don’t want their vehicle to shout “LOOK AT ME” when driving. The electric powertrain in the Niro EV packs quite the punch - 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. This is up 62 and 92 respectively from the Niro Hybrid I drove a few years back. Providing the electricity is a 64 kWh Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery that provides an estimated range of 239 miles. Kia says the Niro EV will hit 60 mph in under eight seconds. But I found it to be slightly quicker thanks to all of the torque being available instantly. Merging onto a freeway is where the electric powertrain does lose steam - blame a hefty curb weight of 3,854 pounds. I saw a maximum range of 208 to 210 miles throughout my week. This was due to cold temperatures ranging from low 30s to high 40s. But I was able to do a forty-mile round-trip commute for most of the week without having any range anxiety issues. Charging anxiety is a different story. If you have been reading my electric and plug-in hybrid reviews, then you’ll know that I only have access to 120V charging at home. Plugging the Niro EV after my day job meant waiting over sixteen hours for a full charge. This caused me to not want to venture out far unless I had some important errands to run as it would mean a longer time for a recharge. If I had completely depleted the battery, I would be waiting over two days for the battery to recharge. If you have a 240V charger, that time drops to 9.5 hours for a full-recharge. Finding a quick charger has gotten easier in the past year or two, but it is still a hit and miss affair. There are no quick chargers near where I live (unless I have a Tesla). It's slightly better further south where I work as there some around the area. But that introduces its own set of problems such setting aside the time to charge up the vehicle to finding if one works. I should note that I didn’t get the chance to try quick charging with the Niro EV during my week.  Handling is slightly better in the Niro EV thanks to the additional weight of the battery pack which reduces body roll. Steering is very light when turning, but will surprise you with how quick and accurate it deals with changes in direction. Ride quality is a little bit firm with some bumps and imperfections making their way inside. Where the Niro EV shines is noise isolation. During my work commute, I was surprised by how little wind and road noise came inside.  The major downside to the Niro EV is its limited availability. At the time of this writing, Kia is only selling the Niro EV is twelve states - most of them having Zero Emission Vehicle (or ZEV) programs that require automakers to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles in their lineups. Nothing is stopping you from purchasing a Niro EV in one of the states that it is available, but I’m wondering how many people will do that. Pricing for the Niro EV begins at $38,500 for the base EX model. I had the EX Premium at $44,000 which adds such goodies as an eight-inch touchscreen, premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats; sunroof. Add in a $1,000 Launch Edition package (LED headlights, front parking sensors, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror), and my as-tested price came to $45,995. Expensive bit of kit, but the Niro EV does come with a long list of standard features including heated outside mirrors with power folding; seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and push-button start. Plus, the Niro EV qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit which may sway some buyers when it comes time to do their taxes. The Kia Niro EV is the first electric vehicle that I could see myself living with. It drives for the most part as a normal vehicle and offers enough range for most people. The big item you need to be aware of is charging. If you decide to purchase, be sure to get a 240V charger and check to see if there are any sort of fast chargers in your area. It may mean the difference between worry-free and a large amount of anxiety. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Niro EV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia
      Model: Niro EV
      Trim: EX Premium
      Engine: 356V Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Lithium Ion Polymer Battery Pack
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 3,800 - 8,000
      Torque @ RPM: 291 @ 0 - 3,600
      Estimated Range: 239 Miles
      Curb Weight: 3,854 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: 
      Base Price: $44,000
      As Tested Price: $46,045 (Includes $1,045.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Launch Edition - $1,000.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      What a difference that four years make. That's the timeframe from the first Kia electric I reviewed (Soul EV) to the model seen here, the 2019 Niro EV. So much has changed in terms of battery technology and overall range that I could see myself having an electric vehicle as a primary mode of transport. There are some still some issues that make me think twice, but they are getting smaller.
      Kia avoided the trend of going crazy with the Niro EV’s design. Little touches such as blue accent trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, and closed-front grille hiding the charging port help the EV stand apart from other Niro models. Changes inside are even smaller with a new center console featuring a dial control for the drive selector. This move is very smart as many buyers really don’t want their vehicle to shout “LOOK AT ME” when driving. The electric powertrain in the Niro EV packs quite the punch - 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. This is up 62 and 92 respectively from the Niro Hybrid I drove a few years back. Providing the electricity is a 64 kWh Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery that provides an estimated range of 239 miles. Kia says the Niro EV will hit 60 mph in under eight seconds. But I found it to be slightly quicker thanks to all of the torque being available instantly. Merging onto a freeway is where the electric powertrain does lose steam - blame a hefty curb weight of 3,854 pounds. I saw a maximum range of 208 to 210 miles throughout my week. This was due to cold temperatures ranging from low 30s to high 40s. But I was able to do a forty-mile round-trip commute for most of the week without having any range anxiety issues. Charging anxiety is a different story. If you have been reading my electric and plug-in hybrid reviews, then you’ll know that I only have access to 120V charging at home. Plugging the Niro EV after my day job meant waiting over sixteen hours for a full charge. This caused me to not want to venture out far unless I had some important errands to run as it would mean a longer time for a recharge. If I had completely depleted the battery, I would be waiting over two days for the battery to recharge. If you have a 240V charger, that time drops to 9.5 hours for a full-recharge. Finding a quick charger has gotten easier in the past year or two, but it is still a hit and miss affair. There are no quick chargers near where I live (unless I have a Tesla). It's slightly better further south where I work as there some around the area. But that introduces its own set of problems such setting aside the time to charge up the vehicle to finding if one works. I should note that I didn’t get the chance to try quick charging with the Niro EV during my week.  Handling is slightly better in the Niro EV thanks to the additional weight of the battery pack which reduces body roll. Steering is very light when turning, but will surprise you with how quick and accurate it deals with changes in direction. Ride quality is a little bit firm with some bumps and imperfections making their way inside. Where the Niro EV shines is noise isolation. During my work commute, I was surprised by how little wind and road noise came inside.  The major downside to the Niro EV is its limited availability. At the time of this writing, Kia is only selling the Niro EV is twelve states - most of them having Zero Emission Vehicle (or ZEV) programs that require automakers to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles in their lineups. Nothing is stopping you from purchasing a Niro EV in one of the states that it is available, but I’m wondering how many people will do that. Pricing for the Niro EV begins at $38,500 for the base EX model. I had the EX Premium at $44,000 which adds such goodies as an eight-inch touchscreen, premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats; sunroof. Add in a $1,000 Launch Edition package (LED headlights, front parking sensors, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror), and my as-tested price came to $45,995. Expensive bit of kit, but the Niro EV does come with a long list of standard features including heated outside mirrors with power folding; seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and push-button start. Plus, the Niro EV qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit which may sway some buyers when it comes time to do their taxes. The Kia Niro EV is the first electric vehicle that I could see myself living with. It drives for the most part as a normal vehicle and offers enough range for most people. The big item you need to be aware of is charging. If you decide to purchase, be sure to get a 240V charger and check to see if there are any sort of fast chargers in your area. It may mean the difference between worry-free and a large amount of anxiety. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Niro EV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia
      Model: Niro EV
      Trim: EX Premium
      Engine: 356V Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Lithium Ion Polymer Battery Pack
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 3,800 - 8,000
      Torque @ RPM: 291 @ 0 - 3,600
      Estimated Range: 239 Miles
      Curb Weight: 3,854 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: 
      Base Price: $44,000
      As Tested Price: $46,045 (Includes $1,045.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Launch Edition - $1,000.00
    • By William Maley
      I’ll admit that I have an unabashed love for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This plucky roadster proves you don’t need gobs of power to provide a big grin when driving. A combination of well-sorted chassis, steering, and slick gearbox does the trick. But Mazda has decided to add a bit more power for the 2019 model, along with including a more powerful four-cylinder and a hardtop option. I’m curious to see if these changes can make the Miata better or worse.
      The model seen here is the RF - short for retractable fastback. Press the switch and the roof panels begin an origami folding exercise into the trunk. The result is a targa that provides the open-air feeling, minus a large amount of wind noise. It doesn’t hurt that roof pillars are styled in such a way that gives off a rakish look, no matter whether the top is up or down. Under the hood lies a revised 2.0L Skyactiv four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque - up 26 and 3 respectively. A six-speed manual is standard, while an automatic is optional. The small bump makes for a huge improvement in overall acceleration. Just leaving a stop, I was surprised how much pull the engine had as it got to 45 about a half-second quicker than the last Miata.   A key change is Mazda bumping the redline to 7,500 rpm, which allows the engine to fully flex its muscle. This became apparent when I needed to pass a vehicle and found that I didn’t need to drop down a gear to get the power needed.  The six-speed manual is still a joy to work with short and precise throws and a direct feeling clutch pedal. Even when stuck in traffic, doing the motions didn’t feel like a hassle. Average fuel economy for the week landed around 32 mpg, even though I was winding the engine out and playing through the gears just because it is so much fun. My tester was the Club model that adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, and a front shock tower brace. This firms up the suspension and provides improve handling on the limit. But out on the backroads, I couldn’t tell there was any real difference in handling between this and the 2016 MX-5 Grand Touring I drove a few years back. Maybe there was slightly less body roll in the RF, but both vehicles had similar characteristics when going into a turn. If I drove both of them on a track, then I think the differences would become more apparent. There is a downside to the Club’s suspension, a very harsh ride. Just making a quick trip to the store was a bit much as the suspension would transmit every little bump and imperfection to the backside of those sitting inside. Another item fitted to my tester was a set of Recaro bucket seats. They come as part of an option package that also adds Brembo Brakes and some cool-looking BBS wheels finished in black. The seats have increased bolstering to hold you in during an enthusiastic drive. But the lack of padding makes them uncomfortable for longer trips. On paper, the RF is an expensive proposition when put against the soft-top: $32,345 vs. $25,730. That massive difference is due to Mazda not offering the base Sport model on the RF. But put the soft-top Club against the RF and the difference shrinks to just over $2,000. Be forewarned that the RF can get expensive. That package I mentioned earlier with the Recaro seats? That will set you back $4,670, bringing the as-tested price to just over $38,000. Mazda’s improvements for the 2019 MX-5 Miata for the most part help, allowing it to become more fun to drive and somewhat easier to live with. That said, the additional cost of the hardtop will depend on whether or not you think it is worth the benefits of possibly being an all-seasons car. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata RF, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mazda
      Model: MX-5 Miata RF
      Trim: Club
      Engine: 2.0L SkyActiv-G DOHC 16-Valve with VVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
      Curb Weight: 2,453 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $32,345
      As Tested Price: $38,335 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Brembo with Black Roof - $4,670.00
      Interior Package for M/T - $425.00

      View full article
  • Posts

  • Social Stream

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • My Clubs

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...