Friday, July 20, 2018

2019 Soul Spotted Traversing Through The Rocky Mountain Region

 Here at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis, any up-close look available of upcoming vehicles gets a large amount of our attention, and pretty quickly at that! It was back in February when the ice scrapers were making their daily rounds about the lot here, when we got our first sneak peak at the upcoming Kia Soul. Cloaked in heavy camo and testing in the snow, that first encounter gave us quite a few photos, but we have not seen the nimble and very eco-conscious crossover much since then. TFLnow on YouTube came upon a prototype enjoying a pleasant blast of warmer weather in Colorado. Since there was no snow in the footage, it seems the sighting was quite recent.

The footage looks to be gleaned from Silverthorne, a town that looks like the setting  of a picturesque model railroad. Since the camo wrap was gone from the fenders, the sculptured body lines on both the door and fender are revealed more clearly, as well as a very close look at the new front clip beneath the covers. There is a new stacked headlight design that is shown more clearly through this as well, on top of LED tail lights that wrap around onto the hatch in a well-woven dramatic stackup.

From these photos, it's a bit tricky to tell what kind of powertrain exists beneath the outer skin, and all-wheel drive will finally be offered as an option with front-wheel drive serving as the base platform. There may be a turbocharged option on deck for all-wheel drive, and all of us here have appreciated just how far under wraps we were able to keep details of the new model. A full reveal will possibly take place in November at the L.A. Auto Show, or perhaps early next year in Detroit. This is a vehicle that has truly given drivers an excellent gift that “came in a box”, and the form and factor lives on, even after its original release 5 years ago.

It's the staunch new model that the Car and Driver staff lovably deemed “funkadelic”  and popular after test driving this year's model, and the practical tall hatch/small crossover will lure many buyers in markets just like ours where customers frequently require all-wheel-drive. It has also truly been one of the true ambassadors of our brand, and one that we admit is sometimes even a more solid example of what we can produce and lay our namesake to than our beloved Stinger sport tourer. If recent news events regarding Eco-conscious issues have swayed you as they should, there are also rumors that a hybrid or plug-in hybrid variant may be added to the range. There are a lot of choices out there right now for those that want a truly dependable, durable, and budget-friendly SUV: come down for a test drive of the Soul soon, and see how the precise engineering of tomorrow will benefit you today.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

J.D. Power Awards Highest Ranking to Kia Sorento for Powertrain Quality, Overall Design

This year's Kia Sorento has been widely praised for its engine offerings, handling, and design for months now. Every time a customer asks us here at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis about what types of recognition various models have been receiving out there in the world of reviews and media, we always are delighted to “get our bragging rights on” as far as that goes. The engine offerings on this year's Sorento include a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, that makes 240 horsepower, and resides just between the 4 and 6 cylinder engines in the lineup, offering up stellar power without a huge ding in the fuel economy department.

The base option 4-cylinder is a 2.4-liter unit that creates 185 horsepower, while the more powerful V6 is capable of cranking out 3.3 liters, and makes a full 290 horsepower. All three engines offer the option of a 6-speed transmission, and all-wheel drive is an option across the entire lineup, minus the entry-level L models. One of the best attributes about the V6 Sorento is its fuel rating: at 18 mph in the city it is the true definition of an Eco-friendly keeper, and 4-cylinder models without all-wheel drive can achieve up to 29 mpg on the highway.

Coming out triumphantly as “Among the Best” in the midsize SUV rating category, design, powertrain quality, as well as body and interior quality, you can be confident that coming down to check out the sporty SX trim yields you even bigger 19-inch wheels, as well as a blind-spot detection system with rear cross traffic alert, a ThinFilm Technology instrument cluster, and sunshades in the rear seat to protect passengers from the ever-present glare on I-70, and beyond. There is nothing quite as luxurious as the feel of a Napa leather seating surface, as well as a ventilated seat, and these are just two of the amenities offered with the top-of-the-line SX Limited Trim.

Car and Driver deemed the Sorento this year as “a solid three-row player with impressive flexibility”, and was very impressed with the Cool and Connected Package. Here you are allotted dual-zone climate control, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As the dog days of summer continue with their massive amounts of heat and sunshine, ask us how you can cruise around in cool contentment with the best in tunes: the Infinity premium 10-speaker audio system will leave you in flat-out beats connoisseur's awe. Safety technology can add impressive automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning with the Advanced Technology package. The all-wheel-drive system that ups towing capacity to 5000 pounds is ideal for anyone with a hefty haul coming up, and helps the Sorento claim its turf right alongside the wildly active Lake-and-campfire crew!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Automobile Mag Takes 2019 Optima SX and Sorento SKL on Respective Spins

The experienced team at the Automobile blog took the journey to visit the plant that the Optima and Sorento are manufactured in this past week, about an hour's drive south of the Atlanta metro area. Looking to gain some insight on handling, performance, and elements of consumer appeal, they were eager to get their hands on both of these cars for a thorough testing. When you are first coming into a city after a flight and exiting the baggage claim, it doesn't matter how many brand-new models you have driven as an auto review specialist: that initial post-flight jaunt is all-telling. Suspension, steering attributes, and safety features are all going to be scrutinized heavily by any seasoned veteran weaving their way out from a busy transportation hub. 

The fully-loaded 2019 Kia Sorento SX-Limited V-6 was the car of choice for the drive, with 19-inch alloys, rain-sensing windshield wipers, stainless steel pedals, and premium Nappa leather seat trim with ventilated front seats, second-row heated outboard seat cushions, heated steering wheel and LED headlights, as well as daytime running lights. An 8-speed automatic is brand new on V-6 powered '19 Sorentos, with a revised six-speed on the 4-cylinder versions. The team at Automobile appreciated the revised instrument cluster and two-way lumbar support right off the bat, as well as being quick on acceleration for the typical cluster and lane-changing needs on the highway.

 The Kia plant in Georgia can build up to 360,000 cars per year in any type of mix, and it is not at all difficult for them to switch between sedan and SUV production. The Automobile staff definitely thought the line workers were friendlier here than many other plants they had visited, and had a sense of amiable and approachable demeanor that was authentic. From the skyscrapers of the Detroit area to other production hubs such as Ohio, there have been ripples of all types of emotion over the last decade, and the workers here in Georgia have a happiness and sense of contentment that is reassuring in a still-somewhat-unstable climate.

The 2019 Kia Optima SX 2.0T was driven by the team in twisty, hilly country roads in western Georgia, and they thought that it was a solid and fun-to-drive mid-size sedan. The 18-inch alloys provided a compliant and smooth ride, and the predictable sense of linear steering was ranked as above satisfactory. Launching out of tight corners with the 245-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four was a cinch, and the amount of existing lag was deemed perfect. Stinger-inspired front-and rear-fascias are also a nice visual plus, and UVO link with navigation can easily come to the rescue. We hope that you visit us at Jim Butler to check out just how awesome both of these rides are: a growing family, young entrepreneur, or anyone moving into a new phase of life will be well-versed and ready for four-lane victory with either of these current models.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kia Nabs Fourth Consecutive Year of Highest Ranked Mass Market Brand From J.D. Power

When a customer is reviewing reasons to purchase a vehicle that will be perfect for them and their family in the long run, many people don't realize that the “short run” within the first 90 days of ownership is also so very important! During the first three months that a car is driven, this is when the true initial attachment to the vehicle is made, and longstanding opinions regarding recommending the purchase to others are solidified. Just last week, it was made evident once again that Kia owners reported fewer issues within the first 90 days of ownership than all other non-luxury car and truck brands in the United States.

After ranking the highest in the entire industry in 2016 and 2017, Kia's reported problem levels are still unchanged, deeming us once again as situated in the top mass-market automaker spot. The Sorento SUV and Rio subcompact models were both at the top of their respective segments, and the Optima, Sportage, and Sedona placed second in their respective segments. Every single car that Kia builds is a symbol of world-class quality and craftsmanship, and every employee here at Jim Butler Kia is proud of the progression and focus on performance the brand has displayed as of late.

The report came to its conclusion by analyzing responses from 75,712 respondents,  using 240 different vehicle models across 26 segments. Qualities evaluated were driving experience, the performance of transmission and engine, and a large range of various quality issues as they were reported by knowledgeable vehicle owners. There is nothing quite as frustrating as signing a lease or outright purchase, getting used to the daily drive in a new vehicle, and all of a sudden encountering car trouble. Knowing this full well, our brand takes great pride in being the top contender for the quality study, a measure of how much true satisfaction can stem from Kia ownership.

We invite you to heat things up this summer with a visit to us to check out great vehicles such as the Rio: testers from Car and Driver were greatly pleased with its performance on the brick-paved streets of Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood, and very quiet performance during highway travel. Customer after customer has been won over by the budget-minded output of Kia in general: we are known to be a brand that takes into consideration the economics of the time, and offering the absolute best in auto quality for a sensible price. 

Cars.com heaped on the praise for our beloved Kia Sportage, claiming heaps of love for its performance with turbocharged engine, accurate steering, and incredibly comfortable backseat. Ergonomics, safety, and reliability are great reasons to fall in love with a car, and Kia is happy to once again roll off the lot with killer qualities highlighted in each and every single model!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Kia Niro Boasts Top Safety Pick+ Award From Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Many of our satisfied customers here at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis have told us constantly that high safety rankings are one of the top reasons they pick our brand. Every time you pull out of the driveway on a new journey, the knowledge that you are behind the wheel of a car that ranks among the best in the world can bring about an amazing sense of peace, no matter how demanding your itinerary. The 2018 Kia Niro recently snagged the honors for the highest award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Introduced for the 2017 model year, the Niro has earned stellar marks across the board, with the latest success being the passenger-side small overlap front test.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is also included in these new crashworthiness ratings, and the entire system avoided collisions in 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS track tests. The included forward collision warning component meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria, further solidifying it as a great choice for any growing family or professional with a four-laned and frantic daily jaunt. In order to qualify successfully as a Top Safety Pick+ award-winner, a vehicle needs to have “good” ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests, on top of an acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test.

The current Niro is known as a model that is a family-friendly 4-door hatchback, with the bragging rights to outstanding fuel economy. One of the absolute most efficient in its class, it has a combined city/highway fuel-economy rating of 50 mpg, and can drive for 26 miles total on electricity alone. Kia has really listened closely to the needs of hybrid shoppers as of late, who will love the hatchback versatility, and attention to detail taken while crafting a very modern and eye-catching design. This year, the Kia added the Plug-in Hybrid model to the Niro lineup, and Lane Keep Assist was included on board to replace Kia's Lane Departure Warning system.

Come down and spend time with us for a test drive at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis, and check out the top-of-the-line Niro Touring trim level: the Advanced Tech Package is now included with all of these models. EX models receive a new Electromatic rearview mirror, that keeps glare down for you when you need a quick look at what's going on in lanes behind you. As the reviewers at Kelley Blue Book stated, the Niro is “Athletic and feels light on its feet, with a welcome agility”. Don't forget to check out Sport Mode: this is where you get to enjoy much better throttle response, tightened steering, and the 6-speed automatic transmission offers up quicker action. With a techie yet slightly more rugged appearance than the Prius, the Niro is slated to win over St Louis drivers with outstanding efficiency, and its ability to nail down 43 miles per gallon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Kia Niro EV Specifics Made Public During Korean Auto Show


This week in South Korea, The Busan International Motor Show was a bustling hive of various high-tech activity and product demonstrations. Here the very latest in passenger cars, motorcycles, automobile parts, and commercial cars are all on display for consumers and business owners to eagerly see what trends and modifications are on tap for the coming year. The Kia Niro EV made its first appearance here, this week, and it was officially confirmed that the car will offer a battery with up to 236 miles of range. In January, a concept version of the car was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, detailing tail light and trim details. It then appeared in Korea during an electric vehicle expo, touting two new battery options including a larger 64-kWh pack, currently expected to be the only one sold in the United States.

It will offer 100-kw DC fast charging, which can rejuvenate the battery's level all of the way to 80 percent in less than one hour. In other markets, the Niro EV is slated to offer a 39.2 kwh battery pack, rated at an overall finishing distance of 150 miles. A 201-horsepower electric motor will have the duty of driving the front wheels, and allows for a 0-62 mph trot in 7.8 seconds. The 7.0-inch touchscreen has the benefit of specific pages that monitor overall range, driving efficiency, charging opportunities, and control the climate.

The first thing that many will notice right when you enter the efficient and Eco-friendly Niro is the all-digital instrument cluster: it is unique to the Niro EV. You'll have the option to add equipment such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and active lane control. The characteristic blue accents and rotary shifter are all found in the electric version of the Niro only as well, and the car is set to go on sale in Korea late this year. Some of the big news for the 2018 Niro was that the touring model now comes standard with HID headlights, forward collision warning system, a lane keep assist system, autonomous emergency braking, and the ever-useful wireless phone charger.

Two years ago, Motortrend said of that Niro model that they praised it for its “non- hybrid looks, smooth-shifting six-speed dual clutch, and flat-folding rear seats”. Also giving the Niro high marks for above-average regenerative braking, the Niro has always been a good choice for anyone driving Uber or Lyft as an income opportunity. We are witnessing a very dramatic shift towards sustainability in the power category, and are amazed at the progression that has taken place from hybrid vehicles to a future of purely-battery generated power. We invite you to come down to Jim Butler Kia of St Louis with any questions you may have: the Niro EV is slated for release here during the latest quarter of the year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

AMCI Global Ranks Kia As One of 2018's Most Trusted Brands



As the warmer days of summer are upon St Louis residents, there is an abundance of events to attend, after loading up your new Kia with friends or family to experience all of the fun. As the temperatures begin to reach the point when heavy air conditioning is the name of the game, the St Louis Art Museum is one destination that will “Up the cool factor” in a major way as far as temps are concerned. The Saint Louis Art Museum will be the first North American art museum to tell the amazing story of one of the greatest finds in the history of underwater archaeology. Two lost cities of ancient Egypt were submerged underwater, and were not uncovered for over a thousand years. More than 200 authentic artifacts including sculptures of a pharaoh, a queen, and ancient Gods will be on hand for viewing and a super awesome Summer's educational treat!

While you are on the way to your destination in one of our fine vehicles, you'll have  the satisfaction of knowing that the brand has been acknowledged for the second year in a row as one of the most trusted non-luxury automotive brands in the yearly Trust Automotive Brands Study, conducted by AMCI Global. Trust is the highest-ranked factor that leads to building brand loyalty inside and out, as well as the property of a car that affects a customer's decision to purchase one more than once. This study detailed this year how trust accounts for more than 50 percent of a consumer's decision to recommend, or repurchase a car down the road.

Meaningful perks such as an industry-leading warranty, and a dealer network that has long been devoted to customer service are a few of the reasons why customers keep coming back to Jim Butler Kia of St Louis, and we are happy to provide many with the optimum vehicle for their lifestyle. During January of this year, AMCI conducted its second annual TAB Study, with a collective sample of 2,500 owners across 34 brands participating. The study is executed in collaboration with C Space, a global consumer agency. AMCI is a leading global automotive marketing agency that has long been committed to serving every part of this vibrant industry, and creating new advocates for longstanding as well as newer automotive brands.

Founded in 1984, AMCI has now grown to provide three distinct services. AMCI Live  Is dedicated to consumer and industry product activations and events, AMCI Testing uses technology to compare every single aspect of automotive products, and AMCI Inside works with dealerships to make sure the best customer experience is had during every transaction. It's easy to see why so many drivers are putting their hard-earned trust in Kia: our 10-year/ 100,000-mile warranty program is one of the top leaders in the industry, and leading models such as the Niro, Soul, and Sorento are purchased frequently for their performance and reliability.