Monday, December 11, 2017

New Stinger is's Midsize Car of the Year

This past month in Toronto, the 2018 awards ceremony took place, with an expert panel consisting of five veteran contributors, experienced test drivers, and the chief writer on staff. They each cast their votes for the vehicles they thought were the most memorable of 2018, and only those sold before November 1st were eligible for their consideration. Beating out the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, The Kia Stinger took the honors in the midsize car category, generating, even more, excitement and recognition for the Kia brand. The rivals of the new Stinger are some of the most luxurious sedans in the world, and many have been amazed by its world-class powertrains, as well as its practicality.

Because of the presence of the hatchback in the rear, there is still an element of day-to-day usefulness, although the Stinger could also be at home on the most demanding racetracks, such as Germany's Nurburgring. Under the hood of the fastest Kia ever made is a powerful 3.3-L twin-turbo V6 engine, that delivers up to 365 Hp, 376 lb-ft of torque, and the delightful snarl once only found within cars of European origin. Every model comes with an all-wheel-drive system, that uses torque vectoring control to thoroughly modulate power transmitted to each wheel. Stopping duties are completed with very high-performance Brembo brakes, and it won't be too difficult to notice that this car was put to the test on a frozen lake in the Arctic circle for two months.

The fastback-styled trunk opens at the command of a remote, making way for ample cargo space, and solidifying the love for the Stinger among more than just the diehard racers who will find themselves behind the dash. The UVO Intelligence application allows the driver to use their smartphone to control vehicle-management, driver assist, and other remote functions. This is a no-subscription information system that enables you to make hands-free calls and complete other cool tasks like managing your entire music library. Navigation, diagnostics capabilities, and useful features like parking minder are all under the guise of this easy-to-use and revolutionary suite governed by a smartphone app.

Originally introduced as the Kia GT concept during the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the car derived its beginnings as a study in design that previewed what a fastback sports sedan from Kia would look and drive like. 3 years later, the concept of the GT4 Stinger was pitched at the 2014 Detroit Auto show, and it was a bit of a smaller, rear-drive sports coupe. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbo four with 255 hp and 260-Lb-ft of torque, and the upper-level choice is a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 Hp, and 376 Lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired to an automatic 8-speed transmission, and we invite you to pay us a holiday visit here at Jim Butler. While you're here, we will show you how the Stinger will wow everyone during the coming year, with more features for the money compared to the heavy hitting BMW 4-series, as well as the Audi A5 Sportback! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid Crossover Debuts at Los Angeles Auto Show

As innovation, artificial intelligence, and many other facets of car technology evolve at a breakneck pace, hybrids and electric cars have really moved from the background to a front-and-center position on the stage. The 2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid is Kia's third plug-in model, and was on display last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It offers up the same crossover functions and fun driving experience as previous models, along with an estimated 26 miles of all-electric range. As consumers are becoming more and more aware of the perils that the planet faces in terms of green energy and consumption, some are now leaning towards electric power for their vehicle choice. This is a startlingly efficient new vehicle that takes massive strides in helping drivers consumer less gasoline, and while in all-electric mode, produces zero emissions.

Here in St Louis and in other large cities across the nation where emissions have been under close scrutiny for decades now, a car with zero emissions has been coveted for quite some time. The rating of the total driving range is 560 miles, and the offering of extreme versatility in driving experience is going to be a major selling point. With the Niro Plug-in Hybrid, you are tapping into the potential to have it all: pure EV driving on the daily, as well as the ability to take long road trips. This is the vehicle that heftily represents the next step to nearly tripling the brand's global selection of alternative vehicles within the next three years, including the Niro, Optima Hybrid, Optima PHEV, and the Soul EV.

The Niro matches up an all-aluminum and efficient 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection 4-cylinder engine with an 8.9 kWh lithium polymer battery pack. Along with a powerful 60-HP electric motor, this is the perfect formula for driving range under the guise of electric power, as well as optimum fuel efficiency. Increased high-voltage battery capacity and output are two key ingredients that have helped the Niro Plug-in Hybrid have a very efficient, low emissions crossover, while successfully touting a 105 MPG rating. The single battery charging port is located in the driver's front side fender, and a full charge is complete in around 2.5 hours with a Level 2 charger, or in just under 9 hours via a Level 1 charger.

The very lightweight structure of the Niro Plug-in utilizes over 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel. The structure is improved greatly by the use of hot-stamped steel components, and the car has been heavily targeted to earn top honors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new Niro PHEV seats five, and you can ask us here on the lot at Jim Butler how the different trim levels improve your experience: LX, EX, and Premium are the slated options. You'll enjoy driver assistance technologies such as blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, front and rear parking sensors, smart cruise control, and forward collision warning to assure your drive is the absolute safest it can be.

With UVO eco, you can remotely monitor and charge your battery, setup and alter the schedule, preset temperature, turn on features like window defrosters, heat the steering wheel, and lock or unlock the doors to get ready to roll. If you're parked at a large event or something unfortunate happens, you can also see where the vehicle is from a smartphone or other web-enabled device. Take a close look at what the new Niro Plug-in could do for your daily driving routine, and marvel at the fact that our entire ability to protect the environment will be drastically improved during the days to come. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

2019 Kia Sorento First Look: Utility and Rugged Good Looks Live On

We are excitedly situated in one of the most action-packed times of year as a car dealer: not only has the 2018 lineup been completely announced and for the most part arrived, but glimpses of an exciting future are also on hand. The 2017 Sorento truly tried to up the ante and dominate two markets with one vehicle, and many consumers loved the avid 5-seater right off the bat. This year, the top-of-the-line SXL was just a V-6 item, all SXL versions were equipped with HID headlights, as well as a 360-degree camera system. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and an electric parking brake were included within the SXL level to boot.

Car and Driver were impressed with the engineering that resulted in less exterior noise, and pointed out that it was an impressive seven decibels quieter than the Audi Q7 during idle. The 2019 Sorento is slated to be available in front or all-wheel drive configurations, and on limited models, comes standard with seating room for seven. Another great new feature is two-way Lumbar support for the front passenger, one of the top features recommended by chiropractors for better posture. Nappa leather upholstery in Mahogany or Terracotta two-tone schemes is a noticeable upgrade as well, and the car is available in front or rear-wheel configurations.

The large difference under the hood is the addition of updated transmissions: a six-speed automatic accompanies the base 185-hp 2.4-liter model, and the 290-hp 3.3-liter V-6 is paired with the 8-speed automatic transmission found in the Cadenza full-size sedan. The new Harman Kardon premium surround sound system will noticeably enhance your audio experience; this is one brand of equipment that always dazzles us as far as sound dimensions are concerned. There are new lighting patterns on the taillights, and the ice cube LED foglights have been trimmed down a bit, with a good aesthetic result. The 2019 Sorento gets an infotainment system that is updated with Apple CarPlay + Android Auto capability, and there is a 7-inch touchscreen even on the base trim level.

Safety is the category that many customers come to us and rave about how satisfied they are with Kia, purchase after purchase. All 2019 Sorentos with EX trim or higher will include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. All-wheel drive models will still come with a 4-wheel lock mode, which splits power evenly from front to rear, and employs torque vectoring to help minimize understeer.

So many potential buyers come to us on the lot and ask just why the Sorento is better than the Chevy Traverse. Sure, they both have size: we love how this is not a tiny SUV that could be tipped under pressure like a flimsy matchbox. Come down and give the Sorento a test drive: when you experience the agile response, perfectly grippy handling, and safety features on board, you'll be ready to succumb to the anticipation of the 2019 wait list!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Performance-Focused Post-Holiday Fever: 2018 Stinger Pricing Announced

The 2018 Kia Stinger is bound to turn heads within the auto market for many reasons: it's the first true sports coupe from the brand, and offers up well-thought and class-leading design. The power you have access to is obtained at a reasonable price, and it has risen to the challenge of competing with luxury sport sedans substantially. The car is a prime example of the brand we love to represent's commitment to surpassing expectations in every aspect. Drivers are really going to notice how this is still very much a traditional Kia, but the performance and handling ante has been upped noticeably.

A few days ago in Irvine, CA, Kia announced the pricing stats for this highly anticipated urban or otherwise commuter's dream. Here's the general scheme of how it will all be rolled out:

-Stinger begins at $31,900

-Stinger Premium begins at $37,100

-GT begins at $38,350

-GT1 begins at $43,250

-GT2 begins at $49,200

-All-wheel drive: $2,200

-Destination $900

Developed on the famed hairpin turns of Nurburgring and designed in Frankfurt, the Stinger is offered with multiple drivetrain and engine options, and doesn't skimp on luxury to deliver grade A performance. All Stingers come standard with a beautiful leather interior, and you can ask us on the lot here at Jim Butler how you can upgrade to the lavish and amazingly soft Nappa leather for even more comfort. The steering wheel is hand-stitched with multi-function leather, housing paddle shifters front and center of the driver. Every Stinger is available with a large-color TFT instrument cluster, and there's even a track timer here for any instances where you may be living out your speed-driven dreams with friendly competition!

If you are summoned to take the sales presentation on the road, are traveling for the holidays, or going to see all of the great things Missouri has to offer on the weekends, you'll be happy with the 23.3 cubic. -ft of cargo space, that can be accessed with the power liftgate, and even has the futuristic and ultra-useful Smart Trunk Functionality. The base Stinger and Premium trims provide a 2.0- liter twin-scroll, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and it provides 255 hp, as well as 260 lb. -ft of torque. Buying your way shrewdly into the GT namesake offers you up a more powerful 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, which cranks out 365 hp, and 376 lb. - ft. of torque. These are both matched to an 8-speed, rear-drive automatic transmission, and for some in St. Louis and locations further north of here, all-wheel drive is available to conquer inclement weather on all trim levels of the Stinger.

To enhance the driving experience in the revolutionary and game-changing Stinger, there are Multiple Advance Driver Assistance Systems that all work together. Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance with pedestrian detection, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and Lane Keeping Assist are just some of the features that will keep you safe at all times, and optimize every mile marker of your journey. The base audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features a 7-inch touchscreen and six speakers, as well as Kia's award-winning telematics and UVO. Voice-guided maps, navigation, hands-free calls, and texts, and voice recognition are all features that you can enjoy via this technology.

With the holidays right around the corner and the promise of exciting New Year's happenings to boot, now would be a great time to check out the world's finest performance sedan, and treat yourself to an example of the finest in elevated action-driving authenticity!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2018 Kia Soul + Sportage Receive Highest Safety Props For the Year From IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded its most prestigious rating to two of our favorite vehicles: The 2018 Kia Soul, when equipped with high-intensity discharge headlights, and the 2018 Kia Sportage, when equipped with new HID headlights. For the Soul, the needed feature is available on the Primo Lit Package, and the SX Turbo trim is what is needed for the Sportage. To qualify for this honor, the testing procedures require that a vehicle earn “Good” ratings in five crashworthiness tests: these are small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength, and head restraints. There also needs to be an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention, as well as “acceptable” or “good” rating in headlight testing and performance.

All of us here in sales and service at Jim Butler Kia are also happy to see four other Kia vehicles receive the TSP+ rating from the IIHS: the Forte, Optima, Cadenza, and Sorento are all other proud recipients of honors. What the IIHS focuses on is how well a vehicle protects its occupants during a crash, and crash avoidance: the technology that can be used to prevent a crash or lessen the severity of the impact. This can all be very useful information when shopping for a new car, as your family and any other passengers with you will want to know that they are constantly safe. Many buyers we talk to use this data in conjunction with Consumer Reports, to assure that they are looking at a car that can keep them safe and well-repaired in the long run.

This is the Soul's fifth model year, and it is known for its fun and outside-of-the-box approach to getting around every day. The 2018 model sees the addition of the innovative infotainment system to the Base Convenience Package, and the Soul Plus as now standard equipment. Ask us about the Soul Plus Primo Package, which now adds Smart Cruise Control and Autonomous Emergency Braking. One of the deciding factors on the IIHS rating, the Soul Plus Primo “Lit” Package includes HID headlights and LED positioning lights to enhance driving on the road at any hour.

The Kia Sportage was just introduced last year, and offers advanced technology and varied options across three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX – while offering customers a prime choice in the subcompact utility category. Every trim level is available with optional Dynamax full-scale all-wheel drive, and the SX level adds an electronic parking brake. We are especially proud of the premium craftsmanship in every detail, and you'll love the upgraded seats that have scientifically calibrated touch points. Truly built for adventure, the Sportage stands out with its coupe-like roof, extended wheelbase, and satin silver touches. Getting away to the lake for the weekend or just the movie theater with the entire family for the day is a snap with the Sportage, and any professional or growing family will fall in love with its luxurious and sophisticated vibe. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Widebody Touring-Inspired Custom Stinger To Be on Display at SEMA

A wider version of the powerful and notorious Stinger was shown in public last week, and has already generated a large amount of excitement here at Jim Butler: its 2.0-liter l4 will crank out 255 horsepower, and 260 lb-ft of torque, enough to reach the 60 mph jolt in less than 6 seconds. This souped-up version gets an assortment of new high-performance enhancements: the nicely widened body, lowered front and rear suspension, gloss black front grille, carbon fiber aero kit, 21-inch forged wheels, wider-body fender flares, rear diffuser, and squared-off exhaust tips.

This is Kia's first true GT offering, and we could not be more excited about how it is inspired by the grand touring cars of the 1960's and 70's. It was designed in Frankfurt, and developed on the Nurburgring circuit. There will be a choice of two engines: a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four that generates 255 horsepower, as well as a GT version with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, generating 365 horse. There is a choice of rear and all-wheel drive configurations, with standard Nappa leather interior, and an ample amount of space for any passengers that want to join you.

A few more features in the cockpit are also slated for upgrade, and you're going to fully enjoy the sensation you get from blasting around with a power sunroof, navigation, and a 720-watt, 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Come down and ask us how you can add all-wheel drive to any of the trim types, and be fully amazed by the first performance vehicle this brand created. Rear-wheel drive models come standard with a mechanical-limited slip differential, while all-wheel drive cars rely on a torque vectoring control. This method has been proven over the long run to allow for much better grip on the road, for more accurate handling and launch.

When you indulge yourself with a test drive of the new Stinger, you'll be driving the first Kia ever to feature an adaptive suspension system. An onboard system is used to control the vertical movement of the wheels. In a passive suspension system, the movement is governed entirely by the surface of the road. These amazing technologies allow car manufacturers to achieve a much greater degree of ride quality and car handling, because the tires stay perpendicular to the road in corners, which ultimately results in the best control. There's gonna be plenty of reasons for any speed-hungry corner-handler to opt for the V6, but they both are going to have plenty of punch: The 2018 Stinger GT is bound to etch a permanent mark in our beloved brand's existence. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Kia's Plan for All-electric SUV's Next Year Begins with the Niro

Every manufacturer in the game has dealt with the demand for electric a bit differently. We are going to be excited to watch how our beloved brand will shape itself during the days to come for demand in the St Louis area, as many will be lured by the potential of completely ditching stops at the gas pump. Kia's version will reportedly be equipped with a 50 kW battery pack, which could bring overall range close to 200 miles with a single charge. Overall production numbers are said to be around 21,000 for the Niro EV, a modest release to test the very futuristic waters with.

The Niro EV is slated to use the same electric motor as the Hyundai IONIQ electric, and a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery. The plug-in uses a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder paired to a permanent-magnet AC electric generator, and the model has been altered quite a bit over the last year. Despite a slower-than-expected start, the idea of plug-in cars is gaining momentum within the North American market segment. According to a survey during 2017 by AAA, the interest that shoppers have in electric cars is now nearly tied to the number of those interested in pickup trucks. 15 percent of those surveyed expressed interest in an electric car, and 16 percent had the desire to purchase a pickup.

The launch of the 238-mile Chevy Bolt EV admittedly had quite a tangible impact on the entire electric market, as competitors such as Hyundai and Kia observed from a distance the good and not-so-good aspects of electric cars in general. The efficiency of the batteries themselves is what is going to really change the face of the entire industry, and when this factor collides in a positive way with lower pricing, many consumers will express interest that may have not before. Even though electric cars have not quite disrupted the market in the way that some predicted they would, many think that the severe “bolt” (tiny pun intended) that shakes everything up may be about two years down the road.

Fans of NASCAR are always going to want to hear the roar of “real engines”, and we also wholeheartedly agree that pickup truck owners are another demographic that will in no way be won over easily. There are tons of benefits of a gas-powered auto, but many have been buying into the hybrid game as well, with crossover SUV's exploding in popularity over the last three years. Some experts say it's not a matter of if, but when, diehards that would never want an electric car will suddenly change their mind. As our world changes drastically every day, drivers are going to be looking for ways to make sure they are benefiting the planet, and not continuing to drain resources at an alarming rate. Kia promises to be front and center on electric developments, and the next few years are going to set the stage for a vital and flourishing future.