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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Forbes Describes Kia Rio EX as “Roomy, Fun, and Naturally Aspirated”

Jason Fogelson is a contributor for Forbes that is known to never sugarcoat anything related to new cars, and one who gets to test drive some of the fastest, most furious, and front-running vehicles out there. Our beloved Kia Rio just entered into its fourth generation of existence this year, and Jason as well as many other drivers can testify that it is quite a different vehicle than it was during its origins. The Rio was truly Kia's first original subcompact, making its arrival in the US during the 2000 model year. A second generation was on deck in 2005, and a third in 2011. Some brushed aside the first two versions as poster vehicles for incredibly low-cost transportation, while the third generation began to show improvements in outer design, and overall quality of construction.

Jason admitted that “even a jaded auto writer like him” could produce an appreciative nod for the fourth-generation Rio, with his major area of admiration being the exterior. One of his first full glances was next to his wife's Mazda 3 five-door, a car that he admires profusely. The two vehicles share very similar shapes and dimensions, and he had much appreciation for the athletic wheel arches. He was excited about the EX trim-level, which sported 15-inch alloy wheels, and a well-fitting coat of Urban Gray paint. With an overall stance that is a bit on the low and wider side, it is positioned a bit better to appeal to customers looking for an SUV at an entry-level pricing point.

The instrument panel on the driver's side is connected to the dash via support from a black beam below, and black dash above. This allows for a much smoother and modern look than there was on the last two models, and the center stack and center console employ the use of a separate element to connect to each other, and the 7-inch touchscreen display is prominently placed right at the top. The door panels do a great job of mirroring the two-tone dash, and the red leather seats in the EX edition add the perfect touch to the practical, yet pleasantly edgy theme. The second row is as snug a fit as you would expect in a subcompact, and the luggage compartment touts a 17.4 cubic-ft capacity, while the rear seat is up.

The 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder that provides the power source for the Rio comes with  direct gasoline injection, giving it the ability to generously provide 130 hp, and 119 lb-ft of torque. Using a front-wheel-drive platform, it is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with the capability for manual available on the S and LX models. Expert auto writer Jason has years of experience driving overpowered cars, and still had great admiration for the powertrain, and Rio's overall fun driving experience. The Rio's capable suspension consists of Independent MacPherson struts up front, and coupled torosin-beams in the rear.

 Lower trim levels have front disc/rear drum setup in the lower trim levels, with the EX version consisting of disc brakes in the front and rear. Choosing the EX trim level will assure that you have the rearview camera and 7-inch touchscreen, both worth the extra spend. Economical has now become exquisite, and we hope you come see us here at Jim Butler to give the Rio a spin, and see this prepped-for-urban roads SUV yourself!

Images courtesy of KIA

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

KIA Proves 2018 Excellence, With 8 Vehicles Boasting a TSP or TSP+ Rating

Every time that St Louis residents buckle up and get ready to go down the road, safety is always on their minds. When we are advising customers from all walks of life here at Jim Butler which models will best meet their needs, we have had many young professionals and those with families in tow with concerns about safety. It is our pleasure to inform them about the many ways in which the 2019 Kia Sorento has value: next year's version received the 2018 Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the IIHS, making the total of Kia vehicles with 2018 TSP+ ratings to four, when specific headlights and front crash prevention are included in the equipment.

Our best-selling SUV was the recipient of “good” ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests, and “Good”-rated headlights when the LED option and autonomous emergency braking are part of the SUV's package. It is a very distinct honor to have earned this strong of safety ratings for so many various vehicles, as we strive to create a top-notch product from the very first conceptualization on the drawing board, to the final inspection on the assembly line. To qualify for the TSP+rating, it is required that a vehicle earn “Good” ratings during six crashworthiness tests. Head restraint, roof strength, side impact, moderate overlap front, and driver-side small overlap front are the tests that the car needs to display above and beyond prowess on.

The Kia vehicles that have the TSP + rating include the 2019 Sorento, the 2018 Forte Sedan, the 2018 Optima, and the 2018 Soul. To qualify for a TSP rating, a vehicle must earn “Good” ratings in five crashworthiness tests: the all-important driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. It also must earn an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for crash prevention, and a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating during headlight testing.

We have long felt that the promise to make sure every single occupant of a car is safe is one that any auto manufacturer can take gravely to heart. It has been consistently amazing to see how technology has affected new cars being manufactured to date, and any accident prevented is seen as a huge success. As the spring months spur many to make purchases that benefit them in the long run, gaining the opportunity to call one of these Kia models your own will be the best celebration of spring ever. As Memorial Day is upon us and we honor many who had the largest senses of patriotism ever, there will be an uptick in the usually congested corridors such as I-29 and I-35. Knowing that you are driving one of the absolute safest cars in existence will provide the sense of confidence any consumer desires, as our always award-winning brand shines on for the coming of summer!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

5 Pricey Models That The Kia Stinger GT Puts to Shame on the Drag Strip

With a price starting at just under $40,000, the Kia Stinger GT has been a robust and slightly rebellious surprise to automotive enthusiasts nationwide. Named as's “2018 Car of the Year”, there's a lot more to the Kia Stinger GT than just the 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine, providing 365 horsepower, and 376 pound-ft of torque, but the speed stats have admittedly really been boosting curiosity as well as popularity.

Many customers have asked us after their first alluring peek at the Stinger here at Jim Butler of St Louis, “Which cars can this sedan smoke on the track?” To help us compile our list, we used the 0-60 times published by the automakers themselves, instead of a 3rd party source. We claim the Stinger GT completes the sprint in 4.7 seconds, but it has been known to complete it in even less.

The BMW 540i: Even though its the least expensive on this list, it still rings in at $20,000 more expensive than the Stinger. It is powered by a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six, and generates 335 hp, and 332 lb-ft of torque. The standard-level 540i reaches 60 mph from a complete standstill in 4.9 seconds, while the xDrive all-wheel drive actually hails a tie with the Stinger's time, at 4.7 seconds.

Audi A7: The well-known and dastardly brisk S7 is obviously a faster machine than the Stinger GT, but the A7 is situated in a bit different of a category. It is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, sporting 340 hp, and 325 lb-ft of torque. This results in a zero-to-60 time of 5.2 seconds, and a price tag rounding out heftily at $70,675.  

The Mercedes-Benz CLS 550: If BMW and Audi are mentioned, it's almost guaranteed that Mercedes-Benz is idling in park somewhere close, with their undeniably masterful engineering, and high-grade status. There is a new CLS that is set to arrive at dealerships all over in the very near future, but the current model actually does not match the might of our Stinger GT. The CLS 550 and CLS 550 4MATIC both accelerate to 60 in 4.9 seconds, powered by a 4.7-liter bit turbo V8. This admittedly harmonious match generates 402 hp, and 443 lb-ft of torque. So even though the Stinger GT has less power total, it can accelerate quicker, and the price is quite a bit less than the CLS 550's of $76,145.

Porsche Panamera: We fully admit that late last year, we were not at all shy about comparing our beloved Stinger GT to the Porsche Panamera. Coming in at a starting price of $86,000, it will set you back more than double what the Stinger GT will out of the gate. The standard model completes the 0-60 in 5.2 seconds, and the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 offers less performance with 330 hp, and 331 lb-ft of torque. Beautiful and undeniably compelling? Yes, but the stats don't quite cut it for the short sprint.

Jaguar F-Type: Among all of the sensational cars in existence that the Stinger GT is faster than, there is probably none more startling than the Jaguar F-Type. The Stinger GT does not beat out the high-performance of the F-type R, but it is faster than the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 Variant, that has 380 hp, and 339 lb-ft of torque. That model takes just 4.8 seconds to hit 60, which is no slouch in the least, but is double the Stinger GT's entry-level price. There are many reasons to test drive a Stinger GT this spring, but if speed is your main forte, you'll have no shortage of fun securing a lease or outright purchase of this menacing yet practical daily drive partner!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Kia Motors Will Now Be Partner to Provide Augmented Reality Within Messenger

During the last few years, the auto industry has definitely seen technology advancements that have moved faster than ever before. Social media has been at the forefront of many new technology advancements, and there is now AR technology for the Facebook Messenger Platform that goes so far as to allow users to virtually park the amazing Kia Stinger GT sports sedan right in their driveway. Kia lately announced that it will be among the first group of beta partners to use Augmented Reality for the Messenger Platform, which provides a more in-depth and immersive experience within Messenger.

Augmented Reality provides an experience that does an amazing job of drawing the driver in, and immerses you while you are getting the absolute best out of your new car. All of us here at Jim Butler Kia were just lamenting that movie throwbacks such as “Tron” were not even half as predictive as to what they could have been, as we are now living in a society where so much is ultimately controlled by smartphones and apps. Kia was the only automaker selected by Facebook to participate in the initial launch of AR for the Messenger Platform, following the great success of the Kia Bot for Messenger platform. Last November, the launch of “Kian” included the entire Kia lineup, and has tracked more than one million user messages.

It is also evident that the Kia Stinger is a one-of-a-kind benchmark within the brand's namesake, and was one of the anchoring factors that stoked the innovation finding other ways to bring the car to the public. Successfully providing today's car buyers with an extended means of interaction on the social platforms that are most popular, the addition of AR provides the ability to produce a completely accurate 3D rendering of the Stinger GT in their choice of color wherever the end user sees fit. Consumers can share these images during group or one-one-one conversations within Messenger, add as images and films to their unique stories, or save to their phones to use as profile pics and share with contacts.

Drivers from all over the globe were already excited about getting up close and personal with the Stinger, after being educated at “Stinger Salons” in various shopping areas nationwide, and gleaning jaw-dropping stats about its Nurburgring lap time. The platform overall is built on artificial intelligence, as well as machine learning-powered engagement platforms, that deliver an engaging experience for inquisitive visitors to Kia's social media pages. It allows shoppers to research pricing, estimate their monthly payment, dig deep into special offers, view photos, compare competing models, and search vehicle inventory thoroughly. If you have heard what an awesome and sleek sedan the Stinger is, but have not yet experienced a drive for yourself, come visit us at Jim Butler of St Louis soon, and see how the 2018's many forks in the road will make for a fantastic journey!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

B.R.A.K.E.S Driving School Partnership Renewed by Kia, Keeping Teens on the Defensive

Last month in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America and B.R.A.K.E.S announced a multi-year renewal of their partnership. Taking place during the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, this is part of a massive nationwide effort to reduce the number of serious injuries on the roads, and save lives by providing parents and teens with the appropriate tools they need to be responsible behind the wheel. This program utilizes very useful hands-on defensive driver training along with classroom instruction, to get to the heart of the dangerous matters at hand, and begin to prevent unnecessary deaths behind the wheel.

During 2018, B.R.A.K.E.S is scheduled to host training in Concord, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh, North Carolina; Memphis, Orlando, San Diego, Pomona, and Scottsdale, AZ, with additional locations to be added soon. To check out the schedule or register for a class, visit HereCar crashes are now the number one cause of death among teens, but with grave effort, we know that this type of forum is making a difference. Top drag racing champion Doug Herbert recognized this month that nearly 30,000 teens along with their parents have now been trained, and it is undoubtedly making America's roads safer for everyone driving on them.

Kia is proud to support B.R.A.K.E.S by offering free training for all who are interested, offsetting costs through a financial donation, and a fleet of over 40 vehicles, including the Soul, Rio, and Forte models. This is an organization that has been putting forth the effort to save lives for over a decade, and is looking forward to doing the same for many more years to come. One of that stats that gets us excited here at Jim Butler of St Louis? Teens who graduate from B.R.A.K.E.S are a startling 64 percent less likely to be in a crash during their first year of driving, staking a large claim to safer conditions on the roads.

B.R.A.K.E.S is a GuideStar Platinum-rated non-profit, whose mission is to prevent as many injuries on the road as possible, and was founded after Doug lost both of his young sons in a very brutal and unnecessary car crash. Teaching sensible awareness and the benefits of constantly gauging your surroundings, the course has eased the minds of many parents who were turning over the keys and purchasing hefty insurance policies for the teen drivers in their families. Each school includes four hours of training, three hours of which are behind the wheel. Panic braking, crash avoidance, and skid recovery are some of the objectives covered. What to do in the event of a traffic stop is another topic covered: it can give a parent a boosted amount of confidence knowing that complying with an officer of the law is laid out comprehensively.