Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

The first time I saw a check engine light, I was driving home from university at the beginning of one summer, with my little sister in the passenger’s seat next to me. I’d never seen the light on my dashboard before and I immediately panicked. The little light that looks like an engine obviously meant that my vehicle was going to explode if I continued driving it, right? And I was still two states away from home!

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After consulting my owner’s manual, I discovered that while it did not offer a direct explanation for the check engine light, the light was not actually trying to tell me that my vehicle was about to self-destruct. Instead, it told me to take my car in to the dealership as soon as possible. I wasn’t ecstatic that the light didn’t give me any information about what was wrong with my car (for example, when the tire pressure light comes on, I know that one of my tires has low pressure and needs to be refilled). Still jittery, but at least not panicking anymore, I did exactly that.

They looked over my car, looked at its diagnostics, told me that they couldn’t find anything wrong, and just turned the light off. That was disconcerting, but ultimately, there was nothing else to do. I still wonder, to this day, what made that light turn on. If you’re wondering the same thing, here are a few of the most common check engine light explanations:

1. Your oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. Your car likely has a computer in it, did you know that? One of the functions of that computer is to monitor how much of your fuel has been burned, using an oxygen sensor. If this sensor is not working properly, the computer in your vehicle is not getting the right information. The sensor can get covered in debris and sludge in your busy engine and becomes less able to determine how much fuel and oxygen is being used, which will, in turn, decrease your fuel economy and make your car emit more dangerous gasses.

 

2. Your gas cap is faulty or loose. Your gas cap isn’t anywhere near your engine, right? So why would a loose gas cap cause your check engine light to come on? This is what the technicians at my dealership told me was the likely cause of my check engine light. When you do not screw it back into place properly or there is an issue with the gas cap, vapors created by your fuel will leak out of this area, which can wreak havoc on your entire fuel system. You’ll again see more emissions and less fuel economy. This is one of the most likely causes, especially if you do not feel like your vehicle is driving strangely or that there is anything else wrong with it.

 

3. You need new spark plugs. Your spark plugs are integral to the function of your vehicle, and if they are not working properly, your car is going to tell you about it by switching on your check engine light. You need functioning spark plugs in order to be able to start your car. When these plugs start to fail or misfire, you can feel it when you start your car. Pay attention and see if your car jolts a little bit when you accelerate. Your plugs are simply going to fail—it’s what they do. This is why you need to take your vehicle in to the dealership if your light comes on.

 

4. Your mass airflow sensor is faulty. This sensor’s job is to tell your car how much fuel the engine needs, based on how much air is in the engine. It is critical to a properly functioning engine and if it does not work properly, you’ll see that your emissions are increased and your gas mileage is decreased. If you do not regularly replace your air filters, you are going to see this becoming a more and more common problem. Replacing your air filters when you get an oil change is one of the best ways to make sure this never happens to you.

 

5. You need a new catalytic convertor. Your catalytic convertor is used to reduce the amount of harmful gas that your car emits. It will convert carbon monoxide into completely harmless gasses, which makes driving a car not as bad for the environment as it used to be before catalytic convertors were used in vehicles. If this part of your car starts to malfunction, you are going to see your check engine light come on. Not driving around for weeks or months with your check engine light on is integral to protecting this part of your vehicle. Issues with your catalytic convertor usually stem from faulty oxygen sensors of old spark plugs—issues your vehicle will already have been trying to tell you about.

 

6. You need a new thermostat. Your car’s thermostat determines the temperature of your engine, opening the valve to let in coolant when it is needed. If this device is not working properly, your check engine light will probably come on. A malfunctioning thermostat will probably lead to overheating and severe engine corrosion, depending on how long you drive with your check engine light on and do not take your vehicle in to be serviced.

 

If your check engine light comes on, the best thing to do is to take your vehicle in to your dealership as quickly as possible. While a check engine light does not always constitute an emergency, this is your vehicle trying to tell you that something is wrong and that the situation is, at the very least, urgent.

10 Questions to Ask Your Kia Dealership When Buying a New Car

When you are shopping for a new car, the salesperson helping you will probably ask you at some point during the process if you have any questions. While you definitely do not have to come with prepared questions, knowing some questions to ask that might not have already been answered by your salesperson can ensure that you buy the vehicle that is actually right for you. Here is a list of questions you might want to keep in mind to ask when you are shopping for a new car at our Kia dealership:

1. What is the best Kia for my lifestyle? Our goal is always to help you find the right car for you. For some, the Kia Optima is going to be the best pick. Others might prefer the Cadenza or the Sedona. It is all about finding the right vehicle for you and your needs. How many seats do you need? What kind of safety features would you prefer? What type of technology do you need? Discussing what you usually use a vehicle for with your salesperson can be a great way to make sure you are getting a Kia that is going to work perfectly for your lifestyle.

2. Should I buy or lease? There is almost endless debate over whether leasing or buying a vehicle is best for drivers. The simple truth is that whether buying or leasing is better depends entirely on the driver himself. If you are likely going to try to sell this car back to our Kia dealership and buy a new one in three years, a lease is usually going to be the better option. If, however, you plan on driving this car into the ground, until its wheels fall off, buying is almost always going to be the best option for you. Again, the best way to know what is right for your particular situation is to actually talk to a salesperson on our showroom floor.

woman asking questions3. How should I pay for this car? Very few people come in and are ready to pay cash for a vehicle, even one as inexpensive as the Kia Rio. In this instance, you have a few different options, including financing through the dealership or through a local lender. Financing through the dealership is usually going to provide you with the best terms.

4. What vehicles are in my price range? If you have a very concrete price range, you might want to ask the salesman you are working with which vehicles are even going to be in that price range, especially if you are interested in a wide variety of vehicles. Keep in mind that not every dealership has every single trim level of every single model in every single color on their lot. If you are looking for something specific, you might want to lead off your car shopping experience by asking what vehicles they have that are actually in your price range.

5. How does my credit history affect my ability to buy? Being upfront about your credit history is usually the best way to make sure that it is not an issue when you are buying a car from us. You do not have to have perfect credit to buy a vehicle. Dealing directly with us will give you a little bit of flexibility when it comes to financing that you might not get if you try to find your own loan.

6. What kind of safety features does this trim level have? When looking at specific vehicles, it can be very helpful to learn about not just what general feature the brand offers, but which safety features are offered specifically on that vehicle at that trim level. When you purchase a Kia, you are going to find that every single vehicle has great safety features.

7. What other fees come along with purchasing? There are usually a few fees that come along with purchasing a vehicle, besides just what is listed on the sticker price. There will be, of course, a down payment that you need to make, but there could also be other fees that you might not know about until it comes times for payment if you do not ask. When negotiating the price of your vehicle, be sure to ask what other fees might be tacked on at the end of the process.

8. Are there any aftermarket additions to this vehicle? Sometimes, a brand might install a piece of technology on a car after it is technically finished. While it is less common for this to happen these days than even five years ago, you might still want to ask, especially if the dealership has installed an aftermarket alarm or other similar part, which might start to cause you trouble that a part installed during normal manufacturing would not.

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9. What are my warranty options? Before you start the purchasing process, it is time for you to ask about your warranty options. When you are dealing with a brand like Kia, you are going to have a great warranty options, making buying one of these vehicles a no-brainer.

10. Can you get me this other car? Most dealership have only a limited stock, but this does not mean that they do not have the ability to get you the model that you want in the color that you want. This might take a few days, but you’ll only know for sure if you actually ask. Whether it is strictly a matter of color or whether you want a specific feature that they do not have on any of their models, ask if they have the ability to get you the car that you really want.

How to Get Your Teen Excited about Driving

While most teens are probably chomping at the bit to get their driver’s license and do some driving, there are other teens that are going to be reluctant to get behind the wheel. Whether they just have no interest in driving or they are actually afraid of the entire concept, it will be more difficult to get some teens excited about driving than others.

Having a teen driver in your household can be nerve-wracking, but they can also be a big help. My parents loved having a new chauffer for the other kids. They leapt at the chance to send me on errands once I could drive by myself. While teenage drivers are the most likely demographic to get into an accident, simply because they are the most statistically impulsive and have the least amount of experience on the road, a teen driver can benefit your household and provide them with the independence they are probably craving.

If you have a teenager who doesn’t seem very excited about getting behind the wheel, here are some tips for encouraging them to learn to drive:

1. Give them a car. Hear us out—you don’t have to buy a new car or even really give them a car that is for their use exclusively. That said, when they feel some sort of ownership over a vehicle, they are much more likely to be willing to learn to drive it. When they have no vehicle to drive, it probably does not make much sense to the average teenager to invest the time and money in taking a driving course. Again, you don’t actually have to buy them a car (though a reasonably priced used vehicle could be the perfect option as an “extra” car for your family that your teenager mainly uses), but giving them at least symbolic ownership over a vehicle can encourage them to learn to drive. If you are interested in buying a car that is almost exclusively going to be used by your teenager, look for inexpensive, safe sedans. Kia has a variety of inexpensive options that are ideal for new drivers. They are both fun to drive and come with plenty of safety features that will help keep your teen safe on the road.

2. Stop playing the taxi driver. When you’re always on call to drive your teen wherever they want or need to go, there is no impetus for them to actually get their driver’s license. If you as a parent ever feel like you are taxiing your kids around and one of those kids is old enough to be driving themselves, stop playing the taxi driver. Most teens will naturally want to drive themselves instead of constantly being driven around by a parent, but others will need a little more encourage. It’s much easier to simply ask your mom for a ride somewhere than to put in the time and effort to get your own license. It’s not as cool, but especially if some of their friends already have licenses and they don’t have to ask for a ride very often, there might be dwindling cause for your teen to get their own license unless you refuse to be their taxi.

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3. Make it easy for them. If your teenager is already inundate with your activities, they might be putting off getting their license not because they want to, but because they simply do not have time in their schedule to get their license. Some schools solve this problem by offering a driver’s education class during school hours, but if their only option is to take an after school driving course, they might find that they have difficulty finding one that fits their needs. Shop around for driving schools and find one that provides them with the training that they need, at a time that works for their schedule. If necessary, let them opt out of one of their other after school activities for the couple of weeks it takes for them to take driver’s education. For the teen that’s just too busy to learn but who could benefit from having their own license (you won’t have to shuttle them from activity to activity anymore), this might be your only option.

4. Take away the fear. I had a friend who did not get her driver’s license until she was twenty-three, because she was afraid of the whole concept of driving. And, objectively, I understood her fear, even though I had been driving since I was fourteen. Cars are big and they get into crashes and there are lots of things that can go wrong while you are driving. You could be the best driver in the world and you simply cannot account for other people on the road not paying attention or actively acting in a dangerous way. The truth is, however, that most people will never be in a serious car accident. Many people drive for decades and are never in even a minor accident. The only way to beat the fear that your teen has of driving is to get them to drive. Put them in the driver’s seat and make them drive circles around a parking lot until they are familiar with your vehicle and how it works. Take them out on a deserted road, only when they are completely comfortable with driving in a parking lot. Getting rid of the fear of driving is going to take some time, but immersion therapy is the best way.

Fuel Saving Tips: 10 You Might Not Have Considered

Even though gas is cheaper today than it was even a year ago, many people are still looking for ways that they can cut the costs at the pump. If you’re not worried about the prices of gas right now, you might still want some tips up your sleeve to make sure that you keep this section of your budget under control. Here are ten of the best fuel saving tips you might not have thought of:

1. Buy a car that has better fuel economy. If you are driving a fifteen-year-old junker, you are probably not getting very good gas mileage, even if the rest of the car is working relatively well. Older cars are heavier and many were not built with a concern about how much gas they were using. When you switch your old junker in for a brand new Kia, for example, you will be buying a car that has much better gas mileage. You’ll see your trips to the pump decrease. Instead of having to go every single weekend, you’ll only have to go every other or perhaps only once a month!

2. Unload your vehicle. What do you have in your trunk? Have you put things in your trunk and forgotten to take them out? Hundreds of pounds of stuff could accumulate in your trunk and backseat if you are not careful, weighing down your vehicle and making it have to work much harder to propel itself forward. When you unload your vehicle, you’ll make it much easier to get where you want to go, so your car will use less gas getting there.

3. Get your checkup. If all you ever do is get your oil changed, you are probably not giving your car enough attention. Like any machine, it needs regular maintenance to remain in proper working order. If you don’t give it the maintenance it needs, not only are you eventually going to see a catastrophic breakdown that is going to be very expensive to repair, you are also going to see a steep decrease in your gas mileage, even if you started out with a brand new car that has great fuel economy.

fuel saving - kia cars4. Don’t idle. Do you go out in the morning and turn your car on so it can warm up in the winter? Do you turn it on and leave it alone for a few minutes to cool off in the summer? Even if you only idle for a few minutes every day, you are going to be using up precious gas and not actually going anywhere with it. While idling is sometimes going to be inevitable (like in unforeseen traffic or at stop lights), don’t actively choose to idle.

5. Walk instead. You might a car to help you get around, so why would you walk? Because walking to close-by destinations is not only better for your body, it’s also better for your fuel economy. Short, slow trips around town will significantly hurt your gas mileage, so much so that it is actually worth your money to put on your shoes and walk down to the corner store, instead of getting in your car and driving.

6. Work from home one day a week. This isn’t an option for everyone, but if your job is largely computer based or is something you can do just as well from your kitchen table as you can from your desk in the office, consider asking your boss if you can work from home once a week instead of coming in. This would be contingent of your ability to actually get done what you need to do, but if your boss agrees, you could save yourself a whole commute’s worth of gas!

7. Don’t buy premium gas. Unless you are driving a high octane racing machine, your vehicle does not need the premium gas. If you are buying the more expensive gas because you think it is going to help your car perform better, it just isn’t. Unless your owner’s manual tells you to only buy the premium unleaded fuel, your car is designed to run on plain old regular gas and is getting absolutely no benefit from the extra money that you are spending.

8. Get rid of extra accessories. Does your vehicle, for example, have a roof rack that you never use? If the answer is yes, you might find it prudent to remove the roof rack. This will make your car lighter, which will make it more fuel efficient. If your car has other extra accessories that you do not regularly use, don’t be afraid to remove them.

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9. Learn to stop better. When you see a red light ahead, do you continue to drive at full speed towards it and then brake only when you absolutely have to? Or do you coast to a smooth stop at the white line? If you do the first, you are wasting gas. If you do the second, you are saving it. Not only will this tip help you save gas, it will also help your brakes live longer, more functional lives.

10. Check your tire pressure. Having tire pressure that is too low could be costing you precious miles when it comes to fuel economy. The more work that your vehicle has to do to propel itself forward, the more gas it is going to use. When your tires are underinflated, it has to work harder. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should overinflate your tires to get better gas mileage, as this is just as dangerous.

The Process of Buying a Kia, from Beginning to End

When it comes time to purchase a new vehicle, you might not be sure where to start. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a brand new Kia, from beginning to end:

CFPB Expands Supervision to Nonbank Auto Finance Companies1. Decide to buy a car. While you can certainly car shop even if you are not totally sure you need or want to buy a car, making the decision as to whether you actually are shopping to buy or just shopping to see what is available can save both your time and the time of the salespeople you are going to be working with. When you are a serious buyer, you can have a serious conversation with the salespeople about your buying needs. When you are not as serious, you might prefer simply to browse on your own and to let the salespeople help the more serious buyers on the showroom floor.

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2. Know how you like to shop. Many people, when they shop for a new car, prefer to have a salesperson with them for the entire time. They want to know everything there is to know about the vehicles on the lot, from someone who works on that lot. Others people prefer to peruse the lot on their own, look up information online about the vehicles, and only talk to the salesperson when they are actually read to test drive a few of the cars.

3. Make a list of the most important features for you. Are looks just as important as what is under the hood? Is safety the most important feature? There are brands that are going to be able to offer you everything, from looks to safety to power and beyond, but you have to know what your priorities are before you start shopping or you are going to find it is impossible to narrow down the models you want to buy. Make a list of what features your perfect care should have. How important are those features? What are you willing to compromise? What are you not willing to compromise?

4. Do a little bit of online research. If you spend some time looking at the websites of the dealerships in your area, you are going to get a good idea of what is available to you immediately. In general, most dealerships have the ability to get you whatever model you want, but you might have to wait a little bit longer for that vehicle. Look on the websites of the brands that you are interested in. There are probably a few vehicles in each lineup that you can cross off of your list immediately. They might be too expensive, are simply not be the kind of vehicle you want, or do not have the features that you need.

5. Make a list of the vehicles you want to see. Once you start visiting dealerships, it can be helpful to have a list in hand of the vehicles that you want to see and potentially test drive. Save a little bit of room under each vehicle, so you can write down what you did or did not like about that vehicle, from how it looks, to its price, to how it drives, its technology, its safety features, etc.

6. Consider how much you want to pay. You might not necessarily have to have a hard and fast budget, but you should have at least a general idea of how much you are willing to pay for a vehicle. Not only will this be useful for negotiating, it will help you narrow down which vehicle you actually want to look at. It could also help you eliminate some brands entirely. For example, if you are interested in buying a SUV, but you want to pay less than $25,000 for it, you might want to look at Kia’s lot, but you probably will not find what you are looking for on a GMC lot.

7. Talk to the salespeople about your needs. If you are having trouble picking a vehicle that is right for you, you are going to want to spend a little bit of time at least talking to someone on the lot who really knows and understands the vehicles on that lot. When you talk to one of our salespeople about what you need in a car, they will be able to match you up with the right Kia for you and your lifestyle. For some, a sedan is going to be the best choice. For others, a SUV or a crossover is going to be more functional. You might not know exactly what is going to work for you until you have talked to someone who is knowledgeable about cars and the car buying process.

8. Choose your vehicle. Once you have done your research, looked at your options, and selected the vehicle for you, it is time to pick the car you want to buy. After test driving, there will probably be one or two that you like the best. If there is more than one clear standout from the rest, you might benefit from making a pro and con list to determine which vehicle will ultimately be the best for you. Do not forget to factor in safety features, style, warranties, and brand offers when you are making this list. You might like two vehicles equally, but find that one brand offers a better warranty that makes buying from that brand the better option.

What Features Your New Car Needs to Have

car featuresIf you’ve never bought a car before, you might not know what features you want your new car to have. How do you determine what you really need in a car if you’ve never owned one before? When you visit
our Kia dealership (or our sister dealerships in Burlington and Allentown), you will find helpful salespeople that are just waiting to answer your questions and help you find the right car for you. Still, having a good idea of what you are looking for in a vehicle even before you come to our showrooms can be helpful. Here are some of the most important features for your new car:

1. Cruise control – Are there still vehicles on the market that do not come with cruise control? While every model will boast cruise control, some brands’ lower trim levels will not include it standard. They may offer you the ability to add it aftermarket, but, from our experience, this is never a good option. It will be buggy and neigh unto useless from the moment it is installed. Luckily, when you shop with Kia, you will be able to find cruise control even on the lower trims of all of our models. This is just a small bit of software that controls your electronic throttle to give you a little more speed or ease off the speed to keep you going a constant speed on the road. Kia also has a system called adaptive cruise control, that actually sense if there are obstacles (like cars going at a slower speed than you are) in front of you and automatically slows your speed to match that obstacle’s.

2. Four wheel drive – This is a situational feature. If you are an avid outdoorsman who wants to be able to handle any kind of terrain, four wheel drive is probably a necessary feature for you. Even if you just live at the end of a dirt road, you might find that you need four wheel drive to get to work on a rainy morning. There are lots of uses for four wheel drive, but the average commuter will not encounter them on a daily or even yearly basis. That said, if you know that you are frequently in situations where you need four wheel drive, it can definitely be a great feature to look for as you shop for vehicles. Even just cities that get lots of rain and occasionally have flooding might require four wheel drive, allowing you to get around, even when the streets are slick or packed with debris.

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3. Heated seats – Do you live somewhere where it gets cold? If so, then you probably want to have heated seats. This might be considered a luxury by some, but it is a necessity for others, especially those who are easily chilled and find that a car’s heaters do not necessarily bring the cabin up to an acceptable temperature fast enough. Seat heaters might not be at the top of your list, but if you get cold and you want to be able to get warm as quickly as possible, this is a great feature.

4. Towing hitch – Do you ever need to tow anything? If so, you might want to look out for a vehicle that has a towing hitch. Even sedans can tow things nowadays, but if you are going to be doing a lot of towing (if you have a trailer, for example, that you take out every weekend to go camping), you probably will want a sturdier vehicle that is designed for towing. Just about every brand will have a vehicle that has the wherewithal to tow. On the other hand, if you can’t imagine a situation wherein you would need to tow something, you might want to mention this to your salesperson and let them know you don’t want to pay the little bit extra that these tow hitches add to the price of a vehicle.

5. Automatic transmission – Just about the only brand that offers manual transmission standard these days is Jeep. Every other brand is probably going to offer just automatic transmissions or manual transmissions only on special order form the factory. Automatic transmissions are more fuel efficient and are easier to drive. While some people prefer shifting their gears manually, it’s almost always better to let the car take care of the shifting. Unless you are shopping at a brand that still offers plentiful manual transmissions options, the automatic transmission is probably going to be your only option and you won’t have to worry about requesting it specifically.

6. A third row of seats – Do you have a large family (or children that often need to be separate from one another) or lots of friends that you like to drive around? If so, you might want to look for vehicles that have an extra row of seats. Some models will have this option available, depending on which trim level you are looking at. A third row of seats can be a great way to get more people into your car safely or to separate squabbling children and given them all their very own space.

7. Navigational system – Just about every brand is now offering a navigational system in their vehicles, which can be extremely useful for finding your way around unfamiliar neighborhoods or in states and cities you’ve never been to before. While you might have an app on your smartphone that does this, too, a navigational system built right into your vehicle is the best way to get that vehicle where you want to go.

The Best Kia Models for College Students

studentWhen you are going off to college is the perfect time to buy a new car. This car will follow you through your college experience and make it much easier to get around your new town. With a car comes freedom, and especially if you are going to school somewhere far away from your home, having a car makes it much easier to travel back and forth and to get where you need to go, even if you are unfamiliar with the city or town where your university is.

While we know that any of our Kia models will be great for a new college student, there are some cars in our showroom that are going to be better for younger drivers. Whether you are going off to college for the first time or you are in between semesters right now, now is the perfect time to buy. We’ve picked these five vehicles specifically because they are fun to drive, stylish, and safe. They are also affordable, which makes them ideal for college students who might be strapped for cash. Here are the best Kia models for college students:

1. The Kia Soul This vehicle is perfect for the college student that loves to stand out. There are simply no other vehicles on the market right now that look like the Kia Soul. This vehicle is all about attitude, with unique styling that makes it perfect for your unique student. While it’s true that style is important, safety and functionality are just as important, especially to your parents. On these fronts, the Kia Soul still succeeds. It has some of the best safety features in the industry and an interior that is focused on the driver. This means that everything you need is within reach and that you can easily tune the radio or adjust your settings, without taking your eyes off of the road. It is one of the most affordable models in our showroom, despite the angular, unique styling and the range of great safety features and it also boasts up to 31 mpg. It is inexpensive to purchase and it is also inexpensive to drive. While it is a compact care, you will never feel claustrophobic in this vehicle!

2. The Kia Forte This is the smallest vehicle in our showroom, but it definitely does not lack the power that most young drivers are looking for. It prides itself on being zippy, and with up to 37 mpg, it is going to be a very economical choice. It is also one of the least expensive options, which, especially when buying your first car, can be a huge bonus. It’s a great starter car that can easily adapt to your life after graduation. The Forte comes in a number of different varieties, including the standard four door design and a hatchback variety, which gives you just a little bit more storage room and a different look to the vehicle overall. This can be the ideal choice for anyone who wants a high quality sedan or hatchback, but doesn’t want to pay the high prices other brands are demanding even for their cheapest options.

3. The Kia Sorento A sedan might feel like the most obvious option for a young driver, but sometimes they just do not provide enough room for the student that often needs or wants to drive around large groups or haul gear. This is where the Kia Sorento comes in. Still much less expensive than your average SUV, the Kia Sorento provides much more seating (up to eight people) and also provides you with much more power. If you are a student who also likes to get away from the university on the weekends, either to hike or camp or just explore, this could be the very best option for you.

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4. The Kia Sportage An SUV, especially one as economical as the Sportage, can be the perfect vehicle for a college student. You’ll have a little bit more room, which is always appreciated when driving around friends and roommates, and the bold styling of this vehicle is certain to turn heads. As great for hauling skis as it is for toting art supplies, you cannot go wrong when you choose this vehicle. It starts at just over $20,000 for the most basic trim, which comes with all of the safety features and infotainment features that you need. Higher trim levels will give you more features. While it does not get as stellar gas mileage as one of the sedans might, it still gets up to 30 mpg, which could still help you save at the pump.

5. The Kia Optima The Optima is one of the most popular cars on our lot and across all Kia dealerships. Why? Because the Optima is so versatile. It is styled to be both bold and sleek, without losing any of the practicality of a traditional sedan. It is bigger than the Forte, so those who need a little bit more cargo space and leg room might want to choose the Optima over something smaller like the Forte or the Rio. You’ll find luxury accents and plenty of safety features, so that you always feel like you are safe on the road, in addition to having fun while driving. It gets up to 37 miles per gallon, so you do not have to worry about paying through the nose for gas as you go on weekend adventures.

9 Great Things about Owning a Kia Vehicle

There are lots of different car brands to buy from. When you’re searching for a vehicle to buy, they might all start to blend together. What really makes on brand different from another brand? Does it really matter which brand you ultimately buy from? It does matter. What each brand has to offer you is going to vary based on that brand and its commitment to making quality products. Here are nine of the best things about buying a Kia:

1. Good value for the price – Looking at Kia’s lineup of vehicles, one of the first things you will notice is that most of them are less expensive than comparable vehicles from other brands. You get everything you get when you buy from another brand, but you get it a lower price. This goes for our higher-end, luxury vehicles too. This provides you with two options, you can either buy a lower priced vehicle and save your money or you can spend the same amount you would have spent at another brand, but you will get a better car, with more features, than you would have gotten had you chosen a different brand.

2. Better warranties – There is just about no other brand in the industry right now that can offer you a better warranty than what you get when you choose Kia. Kia had one of the very first ten-year, 100,000 mile warranties and is still offering great warranties to their buyers. The length of these warranties proves how much Kia believes in their vehicles, especially when you consider that most vehicles, at most, have a five year warranty, with some brands offering as few as three years for a warranty.

kia optima hybrid3. Environmentally friendly options – If you want to buy an environmentally friendly vehicle, Kia is a great brand to purchase from. Not only do our sedans and SUVs have some of the best gas mileage in their classes, we also offer a Kia Optima Hybrid and a Soul EV that are both actually affordable and will save you gas—or make it possible to never buy gas again. If you’re interested in something a little more environmentally friendly, whether you just want to save at the pump or you want to do your part to protect the environment, we have a great option for you.

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4. Premium styling and design – When you buy a less expensive car, you might think that you are going to buy something that looks and feels cheap. The opposite is actually true when you own a Kia vehicle. Just as much time has gone into perfecting the design and styling on our least expensive sedan as goes into perfecting our most expensive, premium vehicle. There are also options like the Soul, which have no rivals on the market. If you’re looking for something that looks totally unique, a Kia vehicle can provide you with exactly that.

5. Lots of options – When you buy a Kia vehicle, you do not just have a wide variety of different models to choose from, you also have a huge variety of individual options on those vehicles. If you want better material on your seats, you can usually get it. If you want a particular color, you can get that, too. One of the jobs of our Kia dealership is to make sure that you get exactly the vehicle you want, with all of the features you need, right down to the perfect color.

6. Futuristic styling – We’ve all seen cars that are only a few years old and already look outdated. Instead of following trends, Kia opts to choose clean, modern styling that is sure to look just as great on the first day you purchase your car as it does ten years later. We use the very best technology and the very best styling, both inside and out, so that your vehicle stands the test of time.

7. Better quality – There are lots of brands that cut corners to save money, but continue charging high prices for their vehicles. Kia does the opposite. Instead of cutting corners, they perfect each aspect of each vehicle, and then cut the price so that the driver gets the very best possible value of their car, without having to sacrifice quality. Over the years, Kia has won award after award, praising this company for their high quality vehicles. If you’re looking for something that is going to be able to grow with you as your life changes, Kia is a great option.

8. Versatile – Whether you need a car for summer road trips or you need something for commuting or you need something for running errands around town, there is a Kia vehicle that is right for you. In fact, the same vehicle could be perfect for all three of these uses. Instead of playing only a single role, instead of only being useful for families and having no function for single professionals, Kia strives to be as versatile as possible, offering as much as possible to as many different drivers as possible.

9. Safer – Kia has worked hard to make sure that their vehicles adhere to the very best safety standards and that they have the most modern and technologically-advanced safety features in the business. From features that help you stay in lane, to those that actually slow down or stop your car for you if you are approaching an obstacle too quickly, you will be safer driving one of these vehicles than driving anything else!

Why buy the 2017 Kia Sportage?

kia sportageThe all new Kia Sportage is about to roll into our showroom (it might already be here!), and it’s no secret that we are excited about what this new Sportage has to offer our buyers. Since the early days of its inception, lots has changed about its design and functionality, and we think this is the best Sportage ever. We know that our buyers are going to love this SUV as much as we do. Just in case you’re still on the fence, here are ten reasons to buy the Kia Sportage:

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1. The cockpit is all new. During the design of this new version of the Sportage, special time and attention was given to making sure that the driver has everything he needs easily within reach. This includes a newly designed steering wheel with a flat bottom, as well as a center console that has been tilted so it is easier for the driver to see. There is more room for the legs and it’s going to much easier to control your infotainment system from the driver’s seat, especially because of the call and radio control buttons located right on the steering wheel.

2. The engine has been fully turbo charged. What does this mean? It means that this year’s Sportage is going to be much more fun to drive than any other previous incarnation. It features more than 240 horsepower and 260 pounds of torque, making it one of the most powerful four cylinder SUVs on the market. There are even more powerful engine options available for those who want something with even more get up and go.

3. The cargo space has been expanded. The longer body of the Sportage means that there is not just more leg room for passengers (with nearly five inches added over previous models), but also that there is much more room for hauling items. The cargo capacity is over fifty cubic feet, which makes it easy to help your friends move, tote around large items, gear up for camping, and more. You can fold down the rear seats to really get the most out of your Sportage’s storage area.

4. Every Sportage has three driving modes. If you are interested in occasionally optimizing your drive for power and occasionally optimizing it to help protect the planet, you are in luck. The Sportage, no matter which trim level you choose, has three driving modes. These are Normal, Sport, and Eco. The Eco mode will provide you better fuel economy while the Sport mode will give you more powerful acceleration. This gives you more control than ever before over how you drive.

5. The body is stronger. When it comes to safety features, especially with SUVs, you want a body that is made of high strength steel. This is exactly what the Kia Sportage’s body is made from. The 2016 model was only 18% steel, while the 2017 model is 51% steel, the highest rating in Sportage history, making it the strongest, too.

6. You’ll have a better ride and better handling. During the redesign leading up to the 2017 model, emphasis was put on improving both the quality of the ride and how the vehicle handles. There are more and better shock absorbers on the rear suspension. The front struts have been reworked so that they are more adaptable to how to road changes and shifts underneath the wheels. You cannot go wrong with this vehicle. It is going to be more fun to drive and the ride for your passengers is going to be much, much smoother.

7. The fog lights have been improved. Complete with new LED fog lights, seeing in low visibility driving conditions is going to be easier than ever before. The introduction of the ice cube set up, with four LED lights in a square shape on either side of the vehicle doesn’t just provide the Sportage with a unique appearance. It also makes it much more effective at cutting through fog, snow, and heavy rain, so you’ll be safer on the road, even if you have to drive during bad weather conditions.

8. This is one of the first models with the brand new infotainment system. The 2017 Sportage is one of the first vehicles on showroom floors to have the UVO3, which is Kia’s new and improved infotainment system that comes with a high quality touch screen, navigation, USB ports, and the ability to store music right in your car, completely eliminating the need for external MP3 players plugged or synced to yur car.

9. The exterior has been totally redesigned. In order to make sure that the Sportage keeps up with the Optima and the rest of Kia’s streamlined designs, the exterior of the 2017 Sportage has undergone a redesign. It’s one of the most unique-looking vehicles in our lineup and on the road. It still looks sharp and powerful on the road, while also being made to look even sleeker. You’re going to love how this vehicle looks as you drive it.

10. You can actually afford it. SUVs are traditionally some of the most expensive vehicles on a dealership’s lot. They’re often at least ten thousand dollars more expensive than the average sedan. This is not true of the Kia Sportage. Despite all of the improvements and the streamlined features, the Sportage starts at just under $23,000, which is about what you can buy a mid-sized sedan for from other brands. If you want something bigger and with a little bit more power, this is definitely the better choice.

10 Best East Coast Road Trip Destinations

road tripIf you’re thinking about taking a road trip this summer, you have essentially two options when it comes to planning. You could either not plan your trip at all and just go wherever the road takes you or you could plan the entire trip, including each stop you want to make. There is middle ground, too. You could simply decide where you want to end up, and make your way there without any set of plan of when you want to get there or how you are going to get there. If you’re interested in some of the very best destinations on the east coast, here are ten of them:

1. Shelter Island, New York – New York isn’t that far away, but when most people visit this state, they do so to visit New York City. Why not branch out and see what else this state has to offer. Shelter Island is located somewhere between the Hamptons and North Fork, and it gets none of the touristy attention that either of those two locations get. There are lots of places to stay, miles of beach to hang out on, and plenty of delicious places to eat, all tucked away on a small island.

2. Nantucket, Massachusetts – This is one of the lesser known beach destinations for the rich and famous. That, of course, doesn’t mean that you have to be rich and famous to visit. Besides being fun to say, there’s lots to do in Nantucket and it makes an ideal beach destination. After a long drive, there will be nothing better than feeling the sand between your toes. Famous for its swanky bars and upscale eateries, you’ll never go hungry or thirsty. Though there are plenty of accommodations and amenities, this place also has a serious small-town vibe that makes it a great destination for your east coast road trip.

3. Kennebunkport, Maine – Have you ever heard of Kennebunkport? If not, you’re not alone. This is a village in Maine, complete with antique stores and little mom and pop boutiques. If you’re interested in seeing lighthouses, there is probably no better seaside destination than this one. There are even tours that you can go on, to see where local osprey and eagles make their nests along the shoreline.

4. Montauk, New York – Another destination that is not exactly that far away, Montauk makes a great road trip for those who might be short on time. It’s essentially the last place you can drive to on Long Island, and has been made famous for hosting the likes of Paul Simon. This is a surfing beach area, but there’s lots of sand to go around, even if you are not interested in catching a few waves. There are places to dive, as well as places to find great food and drink before you head back home.

5. Outer Banks, North Carolina – This area is reportedly the last home of Blackbeard, the pirate. Today, there are some pirate-themed restaurants, but the real draw is, of course, the beach, the swimming, the diving, and the lighthouse. There’s lots to see and do if you choose this as the final destination for your road trip, including diving around the barrier islands, where many people believe there are ancient shipwrecks still teeming with gold.

6. Brewster, Massachusetts – If you are interested in having a truly east coast experience, Brewster is a great choice of destination. Though it is technically part of Cape Cod, it is not as busy as the rest of the area, despite there being just as much to do and just as many great places to eat. Nickerson State Park, for example, is located in Brewster, where you will find acres of thick woods and ponds that were formed by the glaciers that were once in this area. Of course, there is also a sandy beach that is ideal for swimming or just getting a tan.

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7. Long Beach, New York – You’re probably familiar with Long Beach as a beach in California, but what about the one on the east coast? It’s not too far from New York City, so if you want to make NYC the final destination of your trip, you could always just make a road trip out to Long Beach on a day when you have nothing else planned. The historical boardwalk and clean beaches definitely make this worth a visit.

8. St. Michael’s, Maryland – If you’re going to be taking the American history route on your road trip (visiting Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C.), St. Michael’s is a logical destination—not because it has anything to do with American history, but because it’s close to these three locations and boasts a wide variety of activities, including a beach. There is a great Frederic Douglass walking tour that does make this destination on-theme.

9. North Fork, New York – This is another great destination if you only have a few days for your road trip. You literally cannot find a more quaint New England town, right down the roads lined with fruit stands and the sprawling country farms that neighbor the area.

10. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – If you’ve never been, summer is the perfect time to go. You’ll enjoy your drive getting there, too, which would take you through some of the prettiest parts of the east coast. Touring the island by bike is a favorite of all who visit, and there are plenty of trails and side streets to explore if you do pick this as the destination for your east coast road trip.