9 Tips for Driving with Kids in the Car

One of the biggest distractions on the road is not your cellphone or trying to tune your radio, but the children in your car. Whether they are screaming their heads off about nothing in particular or are distraught because one is poking the other, kids in your car can be a big distraction, especially if you are the only adult in the car. Here nine tips to help you make driving with kids in the car a little bit easier:

1. If you need to discipline a child, pull over first. You do not want to be trying to pull two children apart or discipline a child while also trying to focus on the road and pilot a car. If you have kids in the car and you need to talk to them or do something in the backseat to keep them call, pull off to the side of the road before doing anything. Especially if your child is demanding immediate attention, do not try to argue or reason with them while driving. They do not understand what is required of a person while they are driving and will not understand why they cannot talk to you or get your full attention right now.

2. Keep your eyes on the road. One of the worst things you can do while driving is to try to keep one eye in your rearview mirror and keep the other eye on the road in front of you. While driving, actually driving should be your primary focus. You might feel likely you need to repeatedly check on your child in the backseat, but the best thing you can be doing to keep them safe is to keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to the most demanding thing on your plate: driving forward.

family car3. Tell your child to wait. If they are trying to demand your attention right now, while you are trying to drive, it is time for you tell them to wait. While they might not understand how demanding driving is, they should understand what you mean when you say that you need them to wait until you have gotten where you are going before you can pay attention to what they are saying or what they are doing. This might incur a tantrum. You might just have to listen to the tantrum while you finish your drive. They might actually tire themselves out by the time you get to your destination and they will be much more pleasant to be around.

4. Distract them with something. A vehicle that has a built in DVD player and a headphone jack is a great opportunity to distract your children while driving. If they are too engrossed in their favorite television show, you will not have to worry about them fighting with one another or throwing a fit while trying to get your attention. If you can find something to distract them, even just a tablet or a book or a toy, you will have a much more pleasant driving experience.

5. Bring lots of toys. If you can pile their favorite toys in the seat next to them, they will probably be distracted for long enough for you to get to your destination. Especially if you have more than one child and they like to play with certain toys together, now is the ideal time to make sure that they are have plenty of things to distract themselves with. When they are not paying attention to your or what is going on beyond the window, you will probably have a much more pleasant driving experience.

6. Set some rules. If your child is old enough, it is worth your time to sit that child down and to talk about some rules of the road. This will keep both of you safer. When they understand that you cannot pay attention to them while you are driving, they are less likely to expect that you are going to. Setting ground rules before getting into the car for the first time and reminding them of the rules at each subsequent trip will make driving better for all involved.

7. Don’t talk on the phone and drive. This is important for every driver, but especially for drivers with kids in the car. The cellphone is a major distraction, even if the car is coming through your car’s infotainment system. Your primary goal right now should be to get your child to the destination safely. Talking on the phone, even if you are not holding that phone up to your ear only adds another distraction, making driving even more dangerous.

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8. Use mirrors. If you need to check on your child, do it by looking in your rearview mirrors. If you have put your child in a rear-facing seat, you might want to put a mirror on the headrest of the seat that they are strapped into, so you can monitor them without having to turn around in your seat and look at them. Even during the calmest drives, on the calmest days, turning in your seat to look into the back of your car is extremely dangerous.

9. Keep a car kit just for your kids. This might be a collection of snacks that they can eat if they are starting to get hungry a fussy, along with an emergency toy and some water or juice. These are simply things to keep your kid happy when they are on the verge of a tantrum.

 

For more great tips or to look at some of the best vehicles for families, come visit our Kia dealership, at any of our three locations!

How to Get Your Car Ready for Summer

summer vehicle tipsYou likely already know that you need to take steps to get your vehicle ready for seasons like winter, when the cold temperatures and harsher weather can take a toll on your vehicle. But what about season like summer? Like winter, there are extreme temperatures and harsh weather, both of which can damage your vehicle or make driving dangerous is your car is not properly prepared. Here are some tips for getting your Kia ready for summer:

1. Take off the snow tires or prep your all-weather tires. Most people do not spend very much time thinking about their tires—but they should. The tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. They impact its safety and how well it performs. Right now, before summer gets here and you hit the road for your summer road trips, is the perfect time to make sure that your tires are ready to go. Check to make sure they are inflated properly. If you have snow tires, switch them out for normal tires. Rotate your tires to make sure that all four wear evenly. And take a little extra time to make sure your spare is still in proper working condition.

2. Have your brakes checked. When was the last time you went in and had your brakes checked? Many shops will do this service while your oil is being changed, but if they don’t, make sure to make a special appointment to have them checked. The water and cold that comes along with winter could wreak havoc on your brakes, cracking them, wearing them, and making them prime for failure. Don’t wait until you start to hear your brakes squeal or feel them shudder and slip. Check them before you start to experience any serious problems with them.

3. Time for a car wash. During the winter, and even during the spring, it can be difficult to find the time to have your car washed. If you still have deicer and road grime on your car from the winter, give your car a thorough washing, both inside and out. While the automatic car wash might do some good, a hand wash is usually a better option, as it will ensure that you really do get all of the dirt and grime off of your vehicle. Pay special attention to your wheels and to the underbody of your vehicle.

4. Have your oil checked. Depending on how often you drive your vehicle, you might need to have your oil checked every three months or every six. Your vehicle will likely tell you when it needs an oil change, but it’s still a good idea to check. Check not just its level, but the color, too. If the oil is black and grimy, it’s time for it to be changed. If it is amber, it is still good. Make sure your oil is filled to the right fill marks.

5. Check your coolant levels. While your vehicle uses coolant all year round, it is most important during the hotter months of the year. Low coolant during the summer months could make it impossible for you to drive your vehicle. You should be able to see the container when you lift the hood of your car and there should be marks on the container that show you what level your coolant should be. Refill the coolant or take your car to a shop where they will refill it for you. This will probably need to be done at least once a year, for most vehicles.

6. Check your power steering fluid. Are you starting to feel that your vehicle is a little less responsive to your navigation? Is it starting to groan when you turn the wheel? Even if it is not doing either of these things, don’t be afraid to take a look at your power steering fluid. This is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle. Look in your owner’s manual to make sure you are using the right type of fluid or, alternatively, take your vehicle in to your dealership or a maintenance shop to top it off for you.

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7. Test your battery. Batteries might be more likely to fail during the winter, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have any trouble with them once temperatures start to rise. If you are familiar with the composition and construction of your battery, you might want to open its lid and check its fluid level. At the very least, look at your battery and make sure that is no discharge or any kind of leakage from the battery’s top. Many vehicles, especially new Kia vehicles, will have sealed batteries, which means you cannot open them up. In this case, you can take your vehicle to our maintenance department and ask them to test your battery to make sure it is still in prime working condition.

8. Change your windshield wipers. This small, very simple piece of maintenance is one of the most overlooked. Your windshield wipers should be changed at least once a year. After the harsh conditions of winter, it is likely that the rubber on your wipers is cracked or has become rigid, making it difficult for the wipers to adequately clean your windshield. Most summers bring heavy rainfall, which means you are going to want to have wipers that work properly to clear water, road grime, and mud from your windshield.

7 Things You Don’t Want in a New Car

When looking for a new car, there are lots of things that you do want. For example, you should be looking for a vehicle that has great safety features and gas mileage. You already likely have a long list of things that you are looking for in a vehicle. But do you have a list of things that you absolutely do not want in a new car? Here are some of the things you should be aware of:

1. Too much room ­– You can’t have too much room in a vehicle, can you? The truth is that, especially if you are used to driving a sedan, a huge SUV might not be the ideal choice for you. If you do not actually need that much room for any reason, there is no reason to by a gigantic car. Keep in mind that the bigger the vehicle is, the lower the gas mileage is going to be and ultimately, the more expensive that vehicle is going to be to maintain. Make sure that you consider your lifestyle and what you need in a vehicle before you buy the biggest one on the lot.

2. Not enough safety features – Today, the average vehicle comes with plenty of safety features, ranging from seat belts to air bags. Again, it is important to consider your lifestyle when buying a car. If you never plan of having anyone in the backseat of your vehicle while you are driving, you might not care about side curtain air bags. If you have little kids sitting back there, however, you should be very concerned with what safety features are included on the trim level you are purchasing. Don’t skimp on safety features just because it saves you money.

thinking to buy a car3. Manual transmission – Many of us grew up driving manual vehicles. Today, you might be able to find manual transmissions as an added feature on otherwise automatic vehicles, but it is likely very difficult to find a vehicle that strictly has a manual transmission. There is nothing wrong with manual, but it is unlikely that this is a feature that you are going to be specifically looking for in a new car, simply because automatic transmissions are easier to drive and have been streamlined to be more efficient than your average manual transmission vehicle.

4. Cut corners – When you get into a vehicle, you do not want to feel like the interior of that vehicle is cheaply designed or cheaply made. Most people spend hours a week in their vehicle. Those who have an hour long commute on either end of the workday might spend as much time in their car as they do awake at home. This means that you should only buy a vehicle that feels very high quality. When you look at your vehicle, from the outside or the inside, you should not feel like any corners were cut during the design and construction process. If you do, it’s time to look at a different model or a different brand.

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5. A bad warranty – When buying a new car, you should be just as concerned about your warranty as you are about the power and design of the vehicles you are looking at. A bad warranty, one that only covers certain parts of the car or only for two years, should send you running for the hills. Cars break down. They start to develop problems. This is not something that you should have to pay for in the early years of owning your vehicle. Only buy from a brand like Kia that offers the very best warranties on the very best vehicles. We can afford to offer better warranties on our vehicles, because we know that our vehicles are going to last longer than vehicles from other brands.

6. A high price – Obviously, you do not want to pay more than you have to for a vehicle. There are some brands that overprice their cars or that offer a very cheap car with a basic trim level that actually does not even provide you with power windows. This can make it very difficult to take these brands seriously and to want to purchase a car from them. You’ll see that their models start at just over $15,000, but you cannot find a vehicle on their lot that you would purchase that is less than $20,000. This can be some serious sticker shock, but you might still feel obligated to purchase, just because you have been on their lot for so long. Luckily, there are still brands, like Kia, that offer vehicles at low prices, that come with the standard features that you actually need, including advanced safety features and power windows.

7. Weedy driving – The biggest thing you should avoid when buying a new car? Buying a car that is not actually fun to drive. If you buy a vehicle that puts along the road, you are going to dread your commute. While you might still dread a long commute even when you have a vehicle that is fun to drive, you will, at least, enjoy driving a vehicle that you love. Don’t buy a car that you do not look forward to driving. It should be powerful, with enough pep to get you where you need to go, without making you feel like you are not in control.

 

Avoid these seven things when you are buying a car and you are sure to purchase a vehicle that you absolutely love!

Which Kia Vehicles Are Best for Families?

Vehicles from Kia’s lineup are routinely being chosen as great cars for families. Many families choose Kia specifically because of the perks that this brand offers to buyers with families. Not only are there advanced safety features that come standard on every single vehicle, most vehicles are equipped with both plenty of seating and infotainment systems that make driving around more than one person simple and easy.

What defines a family vehicle? You could, theoretically, put your family in any vehicle. When I was growing up, my father drove a little blue hatchback that barely had seating for four people; even when we were kids, we simply did not fit in the vehicle and going anywhere was a difficult and uncomfortable process. But what makes a great family vehicle?

The first criteria is seating. How important this criteria is will fluctuate depending on how many people there are in your family. Larger families usually prefer minivans because they provide up to seven seats. There are also large SUVs that could provide a third row of seating, making it easy to transport more than just four people in comfort. However, for a family of between two and four, you might have plenty of seating with just a standard sedan.

The second criteria you will want to consider is storage space. Even if you are just driving the kids to school and picking them up, if the vehicle you choose does not even have enough storage space for three normal backpacks, you might be looking at a car that is simply too small. Because families usually need more groceries and carry more luggage when they travel, the more storage space you can get, the more comfortable you will be in that vehicle.

Fuel economy is another important factor. Having more people in a car means that the car will consume more gas to get where you want to go. It could also mean that the vehicle is driven more than a vehicle would if it was driven by just a single person or by a couple. The better the vehicle’s fuel economy is, the less it will cost to drive, and in a situation where you will probably have to be buying more gas than a single person does, it is always nice to know that your car makes the most out of every gallon of fuel that you put into it.

The last and most important criteria is safety. Everyone wants to drive a safe car, but if you are driving around your family, you are likely more concerned with safety than the average person. A car that has had thorough child and passenger safety testing, that has airbags not just in the front seat, but all around the interior of the vehicle, and that has preventative features in the interior of the vehicle is going to be a much better option for most families.

Which Kia Vehicles Are Best for Families?

If you are looking for a vehicle specifically for your family, Kia has a wide variety of option. There are two however that stand out, even from the excellent selection this brand offers. The first is the 2016 Kia Optima. It was chosen by Kelley Blue Book as being one of the Best Family Cars and it was also awarded the KBB Best Buy Award. What makes this sedan so perfect for families? It succeeds in all four criteria.

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While it does only have two rows of seating, it has ample leg room and comfortable padding, making it a great option for families that have felt crammed into other sedans. It is one of the larger sedans in Kia’s lineup, which means there is plenty of room both side to side and in the leg areas for even the tallest individuals. It also has a great trunk with more than sixteen cubic feet of space, so there will always be enough storage space for your family.

For fuel economy, the Kia Optima cannot be beat. It gets 39 highway mpg, and if you buy the hybrid option, it will get even better gas mileage, so you make the most out of every tank. And for safety, KBB liked the rearview camera, the alerts for both lane departure and front end collision, and that there was a surround view camera that helped keep drivers apprised of their surroundings. All in all, it more than succeeds in being a perfect family car.

The second standout option is the 2016 Kia Sedona. What has really earned this minivan the KBB’s attention are the seating options. It has three rows of seating, making it great for larger families or for families that often find they have more than four people to drive around. It actually has seating for up to eight! There is also ample cargo room, and the additional rows of seats can be used for even more cargo space, should you require it.

Like the Optima, the Sedona has a wide variety of safety features, all of which are designed to both prevent a crash from happening and from making a crash less catastrophic if it does happen. It has the same surround-view camera, lane assist, and adaptive cruise control that you will find on the Optima.

Which vehicle is right for you and your family? The only way to know for sure is to come down to Burlington Kia and test drive both of them! Keep in mind that there are different trim levels that will provide even more comfort and even more safety features.

The 8 Biggest Car Buying Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

right or wrongA car is likely one of the larger purchases you are going to make in your lifetime. As with any large purchase, the fear of making the wrong choice or getting a bad deal can make it impossible to actually make a purchase, even if you know essentially what you want to buy and where you want to buy it from. Here are eight of the biggest car buying mistakes and how you can avoid making them as you start looking for your car, whether it is the first car you’ve purchased or the tenth:

1. Buying from a dealership that you do not trust – Many people still have the mental image of a slimy cars salesperson when they step onto a lot. They are afraid that they are going to be bullied into buying a car, even if it is not the vehicle they want, or they are going to be forced to pay more than they wanted to pay. You can eliminate this problem by buying from a dealership that you trust and that you know will help you find a car that works for you, not just find a car that they can unload on you.

2. Not test driving the car enough – The salesperson you are working with will likely recommend that you take any car you are thinking seriously about for a test drive. Don’t just drive the car around the block and then bring it back to the dealership. You need to see how it behaves on a wide variety of different road conditions, including the highway. You might like how it drives on the surface streets, but hate how it drives at speeds over fifty miles an hour. Try to take it on a route that you might often be driving (or one similar), to see how it will act under your normal driving circumstances.

 

3. Guessing what your trade in is worth – The car that you are trading in likely has some sentimental value. Because it is likely at least a few years since you purchased that car, you might not have a good idea of what the trade in is actually worth anymore. Even if you bought that vehicle for $20,000, it is not going to be worth anywhere near that amount of money. The only people who can really tell you what that vehicle is worth is a car dealership, that has an expert who can evaluate your car based on its mileage and condition.

4. You make a panicked decision in order to get a special deal – The last thing you want to do is to jump into a car purchase without carefully thinking about whether or not the car you are buying is the vehicle that you actually want. The salesperson might be offering you a one-time deal, and you think that you have to make the decision right then or you will not be able to buy the car. If your mind is not fully made up, if you are not completely sure that this is the car you want to buy, do not buy it until you have to make the decision!

5. Not talking to your insurance agent – When you buy a car, you are going to need to add it to your insurance policy (or purchase auto insurance for the first time, if you are buying for the first time). Don’t neglect making a call to your insurance agent. If you are concerned about what you will have to pay for certain types of vehicles (some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others), or you want to make sure that you have the right kinds of insurance, including gap insurance, make the call before you make the purchase.

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6. Putting too much emphasis on the monthly payment – If you are only looking at how much you will be paying on a monthly basis and not at how much you are paying over the life of your vehicle, you are missing the bigger picture. You want to know how much you are going to have to pay in total, not just from month to month. While lower monthly payments might look good at first, this usually also means that you will be paying a higher interest rate, over a longer length of time, making the vehicle more expensive in the long term. Ask for a calculation of your total costs, not just your monthly costs.

7. Not doing any independent research – Today, you have lots of resources for research. You can find lists of the safest vehicles on the road, can log on to brand websites and read about the special features or options available on different vehicles, you can read blogs, or even see what a dealership like ours has on the lot before you even come to visit us. Doing a little bit of independent research will make it much, much easier to find the car that you want and will probably shorten the entire car buying experience.

8. Picking something flashy instead of something practical – It can be very tempting to buy the sports car, when what you actually need for your lifestyle is the more sensible sedan. Luckily, Kia offers a wide variety of different vehicles that are both stylish and functional, so you do not have to choose between the two. You should still be mindful, however, of how you are going to use your car and what type of vehicle might be best for those needs.

Best Kia Vehicles for Young Professionals

professionalBeing a young professional can be exciting, but it can also mean long hours and late nights while you are trying to establish yourself in your chosen profession. Buying a car is often part of just starting out in life, but deciding which one specifically to purchase, especially if your life is still in flux, can be difficult. How do you know what vehicle is going to function just as well for you in three years as it does right now? The key is to buy a vehicle that is versatile. Luckily, Kia has a wide variety of those in its lineup. Here are the best Kia vehicles for young professionals:

The Kia Optima

The Optima is probably Kia’s most versatile vehicle and one of its most popular. It is designed to be both stylish and fun to drive, which makes it a great option for younger drivers. It’s also armed to the teeth with the best technology optima has to offer, as well as a number of great safety features, which could be a selling point for those who have long commutes and spend a lot of time on the road. This is a mid-sized sedan, which makes it larger than some of Kia’s other sedans, for more storage space and leg room. You certainly won’t sacrifice sportiness, however, if you choose the Optima.

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The Kia Soul

The Soul is, without a doubt, the most unique vehicle in Kia’s lineup, which should make it the perfect choice for anyone who wants a car that marches to the beat of its own drum. It has everything that makes a sedan great, while being extremely unique-looking. On a less-aesthetic level, it is a fun-to-drive, engaging vehicle with plenty of technology and advanced handling. If you want to turn heads and to drive a vehicle that no one else at the office is going to be driving, this is the one for you.

The Kia Sportage

If you are looking for a vehicle that is as stylish as it is versatile, the Kia Sportage is a great option. Not only is the Sportage getting a few incredible updates this year (including being the first to get Kia’s updated UVO3 infotainment system), this vehicle is affordably priced, starting at just over $22,000. This makes it comparable to many entry-level sedans for most other brands, but gives you the functionality and look of a SUV.

If you find yourself often needing to haul stuff or people around, this is the vehicle for you. While some brands might opt for a more utilitarian design, the Sportage is sporty without being drab, and is still tons of fun to drive.

The Kia Forte

The Kia Forte is routinely among the cars listed as being the best for those just starting out in their careers—and for good reason. It’s stylish, there are plenty of different color options, which makes it customizable, and it gets great gas mileage. It is also less expensive than most other vehicles, starting at just under $16,000, which makes it much more accessible than even the cheapest sedans from most other brands.

The Forte has a lot going for it. Despite its relatively small size, it still has a roomy interior, a high quality infotainment system, and a sporty design that makes it a great choice for someone who does not want a sedan that looks like something their mother would drive. One of the best reason to pick a vehicle like this is to be able to get more vehicle for a lower price. The low entry price makes it possible to upgrade to a higher trim level and get more features, while still paying less than you would for other vehicles.

The Kia Rio

The smallest and least expensive vehicle in Kia’s lineup, the Rio still has plenty to offer. Not only does it have a combined MPG of thirty-one, it starts at just over $14,000. You cannot find a sedan, even a sub-compact, from any other brand, at that price. They just don’t exist. If you need a car and you want to buy a new car, but you can’t find anything that is affordably priced, this is a great alternative. You will be looking at very low monthly payments, or a shorter payment track, giving you the flexibility to pay off your vehicle quickly.

The Rio comes in two different configurations. There is the standard Rio, which has four doors, and the Rio 5-door, which is essentially the same as its four-doored alternative, except that it is a hatchback. This gives the Rio an even sportier appearance.

The Optima Hybrid

Last, but not least is the Optima Hybrid. It looks almost exactly like the Optima, but it has one important improvement: gets a combined MPG of thirty-eight. This means that if you have a long commute or you just want to protect the environment, you could seriously reduce your impact on the environment, simply by buying this vehicle.

What is especially impressive about this option, is that, despite being a Hybrid, it is still reasonable priced, starting at just under $26,000. This is not a price point you are going to be able to find from most other brands. If you want to purchase a vehicle that protects the environment or allows you to use less gas, you are probably going to see yourself with few options that start under $30,000. Kia does it and provides with a stylish, eco-friendly option that any young professional would be proud to drive.

What You Need to Know about the Kia Niro

Have you heard about the newest model entering Kia’s lineup? It’s called the Niro, and is the very first hybrid SUV. Kia announced this vehicle as a part of its Green Car Roadmap, which is slated to increase the number of green vehicles Kia sells by a factor of three by 2020. If you are looking forward to seeing more environmentally-friendly vehicles on the road, you are probably excited about this announcement, when it was made at the Chicago Auto Show a few weeks ago. So, what can we expect from this first of its kind vehicle?

Sharper Design

When most people think of hybrid vehicles, they think first of Toyota’s Prius. That vehicle has a very unique look, and the appearance was part of what drew people to it. It was designed to stand out, to be obviously different from strictly gas-powered vehicles. Instead of obviously proclaiming itself as a hybrid vehicle, the goal of the Niro is just to stand out. Instead of favoring the rounder design that many hybrids in many other brands have, Kia has opted instead for something sharper and a little more aggressive. It’s sleep, with a long roofline and an almost athletic stance.

Kia did not want the Niro to stray too far from its sport utility roots or to look out of place alongside the rest of the vehicles that Kia offers. It will still have the same tiger grille and flanked headlights that most Kia models share.

Inside the Niro, you’ll find roomier, more comfortable seating than is offered in other hybrid models, largely because the vast majority of other hybrids are sedans. Because it is a SUV, it can provide better seating and more leg room. And because it has a wheelbase of more than 106 inches, this vehicle actually has a fairly wide stance, giving you more room to spread out. Specific attention was obviously paid to ensuring there was enough leg room, headspace, and shoulder room.

Across the board, this vehicle is being praised for it’s distinctly non-hybrid design. It looks clean and rides wide and low, giving you great grip while driving. It looks and, most importantly, drives like, just about any other vehicle on the road. While some brands are shouting their green-friendliness to the rooftops by making their hybrids look clunky and almost toy-ish in design, Kia knows that it is important to make their cars, whether they are gas-powered, hybrids, or straight electric, still look like cars.

Better Gas Mileage

One of the biggest reasons people stay away from SUVs and opt, instead for a sedan is the huge decrease in gas mileage between these two types of vehicles. Most SUVs are lucky to get twenty miles to the gallon, while the average sedan could get more than thirty. The Niro gets fifty combined MPG, featuring an Atkinson Cycle 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a 1.56-kilowatt hour lithium ion polymer battery, both of which have been specifically designed for this vehicle.

This makes the Niro much better than even the Optima Hybrid, which currently gets only a comparatively low thirty-eight miles to the gallon. For those who are looking to spend less on gas (even though gas prices have been extremely low lately), or who simply want to decrease their carbon footprint, this is an ideal option. The kind of gas mileage just is not being rivaled by any other hybrid and certainly not by any gas-powered vehicle.

Other Updates

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Along with the Niro, Kia has announced a range of other features and updates, some of which related directly to the Niro, and others which are related to other vehicles or to their lineup as a whole. For example, the Niro is equipped with a six-speed, dual clutch transmission, which is designed to make shifting smoother and faster, enhancing the performance of this vehicle and simply making it more responsive and more fun to drive than just about any other vehicle, and certainly more fun that other hybrids, which have long suffered from jumpy throttles and weird braking behavior.

One of the biggest talking points at the Chicago Auto Show was the cushiness of the interior of this vehicle, which is likely to be mirrored in improvement of the interiors in vehicles across the lineup. There was also better sound insulation, a high-class acoustic windshield, and even special mounts on the engines that dampened the sound and vibration of the vehicle.

Other advancements that are likely to be seen across the whole of the lineup include advanced blind-spot mirroring, better traffic alerts, cruise control that adapts to how you are driving, more streamlined systems for detecting and alerting drivers if they are departing lanes, and even improved emergency brake systems.

The last major introduction from Kia was the UVO3, which is going to be bringing some big changes to Kia’s infotainment system, and which is going to be available on the 2017 Kia Sportage. The new system will have three notable changes: more telematics systems, the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and music storage, on the vehicle’s own system. This means that drivers will have more information about their vehicle, will be able to control their smartphones from the UVO3 (for more than just texting and calling), and will actually be able to download music onto their vehicle and store it there, completely eliminated the necessity of syncing or plugging an mp3 player into the system!

Why Families Should Drive a Kia Sedona

The minivan used to carry a very uncool stigma. Today, with the wide variety of options available, it’s easy for even the coolest of parents to find a van that meets their needs and their style. The Kia Sedona is definitely at the top of that list. With a number of great features, even at the most basic trim level, it is extremely easy to get a car that is functional and stylish. Here are just a few of the reasons that all families should have a Kia Sedona.

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1. Plenty of seating – Even if you don’t have a large family, you still might want to have a vehicle that has more than three comfortable seats. When you want to go somewhere with your friends or your children want to invite their friends somewhere, it is always convenient to have a vehicle that has plenty of seats for everyone. The Kia Sedona has up to three rows of comfortable seating, with four bucket seats and a bench that can even be folded down to make more room for cargo. This means that even if you normally only have three of four people to drive around, you can easily tote three or four more, without cramming or sharing seatbelts.

 

2. Comfort – Having climate control for all of the rows of seating makes it easy to keep the entire vehicle cool or warm, especially if each person has their own needs and expectations about that climate. The seats in the Kia Sedona have also been designed to be comfortable, with ample padding and even foot rests in the back bucket seats, so that if someone wants or needs to take a nap, they can get the most comfortable position possible.

kia sedona3. Great for road trips – Road trips were always the highlight of the summer during my childhood, and partly because as a family of five, we had a great van with three rows of seating. That meant that we all had our own space. If we’d been crammed into the back of a sedan, we probably would have been at each other’s throats the entire time. The extra space, the dual moon roofs, the reclining seats, etc. are all perfect for even the most extended of road trips.

4. Great safety – When choosing a vehicle for your family, especially if you are going to be driving that vehicle until your children are old enough to drive, you want to focus on picking something safe. One of the best ways to do that is with the Kia Sedona. The Sedona was the 2015 IIHS Top Safety Pick, making it one of the safest vehicles on the market, and with a wide variety of safety features, including airbags for the second and third rows of seats, it is definitely a great choice if you want to get an extreme safe and still versatile and stylish vehicle.

5. Expert design – What pushes people away from minivans is the frumpy styling that usually comes along with them. The Sedona bucks the trend, not just in interior design, but also exterior design. It looks more like a crossover than a minivan, so even though it has the traditional sliding door and long-body construction, its design sets it apart completely from the rest of the minivans being offered up by other brands. The minivan often feels like an afterthought in most brand’s lineups, but not Kia’s.

6. Easy in and out – Any parent will tell you that getting kids in and out of the car can be time consuming and difficult. The Sedona makes it easy with power-sliding doors that are also equipped with built-in sensors that detect if something is blocking the door. That means that the kids can easily open and close the doors themselves and there is no danger of getting a hand, foot, or leg caught in the door, since the door itself will sense and stop moving if there is an obstruction.

7. Adjustable seats – No other minivan on the market has the adjustability that the Sedona has. The second row of seats can be adjusted in an almost infinite number of ways. They can be moved both closer and farther apart, they can be leaned back, footrests can be kicked up, and there are even adjustable armrests so the passenger can decide exactly how they want to sit. If you need more space to get into the third row, you can slide the seats forward, or if the passengers need more leg room, you can slide the seats back again.

8. Easy open for full hands – The sliding doors can be controlled from the fob, as can the liftgate, which also has an easy-open feature, which is great for parents who might be carrying groceries or children in their arms. You don’t even have to wave a hand, all you have to do is have your key in your pocket. It’s the smartest liftgate on the market and is a much easier open than any of the Sedona’s competitors.

9. Fabric that resists stains – Whether you get the trim level with fabric or whether you choose leather, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to clean and how resistant the fabric is to stains—which is great for families with small children that are prone to making messes, even when they are trying to keep the vehicle lean. The fabric is actually designed to repel moisture, so that spilled coffee, soda, and just about anything else won’t actually soak in and cause a stain on your seats.

What You Get with the 2016 Sorento Trim Levels

Some of the biggest changes in all of Kia’s lineup were made to the 2016 Kia Sorento. This vehicle is the perfect mix of extra seating and sport, so it’s as great for families as it is for those that like adventures. It’s the ideal choice for many buyers who find that sedans are too small but minivans are too big. And while there is always the Sportage, the Sorento offers a little more space and a few more features.

What the Sorento really has over vehicles of the same size from other brands is the price. Most crossovers of the same size start at $30,000 and above, while the Sorento starts at around $25,000, depending on the trim level. That makes it just as affordable as most sedans on the market. But what exactly does the Sorento have to offer and what can you do with it? Here is a brief overview of the 2016 Kia Sorento trim levels and why you should pick this vehicle.

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2016 Kia Sorento L

This is the lowest trim level that Kia offers, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get your money’s worth. Unlike lots of other brands, you still have features like durable wheels, cruise control, and air conditioning with this trim level. Let’s take a look at the features:

  • Cruise control – It’s still surprising to most people when they look at vehicles from other brands and find out that the basic trim level does not come with cruise control. They can add it—but aftermarket solutions are rarely as functional as preinstalled ones. That’s why Kia always offers even the lowest trim level with cruise control standard.

  • Split second row – This means that if you are hauling something that just won’t fit in the Sorento’s ample trunk space, you can fold down the seats in a variety of wats in order to make room for it.

  • Bluetooth connectivity – This is another feature that you’ll mostly find only in the higher trim levels with other brands. Kia, however, has it standard for the Sorento. This means that you can play music from your phone and that you can answer the phone and talk directly to car, instead of having to deal with trying to answer to phone and drive one-handed.

  • Stain-resistant fabric seating – Higher trim levels will offer your luxurious leather. That doesn’t mean, however, that you are going to be missing out if you choose the Sorento L. The fabric seating is just as luxurious, and will actually resist stains, no matter what is spilled on them.

2016 Kia Sorento LX

The next trim level includes everything from the basic level, as well as:

  • Automatic headlights – These make it easier to remember to turn on and turn off your headlights—the vehicle does it for you. No more draining your battery or driving dangerously because you forgot to turn your lights off or on.

  • Rearview camera – While backing out of a space does not have to be difficult, it can be, especially if you are new to driving a big vehicle like the Sorento. A rearview camera makes it really, really easy to see what is going on around you.

  • A touchscreen – Interacting with your radio and the car’s systems has never been easier or more stylish than with this great touchscreen control center.

  • A windshield that reduces road noise – Reducing road noise is a big deal for some drivers, who like to feel contained in their vehicles and do not want to be able to hear the road underneath the car or the air whipping past. The windshield in this trim level will actually prevent a lot of that noise from getting inside the car.

  • Options – This trim level has a number of options that can be added to it, some for an additional charge, but others for not additional charge. These might include parking sensors, heated seats, and power seats, among others.

2016 Kia Sorento EX

This level comes with everything listed in the two above trim levels, along with:

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  • Upgraded wheels – The other trim levels have 17 inch wheels. The EX trim level has 18 inch wheels, to give you even more grip and maneuverability on the road.

  • Front side glass that reduces sound – If you want an even quieter ride, this is the trim for you. Along with the other features, it also includes front side glass that reduces sound from outside of the vehicle.

  • Leather seats – This is the first trim level out of all five levels that includes this feature.

  • Options – In addition to the features that come standard with this trim level, there is the option to add a Premium Package, which includes keyless entry and ignition, power mirrors, and blind spot detection.

2016 Kia Sorento SX

In addition to what is listen above, this trim level includes:

  • Memory settings for the driver’s seat – This feature enables you to program your seat to remember your preferences, so even if someone else drives your car, you can always find the right position again.

  • Power driver’s seat – So that’s it’s easy to adjust your seat, even if you are already on the road.

2016 Kia Sorento SX Limited

This is the highest trim level available for this vehicle. It’s biggest feature is the 19 inch chrome wheels, along with more impressive leather upholstery, ventilated seats, and heating for the second row of seats, along with a technology package that upgrades your headlights, parking cameras, brakes, cruise control, and safety features.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a New Car

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Buying a new car is exciting! The entire car shopping experience can be a whirlwind, and unlike other purchases that can be returned after fourteen days if you changed your mind about the item, you usually cannot simply return your car to the dealership if you change your mind about that vehicle. This means that you want to be very, very sure that you are making the right decision when you buy your car. Here are the ten questions you should ask yourself before you buy your new car:

1. What am I willing to pay for a car? Before you even step foot in a dealership, you should already have an idea of what you can afford. Knowing what your budget is can help the salespeople in that dealership show you the right vehicles and help you pick a financing plan that is right for you. You can think about this both in the terms of monthly payments and the overall price of the car. Can you afford a $400 per month car payment? Would you prefer to stay under $300? Again, make these decisions before you start test driving.

 

2. What is the most I can pay for a car? This question is slightly different from the previous question. There is often a difference between the prices displayed on a manufacturer’s website and the prices posted in the windows of the actual vehicles on the lot. You might think you would be paying around $20,000 for a vehicle and then show up and find the vehicle you want to buy is actually $25,000. Are you willing to pay more in order to get the vehicle that you really want, even if it means a longer loan term or a higher per month payment?

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3. Where am I going to be able to get this car serviced? Like most people, you probably want to take your car back to the dealership in order to get it serviced. Is there a dealership near your home? Is there a service station conveniently located? While this may seem trivial when you are first purchasing your car, it can be a huge inconvenience when you actually need to have your vehicle repaired. Buying from a brand that doesn’t have a dealership near you might not always be a great idea.

4. Am I willing to pay these fees? Most cars purchases come along with a number of fees. If you look at the sticker on the window, you will see a long list of fees that you will have to pay, on top of the price of the car. If you pay attention to what these fees are, you might find some that the dealership is willing to remove (along with the service related to those fees).

5. Is this the car I want to be driving in five years? You might be buying a car with the full intention of trading it in on a new vehicle three years from now. It is more likely, however, that you are buying this vehicle in order to drive it until it no longer works. It can be tempting to buy a trendy vehicle in a bright color, but you will want to think critically about whether or not that car is going to stand the test of time. You might love it now, but will you still love it in five years?

6. Does this car make me happy? Can a car make you happy? Of course it can! When you find the right car, you will fall in love. It has all of the features you need, at a price you can afford. Before jumping in and buying anything, make sure that the car you have selected makes you happy. When making a big purchase like this, you shouldn’t settle.

7. Am I going to negotiate? There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the dealership if this is the very best price that they can offer you. Most salespeople are more than willing to haggle with you a little bit. You want to buy the car, they want to sell you the car—most of the time, they are willing to compromise in order to get you to make a purchase. If they aren’t willing to negotiate, however, you need to decide whether you are going to walk away or just meet their terms.

8. Am I going to test drive? The answer to this question should always be yes. Do not buy a vehicle until you have test driven it. How else are you going to know if it drives how you want it to drive?

9. Does this warranty work for me? When you buy from brands like Kia, you are probably getting a stellar warranty that makes it possible for you to get just about any issue fixed, free of charge, for years down the road. However, other brands do not offer warranties that are as comprehensive. Ask yourself whether or not this warranty really covers what you need it to cover, before you put any money down on that vehicle.

10. Does this car need any aftermarket add-ons? Back in the day before cruise control came standard on just about every vehicle, my little sister paid to have it adding on after she purchased the car. In hindsight, it might have been better to go up a trim level and not have to deal with a quirk aftermarket cruise control system. Carefully consider what you are willing to deal with and whether paying a little more to have it standard on the vehicle is worth your money and time.