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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

Why You Should Consider Buying a SUV instead of a Sedan

The sedan used to be the most popular car for families and commuters, and for good reason. They were the cheapest, the most fuel efficient, and the most versatile vehicles on the market. If you didn’t want to drive a minivan (and many people didn’t), you would probably buy a sedan instead. They were and still are a very sensible choice when it comes to family vehicles. But they are no longer the only option, even for those that want something inexpensive and fuel efficient. When you buy from Kia, there are a range of vehicles available that fall into the SUV or crossover category that are just as affordable as a sedan. But is a SUV a better choice than a sedan?

1. More rugged styling – When you choose an SUV over a sedan, you are probably going to get a more rugged vehicle, with a little bit more rugged styling. It is very difficult to find a sedan that can be called “rugged.” Some may be labeled “aggressive” or “stylish,” but if you are specifically looking for something with a little bit of an edge to it, a SUV is probably your best bet. This class of vehicle is more likely to have chiseled features and rugged design than any other vehicle class on the market.

2. More visibility – Buying an SUV generally means that you are going to be buying a vehicle that gets you a little bit higher off the ground. What’s so great about that? The higher you are off the ground, the fewer blind spots you have to deal with. This is actually a great safety feature, and one that you just can’t feel in vehicles that are lower to the ground. You actually get to see over most of the traffic, instead of being stuck in it like you are when you are in a lower vehicle. You simply get to see more of the road, which means fewer complications for you as a driver.

3. Safer in accidents – While there are plenty of sedans, especially from Kia, that have great crash safety ratings, you are simply going to be safer in an SUV. Larger vehicles are just statistically safer than smaller vehicles when you are in a crash. Not only are you higher off the ground and therefore less likely to slid under larger vehicles in your smaller car, you have more vehicle in between you and the crash, which means more surface area for the vehicle to absorb the impact of the crash.

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kia suv4. Better seating for more people – Just because you can cram four people into the back of your sedan doesn’t mean that you should. If you routinely find yourself needing to drive around more people than there are seat belts for, you are better off buying a SUV that has more than two rows of seats than you are sticking with a smaller vehicle. Depending on which model of Kia you purchase, you might find yourself with a third row of seats that has plenty of room to accommodate children as well as adults.

5. More cargo space – Just like those who often find themselves needing to transport more than five people in total, those who often find that they have more cargo than they have space for even in the most spacious of sedan trunks, will find many of their problems solved when they buy an SUV. Not only will the bigger vehicle automatically give them more cargo space in the back, most SUVs give you the capability to fold down not just the third row, but also the second row of seats. This could mean a huge amount of storage and transporting space, no matter what you need to schlep around.

6. Tow more – If you find yourself towing anything, you will probably want to buy an SUV. While some sedans can tow, most people will never utilize this capability, simply because no sedan is actually designed to tow anything. While they might be able to do it, their engines are just not designed to drive anything other than the car and its passengers. So, whether you have a small boat or a camper or a trailer, if you even tow it, a SUV is a much better choice than your standard mid-sized sedan.

7. More clearance – Do you ever find yourself driving on a road and you can constantly hear the underside of your sedan scraping across the rocks and ridges? For those that ever leave the paved roads and venture out onto dirt ones, a vehicle with more clearance than your average sedan is going to pay off. Not only will you not have to worry about damage to the undercarriage of your vehicle, the larger tires and more rugged design means that traversing heartier terrain is usually no problem. Even if you just want to get over speed bumps easier, a SUV is the right option for you.

8. Better in nasty weather – Why? Because SUVs are larger than sedans, which also means they are going to be heavier. The heavier your vehicle is, the less susceptible it is to slipper roads. The larger wheels also mean it is less likely to get stuck in a muddy spot or a snow bank, as it has more grip and more torque. Extra ground clearance and more weight means that a washed out road is really not that big of a deal.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a New Car

buying kia

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?

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.

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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.

Getting Your Kia Ready for Winter: Cleaning and Organization Tips

Now that it is officially fall, it’s time to start looking forward to winter. Winter means a break from school and fun family holidays, but it also means harsh weather conditions and difficult driving. Driving a Kia means you have plenty of safety features that can make driving on cold days much less dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that your car doesn’t need a little bit of preparation in order to be read for colder weather. Here are some cleaning, organization, and maintenance tips that will make sure you and your Kia are ready for winter:

1. Clear out anything left in the car from the summer. If you are still toting around pool toys, swimsuits, or luggage from summer adventures, it’s time to take those things out of your car. While you might want to weight the trunk of your Kia down with other items, use the fall to make room in your vehicle for winter gear like hats, heavy jackets, shovels, ice melt, snow scrapers, blankets, and more. This gear will not only help you clean off your car when it is covered in snow, it will also keep you safe and warm if you are ever stuck away from home on a snowy night. As a third benefit, it can start to weight the rear of your car down, which will help to prevent sliding and slipping on snowy or icy roads.

2. Put a bag of sand in your trunk. Why bother with a bag of sand in your trunk? Not only can you use it to give your car some traction if your tires are stuck in mud or snow, it will also give the rear of your car some much-needed weight. Most cars carry the majority of their weight under the hood, which keeps the front of the car from slipping and sliding. Adding extra weight to the rear of the car can have the same effect. Adding a few bags of sand to the trunk of your car, along with some ice melt and shovels, just in case you ever need to dig yourself out, can provide more than enough weight to keep your Kia gripped to the road.

kia3. Clean off summer dirt and pollen. During the summer, most cars collect dirt, pollen, mud, and road grime. If allowed to stay on your car during the oncoming snows, the cold weather and wetness can actually grind that dirt and grit into your car’s paint job, causing micro scratches that dull your paint job and invite chipping and rust. If you’ve had adventures in your Kia this summer, now is the perfect time to get rid of all of that dirt, before the moisture at the end of the year has the opportunity to damage your vehicle’s surface.

4. Clean out the dirt and pollen from the inside, too. Cars also accumulate dust, dirt, and pollen inside the vehicle. During the spring, summer, and fall, you might be able to air out your vehicle simply by rolling down the windows when you drive. This doesn’t always work in the winter. Not only will it be too cold to drive around with your windows down, there is always the danger of leaving your window down and returning to find your car full of snow or sleet. Taking a few moments to clean out your vehicle’s interior, even by just running a wet wipe over the dashboard, arm rests, and other plastic or composite components can make your car a much more pleasant place to be in the winter.

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 5. Suck it up. Fall is also the perfect time of year to give your car a thorough vacuuming. This will help to remove any lingering dust and grit that could be plaguing your car’s carpeting and upholstery, and will also help to remove pollen that can linger on in your car for months after the spring and summer are over. You’ll have a fresh clean car that is ready for the winter snows.

6. Clean your windshields inside and out. Having clean windshields is perhaps more important during the winter than during any other time of the year. During the winter, the days are shorter, and that means more driving in the dark, when dirty and smudged windshields are very dangerous. Grab your favorite glass cleaner and some paper towels and make sure that the interiors and the exteriors of your windshield are free of dirt, fog, smudges, etc. New cars, especially, will see a build-up of grime on the interior of the windows, that can only be removed by heavy duty glass cleaners and a thorough wipe down. Doing this can prevent glare from streetlights and passing cars from blinding you while driving in what are already dangerous conditions.

7. Have your vehicle serviced. Before winter is the perfect time of year to have your car thoroughly checked out by our qualified service department. We’ll perform any necessary tune ups or repairs that should be made before colder weather hits. It is especially important to have your windshield wiper fluid refilled (as this can help melt and break up ice on your windshield), your wipers checked for efficacy, and your batter checked. Cold weather and the snow and ice that comes along with it effect these three things most often. It’s also a good idea to check the tread on your tires to make sure it is deep enough to handle a little snow on the road.