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Green Car Award Nominees Include Familiar Nameplates

Five finalists cross vehicle segments.

by on Nov.09, 2016

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica could be named the greenest vehicle in America next week.

The list of five finalists for Green Car Journal’s 2017 respected Green Car of the Year award includes the BMW 330e, Chevrolet Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Optima and the Toyota Prius Prime.

The winner will be announced next week at the Los Angeles International Auto Show and the nominees reflect the industry’s ongoing shift towards hybrid vehicles and the still tentative embrace of EVs and the ongoing shift in battery technology.

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“This year’s Green Car of the Year finalists clearly represent the momentum that electrification is experiencing in the auto industry,” said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCarJournal.com. (more…)

10 Hottest Debuts at the 2015 NY Auto Show

Compacts and full-size luxury; hybrids and high-performance supercars.

by on Apr.06, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 makes its NY debut.

The turnstiles are now open at New York’s Jacob Javits convention center, spinning rapidly as the crowds rush in to check out all the new sheet metal on display at the annual NY International Auto Show.

TheDetroitBureau.com team was on hand for all the unveilings at last week’s media preview, a two-day extravaganza that saw more than two dozen different unveilings. Some of the new models played it safe, others are simply forgettable. But there also were plenty of surprises and significant debuts.

Best of the Best!

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Debuts at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Click on the product names for more complete coverage.

Kia Optima Remains at Head of the Class

Next-gen sedan builds on success.

by on Apr.01, 2015

The new 2016 Kia Optima builds on the exterior styling of its predecessor. It his showrooms this fall.

The 2016 Kia Optima, the car that basically pushed the maker to the head of the class with midsize sedan buyers, finally got its full-on debut at New York International Auto Show.

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA.

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“The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.” (more…)

Kia Shows Design Direction for 2016 Optima Remake

New sedan set for NY Auto Show unveiling.

by on Mar.19, 2015

Kia continues to go edgy with the 2016 Optima remake.

Five years after making its debut at the New York Auto Show, Kia will lift the covers on a new version of the Optima sedan. And the Korean carmaker is hoping that the 2016 model will live up to the brand’s ad slogan, “The Power to Surprise.”

The outgoing Optima was a breakthrough car for Kia, transforming it from a stodgy, value-focused brand to one pushing the boundaries of design. Preliminary renderings released by Kia suggest that the new 2016 Optima will maintain its edginess.

Auto Show News!

The two images released by Kia pick up on many of the design cues first seen at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month in the form of the Kia Sportspace wagon concept. That show car picked up on the familiar Kia “tiger nose grille, giving it an almost slit-like appearance, with quad LED headlamps. Like the Sportspace, the Optima renderings show a coupe-like curve to the roofline, with bolder sheet metal creases than the current sedan, as well as muscularly flared wheel wells.

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Kia Sportspace Offers Clear Look at New Optima

U.S. sedan will borrow key cues from European wagon concept.

by on Mar.02, 2015

The Kia Sportspace Concept will heavily influence the design of the next-gen Optima sedan.

Ever since former Audi design chief Peter Schreyer came onboard, Kia has given meaning to its slogan, “The Power to Surprise.” Whether it’s the big K900 luxury sedan, the quirky Soul or the GT4 Stinger concept, the Korean carmaker has delivered some of the industry’s most intriguing styling exercises.

And it’s proving that point once again this week at the Geneva Motor Show this week where it will formally unveil the Kia Sportspace wagon concept. We got a first hint of what’s coming last month, and now the Asian maker has pulled the wraps off the Sportspace with a series of photos.

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And while the concept is clearly aimed at the European market, where wagons remain a highly popular body style, Americans motorists should take a close look at what, in sedan form, will be the next midsize Optima. Expect to see only a few modest changes when the production design reaches showrooms later this year.

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Kia Teases Geneva Concept: Are You the New Optima?

Show car could feature battery-based drivetrain.

by on Feb.10, 2015

Kia offers a hint of what could be the next Optima.

Kia has some big news coming in Geneva. And it’s confirming plans to reveal a new concept vehicle it says it has “created as a spacious and versatile accessory to an active lifestyle.”

Unlike other Korean concept cars of the recent past, this D-segment, or midsize, show vehicle appears – at least from this teaser image – to be nearly ready for production, which suggests that it may very well be a thinly disguised version of the next-generation Kia Optima.

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It is, the maker, hints, “a purposeful, energetic design study for the style-conscious, and as a sanctuary from the stresses of the modern world.”

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Kia Charges Up Optima Hybrid

Battery-based offering belatedly catches up.

by on Feb.07, 2014

Kia's Michael Sprague shows Chicago Auto Show attendees the newly updated Kia Optima Hybrid.

When Kia announced a mid-cycle refresh of its midsize Optima sedan for 2014, something was clearly missing. For reasons that went unexplained, the hybrid-electric version of the four-door maintained the old Optima styling.

The maker will finally correct that omission, previewing a late-entry 2014 Optima Hybrid this week at the Chicago Auto Show. But for those who were hoping to see Kia upgrade the underlying hybrid technology, well, that’s not in the cards for the moment.

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The basic update matches the tweaks given the mainstream Optima model, though there are some specific details designed for the Hybrid to help improve aerodynamics and allow it to alert viewers that it’s a green machine. (more…)

Kia Makes the Case for Cadenza

Korean maker aims for the premium sweet spot.

by on May.15, 2013

Kia hopes to fill the white space between mainstream and luxury with the new 2014 Cadenza.

As it rolls out the new Cadenza, Kia says it hopes to break into a new niche between the conventional mainstream and more luxurious segments.

The Kia Cadenza becomes the most expensive product the Korean maker has ever offered, with a well-equipped model pushing above the $40,000 mark. The launch echoes the strategy of Kia’s sibling brand, Hyundai, which has also expanded upwards from its traditional, econobox roots.

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During the launch of the new Cadenza, Michael Sprague, Kia’s vice president for marketing communications, said the habits of American car buyers are changing. Fewer motorists actually want to move up and own a luxury brand, only 8% today compared to 22% before the recession undermined consumer confidence. Instead car buyers are looking for a good value and they want luxury features and the latest technology in a less ostentatious package.

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First Drive: 2012 Kia Rio Sedan

Kia continues stylish reinvention of its lineup with revamped subcompact.

by on Sep.21, 2012

Kia's Rio continues a string of strong designs from the Korean automaker's design group.

It’s good to be Kia right now. Kia and its sister company, Hyundai, have received a lot of attention lately for groundbreaking styling along with class-leading fuel economy in some segments.

In fact, we’ve often said in this space that once the Koreans figure out the black art of proper suspension tuning, the pair could rule the automotive world.

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Well, with this little Rio subcompact, it would appear that Kia has come to grips with finer points of ride and handling development.

So, does that mean the little Rio is ready for world dominance? Let’s find out.

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2012 Toyota Camry Walks Fine Line

Camry shows a bit of passion, but won't alienate core buyers.

by on Aug.16, 2012

The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for 13 of the last 14 years. Has Toyota done enough for it to keep its crown?

Updating the best-selling of anything is fraught with peril, whether it is a car or a hammer. There’s a reason its maker sells so many, so you don’t want to get too crazy. But the competition is looking to take away that sales crown, so standing pat isn’t an option.

Such is Toyota’s task with its best-selling Camry. While the new car offers the usual increases in efficiency and interior space, Toyota smartly decided to leave the Camry similar to the outgoing model.

While the new Camry doesn’t do much to break new ground, Toyota did make a few changes.

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Let’s take a look to see if they were successful.

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