Kia Ranks Second among All Industry Brands in Initial Quality; Kia Soul and Sorento Rank Highest in Segment in Initial Quality

Source: JD Power 2015 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS)

Achieves Highest Score among Non-Luxury Brands

Korean automaker Kia has made steady improvements in quality over the years and is now among the industry’s quality leaders. In addition to a strong overall performance in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), Kia produces two award-recognized models that perform particularly well. This year, Kia receives two initial quality awards: the 2015 Soul in the Compact MPV segment, and the 2015 Sorento in the Midsize SUV segment.


Problems per 100 Vehicles (PP100) • Lower Score = Higher Quality


JD Power Brand Ranking


Other nameplates included in the study (in alphabetical order): Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, GMC, Jeep, Land Rover, Mazda, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, smart, and Volkswagen.


Source: JD Power 2015 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS)


Kia ranks second among 33 industry nameplates in initial quality. Additionally, Kia achieves the highest score among all Non-Luxury brands in the industry. Kia earns an overall score of 86 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in the 2015 U.S. IQS, which is 26 PP100 better than industry average and a significant 20-point improvement from 106 PP100 in 2014.


Kia ranks second industry-wide in initial quality and achieves the highest score among all Non-Luxury brands.

The U.S. Initial Quality Study, now in its 29th year, examines problems experienced by vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The study is also an indicator of long-term vehicle quality.


The 2015 U.S. IQS evaluates eight problem categories that comprise initial quality:


The Driving Experience
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

The IQS measures both defects/malfunctions and design-related problems—features that may be operating as intended but are poorly located or difficult to use. As a brand, Kia has the fewest number of design-related problems among Non-Luxury brands and improves significantly year over year.



Kia Soul — “Highest Ranked Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle in Initial Quality” by J.D. Power


Kia Soul JD Power


The Soul has both the fewest number of design-related problems and defect/malfunction problems in the Compact MPV segment.

The Soul, Kia’s unique multi-purpose vehicle, is the brand’s highest-performing model in the 2015 IQS. With a score of 77 PP100 (problems per 100 vehicles*)—an improvement of 20 PP100 from last year—the Kia Soul ranks highest among six competitors in the Compact MPV segment and is among the 10 highest-scoring models industry-wide. The Soul has also received an IQS segment award three times since 2012. Additionally, the Soul outperforms the Compact MPV average (89 PP100) by 12 PP100. Furthermore, the Soul has both the fewest number of design-related problems and defect/malfunction problems in the Compact MPV segment.


* Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.


The Soul improves significantly year over year in two categories:


Exterior—10.2 PP100 improvement
Interior—7.1 PP100 improvement
Problems per 100 Vehicles (PP100) • Lower Score = Higher Quality


Compact MPV Kia Soul


Source:  JD Power 2015 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS)

Kia Sorento — “Highest Ranked Midsize SUV in Initial Quality” by J.D. Power



JD Power Kia Sorento


The Sorento has both the fewest number of design-related problems and defect/malfunction problems in the Midsize SUV segment.

The Sorento, Kia’s 7-passenger midsize crossover SUV, has steadily improved its performance in the Initial Quality Study. With a score of 81 PP100 in the 2015 IQS—a significant 26 PP100 improvement from 2014 and 33 PP100 better than segment average—the Kia Sorento ranks highest in its segment and receives an award in the Midsize SUV segment for the first time.


The Sorento improves significantly year over year in three categories:


Midsize SUV Kia Sorento


Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation—11.0 PP100 improvement
Engine/Transmission—6.4 PP100 improvement
Exterior—5.4 PP100 improvement



Kia + Vidcon


Over the last week/weekend Kia Motors America was one of the main sponsor of VidCon! What is VidCon you ask? Well, it is a multi-genre online video conference of course! Meaning to say that it celebrates everything digital online! Kia was having a great time with some awesome giveaways, celebrity guests, games and some Q&As with some famous faces! They even brought the DJ Soul back! (what cant the Soul be transformed into?!)


One highlight was the Q&A session with Lindsey Stirling! Stirling is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, singer and composer, made famous through her YouTube channel! Since 2007, Sterling as been presenting choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos on her YouTube channel. With such a unique sound and personality it is no surprise to see her being celebrated at this level at VidCon!


We can see a trend here with YouTubers becoming the new norm to get the attention of the younger generation; the millennials. We saw it before from Chevrolet and again now with Kia. It is great to see brands reaching out and trying new things to authentically reach their customers in a unique way!


Kia + Vidcon



Kia Best Day of Your Life #BDOYL



Ok so I am sensing a trend here, first we had Chevrolet Best Day Ever where Chevy flipped the switch on April Fools day, and now we have the Best Day of Your Life (#BDOYL) presented by Kia!  Kia’s #BDOYL celebration happened over the last weekend with pro Vine-ers, DJ Pauly-D, Soulsicles, Thrillist and of course a Kia Soul (or two). You might be asking your self, whats the occasion? Well, Kia Motors America through this party celebrating for the longest day of the year (aka the Summer Solstice – June. 20th 2015)! Guests were treated to a fun day of partying with delicious food, all courtesy of Kia Motors. Looks like goodwill is the new currency!



In other news… Kia has launched their new Superfan contest! Last year one of our NewRoads customers won (pretty exciting) this year it could be you!  All you have to do is write to Kia HERE.  Simply explain why you’re a SUPERFAN and you could win one of two exciting trips for 2 to Seoul, South Korea from Spetember 21st-25th!   Good luck!


Kia Superfan Contest



Women's World Cup Kia FIFA


In case you didn’t know Kia Canada is the official automotive sponsor of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015. Right now the soccer women of the world are facing off in the ultimate battle.  Kia is supplying official vehicles from its wide-ranging model line-up to the events.


“With soccer as the fastest growing participation sport in Canada, it is a natural fit for Kia to support this great tournament in 2014 and again with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015” – Maria Soklis, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Kia Canada


Along with supporting fast, efficient and safe rides for the athletes and officials Kia has also implemented the Kia Mascot Friend Program through out the country. Social media was taken by storm with this program, encouraging fans to post with their official mascot showing their team Canada spirit! The program recognized one young female soccer player in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton who exemplified excellent community involvement and spirit. These selected individuals each accompanied the FIFA Women’s World Cup Official Mascot onto the field at half-time during the game and also had the opportunity to invite their local soccer teams along to watch the match from a Kia Skybox and share in the excitement!



This partnership is no surprise coming from Kia. With its previous involvement with other sports (NBA) and athletes it’s a perfect fit for the brand!


Canadian Womens Soccer Team




Tori Kelly, Kia at the BBMAs photo


While we Canadian’s were busy enjoying the long weekend on May 16th-18th our friends to the south were celebrating a completely different event on Sunday evening. (May 17th). If you thought that awards season was over then guess again, last Sunday marked the Billboard Music Awards (BBMA’s), hosted in Las Vegas. Everyone was talking about Taylor Swift for more than one reason, take you pick: her relationship with Calvin Harris, her 8 award wins, or the debut of her highly anticipated “Bad Blood” music video. But amiss all of this Swift business was something pretty exciting from Kia and a different blonde bombshell – Tori Kelly.


Kia at BBMAs photos


Through out the last month Kia America has been broadcasting their “One to Watch” series across their social platforms. The series featured emerging artist Tori Kelly and her journey to her performance at the BBMA’s. Thanks to Kia, Tori was given the opportunity to show off her skills at one of the most important music awards shows before her album even dropped!


Kia also rocked the BBMA red carpet! Check out the photos below!


Tori’s Performace:


You can also check out the One to Watch Series here:



Kia World Extreme Games


Kia put the X in eXtreme as the Kia World Extreme Games took place in Shanghai, China earlier this month. Attracting over 200 action sport athletes from almost 30 countries the Kia World Extreme Games is considered one of the most prestigious multi-event, action sport competitions worldwide! From skateboarding to BMX and new sport categories like freestyle motocross and speed climbing, the games hosted some of the most famous names in action sports at this year. Throughout the four-day period athletes participated in an intense competition across 2 venues: Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower and the KIC Jiangwan Sports Centre. Over the past 9 years the games have called Shanghai home earning it a spot on their top 12 annual international events in 2014! Check out some seriously EXTREME photos below!



2016 Kia Sorento Review


By Warren Brown


Kia Motors Corp. of South Korea is determined to redefine automotive luxury, and to do it by jettisoning the notion of exclusion. It is nothing short of a revolution in which Kia is using technology as a battering ram.


I have written or alluded to something similar in previous columns. Now, having driven the 2016 Kia Sorento SX crossover-utility vehicle with all-wheel drive, I am convinced I am right. Kia is democratizing luxury and, in the process, threatening to upset business models based on exorbitant exclusionary pricing.


Warren Brown is a columnist who writes about autos for The Washington Post. View Archive
Traditionalists will laugh or scoff at this assessment, or roll out arguments in defense of prestige or what they deem to be superior product quality. Let them. Empires have fallen and businesses have gone bankrupt because of less severe miscalculations.


The proof of what I am saying is in the product. To be fair, I drove the most expensive sample – the midsize, all-wheel-drive Sorento SX with a 3.3-liter V-6 engine. It starts at $39,700, with a dealer’s invoice price of $37, 328. The model I drove came with an additional $2,440 in options – advanced electronic safety equipment and 19-inch wheels.


There is an $895 factory-to-dealer shipment charge. Total price as tested was $43,035, with a dealer’s invoice price of $40,239.


Traditionalists will argue that that is a lot of money – perhaps too much money — for something called Kia. I counter that what is offered is a lot of Kia for the money, a far better overall value than anything similar offered by many European, Japanese or American automobile manufacturers.


Prestige? The 2016 Sorento – that’s right, the 2016 models are already entering the market — has none of that, certainly nothing comparable with BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lexus. But it is a beautiful, high-quality, fairly priced product that comes loaded with common sense. There is a strong market worldwide for that sort of thing.


In truth, I don’t know how Kia and its South Korean partner, Hyundai Motor Co., which owns 33.8 percent of Kia, manage to offer so very much for so very little. I have visited the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Ala., where non-union U.S automotive workers are paid less than their unionized counterparts in Detroit and elsewhere. I intend to visit Kia Motors Manufacturing in West Point, Ga., where the new Sorento is made, this summer.


But I suspect I’ll find in Georgia what I discovered in Alabama — workers who are so proud of where they work, what they make and how they make it, many of them wear their factory uniforms to work and home from the job.


Based on the quality and care of Kia products I have sampled, I suspect that similar employee sentiments might also be found in South Korea. I don’t know. I only know that, based on my sampling of the new Sorento and numerous other Kia products, folks at Kia are doing something right, and a lot of them seriously care about what they are doing.


Look at the new Sorento. Build quality is excellent throughout. The vehicle feels tight, safe. You look at it and want to drive it. My sample came with side-view mirrors that automatically folded when I turned off the engine and left the vehicle and that extended automatically when I approached it with its electronic key. It also had optional “welcome” and puddle lights, the latter of which proved especially helpful in this messy winter.


Cabin comfort, enhanced by seats covered in supple Napa leather, was as good as anything I’ve experienced in several European and Japanese models at nearly three times the cost of the 2016 Sorento SX. Advanced electronic safety equipment – surround-view monitor, lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring, advanced smart cruise control – all worked perfectly. The Sorento SX with all-wheel drive was easy to drive, and it handled beautifully in snowy, icy weather. I left this one strongly questioning why I or anyone else should spend more for an automobile – if the primary objective in buying is to find a car that works reliably, safely, perfectly.



Bottom line: The 2016 Kia Sorento – sleeker, with higher-quality cabin materials, more technologically proficient and otherwise revised – belongs on the list of anyone shopping for a midsize crossover-utility vehicle. It is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. And you don’t have to spend $43,000 – prices start at $24,900.


– Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets very good marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: Mainstream attractive, looking good in any office, school, church or shopping-center parking lot.

– Body style/layout: The 2016 Kia Sorento is a front-engine midsize crossover-utility vehicle available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and with four- or six-cylinder engines. There are five trim levels – L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited.

– Engine/transmission:  It comes with a 3.3-liter, 24-valve V-6 gasoline engine with variable valve timing, delivering a maximum 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that can also be operated manually.

– Capacities:  Seating is for up to seven people, with smaller bodies in the rear. Selected seat configuration – for five or seven passengers — affects available cargo space. More seats, less cargo. But there is enough space in the new Sorento to easily carry a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four. The fuel tank holds 18.8 gallons (regular gasoline works fine).

– Mileage: I averaged 27 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving.

– Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear), four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, stability and traction control, side and head air bags, and emergency notification to first responders in the event of air-bag deployment.

– Recommended options: All advance electronic safety equipment. It is worth the money – cheaper than crashing.


Source:  Washington Post



2016 Kia Sorento Earns IIHS Top Safety Marks


By Bengt Halvorson
The 2016 Kia Sorento has been run through the full set of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, and it’s emerged with top-tier ‘good’ scores in all respects—including frontal and side impact, roof strength, rear impact (seats and head restraints).


The new third-generation Sorento, which was fully redesigned this year, with much-improved refinement and cabin appointments, also earned a top ‘good’ rating in the typically tougher small overlap test; and with the new Forward Collision Warning System that’s part of the so-called Limited Technology Package, it earns the IIHS ‘basic’ nod for frontal crash prevention.


That’s a major improvement over the 2014-2015 Kia Sorento, which earned a bottom-rung ‘poor’ rating in small overlap and didn’t offer any sort of front crash prevention. However with no automatic-braking function for anticipated collisions, it’s not able to meet the ‘advanced’ or ‘superior’ rating necessary for the Sorento to garner the Institute’s highest Top Safety Pick+ rating.


The 2016 Sorento hasn’t yet been rated by the federal government, as part of its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests—although the previous Sorento achieved top five-star scores in all crash categories, and Kia is expecting the reengineered model to do the same.


Source:  Washington Post



Lebron James - Kia K900



If you’re a Kia fan you know that they are all about celebrities! From basketball kings to action picture hero’s Kia is full of surprises.


So lets get to know the faces of Kia (drum roll please).


Contestant Number 1: LeBron James


LeBron James, or better known as King James is a 10-time game all-star and currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What you might not know about this king is that he is also a noted car collector, thus eyebrows were raised when the word broke with his new relationship with Kia. But who ever said Kia wasn’t luxury obviously does not know the Kia K900. Rumor has it that James was the one who approached the brand that sparked their latest campaign featuring the King himself. In an interview James said:

“I was a Kia K900 driver and fan before we decided to become partners, so I’m really excited to be Kia’s first-ever luxury ambassador,” He added: “For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am, and that’s what makes this one so special.” Since Kia has been a longtime sponsor of the NBA and serves as its “official automotive partner,” it is no surprise that they were happy to welcome him to the Kia family.


Blake Griffin - Kia Optima

Contestant Number 2: Blake Griffin


Another basketball all-star Blake Griffin plays offense for the Los Angeles Clippers and brings the much-loved humor that Kia is famous for. Griffin launched himself into the national spotlight by jumping over a car (yes, you read that right) to win the 2011 slam dunk contest, and it earned him an endorsement deal with Kia. Since then Griffin has gone to the Wild West and back, as well as use the Kia Optima as the cock pit of a fighter jet. We don’t know what is coming down the pipes next, but we know we are going to love it!


Pierce Brosnan - Kia Sorento

Contestant Number 3:  Pierce Brosnan

The world’s most famous spy gets behind the Kia Sorento for the 2015 Super Bowl spot.


With some witty humor and some James Bond action Pierce Brosnan (the legend that he is) drives a whole different kind of getaway car in this advert. I am not sure if this is a one time thing or if we will see more from the former spy but seriously who wouldn’t want to drive the same car as James, James Bond. Am I right!?


So there you have it! Which Kia would you drive?



2014 Kia Forte5 Review Photo


By Ted Laturnus, Globe and Mail


Highway 78/79 is a serpentine two-lane mountain route that wiggles through California’s Anza-Borrego state park. Originally carved through the hills as a stagecoach route, it’s made up of switchbacks and dogleg turns and doubles back on itself like a dog trying to catch its tail. What’s intriguing about this road is that you climb from the lushness of the southern California coastal region, through highland scrub and mesquite, up across the San Jacinto mountains and into the Colorado Desert. Three distinct climate zones, with all the tight turns you can handle.


In advance of testing the 2014 Kia Forte5 on this route, popular consensus among the assembled auto scribes seemed to be was that the a car is nicely put together and well-rounded, but has vague steering and an unco-operative transmission linkage with the manual gearbox version. Having spent a full day driving to Borrego Springs, Calif., I can say there is nothing wrong with the steering in this car – especially since Kia’s FlexSteer is standard equipment on all but the base model. This intriguing feature basically alters the steering geometry of the car while it’s in motion, and you can go from a light feel for around town to a heavier setting for spirited driving. Vague steering? Nonsense.


That said, the manual shift linkage could be better. Time and time again, I found myself trying to pull away from a stop light in third gear when I was sure I’d put it into first. Kia needs to clean this up and make the gate between first and third less ambiguous. Compared to a Honda Civic, the Forte’s linkage is crude.


This is a modestly priced car, but even at the base level, it’s well equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, tilt/telescoping steering, air conditioning, heated front seats, cruise control, a electronic stability control and hill start assist. The Forte5 is available in three different trims: LX, EX and SX, and the options list seems to go on forever.


Move up to the SX models and you can choose from 18-inch wheels and tires, ventilated driver’s seat, heated rear seats, leather interior and a cooled glove box. A six-speed automatic adds $1,200 to the price tag.


The Forte5 is aimed at buyers between ages 25 and 54, with an emphasis on younger consumers – who tend to be careful with their money – and, says Maria Soklis, Kia Canada vice-president, one in four of these buyers are first timers. Maximum bang for the buck is paramount and the higher the standard equipment list, the better.


Plus, the Forte5 is in an incredibly competitive segment. Think Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus, and you get an idea of what Kia has to contend with. In Canada, this is the heart of the market and only the strong survive.


Helping the Forte5 duke it out are two new engines: a normally-aspirated 2.0 litre and turbocharged 1.6 litre (making this the first turbocharged compact in this company’s history in Canada). These develop 173 and 201 horsepower, respectively, and to put things into perspective, Volkswagen’s famed GTi develops just nine horsepower more than the turbo Forte5, and Honda’s Civic Si with the larger engine has the same horsepower output but less torque. The normally aspirated version, meanwhile, is more powerful than any of its rivals.


Like so many Kia products these days, it seems, the Forte5 has a built-in sense of balance and poise that handles a route like 78/79 with ease. As long as you don’t get carried away with yourself, it provides a linear power delivery, predictable steering, and prompt braking without the harshness of a sports car. This is a mainstream automobile, remember, and the word that comes to mind is “unremarkable”….in a good way. The turbo version in particular, is about as subtle as these types of drivetrains come.


The usual drawbacks of forced air induction – no bottom-end grunt, throttle lag or understeer – are non-existent, even when you’re giving it some welly. The Forte5 does not feel like a front-drive turbocharged automobile, and all the usual attributes of a good handling car – predictability, balance, power delivery and braking – make for a surprisingly civilized driving experience. There are tauter, more toss-able models on the market, but not at this price.


Of the two, my vote goes to the turbo version. It’s about $4,000 pricier and slightly thirstier, but offers better performance and comes with FlexSteer as standard equipment.


Tech Specs:  2014 Kia Forte5


Type: Compact hatchback


Price range: $19,495 – $28,395


Engine: 2.0-litre normally-aspirated and 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder


Horsepower/torque: 173 hp/154 lb-ft; 201 hp/195 lb-ft


Transmission: Six-speed manual/six-speed automatic


Drive: Front-wheel drive


Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 9.7 city; 6.9 highway


Alternatives: Mazda3 Sport, Ford Focus Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, VW Golf, Nissan Versa, Toyota Matrix