2016 Kia Sorento Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

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The three-row crossover class is really heating up, with redesigns from Honda and Kia for 2016. Kia's new Sorento should be more appealing to families with its new safety rating: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just named it a Top Safety Pick, earning the top score of good across all areas of testing, including the tough small-overlap front crash test.

Related: 2016 Kia Sorento: First Look

The last-generation Sorento failed the small-overlap front test, which mimics when the front corner of the vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole. IIHS also said that in the previous model, the side curtain airbags didn't deploy, causing severe injuries to the crash-test dummy.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2015 | Comments (2)

Of Course We Want A Kia Optima Station Wagon

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If ever there were a misunderstood style of motoring vehicle, it'd be the wagon. Sorry, minivans, some may look down upon you, but at least you still exist. The traditional wagon is all but gone for today's car shoppers with a few exceptions of some luxury models, Subaru's Outback and the new Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Starts at $22,215

That's why we're excited to see Kia reveal some early photos of the Sportspace concept ahead of March's Geneva International Motor Show. It hints at the next production version of the popular Optima sedan, which will also debut at the European show.

By David Thomas | February 17, 2015 | Comments (10)

2016 Kia Rio Video

Kia gave its subcompact car a visual update for 2016. Outside, sedan and hatchback versions of the Rio get a more polished face, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. Inside, the changes are also minor and include a revised control panel.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Check out the video for more.

Watch on YouTube

By Jennifer Geiger | February 17, 2015 | Comments (0)

The Concept Cars of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show

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Car shoppers at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show will be able to get an up-close look at the year's newest vehicles, but it's not all business. This year's crop of concept cars is sure to catch a few eyes, from Buick's stunning and stylish Avenir sedan to Kia's hybrid off-road-ready Trail'ster.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

This year's show starts Feb. 14 and continues until Feb. 22 at the McCormick Place convention center. Click here for tickets and times and here for a show floor map. Check out some of our favorite concept cars ... and a couple new production models that sure look like concepts.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

Small Changes Add Up With the 2016 Kia Rio (31 Photos)

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The redesigned 2016 Kia Rio quietly debuted at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show with a few interior and exterior changes and just a passing mention in Kia's press conference. While subtle, new front and rear styling provide the subcompact Rio with a more dominant presence that's especially so in the Rio 5-Door hatchback, though the Rio sedan also receives a similar new look.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News 

Kia played with the design of the front and rear bodywork to give the Rio visual width through the use of a more horizontally styled front lower bumper and a new grille more in line with the rest of the Kia lineup. Sure, it sounds like a stretch that those minor changes could make any kind of an improvement, but looking at all the changes on the auto show floor the results are indeed apparent and substantial.

By Joe Bruzek | February 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

Kia Trail'ster Concept Photo Gallery (25 Photos)

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Kia dropped so many hints during the Trail'ster concept's debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show that we won’t be surprised when some aspect of the off-road-themed electric all-wheel-drive Kia Soul hits the assembly line in the near future. The Trail'ster is a concept that looks awfully production-ready, inside and out.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Kia's Soul-based Trail'ster has a beefy stance, and sits 2.5 inches higher than the production Soul on a coil-over suspension with increased suspension travel; it also wears 19-inch winter tires on each corner. Those wheels receive power through a 185-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle for an additional 35 hp. The electric all-wheel drive assists acceleration, can drive the Trail'ster on electric-only power and also provides grip when the front wheels slip.

The inside features an impressive level of luxuriousness for a Kia Soul, which is already nice for the price after its latest redesign. The Trail'ster takes things up a notch with a rich interior clad in brown leather upholstery and aluminum inlays. I'm not sure which part of the Trail'ster concept I'd rather see hit production — the powertrain or the luscious interior — but I'm leaning toward the turbocharged, electric all-wheel drive and lifted suspension.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Joe Bruzek | February 13, 2015 | Comments (3)

2016 Kia Rio: First Look

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Competes with: Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic, Toyota Yaris

Looks like: Rio gets a dose of style with a restyled, more dramatic looking face

Drivetrain: 138-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual and six-speed automatic

Hits dealerships: Early this year

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

Kia's on a styling tear lately, with eye-catching updates to its Sedona minivan and Sorento three-row crossover. Now it's the Rio's turn. The 2016 subcompact sedan and hatchback debuted this morning at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show with a fresh new face and lightly revised interior.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 12, 2015 | Comments (1)

Kia Trail'ster Concept: First Look

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Looks like: A Kia Soul ready for off-road trails

Defining characteristics: Lifted ride height, meaty winter tires

Ridiculous features: Blinding array of front LED illumination

Chance of being mass-produced: You never know

An off-road Kia Soul seems like a stretch of the imagination, but the automaker put together a fun, if not convincing, concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show called the Kia Trail'ster. Featuring a turbocharged engine, electric all-wheel drive, lifted ride height and various trail-focused features, Kia says the Trail'ster is intended for those looking to escape the urban environment in favor of snow, mud, streams and trails.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

"The Trail'ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that's built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness," said Tom Kearns, Kia Design Center of America's chief designer, in a statement.

Though the concept shows off numerous trail-focused bits and pieces, Kia also teases that the Trail'ster's electric all-wheel-drive system could be a fuel-economy booster if used in a production application. We're listening, Kia.

By Joe Bruzek | February 12, 2015 | Comments (0)

Is This the Next Kia Optima?

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Kia's midsize sedan has been one of the more stylish cars in the class, and if a new concept version is any indication, the Optima will keep that status.

Related: More Concept Cars

The brand's new concept, which is unnamed, will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 3. Kia released the above teaser image but few details, saying only that it's a D-segment model, which is code for midsize car in Europe.

Stay tuned for more.

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sedona Review

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"The redesigned 2015 Kia Sedona is a well-executed family-hauler that will keep Mom, Dad and the rug rats comfortable and entertained; while it's leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, though, it doesn't quite leapfrog its competitors," says Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger.

2015 Kia Sedona Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | February 2, 2015 | Comments (0)

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