Kia Optima Offers Infiniti-Level Style

Thanksgiving weekend in Southern California. More specifically, a car rental parking lot at LAX.

To my left was a dark gray 2017 Kia Optima, a 178-horsepower 4-door midsize sedan with knockout good looks and impressive highway fuel economy.

On the right was a blue 2017 Toyota Camry, promising plenty of comfort and reliability.

In the middle was a silver 2017 Ford Fusion, a car with sleek design and a high-quality interior.

If you had free access to the keys of each of these cars for a long weekend in Southern California, which would you take?

The Kia was my choice. How does the Infiniti work into this story? Read on, dear friends. Continue reading >>>

5 Smart Swaps for Premium Picks

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

“The thing about money is… you can always make more.”

Or so a good friend once told us, while detailing his extensive traveling. And although it’s a lovely, freeing sentiment, most of us are more comfortable living within our finances and the limitations they impose. Of course, with tax day creeping around the corner, many of us are anticipating a nice refund, and feeling a little flush. If there was ever a time of year when we’re inclined to peruse the new car listings on CarGurus, searching for our dream ride, it’s now. Whether you’re enticed by a drop-top sports car, a luxurious full-size sedan, or a tough-as-nails off-roader, you’ll find yourself well taken care of by today’s auto market.

Continue reading >>>

The New Optima and the Future of Kia

2016 Kia Optima

Kia Motors introduced the 2016 Kia Optima at the New York International Auto show a couple of weeks ago as part of an effort to revitalize the brand. As the lesser arm of the mighty Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Motors has struggled to distinguish itself from the South Korean automotive giant’s larger arm (by which we mean Hyundai itself, of course). Kia owes a lot to Hyundai, having been rescued from bankruptcy and absorbed into the conglomerate back in 1998. Kia first introduced its rebranded Hyundai Sonata in 2000 as the Kia Optima in North America, and Kia has since been doing what it can to set the Optima apart from the Sonata and other midsize sedans, in much the same way it’s trying to distinguish itself from Hyundai.

Continue reading >>>

The Six Most Attractive, and Affordable, Cars on the Market

2015_kia_optima

Let’s take a few minutes to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all.

I’m not talking about dumb stuff like mountains and rivers; I’m talking about real beauty, like every time we see a new Kia on the road.

We may not naturally associate things like Kias with beauty, but the once-mocked Korean brand has officially become one of the most attractive cars on the road. Well, one of the most attractive affordable cars anyway.

Keep reading for rest of the most attractive, and attainable, cars available today.

Continue reading >>>

Cars That Have Gone From Bland to Grand

Remember how the Optima used to look?

Remember how the Optima used to look?

Automakers know that boring doesn’t sell like it used to.

Think back a decade or so, and I’ll bet you can name five boring cars right off the top of your head. I know I can. There were still a lot of beautiful and fun cars in existence, but plenty of mass-produced cars back then didn’t have anything to offer in design, power or handling.

Today some of those same models have experienced a renaissance and have gone from completely bland to utterly grand.

Keep reading for some of the cars that have graduated from transportation appliance to royalty of the road.

Continue reading >>>

Kizashi Beats Accord, Optima in CR Test; New Explorer Trashed

Better than Accord?

Once upon a time, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry reigned supreme at the top of all midsize sedan battles.

Over the last decade or so, scrappy newcomers have chipped away at the old timers’ rule by introducing new styling and lots of standard equipment. Today we see names like Altima, Kizashi and Optima right up there with, and sometimes on top of, Camry and Accord.

Consumer Reports released its June issue yesterday, and the capable testers there have let us know which four-door, four-cylinder sedans have laid claim to kings of the mountain.

Continue reading >>>

Fun Car Videos to End the Week

Maybe you’ve wondered what it takes to produce the most expensive car commercial ever. Or perhaps, like many card-holding car enthusiasts, you harbor an unquenchable desire to watch sleek coupes scream through empty roads (or in some cases, whoosh silently across them).

Maybe you just fantasize about driving cars through a shopping mall while accompanied by pretty girls.

This week’s batch of car vids features a raging Jaguar, a silent Tesla, the making of Poseidon and a shopping-mall trip like no other.

Enjoy.

Continue reading >>>