Archive for March 2014

Kia, Hyundai and Honda Named to iSeeCars’ “12 Safest Car Brands” List

Sportage Helps Kia Land Spot on iSeeCars' 12 Safest Cars List

Every year, research firms like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) come out with safety ratings, which are based on factors ranging from safety technology to the results of crash tests. While these ratings provide an excellent snapshot of which new models are the safest, they aren’t always a great indicator of which brands can be counted on the most.

iSeeCars, a car search engine that helps people find the best deals and advice, leveraged the data out there to determine which automakers produce the safest vehicles on the road. After analyzing information from 30 million car listings and the models that earned five-star safety ratings from the NHTSA from 2001 to 2014, iSeeCars came up with its list of The 12 Safest Car Brands.

Kia, Hyundai and Honda all made the cut, checking in at Nos. 8, 10 and 12, respectively. These rankings were based largely on the vehicles “with the highest percentage of five-star ratings between model years 2001 and 2014,” such as the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Civic and Kia Optima.

Check out the chart below to see which models were frequent recipients of NHTSA’s five-star safety ratings. Then come into one of our Illinois or Wisconsin Kia, Hyundai or Honda dealerships to test-drive these vehicles first-hand!

Kia, Hyundai and Honda Named to The 12 Safest Car Brands

Nissan Develops World’s First Smart Rearview Mirror, Which Will Debut at the Geneva Motor Show

Safety has been an enormous focus over the past few years in the automotive industry, and the development of new technologies to help protect people on the road is becoming even more important for automakers. At the 2014 International Geneva Motor Show, Nissan unveiled another one of those unique technological advancements: the first-ever Smart rearview mirror.

The idea behind the Smart rearview mirror is that it will be able to seamlessly transition back and forth between a conventional mirror and a digital one, thanks to a built-in LCD monitor that can be switched on at any time. A high-resolution camera will provide drivers with a clear view behind them and improved vision in their blind spots, and the Smart rearview mirror could also help improve Nissan’s already existing Lane Departure Prevention and Emergency Brake systems.

So when can you expect to see this innovative technology on the road? Nissan says it will debut the Smart rearview mirror inside the ZEOD RC, which is slated to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans event this summer. Shoichi Miyatani, NISMO’s president, noted that it could pave the way for other enhancements, such as “improving the cars’ aerodynamic design … thereby expanding the possibilities of race cars to a new level.”

It’s only a matter of time before Nissan implements Smart rearview mirror into its new-model lineup, and when that happens, we’ll be sure to have it as an option at our in Illinois Nissan dealership Gurnee!

Affordable 2014 Kia Soul Lands on About.com’s Best New Cars of 2014 List

2014 Kia Soul Named to About.com's Best Cars of 2014 List

It is one thing to buy a cheapvehicle, but quite another to purchase an inexpensive vehicle that keeps providing value after it leaves the dealership lot. The 2014 Kia Soul urban crossover was recently one of only two models on the market to make About.com’s list of the Least Expensive Cars of 2014 and the site’s Best New Cars of 2014.

To be considered for the About.com Best New Cars of 2014 list, vehicles were required to be either new or significantly redesigned, and only 12 models made the final cut. The redesigned 2014 Soul earned a spot on the list for retaining its signature boxy style and affordable pricing, while gaining a more “expensive” feel on the road with its upgraded underpinnings. Featuring a 29 percent increase in torsional body rigidity, a revised suspension system and a chassis with a 66 percent composition of either ultra-high- or high-strength steel, the new Soul provides a more comfortable and responsive ride than its predecessor.

“The new Kia Soul is still instantly recognizable out on the road, but it now offers bolder styling cues, a smoother ride and more precise handling,” said Scott Levy, general manager of Rosen Kia of Elgin, a Kia dealer in Illinois. “You’d be hard-pressed to find another vehicle as affordable as the Soul that has also earned so much critical acclaim.”

Kia is using its popular Soul as the vessel for its first foray into the U.S. electric-vehicle market, unveiling the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show last month in advance of the model’s on-sale date in the third quarter of this year. Housing an energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery that fits conveniently under the vehicle’s floor, the Soul EV is expected to achieve a range of 80 to 100 miles. Efficiency is further improved by Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system, which captures up to 12 percent of the Soul EV’s kinetic energy and transfers it back into the battery. When it comes time to replenish the battery, charging can take as long as 24 hours with a 120-volt outlet, but less than five hours with a 240-volt outlet, and as quickly as 33 minutes for an 80 percent charge with a 50-kilowatt-output charger.