Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Road Test: 2014 Kia Cadenza

SAN DIEGO, CA (KDKA) – The folks at Kia — who have, by the way, been doing nothing but a bang up job at rolling out vehicles that give you bang for the buck — say that after the top of the line Optima sedan, their customers who want more have nowhere to go but another brand. That’s why the Cadenza was born.
A little bigger and much more upscale, the Cadenza is Kia’s first attempt at keeping that customer who wants to move up from moving out of a Kia store and into somebody else’s entry level luxury sedan. So the first question is, how did they do?
After spending a day rolling around the hills outside of San Diego, the short verdict is not bad. The Cadenza is a sharp looking car with the distinctive front grille and lamp treatment made a bit more distinctive. A sharp profile with well-placed lines and an athletic looking stance give way to a fairly Audi-esque looking rear complete with oval dual exhaust ports.

High marks on fit and finish inside
Inside, the Cadenza gets high marks on fit and finish as well as materials. A 10-way power driver’s seat with heating and cooling and six-way passenger seat with just heating come with the car. The rear seats are also heated. Legroom is more than ample, especially in the rear when they put that extra two inches they stretched the platform.
The dash is well laid out, logical, and Kia’s UVO e-services system is among the best in the business. It takes connecting you to the car to a new level. It also comes with a 10-year free subscription and smartphone app. The fully loaded Cadenza I spent the day in also included a spectacular Infinity sound system and panoramic sunroof.

Under the hood and the drive feel
Under the hood the Cadenza gets Kia’s 3.3-liter 6-cylinder that cranks out 293 horses. Married up to Kia’s 6-speed automatic, it moved the sedan through the hills quite briskly. Paddle shifters are included with every model and give you a bit more of the sports sedan feel. Jumping onto the freeway is done without laboring the engine and passing on a two-lane road when safe is done with confidence that the engine has more to give if you need it.
The ride is generally solid and confident due to a great set of suspension components, although hitting a number of potholes can be a bit jarring. Steering is light, with minimal road feel, but the Cadenza never felt hinky on curves. Braking was solid and confident.

Pricing and gas costs
One of the great things about the Cadenza is that as I said you get bang for your buck, especially when it comes to safety. Distronic cruise control, blind spot warning, lane departure control and a number of other safety systems usually found in cars costing more are in the Cadenza.
Kia starts the Cadenza at $35,100 pretty well loaded. Add technology and luxury packages and you get to $41,100-plus destination. It is without a doubt a lot of car for the money. Fuel mileage figures: 19 city, 28 highway. In my day in the Kia with combined freeway and rural driving, we averaged 22 mpg. The Cadenza uses regular unleaded gas.

An overall impressive drive
The Cadenza is an impressive effort by Kia. In eight hours or so of driving it, I came away with almost the same thought I had when I drove its cousin the Hyundai Azera: a solid effort to create a better than you would expect car. It’s one that should keep the Kia buyer that wants more, in a Kia showroom. How will it do against the Maximas, Avalons, Taurus’ and Impalas of the automotive jungle? Ah…that my friends is the $41,100 question!
Get more reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gary Rome Needs Your Help to Donate to The One Fund

This is Gary Rome and I'm here to talk to you about something much more important than cars. I want to talk to you about our friends and families that were impacted by the tragic events at the marathon. My family at Gary Rome Auto Group came to me and asked me what can we do? We decided to support the Boston One Fund. For every test drive we'll donate $10 and $100 for every car purchased. And because we know how important time with our family is, I'm going to give you a $10 gift certificate to Squires Bistro on Main Street in Agawam.

Please come to Gary Rome Hyundai in Holyoke or Gary Rome Kia in Enfield and take a test drive and I'll donate $10 to The One Fund and I'll give you a $10 gift certificate to Squires Bistro in Agawam and when you decide to buy from me, I'll then donate $100 to The One Fund. Gary Rome Auto Group, helping those that help us. It doesn't cost any of us extra to be nice!

You can also donate directly to The One Fund:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2014 Kia Forte delivers for families


Kia’s redesigned 2014 Forte sedan looks more aggressive; it has Kia’s distinctive black-mesh “tiger-nose” grille and is framed in chrome. (CARANDDRIVER.COM)

By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek Tampa Bay Times

Sometimes we get as excited over a modestly priced car as we do over the latest exotic. We’re serious. An economy car has to provide more bang for the buck in areas that matter to busy families. So we appreciate when a car delivers. Kia’s all-new 2014 Forte sedan does this surprisingly well. It should hit dealerships any day now.

Appearance: Overall, this new Forte is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor. If you say it resembles the Honda Civic, we won’t correct you. We think so, too — especially in profile. And while Kia probably doesn’t like to hear it, we submit that such suggestions are high praise. (Peter is a Civic owner). This new Forte looks more aggressive; it has Kia’s distinctive black-mesh “tiger-nose” grille and is framed in chrome. The design is tied into aggressively upswept headlights that feature LED “eyebrows.” The lower black-mesh air intake is flanked by fog lights. The body side panels are tastefully creased, recalling its Hyundai cousins’ fluidic design. Complementing this handsome package are sculpted, 17-inch alloy wheels.

Performance: The Forte now comes with two choices: 1.8- and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines. Our top-of-the-line EX tester had the latter, which gets Kia’s GDI (gasoline direct injection) technology and produces 173 horsepower. The gearbox is a smoothing-shifting, six-speed automatic transmission. This all translates into steady acceleration and more-than-adequate merging power on the highway. Despite its light weight — 2,857 pounds — the Forte’s ride feels solid and assuring, even in high winds. In an example of technology filtering down to more modest cars, our tester came with Kia’s new Flex Steer system that lets the driver choose the feel of its electronic power steering with comfort, normal and sport modes. (Peter didn’t feel much difference between the three settings.)

Interior: The cockpit is quiet, roomy for its class and sensibly laid out with controls all in easy reach for the driver. The cabin has plenty of head, leg and elbow room. Our tester had the EX Premium ($2,600) and EX Technology ($2,300) packages, which include luxury-car features including power sunroof, heated leather seats (including rear), ventilated driver’s seat and heated steering wheel. Overall, Kia does the details well. A few examples: The 7-inch touchscreen is slightly angled on the dash to give the driver a better view. The clock and exterior temperature are placed well within view in a small dash-top screen. One not-so-good placement: The chrome exhaust tip extends out a bit, so if you’re reaching far into the trunk at a certain angle, you might feel the hot metal.

Safety features: Front and side airbags, side curtains, ABS with 4-disc brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, hill assist control, rear-view camera

The bottom line: Granted, our tester had every possible option, but the new Forte rises to the top of its class with its comfort, drivability and technology. Who needs a luxury car?