New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Kia Optima teased showing Kia Stinger and Hyundai Sonata-ish looks

The redesigned 2021 Kia Optima has been shown off via Kia Motors Group's Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors Group

The next-generation of the Kia K5 (what the Optima is sold as in some overseas markets) has been shown off on the Kia Motors Group Facebook page, giving a good hint at what Americans will see when the next-gen 2021 Kia Optima reaches U.S. shores.

From the pictures, it is easy to see Sonata-like similarities with the new Optima. A similar pinched nose ends with the distinctly Tiger Nose grille and its C-Pillar and nearby glass rakes like a fastback. LED light signatures rise high up onto the hood and along the sides showing Stinger-like athletic proportions and styling.

The car showcases a two-tone body design, something the Optima used to gain attention just one generation ago.

2021 Kia Optima exterior render new The 2021 Kia Optima features looks that are reminiscent of the Hyundai Sonata, Dodge Challenger, and Kia Stinger.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors Group

The fastback design includes a spoiler at the rear that has badging at the center. A new horizontal light signature dominates the back end, which appears a bit on the square side, like a Dodge Challenger.

The released rendering of the Optima's cabin shows a spacious model with horizontal design lines. Those are things that the Kia team already executes in other vehicles. Its wheel isn't markedly different than what is already on the market. Vent design and the appearance of the car's infotainment touch screen appear to be evolutions of current Kia design.

2021 Kia Optima redesign interior cabin This rendering of the Kia K5 shows a futuristic design motif that plays on current Kia themes.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors Group

The cabin rendering does not explicitly show a shifter, though the dial in the center near the driver may be it. There also appears to be a touch pad (say it aint' so, Kia, please) while most buttons, levers, and knobs are kept to a minimum. That may, however, be an illusion as the final design process often requires practicality to take precedence over forward-looking design.

Current Hyundai Sonata and Kia Telluride technology tells us what to expect in the forthcoming Optima. There will likely be a good list of standard and available safety and driver assistance technologies as well as convenience tech like a head up display driver information display camera screens.

The 2021 Kia Optima is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in late 2020. The 2019 model starts at $23,190 and it is likely that Kia will want to keep the price similar when it arrives on dealer lots.

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Safety and technology awards

Four Hyundai cars earn top marks for teen drivers

Best SUV for Teens $35 to $40k: 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid

Hyundai
Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks vehicles in several categories. One relates to teen drivers and how well a vehicle performs in areas such as safety and available technology features. The 2021 rankings for Best New Cars for Teens were just released and one automaker hit it big. Four vehicles from Hyundai's 2021 lineup took top spots in various categories. They include:
  • Best Car for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
  • Best SUV for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai Kona
  • Best Car for Teens $25k to $30k: 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
  • Best SUV for Teens $35k to $40k: 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid


2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Best Car for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai Elantra HybridHyundai


All vehicles that earned awards in the 2021 survey are available with safety features that include forward collision warnings, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and lane keep assist. The vehicles also carry safety features and controls that allow parents to monitor their teen's behavior. Through the available smartphone app, parents can receive alerts when the vehicle goes over a set speed or if the teen leaves a set geographic area. The idea is that the functionality allows parents to coach their young drivers on their driving habits.


2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Best Car for Teens $25k to $30k 2021 Hyundai Ioniq HybridHyundai


To earn a spot on the U.S. News Best Cars for Teens rankings, a vehicle has to score well in several categories that include crash test scores and available advanced driver assistance features. The vehicle must also have scored well in the publication's rankings for its segment and price level.


2021 Hyundai Kona Best SUV for Teens $20k to $25k: 2021 Hyundai KonaHyundai

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Electric vehicles

Three new EVs we can't wait to see

The F-150 Lightning is just one of several new EVs we'll see soon.

Ford

With all the crazy news coming out of the auto industry this year, it'd be easy to believe that the rollout of new models is slowing to a snail's pace. The pandemic and ongoing microchip shortage have slowed vehicle production, to be sure, but they haven't put the brakes on automakers' push to roll out exciting new electric vehicles. In the next few months alone, we'll see several new electric trucks, cars, and SUVs hit the market, some of which will break new ground and help define their segments. We're on board with this trend 100 percent, and to help you get excited, we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Here are the three upcoming electric vehicles we're most excited to see.

Ford F-150 Lightning

One of the world's best-selling and most popular vehicles is going electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to arrive in 2022 with a fully electric powertrain, forward-looking technology, and a familiar style that will make any truck lover feel at home. We don't have full details on the truck, but Ford has shared some awe-inspiring performance numbers. The Lightning will offer around 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which should push the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in just four seconds. Payload capacity comes in at up to 2,000 pounds, and towing will reach 10,000 pounds for specific configurations.


Ford F-150 Lightning The Lightning will offer impressive capability in a familiar package.Ford


The Lightning's starting price will come in under $40,000, but don't get your hopes up about actually buying one for that amount. Ford says the entry-level Lightning is a commercial truck that will be a stripped-down work-ready vehicle, which likely means features like vinyl seats and far fewer of the desirable tech goodies that you'll want. To get the truck you and your family will want to drive, you'll need to spring for the XLT model, which starts just shy of $53,000. That's quite a bit more, but it is still a somewhat reasonable price to pay for what will surely be a capable electric pickup.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class is a unique model in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. The car typically showcases the automaker's latest technologies and design techniques and offers a glimpse of the features that eventually trickle down to the rest of Mercedes' vehicles. Soon, we'll see the EQS, a fully electric flagship sedan that paves the way for the brand's other electrified offerings. The car will have a range of well over 400 miles on a charge, up to 516 horsepower, rear-axle steering, and breathtaking technology.


Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS will usher in a new electric era at Mercedes.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS is expected to land sometime late in 2021 and will carry a price tag that matches its premium brand name and top-notch feature set. Pricing for the "entry-level" EQS 450+ will come in at around $100,000, while the top EQS 580 4MATIC will land well north of that number. Remember, though, that Mercedes offers a long list of ultra-desirable options for its cars, so you'll likely shell out more than the base price to get the features you want.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq name is nothing new, but the way it will be seen in the automaker's lineup will change significantly going forward. Rather than being a model name within the Hyundai catalog, Ioniq will split off and become its own sub-brand, covering a line of electric vehicles of all types. The Ioniq 5 is the first such vehicle and will be offered in single- or dual-motor configurations that generate 225 or 320 horsepower. The car's futuristic design is attractive and features a pixelated look for the front-end, lighting features, and rear. Inside, the vehicle is clean but comforting and offers the features buyers expect in a family crossover.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Ioniq 5 is the first in what will be an entire line of new EVs from Hyundai.Hyundai


The Ioniq 5 should go on sale in late 2021 and is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

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