The Best Family Cars: Optima and Soul Make Top Picks

2016 Kia Soul

2016 Kia Soul

Kia is winning awards left and right, including multiple awards for having the some of the 10 Best Family Cars. The Optima won a “Best Sedan” award and the Soul won a “Best Budget Vehicle” award from Parents magazine and Edmunds.com. Kia was only one of two automakers to have two models on the Best Family Cars list.

According to Kia, the 10 Best Family Cars of 2016 list is determined by several judges from Edmunds and Parents, each of which identifies top picks for categories like safety, performance, family-friendly features, and more. The Optima won in its segment overall, while the Soul took home a special award for affordability.

“Kia places a priority on safety as well as packing our vehicles with innovative and easy-to-use features at an outstanding value, and the recognition from Parents magazine and Edmunds.com validates our efforts,” said Orth Hedrick, VP for KMA.  “The Optima and Soul have numerous features geared toward families who are looking for advanced driver assistance systems, cutting-edge technology, spacious passenger seating and ample cargo capacity.”

Being the ninth annual year for the list, Edmunds and Parents rated hundreds of vehicles in multiple areas. In addition to these awards, the Soul and Optima were also recognized for their exceptional style and driving dynamics, features which especially impressed the judges.

Experience the Open Road: Summer Road Trip Destinations

road tripRoad trips are an American tradition, letting you experience the sights and thrills of the open road. We’ve put together a list of the top summer road trip destinations in the US, each of which offers a unique experience you won’t find elsewhere.

According to Money Crashers, one of the most iconic road trips follows Route 66 across America. This historic road cuts across 2,500 miles, ultimately ending in Los Angeles. Although you might have to travel a day from Memphis to reach some of the best stretches of this highway, it is well worth it.

Want to stay a little closer to home? Check out the Arkansas Highway 7 Scenic Byway. This 290-mile stretch covers pine forests, rolling hills, and parts of the Ozarks. Though it takes about two days to really explore the entire road, you can also spend time at hot springs or camping along the way.

For those who want to explore the region, take an hour drive north from Memphis to Holly Springs, MS. This short trip is great for seeing the hill country, and it is also packed full of historic landmarks and museums. Check out the Kate Freeman Clark Museum, Marshall Country Historical Museum, and the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum.

Whether you want to drive across the country or you simply want to explore your local area, road trips are great for virtually everyone. Just be sure to pack light, drive safe, and enjoy your ride!

Movie Mayhem: 4 Best Car Chase Scenes Ever

The car chase is something that a lot of movies attempt but only a handful succeed at making memorable. Here are four of the best car chase scenes ever filmed!

# 1 – Bullitt (1968)

Bullitt will likely forever be regarded as having the best chase scene ever and for good reason. The chase is masterfully shot, with director Peter Yates having used in-car cameras and overhead shots to stunning effect.

Los Angeles# 2 – To Live and Die in LA (1985)

The car chase scene in To Live and Die in LA is one of the most memorable in film history. Director William Friedkin is familiar with the practice—he also directed The French Connection. According to Roger Ebert, “The masterstroke in To Live and Die in LA is that the chase isn’t just on a freeway. It goes the wrong way down the freeway.”

# 3 – The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne Identity is the first film in what has become one of the most entertaining and well-respected action trilogies, Arguably the most tense scene in the film is when Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, gets chased through Paris in the rain driving a classic Fiat. The nod here to the original The Italian Job is quite strong.

# 4 – The French Connection (1971)

The French Connection features a chase scene in which a car attempts to overcome a train racing above it in an overhead track. The car chase was performed without permission from the city and although traffic was controlled, the chase regularly strayed into areas in which it was not controlled.

How to Choose the Best Vehicle for a Teen Driver

Do you have a child who is approaching driving age? If so, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the best vehicle for a teen driver?” We have the answer…

No High Performance

A performance vehicle with lots of quickness–and we are talking more than 300 horsepower–is probably not a good idea for a teen driver. Performance vehicles normally have touchier throttles and this can be unwieldy for a teen. On the other hand, an old beater that can’t get out of its own way can actually be a safety liability. Find a happy medium when it comes to performance!

Tech-Savvy

Though it may seem like a tech-savvy vehicle would prove to be more distracting, this may not be the case. Hands-free calling and voice commands for entertainment help teens keep their hands on the wheel.

Safety

Of course, the most important feature when it comes to deciding the best vehicle for a teen driver is safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is one of the organizations responsible for testing the overall and crashworthiness of vehicles. Based their ratings, they’ve created a list of vehicles that have passed with a Good rating here. It’s the best place to begin your search!

2016 Kia Optima

2016 Kia Optima – In IIHS’ List of Best Vehicles for Teens

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles: Tips for Safety

motorcycleNow that spring is in the air and warmer weather is on the way, motorcycles are bound to be on the road more than ever. That makes it important to understand the dangers of sharing the road with motorcycles, for both drivers and bikers.

According to eSurance, motorcycles generally conform to the same traffic safety laws as car. That means in most states, lane sharing, speeding, etc. are still illegal for bikers. They do, however, lack safety devices like seat belts and air bags, putting them more at risk. Always understand how vulnerable a motorcyclist is when you are sharing the road with them.

One general rule of thumb is to follow the “four second rule.” Because motorcycles are smaller than automobiles, car drivers tend to follow them more closely than they intend. By giving yourself extra distance you can ensure that everyone is still just as safe.

Look twice!  Our brains are often hardwired to overlook motorcycles on the road precisely because they are not cars. Always look twice when turning to prevent unintended collisions and dangerous situations.

Finally, remember it’s not a competition. One of the best tips for drivers is to be nice on the road. Most people behave irrationally when behind the wheel, a symptom of too much time behind the wheel. Relax and remember to be patient.

Kia Safety Technologies Win Top Safety Pick Plus on New Sportage

Kia is raking in the awards, including the prestigious safety award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In fact, the 2017 Kia Sportage recently received the Top Safety Pick+ award, demonstrating that this model is among the safest on the highway.

2016 Kia Sportage

2016 Kia Sportage

This rating reflects top scores in each of the five crashworthiness tests, including driver assist technologies which aid in preventing crashes. According to the automaker, Kia safety technologies include features like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Bi-HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) technology, high-beam assist (HBA), and front and rear parking assist.

“The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is one of the most recognized and respected organizations in the industry when it comes to evaluating vehicle safety, and as such, the Top Safety Pick Plus designation is a significant achievement,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia.  “We are especially proud to have our all-new Sportage earn that TSP+ rating in light of IIHS’ new, more challenging standards, validating the efforts of our engineers and the priority we place on safety.”

The Sportage is available with all the latest technologies, as well as an intelligent design. The body is rigid, and it has been carefully engineered to protect passengers in the event of a crash. The new Sportage is ideal for families and drivers who always make safety a top priority.

Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month Here in Memphis

April is known as Jazz Appreciation Month, and what better place than Memphis, Tennessee to hear some great live jazz? Here are some of the best places to visit to hear some of the best music ever.

  • BB King’s Blues Club. This great music club offers more than just the blues. Plan a visit and your ears will thank you.
  • Owen Bennan’s Restaurant. This restaurant will give you a taste of New Orleans, jazz included, right here in Memphis. Come for the food and stay for the music. It is been voted as the Best Brunch in Memphis for 20 years.
  • Ernestine and Hazels. Come to this bar for some of the most mouth-watering burgers you’ve ever tasted, get your drink of choice, and dance the night away listening to some of the best live music around.
  • Mollie Fontaine’s Lounge. This lounge-style bar calls a Victorian-style house home. Listen to some live piano music while enjoying some delicious food and drink.
  • Levitt Shell. This outdoor music venue is celebrating jazz month with five Fridays of Jazz. Check the schedule to catch the next performance.

What is your favorite venue to hear live jazz in Memphis?

Kia Sorento Earns Best Pre-Owned Value Award

2014 Kia Sorento

2014 Kia Sorento

Buying a pre-owned car is a smart choice. You get to skip out on that initial depreciation and still drive a great car. But if you’re looking for a pre-owned car that will give you the most bang for your buck, check out the Kia Sorento.

The Sorento just earned the Best Pre-Owned Value Award from TrueCar. This award tracked 2014 model year vehicles for sale this year that are expected to retain more of their value than the competition. The Sorento came away with the best projected value in the midsize utility segment.

“Kia is honored that the Sorento is being recognized by TrueCar for its value in the pre-owned midsize-utility segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA, in a statement.  “With its extensive list of features backed by an industry-leading warranty, Sorento offers world-class design, technology and quality combined with the peace of mind that comes with making a smart purchasing decision.”

If you’re in the market for a pre-owned car, come check out our inventory at Gossett Kia. We frequently have the 2014 Kia Sorento in stock, but our supply is constantly changing.

EcoDynamic Kia Lineup Gets a Fantastic Addition in the 2017 Niro

One of the hottest cars to roll across the stage at the recent Chicago Auto Show was the 2017 Kia Niro. Kia calls it a hybrid utility vehicle. A sharp-looking crossover with roof rails and rear skid plate, the Niro certainly exudes a utility vibe.

The 2017 Kia Niro also looks distinctly like a Kia and this is a very good thing. Kia’s signature honeycomb mesh grille adorns the front end while clean lines and economy of design complete the picture.

2017 Kia Niro

2017 Kia Niro

The 2017 Kia Niro offers Prius-like economy. But in a number of ways, it outdoes the popular Toyota model. It has a nicer cargo area, plus tons of torque—195 lb-ft in fact. That’s considerably more than the Prius.

The 2017 Kia Niro is the latest entry among the EcoDynamic Kia lineup that the automaker has committed to making. In fact, Kia has plans to roll out 20 EcoDynamic models by 2020. If they all have as much spirit and appeal as the Niro, the automotive market is in for a treat.

Daily Driving: Tips for Improving Your Commute

commuteDoes daily drive to and from work have you feeling down? If you changed your perspective and saw it as an opportunity instead of wasted time, you could even start to look forward to it. Sound crazy? Check out these tips for improving your commute.

# 1 – Are you a music aficionado? Use your time in the car to discover new music! Pandora is great for exposing you to music you might like.

# 2 – Collect your thoughts! Instead of letting traffic stir you up and stress you out, use your time in the car to think through a current problem or brainstorm for work. Make voice memos on your phone as you come up with ideas.

# 3 – Audio books can revolutionize your commute. It’s especially useful to choose non-fiction books. If you feel like the time you spend on your commute is wasted, why not turn it into an educational experience?

# 4 – Make it the ultimate “me-time.” Turn your phone off, roll the windows down, and just enjoy the fact that for the next minutes, all you have to do is drive.

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