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Kia has always strived for excellence when it comes to safety. They keep up-to-date with all of the latest technologies, they look for ways to redefine the concept in cars, and every year they’re developing new systems to increase safety on the road. Kia has done so well with this, they’ve won multiple awards, and not just for their safety features.
Earlier this year, Kia took the lead in the Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power and Associates. It was the second non-luxury brand to ever win top marks, and out of 33 car brands, that’s a lot of competition. Furthermore, several Kia models scored among the top three vehicles in various car classes, such as the midsize SUV class, with the Kia Sorento; and the small car class with the Kia Rio.
Over the past several years, Kia has always had a few cars amongst the Top Safety Picks in the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s (I.I.H.S.) list. This year alone, five Kia vehicles were Top Safety Picks, including: the 2016 Kia Soul, 2016 Kia Optima, 2017 Kia Sportage, 2016 Kia Sorento, and the 2016 Kia Sedona. With all these awards to boast about, what kind of features does Kia sport for safety?
Today, car technology keeps getting better and a lot of those new tech features are aimed at making the time spent in the car better, but that raises the question, how can new technology also increase and improve upon safety? Well inside and out, Kia has looked into car design and safety. Aside from advanced airbag systems and seat belt pretension, which has become the norm in cars, Kia takes it a step further. It has several technologies today that make it a top pick for safety:
Lane Departure Warning System - This is a driver assist feature that alerts drivers when they are deterring from their lane, and not simply merging. This is helpful for drivers who easily get distracted, be it a car filled with family or absent-mindedness. This feature not only helps a driver avoid accidents, but it can also condition a driver to be more aware of their car and themselves while on the road. No one wants to hear constant alerts, eventually people become more conscious of their position in their lane and begin to focus on it.
Advanced Smart Cruise Control - Cruise control is nothing new in cars, it’s been around for decades. But Advanced Smart cruise control makes use of technology so that the name is literal. Drivers tend to be more alert with cruise control, because although the car is locked into a set speed, they always need to make sure the car in front of them isn’t slowing down or that the speed limit hasn’t changed. With a smart cruise control system, the car is automatically slows down in such instances, maintaining the same speed as the car in front of them, allowing drivers to relax and literally cruise on that stressful commute.
Surround View Monitor - Many car brands have made rear-view cameras a part of their safety features, but Kia has installed a system that lets drivers know where everything is around their car. In models and trims that have this feature, drivers are not only presented with a rear camera view, but also get a bird’s eye view of their vehicle so they can maneuver better with near 360-degree vision.
Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking - These are possibly the most helpful features in cars today. With forward collision warning and emergency braking systems, a two-step process is engaged when an impending accident is imminent: first - alerting the driver, and second - slowing the car down without driver input. This not only takes control of the car in case the driver were to panic, but also gives them the chance to react prior to the incident.
Bumper Systems for Pedestrians - No one wants to get into an accident, and even worse, no one wants to hit a pedestrian. The results can be horrific and traumatic. Although it would be better if this didn’t happen, chances are, it could. Kia has redesigned their car bumpers so that if a pedestrian were to be struck from behind, their legs would bend less, and if anything they would fall onto the hood of the car, minimizing lethal damage.
The UVO Infotainment System - Kia signed up with UVO eServices in an effort to provide drivers with greater convenience and technology features. During this model-year, they implemented the UVO voice-activated infotainment system into the 2016 Cadenza, which now officially contains the most advanced UVO features to date, including: navigation, vehicle diagnostics, smartphone capability, and a parking reminder that can display one’s car location on their phone. Above all else, the UVO technology services have no subscription fees, making all this convenient tech basically free to the driver*.
When Kia won top marks for the J.D. Power quality study in June, Michael Sprague, COO of Kia Motors America, was quoted saying, “Ranking [No. 1] in the entire industry for initial quality is the result of Kia’s decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation.”
That statement shows that the people at Kia know they can always do more to improve the car driving experience for their customers, and this year that notion has become a fact.
*When included in the trim; when available as an add-on option, installment fees may apply.
Photo Source: Shutterstock; Photo Copyright: Zoran Karapancev