For its fourth birthday as a unibody crossover SUV, the Kia Sorento is getting the equivalent of a pony, a piñata party and a wardrobe of amazing new clothes all at once. Among its gifts: a completely new chassis, a new V6 engine, a redesigned interior and some vamped-up, top-of-the-line features including an entirely new high-end trim line. Kia wants to be known for design, safety and value.
The Sorento’s facelift freshens its design, while inside you’ll find improved conveniences, upgraded materials and more amenities. A top IIHS safety pick, Sorento seats five or seven (there are 2-row and 3-row versions), and comes in front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive models that start at $24,950, including destination charges.
In case you have not noticed, there are a lot of vehicles in the competitive compact and medium-sized utility vehicle (CUV) segment – and they start to all look alike after awhile. Although Sorento doesn’t look radically different from its contemporaries, it has a few distinctive features that help it stand apart. Among them: a beefy grille and deep front air dam with black hexagonal grille inset behind chrome trim. Vertically set rectangular fog lamps offset sleek, slanted headlamps.
The rear end sits high and is capped at the bottom by a kickplate with a sweet-looking oval tailpipe.
Auto shows have a personality and the Chicago Auto Show is described by automakers and autowriters as a “down-home” show—and they love it! There’s even an event sponsored by all the automakers for the press and other early attendees called “Sweet Home Chicago”! But, don’t let its slower pace and more comfortable setting make you think it’s small. In fact, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and this year’s show marked the 105th annual event, which makes it the longest-running and one of the best-attended shows in the world. Sponsored by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association dealers, the show is held at the McCormick Place Convention Complex where the enormous amount of space on hand brings an ease for car makers to offer free concerts and set up experiential test tracks. There’s also a ‘social media day’ now held annually that draws a wide variety of presenters and consumers to come together to evaluate and promote this new landscape and its effect on the automotive industry. AskPatty.com was one of the presenters this year, helping to showcase the exciting and rapidly-growing arena of Marketing to Women.
But, at the end of the day, an auto show is really about new sheet metal and the introductions of new models soon to hit the streets along with the unveiling of concept vehicles that are experiments in design and technology and are meant to take the temperature of the audience, plus help automakers make decisions about whether to move forward with a particular model or technology. There were a number of both-new models that will be in dealerships soon and a few hot concepts. My personal favorites were the 2014 Toyota Tundra, the 2014 Ram Promaster, the 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO and Nissan NV200, and the Kia Crossover CUT Concept.
The Costco Auto Program today announced the outcome of its most-recent
offer with General Motors. Preliminary sales results for the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer indicate the number of eligible vehicles sold is more than 15,000 – nearly triple the final sales results of last winter’s promotional offer from the Costco Auto Program and GM.
The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer took place Oct. 2, 2012, through Jan. 2, 2013.
During the promotional period, Costco members were able to purchase select 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models at GM Preferred Pricing, in addition to receiving all publicly available rebates and incentives. Moreover, Costco members who made an eligible purchase qualified to receive a $500 Costco
Cash Card after completing a Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey.
“The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer exceeded our expectations but we’re not surprised by it,” said John Gleason, Costco Services Manager. “Costco makes every effort to ensure members receive a great value and exceptional service".
The results clearly show our members recognize the great values the Costco Auto Program delivers.”
The Costco Auto Program attributes the offer’s overall success to several factors; including, the diverse selection and popularity of eligible vehicles, comprehensive messaging to Costco members, national public relations efforts and word-of-mouth.
The Nation's longest running auto show in Chicago opened it's doors for a media preview of this year's latest and upcoming redesigned and brand new models. Here is a sneak peek at what we saw at this years show:
Jaguar introduced their latest XJ and XF models which will feature AWD 3.0 Liter V6 engines. The XF will also be available in RWD and XFR-S. The XFR-S is 550 hp and, "is one serious motorcar," said Jaguar and Land Rover President, Andy Goss. Meanwhile the manufacturer also introduced their fourth generation Range Rover which will feature an all aluminum body. "Everything about this Range Rover is new except the engine," Goss added. They will also be releasing a two seater F-type sports car, "which is our most important new car we have released in many years."
Also in the new car mix is Kia who introduced a very svelte concept crossover and their new Superhero, DC Comics inspired line. Michael Sprague Executive VP of Kia's Marketing and Communications gave a glimpse of models with superhero paint, logos, and trims. The Optima Hybrid and Sorento will be available in this line and Kia's 'hero' theme ties in with their Builtforjustice.com program which helps those located in the Horn of Africa. Kia will also have, "seven all new significantly redesigned vehicles to go on
sale this year," Sprague said. The Kia Forte is one of those redesigns which will be available in March. The Forte will offer two trims and
will be a turbo charged compact which features 201 hp.
Nissan's VP Joe Castelli introduced the manufacturer's expansion of their Nismo option which now includes a Juke Nismo and 370 Z Nismo. There will also be a Nissan GTR track edition which will sell 150 units. This highly anticipated GTR track edition will feature an even greater level of high performance components.
Although southern California is celebrated as a sports car mecca, sport utility vehicles of every size and type were among the biggest hits at the
2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. More than 40 different brands parked their new models and concept renditions on the ‘red carpet’ at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as 50 new vehicles made their premier entrance or global debut. The LAIAS is among the most significant shows in annual big-city show season in the U.S. and the home of the Greater Los Angeles Auto Dealers Association (GLANCDA), the umbrella organization for local and regional dealers. The LAIAS is followed by 2013 auto shows in Detroit (January), Chicago (February), New York (April) and other cities across the nation.
Sunday night at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit the 17th
annual Urban Wheel Awards were held to celebrate and award prizes to people of
color within the automotive industry. This year all of the recipients of this
prestigious award were women.
They included Crystal Windham who won Designer of the Year, Company of the
Year Progress in Human Resources, Georgette Borrego-Dulworth, Chrysler's talent
acquisition and global diversity director, and Pioneer of the Year Jenell Ross,
president of the Bob Ross Auto Group and 2013 chair of the American
International Automobile Dealers Association.
"If it weren't for women, the American auto industry wouldn't exist.
Who do you think told Henry Ford to go outside and build a car in the first
place? Mrs. Ford," said actor Edward James Olmos, who co-hosted the awards
with Niecy Nash.
This was to honor "wonderful women who are helping to make those wheels
roll," U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told the audience of 500.
It was a cornucopia of cars that glistened and twirled
at this year’s 2012 LosAngeles International Auto Show (stay
tuned for our “trucks’ piece that follows soon!). Hundreds of models from 42
brands were parked under the bright lights of the Los Angeles Convention Center,
50 of which took the runway and shed their nighties to make a global debut,
kicking off the annual big-city-auto-show season in the U.S. Upcoming are auto
shows in Detroit, Chicago, New York and other cities across the nation.
Inc., a website, blog, and marketing to women agency providing
automotive education to women consumers, as well as training and
support to automotive retailers, announced last week the official
launch of the Women's Automotive Speakers Bureau, a panel of women
from across the automotive industry who will speak at events across
North America. This panel, composed of hand-picked women from all
aspects of the automotive industry, are ready to spread the word
across North America that women aren't just the majority car buyers –
they're the CEOs, the shop owners, the market analysts, and the
DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, Inc., formed the Bureau, she says, after
asking herself this question at a recent automotive trade show: “If
women are making the purchasing decisions in the auto industry, why
are so many of these speakers men?” The Women's Automotive
Speakers Bureau aims to change that. “By assembling this panel of
experts under one umbrella, AskPatty.com has now become the megaphone
through which all these women can now take their message to the
masses,” says Jody. “These women are all game changers, they're
the new face of the auto industry. When you look at the site, when
you read their bios, you have to say 'Wow, we really have something
members of the Women's Automotive Speakers Bureau include Miriam
Muley, CEO and Author of The
Amy Mattinat, Author and Owner of Auto Craftsmen Ltd.; and Marti
Barletta, who was called “The
World's Foremost Expert on Today's Mightiest Market – Women”
The Women's Automotive
Speakers Bureau provides the automotive industry top women speakers
and spokespersons on how to attract, sell, retain and increase
loyalty with women customers and employees. AskPatty.com has a unique
understanding of the automotive industry from a woman's point of view
and aims to utilize the unique talents of women in our bureau to
ultimately create an unforgettable impact for automotive brands and
at industry events.
The Women's Automotive
Speakers Bureau has a wide range of topics and speaker services to
choose from including keynotes, brand spokespersons, workshops,
coaching, video training, live and recorded webinars, panel speakers
Click on a speaker
profile to learn more and complete the form to inquire on rates and
dates or contact us directly for a proposal for your next event or
brand initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
international headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California,
AskPatty.com, Inc. takes a two-pronged approach to revolutionizing
the women's automotive retail market: For consumers, the
AskPatty.com website is a safe and reliable source for expert
automotive advice and research. For auto dealers, tire centers,
collision repair, and automotive service and repair centers the
revolutionary AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly® program trains
providers on how to attract and sell to women customers and bolster
customer loyalty and retention.
can find an Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly® auto dealer, tire
center, collision repair, and automotive service and repair centers
using the location search at AskPatty.com.
and Certified Female Friendly® are registered trademarks of
It's a new year in the AskPatty nation, and it's time to take a look back at some of the awesome stuff our Certified Female Friendly retailers did to celebrate the holiday season. Peabody, set the wayback machine for December 2012!
Swamp's Performance continues to prove that it's a force to be reckoned with when it comes to treating women right. Aside from regular women's clinics, regular specials and promos, and a Courtesy Shuttle used to bring customers where ever they may
need to go if their car is in their shop, the Swamp's team outdid themselves this December with a mountainour Toy Drive.
The Akwesasne Mountain of Toys and Basket Drive is a fundraiser
that is held every year, this is the 6th year. Toys, pajamas and food
are given out to families in the community who are in need so that they
have Christmas presents, new Christmas pajamas and a good dinner. This
is the first year in which Swamp's has been involved with collecting
donations. We hope to fill our Courtesy Shuttle with donated items and
we will deliver to the Drive on December 14th. On December 12th, Hawk
from 101.5 The Fox was there promoting Free Brakes and Free Oil
Changes. There were give-a-ways,
deals and prizes all day. Casey even "went to jail" on the 14th as
well, and was locked up at the fire station until he coule be bailed out. Many business owners were held along with him. Bail
consisted of monetary donations, items or food.
Casey, free once again, is shown here handing a check to the Akwesasne Cancer Support Group, using funds collected from their Women's Clinic attendees. Their next clinic is scheduled for February 13.
Star Motors had an eventful December, as attested by the slew of events on their calendar for the month!
Holiday Customer Appreciation Days - Save between 10 and 20 percent off your ENTIRE BILL!
This annual event is our way of saying thank you for the support you
have shown us throughout the year. It's our most popular promotion, so
be sure to schedule your appointments in advance.
TWO-FOR-ONE! For two weeks only, buy one Elite Car Care Club at the regular price and get another one for FREE. That's $940 worth of automotive repair for only $120! Elite Car Care Clubs make great gifts
Marine Toys for Tots Annual Drive. Bring in a new, unwrapped toy (minimum $5 value) and receive a $25 Star Motors Gift Card for each toy you bring in (maximum 4 Gift Cards). TOYS MUST BE DROPPED OFF BY DECEMBER 14TH. Thank you to Kathleen Frame for donating 29 toys! Just for fun - be the first person to exceed Kathleen's donation and receive an extra $100 in Star Motors gift cards!
Purchase Star Motors Personalized Gift Certificates in any amount. Star Motors Gift Cards, Personalized Gift Certificates, Elite Car Care Clubs, and Autotex Pink Wiper Blades (benefitting breast cancer research) make fantastic holiday gifts and stocking stuffers!
The Star Art Gallery features artwork for sale from local artists. We are pleased to welcome our newest artists, Susan Jarecky andSteve Kell.
A portion of artwork sold in the Star Gallery is donated to various
charitable organizations. Stay tuned in the New Year for upcoming
community art and wine events at Star Motors
Holiday stress? Stop by Star Motors Thursday, December 13th from 7-8 pm and enjoy a presentation on stress management with Mari McShane, Certified Health Coach.
Also, Star Motors raised $335 in November with their Oil Changes for Sandy fundraiser! Way to go Star team!
Wine, Chocolate and Car Care do go well together especially when paired up by Schoen Place Auto.
Join the Schoen Place team on Thursday January 10, 2013 for an evening of wine,
chocolates, deserts and learn some basics every car owner should know
about car maintance and car buying techniques. Tour our shop and see how a car repair shop operates behind the scenes.
Owner Jerry Elman believes owning and maintaining a car does not
have to be stressful. He wants to prove it by personally hosting this
event and teaching the basics of car ownership.
While this event is free, the team are asking for voluntary $10 donations
to go to Safe Journey, a local organization dedicated to helping victims
of domestic violence and abuse.
Mills is proud to work with the US Marine Corps again for their Toys
For Tots annual Holiday toy drive on December 15, 2012. You are
encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the bins located inside
All donations will go directly to local families.
Nissan of Thousand Oaksheld a very successful Toys of Tots drive in December, and they also donated to the organization for every car sold in the month of December.
Technology is moving just as fast as the speed of light and
automotive telematics in vehicles is moving almost faster. Cars today
now come with all of the conveniences of one’s home from DVDs to
hands-free voice-activated Bluetooth paired phone service. Radar
detectors and their advances are no different and have finally started
to come into the age of the 21st century. ESCORT radar
is leading the charge of increased radar detector technology by
offering all of the latest connectivity accessories in one of their
newest products, the ESCORT SmartRadar.
The SmartRadar will make the perfect gift for those who love technologically but do not love getting speeding tickets.
- Radar/laser receiver with built-in Bluetooth wireless technology with
brackets and guides
- Mini display controller which mounts behind one’s rear view mirror
What’s It Does
- Can adjust laser sensitivity and even mute any X band which can
sometimes be caused by interferences such as grocery stoor doors.
- Includes anti-falsing software to eliminate excessive alerts
from erroneous X- and K-band sources, such as traffic flow-monitoring
- Can change the sound of the warning tones and alarms
- There are also multiple settings for driving including; highway, auto, Auto No X
- SmartRadar also includes seven user-selectable programmable features
so one may customize their detector to meet their needs. Display
Brightness, Power-On Indication, Power-On Sequence, Signal-Strength
Meter, AutoMute, Voice, and Bands.
The SmartRadar featues ESCORT Live, an iPhone application
for this unit. This feature provides linked access from ones iPhone and
sync’s with ESCORTs real-time ticket protection network, which warns you
of upcoming alerts received by other users in the area. It also
includes access to ESCORTs DEFENDER® Database, which warns the driver of
verified speed traps, speed cameras, and red light cameras. There are
also other GPS based features which sync with the iPhone , including
speed-limit data for over-speed alerts, live traffic data for driver’s
current location, and TrueLock™ to help eliminate false alerts. A
driver may also tag locations on the ESCORT Live iPhone map to show if
police are in the area (offering real-time information to other users)
or if certain X or K bands are false the radar will store this
information for future reference.
There is a software update available but I would not necessarily call
it easy. When I first attempted to load the software (onto my iPhone
from ESCORTs website) I was brought to a page where I could buy the
radar detector, not run the free/included application. So I went back to
the home page and started over. I re-hit the download button to
download ESCORT live. Needless to say after many hang-ups I was
finally able to download the application onto my phone.. This took over
In essence ESCORTs SmartRadar was pretty reliable although I did still
pick up a few false alerts. Although the ESCORT live feature is pretty
cool I found that it would be distracting if I were to be driving,
looking at the radar message, and my phone to see where the red light
cameras are, so opted to test the live iPhone program within the
confines of my home. However, the unit with its multiple adjustable
features and Bluetooth capability are proof that the radar detector
industry has come a long way.
The ESCORT Live program allows your phone to give info to other
live users to let them know if and where it has come across actual radar
or speed traps. The subscription for this service is $4.99/month or
ESCORT provides a one-Year Limited Warranty
and warrants the SmartRadar device against all defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one (1) year.
The product is made for; iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS
but no word if the program is compatible with iPhone 5.