Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: Recap: My Visit to the 2016 Chicago Auto Show on Social Media Day

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Recap: My Visit to the 2016 Chicago Auto Show on Social Media Day

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I never miss a chance to attend the Chicago Auto Show. I love seeing all the makes and models under one roof and checking out the concept cars.

Last Friday was Social Media Day at the Chicago Auto Show and I attended as a guest of Kia Motors USA. Not only did I learn about Kia’s 2017 lineup but I got the scoop on their $10 billion, five-year plan to take their green cars to another level. Read on and you too can be in the know.

Leyla in a 2017 Kia Sportage
Leyla at the wheel of the Kia Sportage - scroll down to see me with

This is a sponsored post, I received compensation for the purpose of this review but opinions are entirely my own.

Chicago Auto Show

What you may, or may not, know about me is that I’m a bit of a gearhead. Well, maybe not a gearhead but I am certainly a car enthusiast - despite the fact that I choose not to drive. I’ve attended the Chicago Auto Show since high school and truly enjoy learning about cars. But I hate crowds. That’s why I am grateful when I can experience the Chicago Auto Show sans the general public. So… thanks for making that happen, Kia. If only there was way for me to experience Disney World without the crowds, I’d REALLY be grateful. Kia, my fate is in your hands.

Kia Motors EcoDynamics: highlights of the eco-friendly lineup

Last week Kia shared plans for their environmentally friendly sub-brand, Kia Motors EcoDynamics. And they introduced a new Hybrid Utility Vehicle, Kia Niro, taking their eco-car platform to another level. As of 2017, Kia will have four green cars in their lineup with a plan to triple that number by 2020.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

Unveiled: Kia Optima Hybrid + Optima Hybrid Plug-In
The new Kia Optima models were announced at the Chicago Auto Show last week, which is pretty exciting. The 2017 Optima will be available two models: Optima Hybrid and the all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Both models were designed with an emphasis on improving driving experience - something we heard a lot about last week.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid Engine

The Optima Hybrid is fully redesigned for 2017. The new model comes with two turbo engine options, targeting a 10% improvement in fuel economy over the previous model. Modern styling and fuel efficiency give the new Optima Hybrid a functional yet sporty look and feel.

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

Similar to the Optima Hybrid, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid has a 2.0L engine, DOHC, four valve / cylinder and 154 horsepower. The Plug-in model also has an electric motor and gets an estimated 40 MPG. The Optima Plug-in gets a 600 mile range and an all-electric range of 27 miles - or an estimated 99 MPGe. Apparently, this makes the Optima Plug-in a “class level leader”. Fantastic!

2017 Kia Niro - Unique Hybrid Utility Vehicle

Global Debut: Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle
Kia Niro was the show stealer last week at the Chicago Auto Show. Everyone was excited to learn about the mystery vehicle that was announced as part of Kia’s Green Car Roadmap.

Brand New for 2017: Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle

The balance between style and functional utility, coupled with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid, is what makes the Kia Niro special. And no kidding on the fuel efficiency, they’re estimating 50 MPG combined. Even a non-driving city-gal (like me) knows that’s a big deal. 

Here’s a quick lowdown on the Kia Niro:
  • Spacious cargo area sets it apart 
  • Loaded high-tech interior
  • Enhanced UVO, i.e., on-screen apps, navigation, music storage, etc.
  • Smart cruise control
  • Lane change assist (I could use this, even when walking)
  • Blind spot detection
  • Predictive energy control -- this is interesting: Niro uses the nav system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes in the road ahead and predict / manage energy flow -- when to recharge the battery, when to use and when to store energy
  • And a plug-in model of the Kia Niro is in the works!

Learn more about the Kia Optima Hybrids announced at the Chicago Auto Show 

Here it is --> Leyla with BLUE hair!
 Photo edited with Perfect365, VSCO and ColorStory

I almost forgot! Here’s the edit of me in the Kia Sportage with BLUE HAIR. It’s hard not to get carried away when you have 10 million photo editing apps on your phone.

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