Kia's coming with a new crossover
CHICAGO – Something about Kia is different, lately. They seem more serious, more purposeful, more intent on taking the steps necessary to build cars that last and cars that people count on, in addition to cars that offer a low price and great warranty. Cars like the Multi-S Concept, a smooth-looking, efficient crossover they debuted at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. The Multi-S looks very close to an actual production model, and indeed, Kia indicated that it represents a strong hint of what’s to come. So -- one of the next vehicles for Kia will a crossover. That’s not earth-shaking news, sure, but it will be quite significant if Kia keeps to the ideas put forth by the Multi-S. So named for it’s Sporty, Spacious and Smart attributes (so Kia claims), the concept is intended for young families who require practicality, modern conveniences and a fun driving experience. It accomplishes that by offering features such as a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. The powertrain drives 19-inch alloy wheels with slotted disc brakes – not likely to see a standard list on a future production model. Inside, the Multi-S has three rows of seating for seven, leather-suede materials and dual full-length glass moon roofs. So takes care of Sporty, and Spacious – as far as Smart goes, Kia built in technological wonders such as iPod, computer and communication interfaces, a rear entertainment system, and a surround sound audio system. The real smart stuff comes as safety systems, however: the Multi-S features electronic stability control (ESC), six full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, adaptive front headlamps and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).