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Kia KV7 Concept Reveals Bold Minivan Design Thinking

If you think minivans are rather “blah,” you certainly are not in the minority. These traditional family haulers are boxy, designed more to move people and their possessions than to give buyers a reason to swoon over their visage.

The utilitarian look of minivans is under assault from both without and from within. Without, the crossover segment offers much of the same room, but much more practicality and better styling than most minivans. From within, the automakers are at least attempting to put some juice in this all too predictable segment, with Honda Odyssey attempting to appeal to men more than just moms and kids.

Design Language

Until recently, Kia was never considered to be a design leader, offering mostly bland, boxy models and hiding in the shadow of its Korean brother, Hyundai. That all changed in the 2000s, when Kia’s California design studio was unleashed to design and build some of the most stylish cars on the road. A prime example of that new design language thinking can be found in the Kia Soul, its urban utility vehicle.

The Soul has shown us that Kia does, indeed, have a soul. Since the car’s debut other Kia models have received similar design freedom, becoming far nicer and modern vehicles than earlier models.

Kia KV7

At auto shows across North America beginning in 2011, Kia brings a model certain to force people to rethink what a minivan should look like. Dubbed the Kia KV7, this seven passenger minivan features a smug grille, 20-inch wheels, gull wing doors and a family activity center for rear passengers. Yes, why get stuck with a car that is boring when you can build one that is stylish even if it defies logic?

The logic defying attribute for the Kia KV7 are its gull-wing doors. Nice look, but not a practical idea. Opening these doors means invading the space of neighboring cars not by much, but by enough to make a difference. Likely, if the KV7 is built, sliding doors will be offered – I can’t imagine too many mothers being comfortable with kids riding in the back with gull-wing doors ready to pop up upon command.

Cabin Amenities

Inside, the Kia KV7 features four custom-built swiveling seats, including the driver’s seat – not practical for when you’re driving, but possible a fun thing to have when the vehicle is stopped and you’re ready to have some family time. A rear-corner “mini-lounge” with seating for three is for the remaining passengers; no word whether an optional wet bar will be available!

Other cabin features include the requisite generous storage space, wi-fi capability, sliding dashboard, navigation system and an infotainment system. Today’s cars are as much about the technological experience as they are about the look, feel and ride.

Performance Importance

Under the hood, the Kia KV7 is powered by a 2.0-liter GDI turbocharged engine, expected to produce 285 horsepower. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, this vehicle could offer a nice balance of performance and fuel economy, something minivan buyers cherish.

Will the Kia KV7 go into production? Quite possibly so, especially if it loses its gull-wing doors, a safety issue for some. In a market dominated by the Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Town & Country, the Kia KV7 certainly brings something different to the table, underscoring Kia’s desire to remain relevant in this still important vehicle segment.

Cheap Auto Insurance in Your Town – How a Team Concept Could Save You Money on Coverage

Everyone wants to be a part of a winning team. Whether you are in a bowling league or play pick-up basketball games at the local park. You want to feel the thrill of winning the big game and have the joy of knowing that you are good at something. When it comes to finding cheap auto insurance in your town you want to be a winner too. You want to know that you are a great deal maker and negotiator and that you will leave no stone unturned to find every discount that you can.

Adopting a team concept when it comes to finding suitable coverage for your vehicles can work too with a little creative thinking. You must be willing to think outside the box and do some things you may have never thought of. During these economic times a slight change in your buying habits can go a long way. If you have a good group of friends and you all are feeling the pinch of tough times, maybe you should all consider combining resources as it relates to finding cheap auto insurance in your town.

Insurers are known to give multiple policy discounts and this would be an excellent way to save some coin. But the team concept doesn’t have to stop there. If you’d like to save even more money create an initiative within your group to reduce the overall driving that you all do on a daily basis. Instead of you all taking your separate vehicles to work everyday, see if you can organize a carpool. Better yet, look into alternative transportation options such as walking, taking a bus, or riding bikes to work. This would qualify your group for low mileage discounts and this would definitely count for cheap auto insurance in your town.

It’s probably safe to say that the people within your team own a fair amount of stuff not including their vehicles. This could be artwork, electronics, jewelry, or any number of things that they deem valuable. They could really find some deep discounts on vehicle coverage if they combined their policy with a renter’s or homeowner’s policy too. This would allow them to protect a wide range of things from being lost, stolen, or damaged. Furthermore, if you and your team can show the insurer that you are making efforts to protect your valuables with anti-theft devices, you could qualify for cheap auto insurance in your town too.

All and all, by taking a community living approach to your life you can save money and help others save too. I know it sounds weird but true friends and teammates would be willing to help a fellow man. Vehicle coverage is just one of those things that we have to have so you might as well try to work the system enough to come out ahead. Getting cheap auto insurance in your town is easy if you know how to make the right moves and play like a true team player.

Ford To Launch New Vehicles At Geneva Auto Show

Ford has been experiencing woes on their own turf – they have posted a decrease in their sale for the month of February this year compared to the numbers last year. But the company is focused to bring them back to profitability. In connection with their bid to increase sales globally, they have plans to launch new products at the ongoing Geneva Auto Show.

Ford is likely to introduce vehicles which will address the demand for segments in the European market. These segments that Ford is trying to take control of are the Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment and the premium-styled class of vehicles.

Last year, Ford of Europe saw their sales improving over 2005. The improvement is the result of the popularity of the Ford S-Max which was voted as the Car of the Year in Europe. This year, Ford has improved the overall appeal of the C-MAX which they hope will tighten their grip on the MAV segment of the European market.

Aside from MAVs, European motorists are also showing interest for top of the line features and innovative features in sedans. The increase in the sales of German premium brands like BMW and Audi reflects the current trend that European car buyers are more inclined to luxury sedans.

In response to this, Ford will launch at the 77th Geneva International Auto Show the redesigned Ford Mondeo. The sedan is the flagship vehicle of Ford’s lineup in the European market. Just like BMW and Audi sedans, the Mondeo is also packed with features which spell luxury for its owner.

The Ford Mondeo was also given the benefit of having technological features akin to that held by Audi and BMW vehicles.

John Fleming, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford of Europe, has this to say about the launching of the redesigned Mondeo: “The new Mondeo is particularly important to us, and it’s the most technologically advanced car we’ve ever launched. I am convinced that like the Ford S-MAX, the new Mondeo will not only bring new buyers to Ford showrooms but also delight our loyal customer base across Europe.”

The Ford Mondeo was designed not only to give a high level of performance and reliability but also to attract the attention of the public through its stunning looks. “We wanted to create an emotional connection with the new Mondeo that would attract people from an aesthetic point of view even before they appreciate its technology,” says Martin Smith. Smith is the Executive Director of Design for Ford of Europe. “Our goal was to make people feel impressed when they see the car, and ultimately want to own one,” Smith added in conclusion.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the Ford C-MAX further broadens the lineup of MAVs of Ford of Europe. Stephen Odell, the Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Service for Ford of Europe, has this to say about the smaller sibling of the S-MAX: “The cornerstone of our ‘MAX’ strategy is to give customers all the features, space, and flexibility they need from a family vehicle, but to style the vehicles in a way that allows them to stand out in the crowd, and above all to maximize driving pleasure. Both the new C-MAX and the bigger S-MAX are true to this concept – versatile, comfortable, and spacious, yet also great fun to drive.”

The drive of Ford of Europe to increase their performance in terms of sales has resulted to the two additional vehicles in their lineup. While no Nissan car cover can hide the great features of the vehicles, the acceptance of the car buyers of the Ford Mondeo and the Ford C-MAX still remains to be seen.