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2024 Kia Sorento is essentially a midsized Telluride

Wait, isn’t the new Kia Seltos supposed to be the baby Telluride? True, but the 2023 Kia Sorento is also following the footsteps of the magnificent Telluride, and that’s a good thing. You see, the Kia Telluride has an open secret: It’s one of the best three-row SUVs you can buy today. And based on what we’re seeing, it seems the new Sorento is destined to move the goalpost even chúng tôi previous third-generation Sorento was not a bad-looking car, but the new fourth-gen model is beaming with pride. It has a new angular front bumper and horizontal grille similar to the Seltos. The sharper lines and elongated proportions of the vehicle connotes dynamism and confidence. The Sorento is riding on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform, and it’s also the first vehicle to utilize this new chassis design.

The new Kia Sorento has a visibly larger yet tauter body style than the outgoing model. This means a larger cabin and more cargo space in the back. According to Kia’s press release, the new Sorento is among the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs to hit the road. It may not be obvious at first glance, but the new Sorento is 10 mm longer, 10 mm taller, and exactly 10 mm wider than the old model. It also has shorter front and rear overhangs for a sportier appearance.

But the biggest news is the wheelbase, which is now 35 mm longer. This enabled Kia to draw the A-pillar 30 mm further back from the front axle to give the new Sorento a longer bonnet. Also, Kia retained the familiar D-pillar design and wheel arch cladding as part of Sorento’s DNA.

At the back, the new Sorento is clearly inspired by the rugged-premium design of the Telluride. You’ll find a pair of snazzy vertical taillamps that elegantly wrap around the bodywork along with dual tailpipes and bold SORENTO lettering across the tailgate. The car also has front and rear skid plates and an integrated spoiler to complete the sporting vibe.

The fourth-gen Sorento is also the first in its lineage to receive an electrified hybrid powertrain. It combines a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline mill with a 44.2 kW electric motor. Drawing power from a 1.49 kWh battery pack, the combined out is a thrilling 227-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, all of which are routed to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

European-spec Sorentos will also have the option of a 2.2-liter diesel engine with 199-horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the diesel is perfect if you’re highly concerned about fuel economy. However, the crème of the crop is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-banger lifted from Genesis GV80. It produces 277-horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and is connected to an eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is optional across the range of motors.

Inside, the new Kia Sorento features an upscale and tech-filled cabin. The driver gets to stare at a 12.3-inch digital instrument display while there’s a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. It also has vertical air vents with chrome trim that extends to the center console below. The cabin is splattered with a varied mix of leather, metal, and satin-embossed surfaces. In short, it’s a nice place to be whether sitting idly in traffic or cruising effortlessly on the highway.

And since the Sorento is still a family-oriented SUV, it remains a practical hauler even in its optional seven-seat configuration. The third row can now adjust 45 mm further to deliver better legroom, making it better suited for adults rather than small children. And with the third-row seats in the upright position, there’s now 32-percent more boot space than before. Choose the five-seat model and you have 910 liters of cargo space to play with.

On the safety front, the 2023 Sorento is equipped with blind-spot assist with collision avoidance, forward collision avoidance assist, and a surround-view monitor depending on the trim model. Other safety features include lane following assist, driver attention warning, smart cruise control, and highway driving assist.

The 2023 Kia Sorento arrives in Europe in the third quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other markets can expect first deliveries to begin by the end of the year. North American models will be built at Kia’s West Point manufacturing plant in Georgia.

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2024 Kia Telluride First Look: Family Suv Meets Premium Flexibility

2024 Kia Telluride first look: Family SUV meets premium flexibility

Kia has been quietly building a reputation for some of the best ways to carry a family around, but the 2023 Kia Telluride is more keen to shout about it. The three-row SUV was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this week, promising both design and functionality specifically tailored to the US market.

That market loves big SUVs and it needs to transport up to eight people at a time, and the 2023 Telluride checks off both those boxes. In spending some time with the new Kia in Detroit this week, we discovered there’s more to the Telluride than just another midsize SUV.

It’s a bold design, one which Kia itself isn’t afraid to describe as “boxy” in fact. That may not be a word car designers might typically like to have attached to their vehicles, but it’s a sign that the 2023 Telluride is all about practicality first. That’s not to say it isn’t stylish in its own way.

From the front, the big grinning grille and unusually rimmed headlamps leave it more memorable than many SUVs of the class. Kia isn’t stinting on branding, either, with both its own badge and the Telluride name writ out large across the hood. From the side, there are hints of Bentley Bentayga to the rear three-quarters.

The back is as squared-off as the front, the hockey-stick rear lamps brackets that only serve to emphasize the width of the SUV. Again, that’s with good reason: Kia is underscoring that this is a practical vehicle with easy load-space.

Inside, though, practicality hasn’t forced out comfort. The Telluride’s dashboard is wide and simplistic, with pleasant open-pore wood and brushed silver metallic trim. The switchgear feels solid and well-made, while the aesthetic could easily be mistaken for that of a car in the premium segment above. An optional 10.25-inch widescreen display sits atop the dash, while the steering wheel’s crisp buttons do nothing to dilute the luxury feel.

Usable space is, again, the status quo. Easily-dropped seats in the second and third rows, plenty of grab-handles and storage nooks, and a general feel of airiness. Head deep into the options list and you can add things like heating and ventilation for the first and second row seating, as well as a useful broadcast system that pipes the driver’s voice through to those in the back.

Whichever you choose, you get a 3.8-liter V6 GDI engine, which Kia rates for 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and with 262 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is plenty of active safety tech. We’re particularly pleased to see that blind spot collision assistance and smart cruise control are standard, regardless of whether you opt for the Telluride LX, EX, S, or SX trims.

Kia has, deservedly, built a reputation over the past few years for family cars with personality. The 2023 Telluride arrives to bring more style and interest than, say, a Sedona to the school pick-up, with a healthy level of standard equipment and a keen focus on what buyers in this category want. The only thing left to find out is just how much it will cost, when the new Telluride arrives in dealerships later this year.

2024 Kia Soul Review: Cheap Charm

2024 Kia Soul Review: Cheap Charm

Now in its third-generation, the 2023 Kia Soul may look a little meaner with its glaring expression, but the reality is that it’s still a sweet deal. Freshened sculpting and more defined lighting front and rear wisely don’t dilute what always made the Soul so appealing: it gets the job done, and it doesn’t cost the earth in the process.

Like the dearly-departed Scion xB, the Soul has a utilitarian handsomeness to it. Sure, there’s plenty of interesting trim, and some curves, and aggressively-squinting headlamps, but look past that and it’s a box. A box on wheels, in fact, and that’s a very good thing.

Practicality is the Soul’s killer feature. There’s a reason why, when we move house, we use big, rectangular boxes to move our belongings: they add up to plenty of space. In the Soul’s case, that horizon-straight roofline means no compromise on headroom front or rear. With the rear seats up, you get a healthy 24.2 cubic feet to play with; drop them down, that expands to over 62 cu.ft.

Cabin accommodations trend toward the plasticky, but Kia throws in some shiny stuff to at least make it visually interesting. More importantly it doesn’t feel brittle, and the switchgear won’t leave you fearful it’ll snap off in your hand. There are plenty of nooks and crannies for your phone, sunglasses, and everything else, and you get not only a USB Type-A port – handily illuminated – but two 12V 180W power outlets.

You can, as always, be super-frugal with your Soul. The 2023 model starts out at $17,490 (plus destination), undercutting rivals and doing so without feeling like you’re entirely sacrificing individuality along the way. This Soul X-Line starts at $21,490 in contrast, but the extra $4k gets you 18-inch alloys instead of 16-inch steelies, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, lane change assistance, leather on the steering wheel and shift knob, front fog lights, and the X-Line exterior body cladding.

It brings 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque to the party, and no, they’re not going to blow anybody away at the lights. That’s not to say the Soul is incapable of some fun. The CVT pretends to be a six-speed automatic, adding in little fake upshifts and downshifts, and generally chugs away happily. Kia’s steering feels nice and direct, neither too assisted nor too heavy. Although the Soul may be tall, it actually dives around corners quite eagerly.

There’s no AWD option, despite the mini-crossover aesthetic, so front-wheel drive is your lot. At the top of the range the Soul GT-Line can be had with a 1.6-liter turbo instead, nudging power up to 201hp, torque to 195 lb-ft, and swapping the CVT for a 7-speed DCT. Fancy indeed, but overkill perhaps, too.

The EPA says you should get 27mpg out of your Soul X-Line in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, or 30 mpg combined. I found it fairly easy to match those numbers, as long as I wasn’t pushing too hard.

Eventually there’ll be a Kia Soul EV, with a battery-electric drive shared with the Niro EV and rated for a healthy 243 miles of EPA range. The good news is that’s more than double the range of the old electric Soul. The bad news is that, while Kia had intended to have it on sale in the US already, for the moment it’s still just “coming soon” for the 2023 model year.

2024 Kia Ev6 First Drive: The New Electric Benchmark

2024 Kia EV6 First Drive: The New Electric Benchmark

The first chance that any car gets to make an impression is with its styling. Long before reviewers start trying to get rear tires to break loose, or bury themselves ten menus deep in touchscreens to surmise a car’s real capabilities, we appraise its sheet metal for a glint of insight into the design briefs or – deeper still – its true purpose. At this, the all-new 2023 Kia EV6 — the company’s first electric-only model — got me excited long before I’d slid into the driver’s seat.

Just look at it. It visually sits somewhere between a crossover and a wagon, but no matter how you appraise it, it’s stunning.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Kia has built electric cars in the past with the EV Niro and Soul, but this is the company’s first clean-sheet design. It’s part of why the EV6 can afford to be so bold. Based on the E-GMP EV architecture shared with sister company Hyundai – and used on new Hyundai Ioniq 5 – the EV6 is not just Kia’s latest offering to electric car shoppers, it’s a statement of intent to critics, consumers, and competitors alike that they can electrify with the best of the legacy and new-wave automakers, and look good doing it.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

After I’d pulled myself away from the heckeblende tail lights and double-scalloped hood to surmise its spec sheet, it turns out the EV6 makes a solid statement on paper, too. Kia will offer it with three different drivetrains: The “Light” base model trim punches out 167 HP to solely the rear wheels, whereas the higher tier “Wind” and “GT-Line” trims can be optioned with either a single 225 HP motor driving the rear wheels, or a pair of AC synchronous motors — one at the front and one at the rear — putting out a combined 320 HP and a more-than-respectable 446 foot-pounds of torque.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Base buyers will find themselves with a 58 kWh battery rated at 232 miles of range, while the higher-trim Wind and GT-Line are rated at up to 310 miles on a single charge of their 77.4 kWh power pack. Additionally, Kia’s fast-charging system can add over two hundred miles of range in 18 minutes assuming you can locate a 350 kW charger, which will help reduce travel times drastically when 310 miles alone just won’t quite cut it. A port at the rear offers an alternative way to use power, providing a 110V outlet capable of delivering up to 1,900 watts with an adapter, though you can’t – yet – plug the EV6 directly into a home’s breaker board to overcome outages.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Pricing is competitive for the electric car market. Kia comes within extremely close range of nearly every competitor it hopes to put a shot across the bow of: the EV6 starts at $40,900 (plus $1,215 destination fee) for the Light trim, climbing to $55,900 for the fully-loaded twin-motor GT-Line AWD. Unlike with the Ioniq 5, Kia will sell the EV6 in all 50 states from the get-go.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

No matter which trim buyers choose, they end up with a roomy vehicle that neatly straddles the line between wagon and crossover. With 50.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, and a Telluride-length wheelbase of 114.2″, it has the size of a crossover, but – with its 60.8″ height, excellent forward visibility thanks to its low hoodline, and car-like seating position – it feels like driving a wagon. Buyers also get neatly integrated, dual 12.3 inch screens that serve as the instrument cluster and the infotainment and navigation displays. CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, albeit only with wired connectivity. Wireless charging, however, is standard from the base model up.

Kia

More impressive than comfort, though, is the suite of safety features on the EV6, which comes standard with Kia’s unobtrusive yet phenomenally helpful Drive Wise assist package. Navigation-assisted cruise that automatically slows down on sharp corners, one of the best lane keep systems on the market, and stop-and-go traffic cruise control are all standard from the base Light trim level.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Buyers moving up to the GT-Line trim get standard blind-spot cameras that display via the instrument cluster on turn signal activation, as well as 360 degree parking cameras. In its fully-optioned form, it’s almost difficult to drive the EV6 dangerously thanks to how comprehensive and well-integrated the Drive Wise system is.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

But I’ve found that with a lot of the EV market’s current offerings it is nearly impossible to glean how a car will actually behave from the numbers on the page, or the features in the cabin. ICE cars all have some familiar traits I’ve learned — a turbocharger’s tsunami of torque when it spools, a V8’s earthmoving grunt at low RPM — but this early into the days of electrification it’s hard to surmise just how any given car will feel simply by glancing at some numbers. To help me learn just what the EV6 is made of, Kia tossed me the fobs to a pair of GT-Lines and set me loose in wine country.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

And in the AWD, fully-loaded GT Line with Sport mode engaged, acceleration is downright stunning in true EV party-trick form, with .75 maximum G’s upon launch. What’s more impressive, though, is how well-composed the EV6 stays after it pulls off the line. As I continued to push the EV6 well past where a typical crossover should stay composed, it actually felt enjoyable to drive.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

There’s hardly any body roll to speak of, and the AWD does an excellent job scrambling for maximum grip, allocating power to the corners that need it most without hesitation. The electronic power steering is sharp and, combined with the extremely strong regenerative braking, helps move the 4,600 pound wagon around like it weighs a fraction as much.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Switching back to “Normal” or “Eco” modes, though, with their less-harsh regenerative braking mode engaged, makes it a vastly more sedate, comfortable crossover. In Eco, the acceleration becomes downright leisurely and efficient, thanks to a novel electric front motor clutch that allows the drive unit on the front axle to disengage when not needed. Additionally, despite the lack of body roll and general composure I found at the limit earlier in my drive, the suspension remains one of the most comfortable I’ve found at this price point when meandering through the hills of Northern California on the 101.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Road and tire noise is minimal, and that comfortable, car-like seating position makes eating miles a cinch. With the driver-assist package engaged, it’s a pleasure cruise, especially ensconced in the vegan artificial leather the GT-Line is equipped with.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Unfortunately, despite my joy at finding the EV6 had both poise and comfort in motion, I had a few gripes with the ergonomics of the interior. The 12.3″ main screen is a touch-activated unit, and while it’s integrated beautifully in the dash, it is simply too far from the driver to be easily used while driving. The center console holds the capacitive-touch panel that activates seat and steering climate controls, and while it’s easier to reach, it’s also incredibly easy to bump accidentally with the palm of your hand while trying to adjust the climate control panel directly above it.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

The Meridian sound system that the GT-Line is equipped with trails behind many other branded audio systems on the market, with a disappointing top end and minimal bass. And at a lanky 6’2″, I found my head a bit uncomfortably close to the roofline, which made the EV6 feel a lot less roomy than I’d expect for a car of this size.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

As a result, the EV6 is an easily recommended must-test for a prospective EV shopper. It seamlessly combines the best attributes of a crossover and a wagon in one of the most attractive cars of the decade thus far, and does so at a price point that is extremely competitive. For Kia, it seems, the first time putting electric first is the charm.

Is Being A Sales Engineer A Cop

(Comment on this article at the bottom of the page.)

Times are tough and about to get even tougher for software developers. The latest headlines say that 2008 could end up being the worst for tech job losses since 2003. So this a great time to switch careers, right?

Well, maybe.

Let me even go more out on a thin limb. How about switching into a career in sales? That sound I just heard was collective laughter from techies worldwide.

Sales?

To be completely frank, most engineers I know have few kind words for sales people. When a sales person complains they can’t sell software for whatever reason, the development team cries foul, convinced the sales person must be incompetent because the software should sell itself. From a techie’s point of view, a sales person is viewed as an impedimentto selling software.

Well, now is your chance to help bridge this gap by becoming an intrepid sales engineer! You too can be a savior in the world of software sales who is worshiped by sales people and potentially appreciated by developers. Any sales person worth their salt would tell you they couldn’t be successful without a solid sales engineer. Any developer would tell you that they wouldn’t be caught dead being a sales engineer – that would be a cop out!

Remember, I wrote that sales engineers were potentially “appreciated” by other techies, but I didn’t write “respected.” You see, developers have paid their dues with many all-nighters while getting their computer science degree and then – again – in the working world, as they built software that some of them consider to be works of art.

They slaved for these accomplishments, which resulted in the techie badge of honor – solving problems that were deemed insurmountable in the wee hours of the morning, usually the day before a deadline.

You may ask: what honor is there in helping sell software?

Ask any executive responsible for revenue and they will say TONS! There are plenty of kudos to go around for anyone who helps close a deal. But forget about honor and kudos for a minute because there is a more important reason to consider this switch.

Sales engineers can make a bundle of cash.

Do I have your attention now techies? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experienced engineers can make upwards of $130k in sales engineering. Granted, part of this compensation is commission, but the base is usually not too far off of a software developer’s salary. And, there are many fringe benefits.

Sales engineers may be granted the personal use of a company car. No, likely not a Porsche, but at least the gas and maintenance are covered with the extra bonus of no car payment.

It is true that you must be willing to travel, but the frequent-flyer mileage adds up quickly. In addition, some companies offer incentives such as free vacation trips or gifts for outstanding performance.

One sales engineer I know well has been in United Airlines Platinum Medallion club for years and as a result, hasn’t paid for a vacation in a very long time. Plus, he has traveled to many cool places on the company’s dime, including qualifying for President’s Club for exceeding sales goals, where you get an all-expenses paid trip to some swanky resort, sometimes in Hawaii or some other exotic location.

Not to say there aren’t local territory types of sales engineering jobs, but it’s safe to say that if you are more of a home body that enjoys coding in your cube all day, then you can stop reading now and go back to grinding out code.. Still reading? Good. Then let’s assume the potential for more lucrative compensation and interesting benefits has kept your attention.

What Phone Is “Good Enough” In 2023?

Don’t skimp on the processor

Your phone’s processor is responsible for pretty much everything that it does and I would strongly argue that this is the key component to pay attention to if you don’t want to end up with a frustrating experience, waiting for apps that freeze on the simplest commands.

We won’t dive into too much technical stuff here, but one trend you’ll notice among lower cost smartphones is the prevalence of ARM’s Cortex-A53 CPU core, which is designed for low power consumption. On their own, these cores don’t offer a lot of performance, and I would say that even in quad-core configurations this design is a little slow for multi-tasking. The Moto E (2nd gen) I own often pauses for a second or two when switching apps. However, Android scales well with multiple cores, and octa-core Cortex-A53 processors offer snappy enough performance for most tasks.

As a general rule, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 617, MediaTek’s P20, Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa series, and HiSilicon’s Kirin 935, or better are all safe bets for good performance. But feel free to spend more for faster gaming and multitasking experiences.

An octa-core A53 design is the baseline that you should look for these days, and any processors boasting more powerful A57, A72, A73 or Qualcomm Kryo CPU cores will simply fly without worries, if you’re after that extra juice for multi-tasking and gaming. Gamers may also want to pay closer attention to the graphics processing unit (GPU) includes with the chip. Avoid mid-range and even flagship chips from 3 or 4 years ago, you can easily find superior midrange chips today.

SoC showdown 2024: Snapdragon 821 vs Exynos 8890 vs MediaTek Helio X25 vs Kirin 960

Features

As a general rule of thumb, processors from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 6XX series or above are going to offer smooth experiences for your day to day browsing and basic gaming. MediaTek’s P20 and X20, Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa series, along with HiSilicon’s Kirin 935 or better are also perfectly suitable performers for the vast majority of regular use cases.

Memory, memory, memory

Alongside the processor, the other half of performance is RAM. Fortunatley RAM is quite low cost these days, and you can easily pick up phones with 2, 3, and even 4GB on a reasonable budget. We would recommend 2GB as the bare minimum these days, but take 3GB for some headroom to ensure smooth multitasking, if you can get it.

For storing apps, pictures, music, video, and what have you, you’ll want a decent stack of flash memory too. The table below shows a breakdown of roughly what you can fit on various storage sizes, and if you pick up a phone with a microSD card slot you can further augment this space.

Does Android use more memory than iOS? – Gary explains

Features

Camera and video features

While processing hardware is relatively easy to compare on paper, judging camera quality from a spec sheet is much harder, if not impossible. Camera resolution gives you an idea about how fine the image can be, but it doesn’t tell you very much about the quality of the picture. Likewise, pixel size and lens aperture give you an idea about how much light the camera can capture, but doesn’t tell you how well the software will process colors or sharpness.

Fast charging, fingerprints, and more

In summary, we know that we can’t have everything on a budget, but there are some areas that we really shouldn’t skimp on. A reasonable processor paired up with a decent amount of RAM and internal memory ensures that we won’t become frustrated by the day operations of our phone. At the very least, a modern octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage is a strong starting point.

We didn’t mention anything about software in this post, because quite frankly there are way too many OEM skins and variants to cover. However, at the very least you should pick up a phone with Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard right now as the minimum, preferably with an update path to Nougat already mapped out. In the second half of 2023, we should certainly see more affordable handsets packing Nougat land on store shelves.

If we’re looking to get the best features for our money, mid-range phones can be readily found packing fingerprint scanners, NFC, fast charging, and decent camera setups. Prioritising which of these features is most important to you can result in some excellent choices without breaking the bank. For a look at some of the best on the market, check out the HONOR 6X, ZTE Axon Mini, and the Moto G4 Plus, as just a few examples.

New mid-ranger vs old flagship: which is the better deal?

Features

Do you have any particular features that you look out for when buying a lower cost handset? What do you think passes as the minimum to expect from a good smartphone these days?

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