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We know what you’re thinking, standing there trying to decide whether you should get the six-speed or DCT Kia Forte GT. “Won’t the Kia Boys just steal my car,” you ask yourself somberly. That’s a hard case to judge, depending on where you live. However, if your mini sports sedan Forte GT—or any other Kia for that matter—has Kia Connect, there’s no need to worry. At least if the Kia Boys jack it, you’ll know where it is.

What does Kia Connect do?

Will Kia Connect, the company's smartphone-enabled teach and security system help with Kia Boys incidents?
Kia Connect Logo │ Kia America

If you’ve selected a Kia, you’ll be presented with Kia Connect. It’s a marvelous suite of technology providing remote access to your Kia, and the second iteration of Kia UVO, the manufacturer’s previous connected-car service. Here are just a few things you can do with the service:

  • Live notification of sports news
  • Manage battery life on hybrid and plug-in models
  • Set climate control remotely
  • Navigation to a location, even from the car to the door
  • Online navigation
  • Helps locate open parking spaces
  • Assists you in finding your Kia after it’s stolen

What was that last one? If you have a Kia, you probably know why.

Who are the Kia Boys?

It seems like there have been enough nightly news cycles depicting youth running amok in the streets of American cities to inform everyone. However, for those who don’t keep up-to-date for fun, the Kia Boys is a collection of youngsters, mostly unaffiliated with each other, but whose criminal escapades originate with a series of how-to theft videos circulating online—at least before they were taken down.

Nearing the beginning of 2021, instructional videos surfaced on popular social media platforms depicting how to hotwire Hyundai and Kia vehicles in a modern way. Miscreants could remove the steering column shroud, expose the ignition tumbler, and engage the system with only a USB cable.

How does Kia Connect help with stolen cars?

We’re glad you asked. After all, parent company Hyundai has remained mysteriously mum on the issue. The company is even convinced many of their cars can’t retain proper anti-theft software and other updates. But let’s digress.

It isn’t even Kia Connect that brings location data to its owner. The newest version of Kia Connect utilizes UVO’s “Find My Car” function. With that, Kia owners can use a smartphone app to find their cars. This app is only available through the Apple and Google app stores.

Critically, the vehicle must have been driven in the last 96 hours and must have the feature activated. Nevertheless, once you hear wheels screeching out of your driveway, you can do the following with Kia Connect:

  • Open the app
  • Select the “Locations” icon
  • Look for the “Find My Car” icon
  • Select the icon
  • The location with the approximate address will appear

For those that think they’re cool walking around with Nokia 101, the same feature can be done online. Kia says this makes finding your car “easier” and “more convenient” than ever. And from a larger screen, you can invite friends over to see wherever those dastardly Kia Boys have taken your beloved reasonably-priced Korean car.

Is Kia Connect free to use?

A 2023 Kia Seltos subcompact SUV in yellow, equipped with Kia Connect, strategically parked atop a building, hiding from the Kia boys
2023 Kia Seltos | Kia America

For the first year, it is. After the complimentary service is over, Kia owners can buy the subscription. But be aware there are four different plans—Lite, Care, Plus, and Ultimate. The Find My Car feature is on the Plus and above, which begins at $14.99 per month or $149 annually.

The Ultimate plan, at $19.99 per month or $199 annually, offers a little more. For five extra monthly dollars, “trained Kia agents” will assist local and state law enforcement with vehicle recovery. And it even includes a function whereby Kia can shut down the engine, but only on some models.

It’s probably best not to list those in case those car-theft-carrying-on Kia Boys are reading. And for the Kia owners, remember, these services are for smartphone users with access to the Apple Store or Google Play, only.


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