The pandemic has really expedited touch-free and virtual car buying experiences offered by dealerships. It has made buyers feel more at ease seeking new and exciting vehicles, like the revamped Kia Carnival. The Kia Niro also got a long-awaited electric version, with even better gas mileage than the PHEV version.
Kia is also implementing a new purchasing service for these two vehicles. A Kia press release confirms that Kia@Home will send these cars directly to your home for a complimentary test drive. How will Kia@Home work, and where will it be available?
Which vehicles will be offered for Kia@Home?
So far, only the Kia Carnival and Kia Niro EV will be offered for this program. The Carnival used to be known as the Sedona minivan, but its major redesign warranted a new name as well. It has a revised front end to match its modern rivals, plus has several interior technology upgrades.
The Kia Carnival’s horsepower has been rounded up to an even 290, though AWD still isn’t available. However, it gets slightly better mileage than the outgoing Sedona, with a 19/26 mpg city/highway rating. It also comes with the same smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
Car and Driver was quite impressed with the Carnival’s handling and speed, clocking its 0-60 mph time at a clean 7 seconds. The minivan’s wheelbase has been extended to provide even more space for up to eight riders. Higher trims benefit from a dual-screen 12.3-inch touchscreen and two-tone leather upholstery.
The Kia Niro EV joins the lineup alongside gas-operated, hybrid, and PHEV Niro models. It gets 239 miles on a single charge, matching the high average of other non-luxury EVs. However, even with a bigger 240-volt charger, the Kia Niro EV needs nine hours to get a full battery if you’re not using DC fast charging.
The Niro EV only has one electric motor, but it’s capable of a healthy 201 horsepower rating. It also has the direct-drive transmission present in most EV rivals, but it can be more challenging to control with steering wheel-mounted paddles. Once you get used to that, the Kia Niro EV offers quick acceleration and a serene drive.
All about the vehicle delivery service
To book a free Kia@Home appointment, drivers will go to Kia’s website and select the vehicle they’re interested in test-driving. Autoblog says a Kia representative will bring the vehicle to your location and give you a detailed overview of the car. After that, you will be permitted to test-drive the vehicle for the remaining hour of your appointment.
If you decide you want the car, you’ll have to visit a Kia dealership at a later date to purchase it. However, test-driving the car for yourself at home still takes some hassle out of the buying process. At least if the car’s not for you, you wouldn’t have wasted your own gas, not to mention time, driving to the dealership.
Interested drivers can start making Kia@Home appointments from now until October 3, 2021. If enough people make appointments, Kia may expand the program to more cities and include more models in the future.
Which cities get access to Kia@Home services?
East coast drivers can schedule Kia@Home appointments in Atlanta, Boston, Miami, the New York City Metro area, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Services are also available in Austin, Chicago, LA, and Seattle. These are the only cities where you will be permitted to test-drive the Kia Niro EV.
Kia@Home offers appointments for the Kia Carnival for additional cities. These include Columbus, Cleveland, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, and Indianapolis. Given the anticipation around the Kia Carnival and Niro EV models, we anticipate that Kia@Home will succeed.
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