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).
About Brian Chee Prior to joining Autobytel in the Spring of 2000, Brian Chee spent 15 years as a writer and editor in his native southern California, his work appearing in a wide variety of regional newspapers and online publications. As an editor at Autobytel, Brian has been quoted in numerous regional and national publications, including the Wall St. Journal and InStyle Magazine. He is responsible for writing, editing and planning content for three of the company’s consumer websites: autobytel.com, autoweb.com and carsmart.com. His “beat” includes vehicle reviews, features, news and Auto Show coverage. Brian considers himself a “SoCal” car enthusiast: the kind who grades a car on how it handles today’s urban and suburban reality of daily traffic gridlock, rising fuel prices and fast-paced lifestyles. Brian is an Eagle Scout, a member of the Automotive Press Association, the Motor Press Guild, and the California State University Advisory Board for Internet Writing. Brian holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism.