Kings Dominion’s National Roller Coaster Day Weekend

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

My youngest daughter Kaiyana (Aya) and I love summer road trips no matter the distance. Whether we are visiting family in South Jersey or headed to Virginia Beach for the waves, the one-on-one time together is always exciting. So, to all our Fit Fathers please make sure to hit the road to escort your kids to their favorite destinations before time is up and “back to school” anxieties kick in. It’s always ideal for the creation of intimate memories. For us the target was Kings Dominion in Doswell, VA this past weekend for the roller coaster experience including the speedy Intimidator 305.

Aya and I were coming from Silver Spring, MD which is about 2 hours down 95 South. However, Kings Dominion is just 15 minutes from Richmond, VA for the lucky ones. Our ride of choice to warp us there — a Hichroma Red 2018 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD V6 loaned to Fit Fathers for such purposes — was perfect in alleviating time concerns due to quick acceleration and racer like agility. Aya kept telling me to stop acting like I was operating a roller coaster since the power from the Twin Turbo 365-horsepower V6 was so addictive. I told her not to worry because we were blessed with Brembo brakes for immediate stopping power. “Brembo” she asked?

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2017 Kia Niro: A New Hybrid Hero

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I’m sure by now most of you have seen the Melissa McCarthy ad spot with Kia’s new hybrid crossover dubbed “Hero’s Journey” where the comedic actress attempts to the save the eco-friendly attributes of the planet while using the vehicle’s key features. Whether you find it amusing or not the underlying theme is that Kia has introduced another green machine to the marketplace for individuals looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With an introductory price of $22,890, fuel economy of 52 city MPG, and a 595-mile range the Niro FE may just be my new hybrid hero! [Read more…]

2016 Washington Auto Show: Explore Your Imagination

What’s headed down the road at the 2016 Washington Auto Show? Well, Kimatni Rawlins, Leeann Brzozowski and Automotive Rhythms invite you behind the scenes to witness the latest technologies, luxuries and necessities shaping your new ride. We hope you are looking forward to next month when the best of international engineering convenes in the nation’s capital. So gear up and rev your emotions for the auto show in D.C. January 22nd via the 31st.

12th Annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Winners Announced

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Winners include a four-peat and some surprises / Photos by Mark Elias

The twelfth annual Carspondent.com Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards program is proud to announce the winners of this year’s event. Among the winners were the Kia Soul winning its fourth consecutive award in the Urban category, as well as new-comers Ford and Mitsubishi. Winning vehicles competed in six different classes among their peers, judged by the very consumers they are designed and built for, those with active lifestyles.

Nearly one hundred journalists and athletes test drove vehicles on a variety of street, freeway and off-road courses to get a feel for how they perform. Participants scrutinized livability features including seating, cargo capability, and overall versatility for activities such as camping, sports, and road trips.

The vehicles which included cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers came from well known and respected brands Audi, Buick, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, KIA, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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The program continues to grow in size and scope with each iteration”, said Nina Russin, event co-founder. “But after twelve years we remain committed to our original mission of giving the OEMs direct feedback from the active audience”.

Class Winners:

Best Value Off Road: 2015 Ford F-150

Luxury Off Road: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Luxury On Road: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450

Best Value On Road: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Best Value Family: 2015 Ford Edge

Urban: 2015 Kia Soul

During the two-day event, members of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association judged vehicles on its own and awarded the first Best of the Southwest award, that went to the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

About the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards

A Phoenix based event, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards has grown in size and prestige since its inception in 2004. The event brings the perspectives and opinions of over 100 consumers who live the active lifestyles automakers market their products to, culminating into top awards in multiple categories. The group of athletes and active lifestyle enthusiasts act as a valuable focus group for automakers and industry experts alike. This year’s event moved to a new electronic scoring system, providing more comprehensive consumer feedback to manufacturers.

Active Weekends with the Kia Sorento Family Focused SUV

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The team had a great “1st weekend” in  Auto Fit’s by Fit Fathers new fleet addition — the 2016 Kia Sorento SUV — as we utilized it exactly for the company’s intended purposes. From bike riding to soccer games to family fitness events the Korean SUV handled business proficiently. Especially on the technology end. Heard of UVO? More details to come on their multi-media platform and comforting ergonomics  for active, fit families on the go. Plus, this week we get the hitch installed which will allow us to load up four bikes at a time. Do you see our smiling faces?

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2015 Washington Auto Show: Innovation Meets Sustainability

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Check out the latest vehicles and advanced technologies that will be showcased at the 2015 Washington Auto Show January 23 to February 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Kimatni Rawlins of Automotive Rhythms talks to manufacturers during the LA Auto Show regarding the innovative products you must see in Washington, D.C. including the latest SUV trends, exotics, crossovers, concept cars and luxury vehicles, as well as find out what’s next in alternative fuel products and connectivity for 2015 and beyond. It’s green energy mobility at its highest level.

2015 Kia Sedona: Cool Kids Van of Choice

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Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Here’s a neat little trick. Have someone blindfold and escort you to your new 2015 Korean people mover. Take a seat, strap in and grip the multi-talented steering wheel. Remove the blinder, open your eyes and reimagine the possibilities of a 20th century utilitarian vehicles that is cavernous and all-inclusive of transcendent style, invigorating mobility and technologically savvy for the task at hand. Yes, it’s still a minivan, but one that redefines convention of the most traditional family vehicle in the marketplace. And if you happened to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day this past weekend then you will get my drift. I’m pretty sure the calamity and misadventures of Steve Carell’s character, Ben Cooper, and his squad of five would have been squandered if they were rolling in a 2015 Kia Sedona. [Read more…]

11th Annual “Active Lifestyle Vehicle” of the Year Competition

4-door-jeep-wrangler-black-front-alvThe Carspondent.com’s Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year  program is the only event to combine the input of nationally recognized automotive journalists, elite and area athletes to determine the best cars and trucks for buyers with active lifestyles. This year’s event at Local Motors in Chandler, Arizona on October 17-18 features 30 vehicles from two-dozen automotive manufacturers, competing for trophies in the following categories: Best Value On-Road, Best Value Off-Road, Urban, Best Value Family, Luxury Family, Luxury On-Road, Luxury Off-Road and Green ALV. [Read more…]

2014 Kia Soul: Fun, Fascinating and Trendy

2014_Kia_SoulAs many cities are going through revitalization processes with buildings, homes, parks and even demographics, so is Kia with their all-new 2014 Soul. Keeping pace with the changing urban market and its needs, the Korean automaker is doing just that with its mini crossover.  To explore the updated DNA and experience the attributes of the little guy we recently ventured to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the national press introduction. Fun, fascinating and trendy are the impressions we were left with. [Read more…]

2014 Kia Cadenza: Something Like a Phenomenon

KiaCadenza_02Need an edge to steer your team to the winning side? Then try situating yourself with an auto product from the Korean carmaker Kia which continues to surprise the marketplace. Fixated on style and technology in value packaging, the 8th largest auto brand in the U.S. has taken the podium to proudly introduce their game-changing 2014 Cadenza full-size premium sedan. Yes, Kia and “premium” implicated in the same sentence is more akin to an oxymoron than a phenomenon in theory. But until you have driven it in reality, skepticism may remain. Too bad! [Read more…]