This is going to be a long post, full of images and my thoughts on the features that stand out to me. Here goes:
From afar, the 17″ rims and wheel will grab your eyes. The Nexen branded (or unbranded) tyres didn’t though. That aside, the previous ride came with 15-inchers, so this is a huge upgrade. This visual upgrade comes with a cutter, a cutting tool to enlarge the hole in your wallet. I understand that the price of 17″ replacement rubber shoes is significantly higher. As for the gun metal tinted rims, they are easy to clean – big holes between spokes and my, my they are shiny.
Now, there is no need to fumble with your fobs. Just leave them keys in your pocket, walk up to the vehicle and press the rectangle chrome switch on the handle to unlock the car. Thankfully, the switch isn’t decked in rubber – doesn’t hold up well in our weather. Something that I don’t see in other cars in this range – when you walk up to the K3, the side mirrors will unfold. The car will welcome you with lights at the handles and from the side mirrors. The most gimmicky feature in this post, but it was the first thing that caught my eye. Nice touch, Kia.
Stepping in, the K3-branded 3A car mats welcome you. Yes, 3A and not 3M. The sales executive could only offer 3A mats. Since it’s free, no complaints.
Finally, auto windows (both up and down) for the driver and front passenger. The Avante came with auto windows (only down) for the driver. Leave the switch on ‘AUTO’ for the side mirrors to make use of the welcome-lights feature.
Gentlemen, start your engines. In this case, one, and it’s for both ladies and gentlemen. lol. Keyless Entry and Start button in an accessible location just beside fake carbon fibre decor.
Finally, a digital trip computer that gives details like a buffet restaurant, somewhat. Ranks high in my list of must-haves. Controls on the steering allow you to configure a handful of features and track your usage. #Geek
The K3 has to serve two drivers, 1 for my dad and 2 for me. Just nice. We can save our own x-y-z+lumbar seat position and recall our preference with just one touch (you can only save and recall when the car is stationary).
Pretty standard feature for Cat A vehicles nowadays. Note: The Hyundai Elantra currently being sold doesn’t though. The launch model had, but was removed somewhere down the line. “Dual” means that the front passenger can set a temperature that is different from the driver’s. The driver’s temperature controls the rear aircon vents too. One more thing: the K3 comes with ventilated/ heated function for the driver seat. This means that the driver can decide to heat up or cool down his butt. The make-it-hot-or-cold control’s just beside the gear stick.
Cruise control is useless in Singapore. I refused to believe my dad till I actually tried using it. Pretty good for drives up north though. But what’s more important? The button that shows a steering wheel emitting Wi-Fi signals – allows you to toggle between COMFORT, NORMAL and SPORTS. I will suggest you stick to COMFORT. The NORMAL and SPORTS modes feel too artificial – the added weight dulls the steering and messes up tracking turns. COMFORT offers the most direct feel of the road and turns. And don’t worry, the steering will stiffen up as the speedo climbs – speed sensitive.
A $2k optional upgrade, try asking your sales exec to include this free. The K3 from the factory comes with a solid in-car entertainment system – the one you see in brochures without a touchscreen and reverse camera. Not a must have cause the UI’s a little wonky with huge fonts and all.
What’s next in this series?
- The Front
- The Rear
- The Frills – You are here
- The Drive (because test drives usually will not reveal much)
- The Cycle & Carriage Journey