The state of New Jersey is a smorgasbord of unique landscapes, activities, and people that create a culture entirely its own, one that can completely transform depending on where you’re physically located within state lines. There are four regions that make up the Garden State: North Jersey, South Jersey, Central Jersey, and the Shore. Each area has its own offerings for adventure that have been shaped by the area’s people and geological attributes, like proximity to cities or the coast. When you’re shopping for your next car at Kia dealers in New Jersey, your zip code may very well be one of the top factors to consider when making a decision. Why Kia? They’re a manufacturer particularly well-suited for the state of New Jersey, with a range of sedans, SUVs, and hybrids that vary greatly in their performance strengths and personalities.
North Jersey – The Kia EV6
The upper region of New Jersey shares a border with New York, making it the preferred neighborhood for an entire mob of commuters who make daily trips to and from the Big Apple. For regulars of the stop-and-go crawl across the Hudson River, choosing an electric vehicle as your daily driver has the potential to make your commute cheaper, greener, and more comfortable. The 2022 Kia EV6 is the company’s latest venture into fully-electric vehicles and marks an exciting start for the 11 new EVs Kia has promised to deliver by 2026.
This flagship vehicle is available in rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD), a neat feature for those who appreciate the improved handling AWD provides when roads are snowy (on a similar note, the EV6 also has a heat pump that improves range in cold weather). The range for the RWD and AWD powertrains are up to 310 miles and 274 miles, respectively. Both systems are compatible with 800v DC fast charging, allowing the EV6 can get hundreds of miles of juice in less than 20 minutes. Practical as it is, calling the EV6 a commuter car doesn’t quite capture the full scope of what this vehicle has to offer. On days off, the unassuming daily driver morphs into a powerhouse, with up to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque, adding up to a towing capacity of 2,300 lbs and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 4.6 seconds.
South Jersey – The Kia Telluride
Aside from pizza pies, pork rolls, and Eagles fans, South Jersey is full of families, and there may be no vehicle better suited for families than the SUV. They’re roomy enough to comfortably seat multiple people, with generous cargo space for whatever needs hauling. A lot of them also have decent towing capacity and luxury-level accommodations inside. One of the best SUVs money can buy right now is the Kia Telluride. It’s been crushing the game since it first arrived in 2020, earning top marks in performance, style, and affordability for its class. The newest Telluride is powered by a 3.8 L V6 that makes 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque for a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. The interior, all butterscotch leather and espresso-hued themes, has enough high-end materials and touches to make it feel more expensive than the price tag suggests.
Inside and out, the Telluride is loaded with tech aimed at making life easier. It has active on-demand AWD, featuring sensors to monitor road conditions and adjust the amount of power sent to each wheel, improving handling and traction. For masters of multitasking, Kia Connect makes it possible to control certain features from your phone, including starting the car up, locking and unlocking doors, and adjusting the interior climate. Safety is a critical element of any car, especially one designed for driving around families. Also included with the Telluride is a suite of safety features like a blind-spot monitor, 360-degree surround view, forward collision avoidance, and highway driving assist, which matches cruising speeds to surrounding vehicles and can event account for the posted speed limit in certain areas.
Central Jersey – The Kia Sportage
Central Jersey is an enigma of sorts, as there are those who say it doesn’t even exist. If you live in that camp, let me ask you this: if there’s no Central Jersey, then where does the Jersey Devil live? What better homeland for a (maybe) fictitious creature than a (maybe) fictitious region? Central Jersey is a sampling of a lot of what New Jersey as a whole has to offer. It’s got academia in the form of Princeton University and captures the spirit of the Garden State with parks peppered throughout its counties. There are swampy forests, abundant agriculture, and reasonable access to big cities.
For an area that wears so many different hats, the Kia Sportage makes the perfect travel companion. It’s endlessly customizable, with engine options ranging from a 2.5L inline-4 to a 1.6L turbocharged plug-in hybrid. The Sportage is also available in FWD or AWD. Like other members of the Kia family, its interior is thoughtfully rendered with easy-on-the-eye aesthetics and techy touches. That, along with its sleek styling, gives the impression that the Sportage is more expensive than it is, and we love a good value. It also has a combined fuel economy of 43 MPG in the standard hybrid, so regardless of whether you’re road-tripping to Philly or NYC, you can do it with less fuel.
The Shore – The Kia Soul
The Jersey Shore has a certain….reputation. Despite what MTV would have you believe, it’s not all drunkenly stumbling through cycles of gym, tan, and laundry. The Shore makes up the coastal region of New Jersey, drawing people from all over to its 140-miles-plus of boardwalks, beaches, and nightlife. It’s even the homeland of Bruce Springsteen, so you can count on music venues aplenty and endless Americana to boot. The Shore’s cultural vibrancy can only be matched by the Kia Soul, the subcompact SUV segment’s spunkiest contender.
Much like the show that borrows this region’s namesake, the Soul created a polarizing effect when it first debuted in 2008. The first generation amounted to boxes on wheels whose hamster-heavy commercials either dazzled or confused the general public. It’s come a long way over the past decade, upgrading its engine options to include a zesty 1.6L turbocharged inline-4 for certain model years and snazzing up the interior to give it a higher-end feel. What hasn’t changed is the spirit of the Soul. It’s maintained its boxy body and fun energy throughout its life, making it a vehicle that will stand out, even in a city full of big personalities. Its tall proportions make for a roomy interior and impressive cargo space for its segment. Exterior color options create an entire palette of bright shades, and ambient interior lighting always sets the right mood.
A Great Car for a Great State
No matter where you are, New Jersey is going to be an adventure. In fact, driving there is its own kind of adventure, too. You have to turn right in order to turn left (the jughandle), you can’t pump your own gas, and if you choose to drive in the left lane under the speed limit, well, do it at your own risk. Picking the right vehicle is an important decision, and nowhere is that more true than in New Jersey. Opting for a Kia as your vehicle manufacturer of choice means you’re sure to find the right vehicle for you, regardless of which region of the state you hail from.