Kia Motors announced it would launch the next generation of its UVO infotainment system with the 2014 Sorento crossover unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show.
According to a Kia press release, the updates to UVO center around smartphone connectivity. An eServices smartphone app will provide connected car telematics information, the ability to locate your parked vehicle in a large lot, a suite of new safety and security features including a service Kia calls 911 Connect, and the ability to upload map and point-of-interest (POI) info from the web or a mobile device to the UVO system.
Kia said the eServices app will not come with a monthly fee like GM’s similar Onstar service. UVO, short for “Your Voice,” will continue to offer drivers the ability to manage their mobile phones and music playlists hands-free. The eServices app will further expand that voice-controlled ability to the navigation system, the company said.
Much like MyFordTouch, which received a number of bad reviews after its recent updates and even got Ford dinged in Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Survey, UVO is Microsoft-powered. So far, Kia’s UVO is getting better reviews than MyFordTouch– we’d estimate that’s because it has kept buttons and knobs as part of the equation instead of trying to go touchscreen-only as MFT and some others have. We look forward to the opportunity to try the next-gen UVO with the eServices app when the 2014 Sorento bows next year.