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While we're still not among their ranks as an owner, there is no other automotive brand on the road that my wife and I tend to like across-the-board more than Kia. There's certainly some specific models that I love from other makers, but when we're talking about consistency from top to bottom, over the past few years, Kia has positioned themselves to have their entire family of vehicles feel like the truly belong together - from the entry-level Rio to the K900 Luxury Sedan. Toward the middle of the pack are the crossovers, and in that "compact SUV" scale lies the 2017 Kia Sportage - recently named a 2017 "Best Buy Award Winner" by my friends at Kelley Blue Book, and a "Rock Father Pick" among them. If you're in the market for a solid crossover that wins on many levels, it's time to give the Sportage a look.

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This post is sponsored by Life of Dad and Kelley Blue Book. All opinions are that of James Zahn, aka "The Rock Father"

Earlier this year, I had the unique opportunity to become one of the very first #KBBDads - an elite team assembled by Life of Dad to partner with Kelley Blue Book to showcase some of the best cars and trucks for families. I headed for KBB Headquarters in Irvine, California where I went hands-on with a fleet of vehicles, hitting the roads of Southern California after getting the details on how to evaluate like the team at Kelley Blue Book - direct from the KBB Editors. Kelley Blue Book is the trusted resource for new and used car buyers, available 24/7 to help people make the best possible buying decisions. Their yearly Best Buy Awards are a pinnacle of what they do, and as we prepare to flip the calendar for a new model year, I'm excited to share with you the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners - a field of 12 vehicles that have secured positions ahead of their competitors.  Check out the full list along with a few "Rock Father Picks" below!

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The Rock Father is a paid ambassador for the #KBBDads program, brought to you by Life of Dad and Kelley Blue Book. As always, all opinions are that of James Zahn.

Over the past few years, I've spent a fair amount of time testing new cars and sharing my experiences here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine. The qualities that make a good car great can be a subjective thing, but I have some specific points that I'm always looking at any time I get behind the wheel of a new ride - a mix of style, function, performance and price: four key points. My friends at Kelley Blue Book also have four key points that they look for on new cars (occasionally a fifth, "Special Circumstances" i.e. payload on a pickup), but under each - Driving It, Living in It, Living With It and Owning It - they dig even deeper, with five sub-points to keep things consistent across the board, their team doing detailed reviews on over 300+ vehicles each and every year, the most of any site out there. That experience and detail makes Kelley Blue Book the trusted resource for new (and used) car buyers to make the best possible buying decisions, and this month I went hands-on at the KBB headquarters in Irvine, California for a look behind-the-scenes at how it all comes together.  I joined the first-ever crew of #KBBDads to hit the road in the five vehicles that KBB has chosen as their Top Picks for Dads this year - each hand-picked from KBB's list of the 16 Best Family Cars of 2016, putting the KBB picks against The Rock Father method to see how they all stack-up.

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Living in Northern Illinois, an in-development prototype vehicle is not something I'd ever expect to come across in the wild. In fact, I'd only previously seen "spy pics" of black-and-white-wrapped development rides through enthusiast sites that spotted them in far more exotic locales. Last Thursday, however, I was in Southern California working on a special project for Life of Dad and Kelley Blue Book (stay tuned!) when I came across my first - the Karma Revero.

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Kelley Blue BookTHE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine has partnered with Kelley Blue Book & Life of Dad for the #KBBDads Promotion.

This live event is now over, but the archived video can now be viewed on the Life Of Dad Facebook page.

I'm coming at you today from Rock Father Mobile HQ - currently located in Irvine, California. The 2016 Rock Father Tour has returned to Southern California, and this week my work puts me on assignment with the crew from Life of Dad and Kelley Blue Book to talk about something I'm very passionate about - cars. The #KBBDads are on the ground and hitting the streets in some of 2016's hottest rides for dads and families, and today at 4pm ET/3pm CT/1pm PT, we're going on Facebook LIVE where you'll be able to get your car questions answered by the experts at Kelley Blue Book! Visit the event page on Facebook to RSVP and submit your questions now! The first eight that we use on-air will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card for the submitter! What do you want to know about cars? Let us know, and join us online!

Published in Rock Father Rides