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2011-12 Optima

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Comments

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,896
    edited September 2010
    No, I think Hyundai has a much more established name and that is why people are buying the Sonata in droves and they will continue to do so. Optima will stay under the radar for awhile just because it's a Kia and the Kia brand hasn't had as good of rep over the last several years. That will hurt the Optima but to me it a nicer looking and appointed auto.

    I realize that the new Optima is outselling the Sonata in Korea but I believe the Kia name in Korea has a lot better rep than they have established here....to this point. The Sorento, Sportage, Forte and now the Optima are going to change that perception fairly quickly I think. It really only took one car, the 2011 Sonata, to really put Hyundai on the map here. So many people would now consider Hyundai because of that one car it's quite amazing really.
  • chronochrono Posts: 149
    Glad I waited on the Optima. Better looks, better steering, better mpg and most likely cheaper pricing then the Sonata. Looking forward to test driving when it comes out.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,621
    Hyundai was "on the map" long before the 2011 Sonata. Cars like the 2006 Sonata, the 2007 Santa Fe and Elantra (both being CR top picks now or in the past), and the Genesis (2009 NA COTY) have raised public perception of Hyundai over the past few years. The 2011 Sonata stands out because of its styling in a mostly ho-hum class of cars. The coming turbo will make it stand out even more from the pack.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    First year car is no longer a negative. First of all, the Optima is not new...it has been out in Korea for awhile. Secondly, it is a Sonata with a different skin. Third, manufacturers no longer release cars and then work the bugs out. That old thinking has thankfully died. When problems arise now, they are just as likely (due to supplier changes, part modifications and so on) on second, third, fourth, fifth season cars. Most people who buy a car these days get a trouble-free driving experience. You always of course hear about the mess-ups, but if you look at the stats, even the mediocre quality ratings today are far better than the good ones used to be. And thank goodness. Just buy what you like.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Good response backy...Hyundai has been on a roll for several years. Now, it is Kia's turn.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,896
    You're right, it was on the map but just not percieved as a cool car to have to a large degree. The new Sonata changed that. It created an excitement that just wasn't there before. They had good cars and they were getting recognised by CR and other auto press but the public perception IMO really took off with this new Sonata. I have many relatives and friends that say they would consider one now. That never happened in the past. I know its a small sample but the buzz at the auto show around the Sonatas was pretty amazing as well. The superbowl ads is where it really got peoples attention.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,621
    I think Kia is still behind Hyundai in public perception, in the USA at least, but cars like the new Optima, Sportage, and Forte will go a long way towards changing that perception. I like what I see of the Optima, but personally my fav Kia right now is the new Forte hatch--it brings to my mind the 2001-6 Elantra GT hatch, but even better looking (and better driving I am sure).
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    You are aware Hyundai is recalling some new Sonatas for a steering defect? Cars have been manufactured for over 100 years and there are still first year "bugs" from every manufacturer.

    We don't agree here.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    A very significant difference between Hyundai and KIA is the size and quality of their networks. I remember visiting a Hyundai dealer in the mid-90s with a friend to test drive an Accent. The building and lot had previously been the "value" used car lot for the adjacent Honda and Oldsmobile dealerships. Prior to that it was the main used car lot and originally it had been the Olds dealership. It was old and smelled like a basement, the carpet was stained and none of the office furniture matched. Basically, it was a dump! It felt more like a 'Buy Here, Pay Here' used lot than a new car dealer. The Suzuki dealer up the street seemed classy in comparison despite having a trailer for a sales office and no showroom! :P

    My next visit to a Hyundai dealer was almost a decade later in late 2003. A co-worker wanted to test drive a new Elantra and asked me to tag along for support/protection. My expectations of the dealership experience were pretty low, but I was pleasantly surprised. The building was only a few years old and the appearance of the showroom and sales area was nicer than a lot of Nissan and Mazda dealers in the area (Atlanta). The sales guy was friendly, neatly dressed and he knew his product very well. I negotiated the price and we closed the deal within 90 minutes, without any undue hassle. She is still driving her red 2004 Hyundai Elantra GT 5-door and I've referred several folks to that salesman since then.

    I visited a KIA dealer for the first time in Dec 2005 when I was car shopping. This particular dealership was originally a restaurant and then a Budget Rental location before it became a KIA franchise. I wanted to check out the Spectra5 and they only have one on the lot. It was parked on the grass in front of the lot and blocked in by two other cars. When I asked to test drive it, the sales guy he complained about the hassle of moving those cars! He said he didn't want to "go thru all that" unless I was a serious buyer! I won't repeat what I said, but about 20 seconds later I learned just how good of a smoky burnout you can do in a 2WD Jeep Grand Cherokee (borrowed from my dad)...he got the message, needless to say.

    I went to another KIA dealer last year when the Forte was introduced. It was in an ancient building that had been a Ford dealership for decades. The lot had potholes, the windows looked cloudy and the sales area wreaked of cigarette smoke! The salesman who greeted me and showed me the car was very friendly, but he looked too young to even have a driver's license. I asked for brochure when we got back to the lot and he told me they didn't have any (adding that his boss was "too cheap" to order them). Then he handed me a business card with another salesman's name crossed out and his scribbled below it...kinda sad.

    I'd love to see KIA upgrade their dealer facilities along with their product lines. With products like the Soul, Forte, Sorento and now the new Optima, they have some great cars to help build a strong brand identity. It would be a shame to let the a crappy retail network hold them back.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 416
    http://www.insideline.com/kia/optima/2011/2011-kia-optima-ex-first-drive.html

    Looks like they are ramping up the press for this car. Article confirms a turbo "60 days" after the initial release, and confirms you can get an EX- Turbo as well as the SX model.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    must be the area where you live, but here in Canada I haven't come across a KIA dealership yet (and travelled a good portion of the country) that remotely matches what you described. A lot of the dealership have been upgraded to the corporate standards but even the smaller ones (like mine) are still well presented and offer all the facilities.
    On my travels in the US, I can't say I noticed any dealership as you describe.
  • this is a mind boggling achievement for Kia.

    I've seen k5 in person. It's absolutely stunning car. I have a soft spot for Sonata, but I must admit Optima looks better than Sonata. I must give props to Peter Schreyer. dude is like a design rock star.
  • and i have to say Optima is the best looking sedan under 30k IMO. oh by the way, I recently test drove Sportage. Kia is no longer vanilla. it absolutely leap frogged my 08 santa fe in styling, execution and overall ride quality.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,896
    As much as I am liking Kia product of recent vintage I also have to agree that Kia dealerships are dumpy in comparison with other in the vicinity. I have two of them that I sometimes spend time at on a Sunday afternoon of looking at cars without the salesman hassle and I have to say both are very much what was described. Holes in parking lot, very little inventory, run down maintenence on the building, etc. I don't really know what the dealerships used to be but I have noticed that they have done some improvements in the last year.

    It's amazing what a little good product can do for sales, what that can do for profit and what that can do to generate a little extra money for maintenence to the facilty. They should continue to get better I hope.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 416
    I would think that's to be expected, Kia dealers being lesser quality. They were hardly a big seller in the US to my knowledge and what they did sell was value brand. So it certainly fits.

    That said, hell I'm ready to be a Kia dealership owner myself. I'm no salesman but I could make the case for the Optima all day long. Same for the Sportage and the upcoming Cadenza. I'd have to bone up on their other cars heh.

    Around me though there are some as part of a multiple dealership lot that seem quite good. Others are a bit more run down. This is based on simply driving by, I've not been to any yet in person.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    You are aware Hyundai is recalling some new Sonatas for a steering defect? Cars have been manufactured for over 100 years and there are still first year "bugs" from every manufacturer.

    We don't agree here.


    Nope. We don't. That steering issue could just as easily crop up in year 4 as year 1. Manufacturers test the heck out of their new models before releasing them now. That is a BIG change from some years ago, when testing and retesting was not nearly so comprehensive.

    This is only anecdotal of course, but I have owned many vehicles, but since the mid-1990s, I have had no first year model problems whatsoever. Problems that have cropped up have been on a model that had been out for 4 years.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 416
    The first year thing is my only concern with the Optima. That and I want the UVO in it, and they typically refine the cars more over the years. That said I agree with Gregg, the testing is very comprehensive and all cars go through small recalls like this. I know I've gotten at least 4 notices of things on my 2001 Jetta over the years. From small things like Hazard light switches to larger things like the brakes.
  • Ouch. Even if it is 60 days from today, that means no car for me for at least a week or two when my lease runs out. I guess it is worth the wait.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,621
    Dealerships vary widely. I can say for a certainty that my local Kia dealership is as good in every respect as my local Hyundai dealership... because they are the same dealership. ;) The next closest Kia dealer to me is in a joint Nissan/Kia store and is a modern, clean facility (and the sales staff is very good--I've shopped them). I don't doubt there's poor Kia dealerships... just as there's poor Hyundai dealerships, poor GM dealerships, poor Ford dealerships, poor Honda dealerships (esp. wrt sales practices), etc.
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