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2009 Kia Optima

backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
Word is out that the Optima will get a significant make-over for 2009, including powertrain upgrades and styling tweaks. Let's talk about it and share what you know about it!

I think the 2006.5-2008 Optima is a solid offering in the mid-sized class, with just the right blend of room, ride comfort, handling, size, and tasteful styling inside and out. And the price is right. Only two things I don't like: 1) ESC/ABS is hard to find on the LX, which is my preferred trim, and can't be had without getting an expensive appearance package; 2) the IIHS hasn't reported the side crash test results on the car yet. I am hoping that both of these issues, particularly the availability of ESC/ABS, will be addressed in the 2009 Optima.
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Comments

  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I think ESC/ABS should be standard. If they had the volume,they could just raise the price by a couple of hundred and not lose anything of their profit.Safety should be the #1 concern.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Plus ESC (and therefore ABS) is mandated by 2011 anyway, so why not get ahead of the curve along with Sonata, Accord etc. and make ESC standard for the 2009 refresh? If it can be standard on cars like the Sportage, why not the 2009 Optima?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    yep...especially since I think Sonatas do have them as standard.
  • dovid2dovid2 Posts: 90
    http://www.topspeed.com/cars/kia/2009-kia-optima-ar54307/picture239225-0.html

    I liked the large clear taillights and the flat instrumentation. Stability package is still optional. The front looks like the late, unlamented Ford Five Hundred, the tail like the last-gen Accord.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I'm not impressed by what I'm seeing of the 2009 Optima. The revised I4, which matches what's in the Sonata and is now on par for the class, is a nice change, but I don't see anything special here. One of the things I liked about the Optima was that it was a little smaller than most mid-sizers, including the Sonata--now it's about the same size outside as the Sonata, and probably weighs more for 2009 as a result.

    190 hp for the tweaked V6?? Why bother? Why would anyone buy one, at a premium, compared to the very nice 175 hp I4? :confuse:

    And ABS is still an option!! (ESC too of course) That is inexcusable for a mid-sized sedan refreshed for 2009. :mad:
  • dovid2dovid2 Posts: 90
    The more I've thought about it, the less I like it. While I had looked forward to getting one whenever I finally decide to buy, I now doubt if it will be an Optima. I've never owned a Ford product, but I really liked the Mercury Milan I saw at the car show, and if they will throw in an extended warranty, I might do it. It comes in a Premiere trim with a four and is very attractive and has good reviews.

    Maybe the Optima will look better in black. I'm not in any hurry, so I'll wait and see.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    What it does is open up an opportunity for me late this year, when I will buy a car, to get one of the last 2008 Optimas (LX, with ESC/ABS and the mandatory Appearance pkg) at a big "close out" discount, maybe at the same price as a smaller car like the Elantra and less than a comparably-equipped 2009 Sonata.
  • dovid2dovid2 Posts: 90
    And that's a good idea, but I know exactly what I want, and I'm not optimistic about finding it when the '08's have been picked over. That's why I think a larger company would have more selection than Kia seems to have.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Well, I don't know that I'll find an Optima I want at that time either. At the end of last year, there were two 2007 Optima LXes with ABS/ESC in the five-state region around me. But it IS an option. Multiple options are good. And makes for a firmer negotiating position. :)
  • dovid2dovid2 Posts: 90
    As far as multiple options, of course I would look at competing models. And, if I found one I liked, would be sure to tell them I was looking at other brands (and that they had offered me a great deal!).
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I really do like the 2009 model better.The whole front as well as the tail lights,look much more attractive.I have not seen the interior.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Like many Hyunkia mid platform adjustments, neither bad nor good. I agree that the front clip looks a bit Ford-like. Instrument cluster looks a bit Malibu-ish. Really like my semi-electroluminescent blue on white instruments quite a bit better, including having electronic gas and termperature indicators rather than the old style needles. And that red is so Mazda-Pontiacish...

    Frankly the more time that elapses, the more I prefer my Malibu Maxx to my 07 Optima. My wife on the other hand prefers the Kia.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    CS....you always did have a love affair with your Max..I have never driven one,but the Malibu looks pretty nice and even the low end model comes with lots of options as standard equipment.The only remaining issue I have with my Optima is the ride over bumps. Not too smooth at all.The Accord sure seems more substantial,but of course you pay for it. :)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    http://www.motortrend.com/photo_gallery/112_0803_2009_kia_optima_comparison_phot- o_gallery/index.html

    Hate to dis a car I haven't seen in person but I don't think I like the styling at all:

    1. Front clip Fordish slant-- like the 065-08 better
    2. Sides-- No real changes
    3. Back clip-- two generations ago Accord--- nah!
    4. Interior garish-- like the present appearance group semi-electroluminescent much better. This one belongs on a Pontiac.

    All in all, at least in pictures, it's a big disappointment despite the improved 4 cylinder. The present car is one of the most attractive mid-sizers, the new one is a mish-mash of competing design clues. Is this the result of the sacking of lots of American talent at Kia in the last few years?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I like the new mirrors and it looks like they have MPG on the trip computer.The rear to me looks the same as my 2006.5. The rest,I agree with you.I'm quite happy with mine,but perhaps the 2009 drives better...whio knows?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I agree. I like the powertrain improvements, esp. with the I4, but I like the looks of the current car better. I am just hoping I can snag a 2008 I4 with ABS/ESC before year's end.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Optimas must be selling,the dealer where I bought mine had only 2,both EX with I4 engine.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I asked a dealer in Des Moines about an EX I4 they had in inventory that might have ABS/ESC based on the MSRP. They replied that that car didn't have ABS/ESC, but they did have a few EXs with ABS/ESC--they were all loaded cars, one was an I4 that lists for nearly $24k. They also told me that Kia does not offer the EX I4 with just the ABS/ESC package, or even with ABS/ESC plus Appearance package. :mad: So it looks like if I am going to get an Optima I4 with ABS/ESC, it will need to be an LX (with what they call package 30, which is ABS/ESC + Appearance package). But those appear to be very very rare. I think I found a few in Chicago, but none closer than that.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Where are you located Backy...sounds like you are in my neck of the woods.I'm 150 miles from Chicago and about 50 miles from Davenport.Check out the inventory at Lujack motors in Davenport.They might have what you're looking for.
    The LX is not all that different other than the trip computer and the AC unit which is basic.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I'm in the Twin Cities. Looks like Lujack has 4 Optimas in stock, 2 relatively basic LXes (no ABS/ESC). :(

    EX does have leather and power driver's seat, but some of its features are in the LX Appearance package as you alluded. Although EX has 16" alloys standard while LX AP has 17 inchers.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I guess it depends on what floats your boat:) Good luck with your search...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I went to the site and noticed one really BIG thing on the Build and Price section: it appears ESC is now standard on every trim level, including the base LX 5MT!!! This is a very pleasant surprise, since it was never mentioned in any of Kia's announcements about the 2009 Optima. I would think they would have made a bigger deal out of it, since not that many mid-sized sedans have ESC standard on every trim level. And since the LX 5MT starts at $18k MSRP, that probably makes the Optima the lowest-priced mid-sized sedan with standard ESC (not counting the Elantra SE, which is a compact with a mid-sized interior).

    It also means the price of the Optima has gone up quite a bit from 2008, since more equipment is standard. For example, the LX I4 5AT starts at $19,625 including destination. But that's still about $500 less than the Sonata GLS.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    And since Hyunkia has no concept of supply and demand they'll simply start cranking out 09's at a fast rate. I'm sure you'll get a pretty big discount if you hold on a couple of months.

    Although I still like the earlier car's looks better, that new corporate grill isn't that bad.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Rear clip looks like 2 generation old Accord, front will bring together similar look with next-gen Spectra replacement. Like the 08's and earlier better-- especially rear.

    Instrument panel different but didn't see it lit up.
  • Good morning CS. Been a while since I've seen you here.Just a couple comments about the new Optima.I like it's looks better than my 2006.5,but I would miss the Cassette player.At any rate I'm just a "window" shopper anyway.Barring the destruction of my Optima in a horrific accident,it's my last car.
  • We were thinking of a new Optima for our daughter, but we are actually seeing 2007 models with as few as 18,000 miles and a completely clean carfax for less than $9,000 U.S.

    We know we don't get the 100,000 mile/10 Year warranty, but the savings are immense by buying a slightly used one.

    Any opinions?
  • Less than $9000? I would jump on that as soon as I could.I have 23,000 on mine and it's just like a new one.If you do the required maintenance,you probably would not need the 100,000 mile warranty.Is that one an LX with an I4? That would definitely be my engine preference.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Kias haven't improved their resale like Hyundai. Good car with high depreciation. A compelling used car buy.

    Since (I believe) 60K of the warranty transfers, there's absolutely no reason to buy any kind of third party or extended warranty (seldom if ever is in any car).
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