Needed Improvements to KIA Optima software

gagpatrgagpatr Member Posts: 1
On 9/25/2012 I purchased a KIA Optima SX Turbo loaded with Navigation/Sound system. After buying the car I went through many of the functions and features of the navigation and sound systems and was disappointed that many features that are commonly available on the cheapest cellphone 3 years ago, are not available on this car.

Does anyone know who to contact at KIA to make suggestions on rather SIMPLE software improvements? I tried customer service and got nowhere. I was hoping to reach someone that can actually do something about it.

Some examples are: Playing music from the USB drive. I keep music in folders based on they type of music, like Classical, Jazz, etc and within each folder I may have folders by artist. The system in the KIA plays the music fine. However, when I press the Random key, it immediately interrupts the current song and plays a song from any folder. When I power off the car and start again, the Random key turn off. Not sure why. Also, in most music players of today, you can control the Random play function to randomly play music within the current folder, and/or sub folder or any folder at any level (which is the only way the current system works)

The Navigation system doesn't mute the sound of the radio/xm or USB when announcing directions.

The speedometer is gauged to 160 mph, which makes each 5mph reading very small and difficult to see on the analog speedometer.
I would suggest adding a Digital Readout in place of the outside temperature. Not sure why the outside temperature is constantly displayed. Doesn't seem important while the car is being driven but your speed is.

How about linking the phone address book with the navigation system. The Bluetooth phone system can get the phone numbers from the address book so why not the navigation system.

This is just a few improvements that is controlled by the software could and can be easily changed to improve the car.

Clearly, these limitations to the software functions in the KIA Optima are a couple of generations behind the what has been readily available for 2 years.

I can't find any suggestion system for KIA and as mentioned above writing to customer service is like putting the suggestion in a black hole never to be heard again.

Any help would be appreciated.


  • ngillettngillett Member Posts: 1
    I know the software definitely has been the biggest drawback on my Optima (2011 SX), (well that and the fact a what the techs called a 'defective sparkplug' destroyed one of the cylinders and required a full engine replacement @ 20k kms). Still love the car though.

    The random play feature, while still far from perfect, can play just within a folder; just hold the button for a few seconds. It still cannot play randomly through a set a sub folders though so it's either mp3s in the current folder or the whole usb stick. It's the same way the repeat key works; once for song hold for folder (or vice versa, can't remember which off the top of my head).

    And just to add a few things to your list of software issues:

    1) Voice calling. This has to be the most annoying feature for me. I went from a $30 handsfree device that I could make a call by simply saying "Call John Smith Cell" to a $30,000 car that requires a step by step list of commands and about 60 seconds to make the same call.

    - Press button wait for prompt.
    - "Call Name"
    - wait for prompt "please say the name"
    - "Smith John Cell" (side note, I was one of the lucky ones who had the phone book import backwards so all my names are Last, First and there is no known way to fix it)
    - wait for prompt "Would you like to call Smith John on cell phone"
    - "Yes"
    - confirmation "calling Smith John on cellphone"
    - call is made about 2-4 seconds later

    Seriously? I had a 2011 Ford Fusion rental while my car was in the shop and while the button configuration on the steering wheel was designed by someone who had never met a human before, the voice calling process was perfect:
    - Press button and wait for prompt
    - "Call John Smith cell"
    - confirmation "calling John Smith on cellphone"
    - call is made about 2-4 seconds later, plenty of time to cancel if the wrong name was announced.

    Oddly enough, while calling was perfect in the Ford, hanging up required reading the manual. The button is clearly marked but apparently their programmers think that instead of a single press to hang up it's better to require you to hold the button for several seconds. Still not as annoying as Kia's excessive prompt system.

    The dashboard display is definitely lacking options. The LCD in the instrument cluster is full color, crystal clear and large but they insist on always taking up 75% of the screen with a picture of the car (in most cases). There is no need to choose between speed and temp when you have that much space; just show both. My parent's Chevy Cruze has much better display options and that has one of the cheapest LCDs on the market.

    I'm not sure if the US version gets this but almost every time you activate the Nav or turn off audio (which then defaults to the Nav) you get the full page disclaimer that you have to agree too. It's essentially a notice saying pay attention to the road that, ironically enough, requires you to take your eyes of the road to respond to and clear from the screen. Sure, it's too dangerous to allow you to press 3 buttons to sync a new phone while driving (understandably) but making you read a disclaimer, choose your language, and then agree to simply turn off your music makes perfect sense to a Kia programmer.

    Good luck finding anyone who will accept your suggestions.
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