Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One month in - Kia Optima EX Luxury review

So I am one month into the Optima and figure its time for a preliminary review.  Getting 11 l/100 km fuel economy consistently still which is good but will only get better the summer.  The vehicle is great, I am still very happy with the purchase and still can't find any downside other than the definite need for winter tires, the all seasons are really only meant for non-snow seasons.  The little bit of snow we have had really does the job on handling with the all seasons.

I had to get used to putting things in the trunk as opposed to poking it into the vast expense of the Pilot, but that's no big deal.  My youngest son had some adjustment and got a bit car sick initially with the low ride and new car smell but is getting over it.  The ride is on the firm side for sure, I like it but if you don't like a firm ride then this car is not for you.  Lots of power, feels like even more than the 200hp stated, probably because the vehicle is relatively light.  I can't see you wanting or needing more.

The heated seats are great and rear heated seats for the kids in back is a great bonus in winter.  One thing I didn't expect is how nice the heated steering wheel is.  It just feels great to have warm hands on our freezing cold days.

The stereo is fantastic, bluetooth integration is nice for playing my blackberry songs and I can store songs on the hard drive once I figure out how to do it!  I am not fussy on the serius satellite, it cuts out a fair bit and plays the same songs over quite a bit I find.  I like the hair metal station but the song rotation seems limited.  I have free subscription for 3 months but won`t be renewing for almost $20 a month.  Radio, CD, and blackberry songs are suiting me just fine.

One thing I decided not to use is the comfort access where the seat moves back once you turn the car off to make it easier to get in and out of.  When you start it up it moves back to your last position.  I just prefer to have the seat kept where I like it.  If you had two different drivers I could see it being more useful.  It also has a memory driver seat which is great for switching drivers.  I find the seats really comfortable and the rear seats are kind of reclined a bit which the passengers seem to like.  It also has a power passenger seat which is a nice option.  Some articles say the seat bottoms are short but I don`t find that, maybe because I am fairly short myself.

So that leads me to my only possible minor criticism.... not for me but if you are over 6 feet tall I think you may have some headroom issues with the sunroof.  I have enough clearance but with another 3 or 4 inches it would be tight I think, same with rear seat headroom.  On the sunroof by the way it is a fantastic option, it really brings tons of light into the cabin with the glass in front and back and the shade can be closed if you don`t want to see it at all.  It has to be the best sunroof going on a non-luxury vehicle.

The brakes are great (upgrade for luxury model), I like the steering, it has decent feel and handling is really good for a non-luxury vehicle.

So, it drives great, looks great, excellent fuel economy, I have no regrets.  If I go with another Kia after this though I think I will go to a different dealership if possible, just because the local one was so annoying from beginning to end.  I took the opportunity for one last shot across the bow though.... here is my email from last week.... which they didn`t respond to I might add.
Hey car sales guy,

Just got the thank you card in the mail form you guys and it reminded me to email you about my customer survey response. I gave you guy really good marks for everything but not perfect because a few small pdi items were missed, the seatbelts had some plastic and elastic bands still on them and there was a grease or some type of stain on the back seat. No big deals but just letting you know.

I have a few people asking me about my vehicle, just keep in mind if anyone says I sent them give them a price without all the extras and let the nice finance lady worry about the upselling!

I love the car, you guys will sell tons more once you move the dealership into the 21st century I am sure! You should check out autos.ca for some tips, I post there all the time.

Thanks and good luck with it all... busy season is right around the corner

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