Last post on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:45 AM
You are in the Kia Optima
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Kia Optima, Sedan
#1 of 609 Optima: Kia Readying its Version of Hyundai Sonata
Aug 08, 2000 (2:48 am)
Check out both Kia's web site and September 2000
issue of AUTOMOBILE magazine to learn about Kia's
upcoming release of their new Optima sedan, their
version of Hyundai's Sonata. Web site has a
picture. To come out with engines now in use in
Sonata: 2.4L I-4 and 2.5L V-6.
Will be interesting to see how Hyundai and Kia try
to differentiate and market these two corporate
cousins. Check out Sonata postings to get flavor
of how us Sonata owners feel about our cars.
Will the Kia steal sales from Hyundai, which has
seen them explode in U.S. over past year? Will
anyone even notice that Kia has a larger sedan?
Only time will tell.
#2 of 609 If it is the same
Aug 08, 2000 (8:36 pm)
car they started selling in Australia in 1998,
then it is definitely better looking than Sonata.
can you please post the website.
Aug 08, 2000 (9:41 pm)
Wow! The Credos is definitely the looker of the bunch. Are you sure it's another Sonata clone? If it is true, Kia really should bring this version to these shores.
BTW, I notice Kias now carry the same excellent warranty as the Hyundai Advantage. Even though I worry a little about the two name plates vying for the same customer pool, I think HMA stands to gain a bigger market share in the long run. That is, as long as HMA design enough differentiation between the two cars. Examples:
1. Give Sonata more "upscale" trim packages and make Optima the entry level value winner, a la Audi A4 and the VW Passat.
2. Tune the Optima as a family sedan with a compliant ride, and tweak the Sonata into a no-compromise sports 4dr sedan.
3. Differentiate various models with engine choices:
Optima: 2.4L I4 standard, 2.5L V6 optional
Sonata: 2.5L V6 standard, 2.7L V6 optional
In addition, make an "ultimate" Sonata model in the same vein as the Audi S-cars and BMW M-cars. Force-feed the 2.5L V6 with twin turbo chargers or shoehorn the 3.0L V6 from the XG300 into it. 1" lowered sport suspension and 17" alloys shod with 235/40ZR17s. Call it the Requiem, for the other imports, that is.
Uhh... sorry about the puddle of drool. Let me clean that up here.
#4 of 609 Hyundai-Kia Differentiation (to volfy)
Aug 08, 2000 (11:35 pm)
Couldn't agree more; however, after surfing around world at Korean, European, Australian, and US Hyundai web sites I'm struck by fact Hyundai has yet to create a "real" sports car or sports sedan. Not sure they'd know how to create a Sonata Sport Sedan. As the proud owner of a '96 Chevy Impala SS I know what such a car can do for a brand as well as attracting buyers. At very least, Hyundai could create a sportier Sonata by selling one that came only with 2.5/2.7L V-6, 5-speed manual, ABS & traction control, 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, 16" performance tires and suspension tweak, fog lights, spoiler, sunroof, and CD. Only options would be leather & power seat. Limited it to only about 4 exterior colors (say red, blue, green, & silver) and only 1 interior color (black or darker grey), and possibly have a sport seat. This could be easily done. And the price could likely be kept around $21,000 US. My GLS V-6 w/5-speed & Pkg 13 is somewhat along this line but needs tire & suspension upgrade and better brakes. Then let Kia keep to a simpler, cheaper strategy.
Kia should be to Hyundai as Chevrolet is to Pontiac. Let Kia sell more on price/value and Hyundai on sport & luxury. But they have to be careful to preserve real price and option differentials. If they are mere clones, they'll drag down each other's sales by cannibalizing at each other's dealers. Lower per unit per dealer sales would cripple expansion plans.
#5 of 609 Iam glad you agreed volfy
Aug 09, 2000 (2:30 am)
The KIA's sold in Australia are all great looking cars. The Sephia equivalent is called the Mentor
and it looks great too. I have seen these cars in person when I was living in Sydney. I just do not understand why KIA is not bringing them to USA.
Instead they choose to sell you bland cars kinda like Honda and Toyota. Are American tastes this
bland? Check out the KIA Mentor (Sephia Equivalent)
#6 of 609 American Cars (to jkobty)
Aug 09, 2000 (2:49 am)
You should add more detail to your Edmunds profile. Do you live in US or Aus? What car(s) do you drive? Want?
Not sure I'd say American tastes are bland. Unfortunately our market is moving away from cars to trucks, SUVs, and vans. I don't care for any of these. Give me a sports car or sports sedan any day!
Though this isn't politically correct, I believe another terrible problem in US is that most cars are automatics. Far too many (if not most) driver education programs don't even use manual transmissions. My wife along with lots of other wives in my rural Iowa town routinely tell me they can't drive sticks and don't want to learn.
About 80 plus percent of our cars and even higher percentages of SUVs, trucks, and vans come with slushboxes. Try to find a 4-door V-6 with manual transmission. Good luck. Whole models no longer come with manuals (e.g., Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala/Malibu, Cadillacs, etc.). That is why it is absolutely critical for both Hyundai and Kia to build and adequately market sufficient V-6s with manuals.
Americans have forgotten how fun cars can be to drive when they have a manual transmission. Since too few view cars for their driving pleasure, we don't get them styled to appeal to that same side. Maybe that leads to blandness?
All I know from the history books is that the 60s muscle car era had lots of powerful cars that could be ordered with manuals and they had style. We lost it when the era died and are slowly recovering from the dead 70s and 80s.
Aug 09, 2000 (4:11 am)
Where have you been? Living under a rock possibly? The Kia Sephia and Spectra are the exact same cars as the Australian Mentor 4 door and 5 door sedans respectively. They didn't change the styling to fit "bland" US tastes. They simply brought over the same exact car that they offer elsewhere.
#8 of 609 ingtonge18
Aug 09, 2000 (6:00 pm)
Well if you bothered to look at the Mentor pictures I posted it looks nowhere near a Sephia.
Both interior and exterior of Mentor is better than Sephia.
BTW, I used to live in Australia between 1995-1998. I owned a Daewoo Cielo back then. Currently
I own a Daewoo Leganza and a Daewoo Nubira.
#10 of 609 giowa
Aug 09, 2000 (7:19 pm)
I agree Hyundai could use an "image car", especially here in the States. The fabulous warranty and much improved quality is starting to win over car buyers, but sales numbers along isn't enough to shake the cheap car stigma.
I think that is exactly HMA's intention for introducing the XG300. From what I've read, Hyundai Motors has been wanting to bring an upscale vehicle range to NA for a while now but have been apprehensive about its own quality control and NA public acceptance. I think the timing could not be better.
I think you're right that Hyundai doesn't have a lot of experience with high-end sports cars, although Hyundai Motorsports has been campaigning a successful Tiburon Rally team. So that may be changing soon.
Hyundai does have experience, however, building luxury cars, so perhaps they are moving upscale from that end with the XG. It's a smart decision. We'll just have to wait for the sports sedan a little longer.
BTW, I also agree about the proliferation of slushboxes on this continent. I have so far owned only 5sp vehicles - the Sonata is no exception. I'm very fortunate to have found a wife that comes with 5sp driving ability, standard.