Last post on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:45 AM
You are in the Kia Optima
What is this discussion about?
Kia Optima, Sedan
Feb 26, 2002 (8:06 am)
IMO, the Optima is marketed wrong. They say the Optima is the lower priced alternative to the Accord. Well, they need to move down a little. As it has been said before, you will be very hard pressed to get a Honda customer to give up his Accord for an Optima just to save $1500. At Mall of Georgia Kia north of Atlanta near Lake Lanier, the 2002 Optima LX is advertised from $13,999. To me, they should go after buyers of Civic, Corolla, Sentra, etc. For $14k, Honda will sell you a Civic LX with a 115 hp sohc engine and 14" wheels. For $14k, Toyota will sell you a Corolla with manual windows, locks, mirrors, no cruise, etc. Nissan will sell you a wel equipped Sentra for 14 grand, but it will be a smaller compact car. For $14,000 Kia will sell you a true mid size sedan with a 149 hp dohc engine, 4 wheel independent suspension, all the power features, side airbags, 15" wheels, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (50,000 miles transferable) and other goodies. As hard as it is to convince people to save a little money over Accord, it should be easy to SHOW how much more car they get over Civic--size, power, and content. As more Optimas go on the road awareness will increase. Ferraris are rare because they are really expensive. Optimas ae rare because not many people are buying them because (I think) they don't want to look like the only ones who want to take a chance. As they sell more, people will feel more comfortable buying one. Then, the nicer models will follow. People will say "I like the car, but I want a leather interior." Well, you tell them to go get one with leather, or sunroof, or V6, or whatever is holding them back from getting one. People who buy them and like them will hopefully go back to get another one a little higher up the ladder. Anyway, this is just my take on it, but it seems like the way I would go. Then again, if they did this, how would they market Spectras? I guess if Optima took off like Sedona did and if the new SUV is in demand, buyers would feel more comfortable buying lower end models because they would feel better about the Kia brand. Kind of why people buy Echos. They know Camrys and Avalons are good cars, so they feel Echo will be, too. With a little luck, Kia could be like this in a few years.
Feb 26, 2002 (8:22 am)
Of course you are entitled to your opinion. Remember 2 things, though. First, you came on to a board set up for the flow of ideas about a specific model. Most posters here either own an Optima, or are thinking about buying an Optima, or own a similar vehicle and feel good about Optimas. This is NOT a board like the one in News and Views labeled "Tell our thoughts on Kia." The point I am making is that Kia owners get beat up all day long simply because they own a Kia. Maybe it was all they could afford. Maybe they really liked the car so they bought it. Either way, these folks own and are happy with their Kia. I guess they feel that this thread should be a safe haven from criticism because they own a Kia. If you want to bash Kia (which is what you did regardless of your intent), fine, bash away. But, try to find one of the boards that was set up for the bashing. Now, if you had said "I drove an Optima and I did not like it" then that would have been one thing. You went on and on, though, about how you thought it was dangerous to drive and low in quality and just a rotten car. The pro-Optima crowd took it as yet another post with someone wondering what kind of drugs folks have to take to actually want to own one of these horrible cars. Second, you chose to attack the Optima. Besides the Sedona, the Optima is the most praised car in the Kia lineup. Even the auto media is somewhat kind to the Optima. Please show one professional review describing the Optima as being tinny and dangerous. You can't because they don't exist. You probably had some preconceived notions about the car because it's a Kia, and you were not going to like the Optima no matter what. Who knows? You may not have gotten any response attacking the Rio or Spectra, but the Optima is an okay car. At least the experts think so.
Feb 26, 2002 (8:30 am)
Bill, no offense here, but you know your rock bottom dealer auction prices have no indication of depreciation. Sure, a $15,000 (stickered) Optima may wholesale auction at $9000 two years later--but you also know the original owner did not pay $15,000 for it. Probably gave $12,500 or so. So it lost $3500, not $6000. Also, it will private party sell (and on a car lot) much higher, so the depreciation just got smaller. I know you see tens of thousands of cars and you have more knowledge of wholesale value than anyone else here, but you know you aren't being exactly fair about Optima's depreciation, right?
Feb 26, 2002 (10:04 am)
So, you deem an interior to have dangerous and horrible ergonomics because the rear view mirror annoyed u?? The rear view mirror is in the same spot it's in in every car. In the center top of the windshield! Unless you sit on the console, I don't see how it could get in your way. You shouldn't be trying to look at the sky anyway. You are supposed to be looking directly in front of you, in which case, the placement of the mirror does not intrude. And I know what ergonomics mean. It has to do with how intuitively placed the CONTROLS are and how easy they are to operate and understand. This means: where the HVAC and radio controls are, are they big enough, how easily does the cruise work, are the gauges easy to read, etc. Under that definition, the Optima has good ergonomics. You said it yourself, "I understood them, just didn't like them". So Kia was successful in their ergonomics; it's just that you didn't like the looks. I have no problems with you not liking the Optima. It's just the way you said things that didn't make sense. You should have said, "I didn't like the interior styling and the rear view mirror annoyed me.", instead of, "this car has terrible ergonomics that are just dangerous!". See the difference? Going into more detail would have made you look a lot more credible to others. Not to mention that I think it's laughable to compare an 02 Optima's structure to a 91 Civic. I know for a fact the Optima is a much more substantial car then that small thin sheetmetal car. The 91 Civic was no doubt a high quality well built car in its day, but it was far from substantial feeling. A 2200 pound car is not gonna feel as solid as a 3200 pound one. I, for one, was very impressed with the solid thunk of the Optima's doors. It was far from tinny sounding.
#245 of 609 Actually while the 91 Civic
Feb 26, 2002 (4:46 pm)
had been around for 4 years, the 1992 Civic did win praise for its solid feeling ride at the time.
Feb 26, 2002 (9:28 pm)
Someone e-mailed me... Think ya were gonna post that elsewhere.. irrespective.
First, these are 1-year residuals. And these cars have under 10K on them
Even Loaded-to-the-gills V6s arent pulling even $11K with 12K miles and Silver and Mint ($10,500ish).
What a lot of this originated from was Smart Shopper. Is the Optima a bad car overall? I dont think so, not from what I have seen so far. I drove one not too long ago. It wasnt bad. Was it in the same league as an Accord? I think the Accord is a better car. For the extra $$ it had damn well better be. And I also think that a Jaguar XJ8, which is close in Size to an Accord is a MUCH better car than the Accord. For over double the $$ it too had damn well better be.
I happen to dislike Camrys. I find them Boring to Drive. Accords arent much better IMO. I feel the same way about Optimas. Me? $12K? I'd buy something like a used 1995 BMW 540i, but that's me
That being said, I do think that the Accord is a nicer car than the Optima.
Now, If Kia can fix their reputation, and Hyundai is getting there ahead of them, in the future they'll do a lot better. But right now, things are what they are.
So back from my digresssion and back to Smart Shopper:
I basically tell people to look at the big picture, and I harp all over the place to look at resale value because people tend not to, and because it is the single biggest consumer expense That's right. Your car is generally your second biggest purchase. And Depreciation is the biggest expense in car ownership. Want to get me to yell at ya? Tell me youre gonna buy a new: Buick, Q45, Diamante, Millenia, Cadillac DeVille, Jaguar XJ8/VDP, SAAB.
Now there are cars in that list that are wonderful cars. Some I love dearly (you all know my love of Jags). Still, buying a new XJ8 and trading it in after 3 years? You just blew close to $30,000.
That's freaking stupid. Want an XJ8? Great. Awesome car. Safe, reliable, sexy, ad nauseum. Buy an 00 for $35-36K. Buying a new one is just financial suicide unless you lease.
GOT to buy new? Buy a Lexus, BMW or Mercedes.
This is why I keep saying stuff like "A Ford Taurus SES, even after the rebates, costs as much to own after 3 years in depreciation dollars as a Mercedes-Benz CLK320 Coupe"
Back to our story... Look at the posts in RWTIVs. Look how many 99s people are trading in. Lots of em. Most people dont keep a car till it dies. The Average in FL is something like 33-34 months (I forget but its just around 3 years).
So say ya grab a loaded Optima V6 for, say, $17K. And 3 years later its worth $6,500 as a trade ($7K is about what a 40K mile 99 Sonata V6 GLS is worth and kias dont do as well, but who knows...)
That'll be $10,500 in depreciation.
But a 1999 Accord EX V6 with 40K on it is worth $15K wholesale.
(An 01 is worth $20,500 with 8K or so on it)
And TMV on that Accord V6 is $23,334
And TMV on that Optima V6 is $17,118 or so
In a year, if you trade the honda, you lose $3K. The Sonata? $6,500.
In 3 years, you lose $8,500 on the accord. $10,500 on the optima.
And the Accord V6s have, percentagewise, the worst resale of the line save the DXs (Which nobody seems to buy anyways)
You see where I'm going with this? The Accord is still cheaper to own.
So I'm not Saying the Optima is a bad car. I'm saying if you must have one, buy one used.
I'm not trying to be a Jerk here... I'm just basing this off what I see.
I rank on all cars like this, it just seems that we keep discussing Kias and Hyundais over this...
Hope I didnt sound like a Jerk.. wasnt my intent!
Feb 27, 2002 (7:28 am)
Thanks for the essay. With all the research on Kia, I'd say you'll be an enthusiast in no time! It doesn't really matter to me anyway. I don't even own a Kia anymore. What does still get me fired up, though, are people who bash Kia simply because they are Kia. You bring an economic point of view which is great if you do trade every 34 months. I will tell anybody NOT to buy a Kia if you are going to do that. Going to keep it 7 years like I did, fine--who really cares after that long? You got the good out of it by then anyway. Even you said of the Optima "I drove one...and it's not too bad." That is high praise from a Jaguar enthusiast in my book! Maybe in a few years Kia will be okay to own withut the stigma--and I'll be back in the market around 2006, who knows?
Feb 28, 2002 (7:13 am)
For the money, I briefly considered an Optima as an alternative to the Civic and Corolla style of cars when replacing my Sephia not too long ago. I ruled it out because I wanted the smaller car for in town commuting and parking deck parking (you know, "small car spaces").
Mar 03, 2002 (11:13 pm)
Like I said.. Not a bad car, nothing that I saw that made it better than the Japanese competition, but then again its a LOOOOOT cheaper so its' unfair to hold it to the same standards as you would an Accord, Passat (The only mainstream sedan I like actually, but look what it costs.. itd' better be damn good) or Camry. Versus a Corolla? Damn strong argument there.
Research? I can do it with most any car I see out there... scares me sometimes
And I also think its a LOT better than a Sephia/Spectra. Buddy of mine owns a rental company here in Orlando, he says that the new Optimas are doing OK, ditto the Sedonas, but he's replaced all of his small Kias with Lancers. That's very strong priase from someone who is.. shall we say not a fan of Sephias (Neither am I.. I think you got real lucky with yours from what I have seen).
Mar 04, 2002 (4:49 pm)
And here I thought you were all set to scour the country for that 2001 Rio I had my eye on?
Ah hell....Do need to start looking for a 99+ Jag. I've put 1400 miles on my 1998 in fear of my depreciation costs.