I especially poured over the Kia Optima, Hyundai XG300, and Suzuki XL-7 SUV at last weeks Omaha Auto Show. Had wife and kids in tow. Unlike my wife, I thought the Optima was quite impressive. She thought it was OK but nothing special. (She wants the upcoming baby Jag, the soon to be released X-type.) I really loved the Optima's looks and some nice touches (e.g., the strut-type trunk hinges that don't intrude). Too bad the V-6 Optima cannot be had with a manual. And its price is higher than the Sonata. Found it odd that Hyundai sent a base XG300, an XG300L, a Sante Fe, Elantra, and Accent but no Sonata. Kia had everything but the Spectra.
There are some nice pictures of the 2002 Sonata out. It is quite a looker. Optima is more conservative while Sonata is tastefully flashy.
Giowa: Having owned several Jaguars over my long lifetime, Jaguar is a car of universal appeal to both men and women. My Mom and myself each bought one at the same time. Mine was a '75XJ 6-cyl and hers was a '75XJ 12-cyl. Her car was a Sable color with a definite violet overhaze.Mine was Black. While the Jaguars had leather upholstery, the Optima sedan I saw had a very soft cloth upholstery. Mom always complained about the leather being abrasive on her legs and kept a blanket over the driver's seat for comfort. The tactile senses that were transmitted by the Optima definitely, IMHO, designed to appeal more to the ladies.
#49 of 609 Sex Differences In Buying (to netranger4)
Jan 13, 2001 (7:56 am)
Will be interesting to see if there is a difference in preference for Optimas vs. Sonatas between male and female buyers. If I remember right, thought I saw something showing that Sonata buyers tended to be heavily male. Females preferred "safe" & reliable Accords & Camrys. (Think it had something to do with risk. Men are less risk adverse and would gamble on reliability because the value was so good. Females prize reliability so much and remember what happened to early Hyundai's that they view them unfavorably initially.)
I had hoped Hyundai and Kia would differentiate this platform more on the basis of sport. One might have a more aggressive suspension and some performance/handling upgrades. If you are correct, maybe Kia wants to lure the attractive sex its way while Hyundai gets Joe Sixpack?
In today's Omaha World-Herald there is a great story headlined "Executive Assess Banner Year of Sales of Asian Car Brands". Excerpt:
"sales of the new Rio compact sedan boosted Kia's 2000 sales to 160,606, its best ever, a 19 percent increase over 1999. Kia plans to introduce a Rio station wagon and the Sedona minivan in the U.S. next year."
Hey everyone. If anyone is interested, I just bought a 2001 Kia Optima SE V6. This car is the Steel Blue, I went for the leather interior and the sticker came in at $21,474. My promotion included a vehicle allowance, so I went out and drove 16 cars including the Altima, 626, Protege', Golf (I know, different class, but in my range), Impala, Focus, and the list goes on and on... The Optima was, hands down, the finest car I drove. I had my boss (the owner of a BMW 740, Mercedes 500SL, and Dodge Viper) take a test drive with me, and HE'S thinking about getting one. In looking at the earlier discussion, it seems to me that they went the other way from the conjecture, at least with the SE. From what I've seen of the Sonata, it seems that has the sportier look and style, and the Optima is geared more toward the classy end. The leather and wood look great, and the styling (especially the front end) has a more upscale look than the Sonata. It handles well, and has plenty of punch when it's needed. The shiftmatic is fun, but overall this is just a remarkably solid, well-performing car that is ridiculously roomy and comfortable. All I know is that I got all the features and comfort I could possibly hope for, and I'll still be able to buy my gas from the allowance!
#54 of 609 Crash Test (to bluewinds, #53)
Jan 31, 2001 (7:20 am)
Who did these tests? Are there any numerical results indicating how well it did? And in comparison to other cars? Is there a web site where we can get all the results for this testing agency? This didn't look like the US, European, Japanese, or Australian new car assessment programs. Is it Korean NCAP? Hyundai internal test?
This car 2002 in my opinion looks better than the optima and probably has more room because this Leganza boasts a bigger interior than the roomy Avalon. Anyone do a price comparision on the two? I'm pretty sure a fully equipped 2002 Leganza is less than 20k. You can see a pic of it on the LA AUTO SHOW section of Edmunds.
It was done by one branch of national transportation bureau of Korean government. It's an official K-NCAP test.
However, it was not a sophisticate test like U.S's real NCAP test but a simple test.
K-NCAP test includes safety of structure/cage, dummy restraints/kinemaics and some injury measures. For example, in the part of 'injury measures' we don't have regulaion about putting sensor on legs and foots. compared to U.S'S NCAP, it should be more improved.
Also, test cars only have driver's side airbag. They don't have passenger's side airbag. So, the results are unreliable to check driver and passenger's injury. Experts who know the safety of automobile only accept its result of structure and cage damage. Personally, I also think that only cage/structure damage results are valid in this test.
Anyway, Kia Opt's result is a little bit better than 2000 Hyundai Sonata's in structure/cage damage.
If new traffic law is passed in congress, government will do test by new standard which is as same as U.S's NCAP test in every fields.