Last post on May 20, 2013 at 3:46 AM
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#30009 of 32331 Re: now this, is nice [jayrider]
by steve_ HOST
Feb 09, 2013 (1:20 pm)
My sister had an '00 New Beetle for seven years or so. When I first rode in it from VA to TN I was afraid how the trip was going to go because the seats were so firm. But they were very comfy the whole way (about a 9 hour trip).
It helps being "average" size too. My Outback bothers me after a couple of hours, but most cars don't.
#30010 of 32331 Re: now this, is nice [jayrider]
Feb 09, 2013 (1:26 pm)
I guess it's all what you are used to; I have BMW sport seats in my 3 Series , Recaros in my 2002, and Mazda "sport" seats in my 2007 MS3. I prefer any of those to the standard seats in the X3 or 328i- not that they are uncomfortable, but I like substantial side bolsters. Having said all that, the seats in my 1999 Wrangler Sahara are very comfortable for cruising- even for a 1-2 hour stretch. No side bolsters, but then I'm not going to be pulling many lateral gs in it either.
Mazda softened up the seats in the 2010 MS3 and I don't like them at all; the leather seats in the Abarth I drove were also very nice.
#30011 of 32331 Optima EX w/pano roof
Feb 09, 2013 (5:48 pm)
Kia sent my wife an offer for a $25 visa gift card for test driving any new Kia. Perfect timing.
I did her the "favor".
I walk in and there is a Turbo/Limited in the show room, panoramic moonroof and all. Niiiice car, of course it's $35k. It's a demo so asking price was $31k, not too bad.
Napa leather, perforated, heated and cooled, wraps even the dash. Roof is lovely. Nav screen is average size, but sharp. UVO has lots of gee-whiz stuff for the techie in me. Seats are very comfy. Pillars wrapped in fabric.
Cons? I don't need the turbo, which is less reliable than the base engine. Paddle shifters are nice but you actually lose the heated steering wheel. Chrome wheels are tacky and oversized.
I chat a bit and ask for an EX with the premium (pano roof) and the tech (Nav) packages. Sans turbo the asking price plunges to $29k. The pillars are plastic and you lose the paddles on the steering wheel, but you gain a heated steering wheel and better mpg. It also has heated and cooled leather, heck even the rear seat base is heated.
Forget any stereotype you had about Kia being cheap.
Engine is peppy, trans works in harmony with it. A little noisy when you floor it but nothing objectionable. Ride/handling is biased towards a good ride, with 17"s it rides quite well. Blind spots are so so but the backp cam is excellent and you get one even without the Nav package.
I can usually come up with a list of complaints but I will admit I was stumped. It checks every box I wanted. It's just a bigger car than I need.
I wish there was a 5 door model, or a Forte 5 door with that pano option.
Big thumbs up to Kia, though.
#30012 of 32331 Re: Optima EX w/pano roof [ateixeira]
Feb 09, 2013 (5:58 pm)
And it's not as overstyled as the Sonata.
#30013 of 32331 I feel smug already
Feb 09, 2013 (6:17 pm)
Was curious to try the baby Prius c, so I drove next door to take a spin. I had to adjust my expectations because I had just driven a car that cost 50% more.
I hop in, and instantly I no longer need deodorant and my flatulence is odorless.
I like the "just right" size. Passenger space is impressive for the exterior size. Cargo room also for that matter. The Scion xD seems one size smaller.
Moonroof is small. Leather ain't leather in this case, but it's heated and comfy. Entune was simple and found my house, but you can't program it on the move, even the front passenger. Most OEMs are like that, I guess.
Engine was ice cold and it was at 10mpg when I took over. Should have zeroed the odometer, oh well. Drove off and it's a smooth transition from EV to gas and back. BMW needs to learn how to make a smooth start/stop from this $18.6k car. Badly.
It rides well for a small car, accelerates ok. I got it from 10 to 30 mpg in a couple of miles, and it was still climbing fast. Geeks will love the charts you get - I was over 50 mpg for 4 of the 7 mini trips, which it breaks each time you stop. Would be easy to get over 50mpg in this.
I do like the small size, but ... this is an economy car with an economy price. It's only $2 grand or so more than an equipped Yaris, and EPA says you get $600 back per year in gas savings, so you break even in a little more than 3 years. Worth it....
...if you are poor. Lucky for me I'm not poor.
It drives well, it's just not plush in any way. It's a good cheap car.
$18.6k for a 2, or $20.4k for a 3 which has Nav and Entune.
Honestly the base model makes more sense to me. For $18.6k from Fitz there isn't any new car that is significantly better and none will beat the mileage.
#30014 of 32331 Re: Optima EX w/pano roof [ateixeira]
Feb 09, 2013 (6:21 pm)
Good write up. Bold move foregoing the turbo for the base engine. I'm impressed.
#30015 of 32331 Re: I feel smug already [ateixeira]
Feb 09, 2013 (6:25 pm)
Does the 18K one really have heated pleather? My friend has the middle model - nav and wheels but no sunroof, and cloth seats which I am pretty sure aren't heated. He bought it in GA though, maybe a regional thing.
Just don't take it on roads that move at 60mph or more with hills...it's a useful car for city people, but for many drivers would get tiresome quickly.
Maybe engine size is a part of start/stop roughness? C has a 49cc scooter engine, right? Could probably pull start it with fishing line
The insanely high wages for tenured lucky people in the DC area might give a different outlook, but poor people couldn't dream of a 19K car.
#30016 of 32331 Re: Optima EX w/pano roof [ateixeira]
by steve_ HOST
Feb 09, 2013 (6:30 pm)
Kia sent my wife an offer for a $25 visa gift card for test driving any new Kia.
Was that from a sign-up at the auto show?
All I got was a Hyundai tote bag.
#30017 of 32331 America's Most Hated
Feb 09, 2013 (6:34 pm)
I mentioned earlier I had not driven a Prius since the year the Gen II came out, so while I was at it...
This is a much more substantial car than the Prius C. It is roomy and comfy front and back. The cloth is plush and the A-pillar is nicely wrapped. The "leather" is better finished than the C.
Off the line, it feels much quicker. You get instant response from the electric motor, and the gas engine gives a nice boost and you're gone. This is NOT a slow car, blame the driver if you're ever stuck behind one.
I drove it like I stole it and still got 36mpg over a couple of miles with an ice cold engine. It rides well, handling is ok (better than expected).
Visibility is good and the Nav has a nice backup cam, the C did not.
Overall, better than expected. More to the point, it's a much better car than most enthusiasts are willing to admit.
I'd pick this over the C, even a used one.
#30018 of 32331 Re: Optima EX w/pano roof [nyccarguy]
Feb 09, 2013 (6:38 pm)
My GPS says my average speed is 20 mph.
200hp seems like enough for that! LOL