Last post on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM
You are in the Kia Optima
What is this discussion about?
Kia Optima, Future Vehicle, Sedan
#151 of 882 Re: Sonata vs Optima [backy]
Sep 02, 2010 (10:22 pm)
A very significant difference between Hyundai and KIA is the size and quality of their networks. I remember visiting a Hyundai dealer in the mid-90s with a friend to test drive an Accent. The building and lot had previously been the "value" used car lot for the adjacent Honda and Oldsmobile dealerships. Prior to that it was the main used car lot and originally it had been the Olds dealership. It was old and smelled like a basement, the carpet was stained and none of the office furniture matched. Basically, it was a dump! It felt more like a 'Buy Here, Pay Here' used lot than a new car dealer. The Suzuki dealer up the street seemed classy in comparison despite having a trailer for a sales office and no showroom!
My next visit to a Hyundai dealer was almost a decade later in late 2003. A co-worker wanted to test drive a new Elantra and asked me to tag along for support/protection. My expectations of the dealership experience were pretty low, but I was pleasantly surprised. The building was only a few years old and the appearance of the showroom and sales area was nicer than a lot of Nissan and Mazda dealers in the area (Atlanta). The sales guy was friendly, neatly dressed and he knew his product very well. I negotiated the price and we closed the deal within 90 minutes, without any undue hassle. She is still driving her red 2004 Hyundai Elantra GT 5-door and I've referred several folks to that salesman since then.
I visited a KIA dealer for the first time in Dec 2005 when I was car shopping. This particular dealership was originally a restaurant and then a Budget Rental location before it became a KIA franchise. I wanted to check out the Spectra5 and they only have one on the lot. It was parked on the grass in front of the lot and blocked in by two other cars. When I asked to test drive it, the sales guy he complained about the hassle of moving those cars! He said he didn't want to "go thru all that" unless I was a serious buyer! I won't repeat what I said, but about 20 seconds later I learned just how good of a smoky burnout you can do in a 2WD Jeep Grand Cherokee (borrowed from my dad)...he got the message, needless to say.
I went to another KIA dealer last year when the Forte was introduced. It was in an ancient building that had been a Ford dealership for decades. The lot had potholes, the windows looked cloudy and the sales area wreaked of cigarette smoke! The salesman who greeted me and showed me the car was very friendly, but he looked too young to even have a driver's license. I asked for brochure when we got back to the lot and he told me they didn't have any (adding that his boss was "too cheap" to order them). Then he handed me a business card with another salesman's name crossed out and his scribbled below it...kinda sad.
I'd love to see KIA upgrade their dealer facilities along with their product lines. With products like the Soul, Forte, Sorento and now the new Optima, they have some great cars to help build a strong brand identity. It would be a shame to let the a crappy retail network hold them back.
#153 of 882 Re: Sonata vs Optima [igozoomzoom]
Sep 03, 2010 (6:24 am)
must be the area where you live, but here in Canada I haven't come across a KIA dealership yet (and travelled a good portion of the country) that remotely matches what you described. A lot of the dealership have been upgraded to the corporate standards but even the smaller ones (like mine) are still well presented and offer all the facilities.
On my travels in the US, I can't say I noticed any dealership as you describe.
Sep 03, 2010 (7:13 am)
this is a mind boggling achievement for Kia.
I've seen k5 in person. It's absolutely stunning car. I have a soft spot for Sonata, but I must admit Optima looks better than Sonata. I must give props to Peter Schreyer. dude is like a design rock star.
Sep 03, 2010 (7:28 am)
and i have to say Optima is the best looking sedan under 30k IMO. oh by the way, I recently test drove Sportage. Kia is no longer vanilla. it absolutely leap frogged my 08 santa fe in styling, execution and overall ride quality.
#156 of 882 Re: Sonata vs Optima [conwelpic]
Sep 03, 2010 (8:03 am)
As much as I am liking Kia product of recent vintage I also have to agree that Kia dealerships are dumpy in comparison with other in the vicinity. I have two of them that I sometimes spend time at on a Sunday afternoon of looking at cars without the salesman hassle and I have to say both are very much what was described. Holes in parking lot, very little inventory, run down maintenence on the building, etc. I don't really know what the dealerships used to be but I have noticed that they have done some improvements in the last year.
It's amazing what a little good product can do for sales, what that can do for profit and what that can do to generate a little extra money for maintenence to the facilty. They should continue to get better I hope.
#157 of 882 Re: Sonata vs Optima [m6user]
Sep 03, 2010 (8:35 am)
I would think that's to be expected, Kia dealers being lesser quality. They were hardly a big seller in the US to my knowledge and what they did sell was value brand. So it certainly fits.
That said, hell I'm ready to be a Kia dealership owner myself. I'm no salesman but I could make the case for the Optima all day long. Same for the Sportage and the upcoming Cadenza. I'd have to bone up on their other cars heh.
Around me though there are some as part of a multiple dealership lot that seem quite good. Others are a bit more run down. This is based on simply driving by, I've not been to any yet in person.
#158 of 882 Re: Another first drive [chuck1]
Sep 03, 2010 (8:56 am)
You are aware Hyundai is recalling some new Sonatas for a steering defect? Cars have been manufactured for over 100 years and there are still first year "bugs" from every manufacturer.
We don't agree here.
Nope. We don't. That steering issue could just as easily crop up in year 4 as year 1. Manufacturers test the heck out of their new models before releasing them now. That is a BIG change from some years ago, when testing and retesting was not nearly so comprehensive.
This is only anecdotal of course, but I have owned many vehicles, but since the mid-1990s, I have had no first year model problems whatsoever. Problems that have cropped up have been on a model that had been out for 4 years.
#159 of 882 Re: Another first drive [gregg_vw]
Sep 03, 2010 (9:01 am)
The first year thing is my only concern with the Optima. That and I want the UVO in it, and they typically refine the cars more over the years. That said I agree with Gregg, the testing is very comprehensive and all cars go through small recalls like this. I know I've gotten at least 4 notices of things on my 2001 Jetta over the years. From small things like Hazard light switches to larger things like the brakes.
#160 of 882 Re: Edmunds First Drive [dash5]
Sep 03, 2010 (12:28 pm)
Ouch. Even if it is 60 days from today, that means no car for me for at least a week or two when my lease runs out. I guess it is worth the wait.