When Audi’s award winning former chief designer–Peter Schreyer, joined Kia in 2006, it was obvious that “the shyt was about to hit the fan,” pardon my candor!
Case and point, when Kia hit the plating field, the predominant force driving attention to the brand was price. Fast forward to today and style IS now a definite factor in the equation. Case and point, the new 2013 Kia Optima.
From it’s modest $21,200 base model price, the $34,500 sticker of the Optima SX Limited ascends to become a super sleek, Jaguar-esque whip that’s turning heads all over town!
What’s the difference between $21 and $34? For starters, the LED lights. Even though they’re not necessarily daytime running (since you have to actually turn the parking lights on for them to illuminate during the day)–they look might hot! At the parking lights setting, they will still go off automatically when you turn off the engine to avoid any worry of forgetting. Other aesthetics of high end appeal include the side air vents–something you tend to see far more often in and on luxury brands. Perhaps it’s the sleekness of the front fascia or the chrome accents outlining the side windows and the lower side panels. The panoramic roof definitely adds a twist of cache. But madd kudos for the 18-inch chrome rims and the visibly red front and rear brake clippers–that’s hot!
Open the door and the “Kia” illuminated sill plates will cause you to also bat an eye, as will the rich wood trim on the dash and door panels. Seats that are cooled and heated are always nice. Even nicer is the Infinity sound system that in addition to sounding quite clear, can Bluetooth music from my new fast acting touch screen Blackberry Bold that was loaded from my iTunes account or direct from Pandora.
While looks are important, here’s what made me want to drive the 2013 Kia Optima SX endlessly: PERFORMANCE
First and foremost, never have I experienced a Korean car with the feel of a German engineered ride. At the $34,5K SX level, Optima bares the feeling of driving a $50K+ German whip. The ride was smooth and solid, yet with the agility to maneuver swiftly and accurately! The 2.0L turbo engine with 274 horses under the hood producing 269 lb. feet of torque carries the load masterfully. That in combination with a six-speed automatic transmission and you’re talking 22 mpg in the city, 34 on the highway.
I’m telling you, the new Kia Optima SX Limited aint no joke!