Kia aint no joke!
The Hyundai affiliated brand targeting a younger, more style driven audience captured our hearts with its very urban-esque TV commercials for the Soul. In it, a couple of hamsters are rapping to the tune of Black Sheep’…”You can get with this, or you can get with that!” in what’s got to be one of the most captivating and memorable car commercials on the market. Looking and performing far beyond the perceived expectations of a $13,000 compact crossover, Soul is THE cutest and coolest in its class.
Around last year this time Kia rolled out the $20,995, Sorrento for model year 2011, with the tag-line “A departure from the expected.” Since its introduction, Kia has added its sassy, new signature front fascia, which gives the impression of being fine, yet still approachable. In other words, imagine Beyonce coming over and introducing herself to you in a club. For you baby boomers and beyond, imagine if Diana Ross did the same. Now pick up your jowl and keep reading!
And I damn near fell out the car and onto the street last summer when what I thought was an Audi (due to the sleek lines and LED daytime running lights) at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont, turned out to be the $18,295 Sportage. Keeping with the MO of the brand, the Sportage bares sexy looks, is fun to drive and priced for immediate sale to even the most average American.
But wait…have you seen the new Optima?
Totally blown away was I at the first glance during the Los Angeles Auto Show just this past November. I’m talking seriously high end is this design of this $18,995 mid-size head turner. Sleek lines, mack daddy 18″ rims and a sport-luxurious interior have the power to both capture and hold the attention of even the most non-chalant in the crowd. Take one out–such as the $25,995 SX Turbo, and see how easy it is to separate yourself from this Infiniti-esque performer.
When an ebony black Optima SX Turbo appeared in my driveway, it was so fine that I chose to remove the car in the garage so that black beauty could stay clean and dust free for my debut on the streets of Atlanta later that week. A day, or two later I stepped into the dark garage with the proximity key in my pocket. Before I could reach for the door handle, the interior lights began to illuminate. I pressed the button on the exterior door handle and the doors unlocked. The first thing I saw when I opened it was the word “Kia” lit up in the door sill. That was hot.
Seated inside, I hit the start button to feel the vrrrrrrroooooom of the 274 horsepower turbo engine with 269 ft. lb of torque. And while that may sound somewhat miniscule in comparison to a supercharged, high end sport-luxury vehicle with something like a 420 engine, the SX hit the mark every time and never once left me feeling power deficient. It had great maneuverability and braking, all of which made it a blast to drive.
Again, were talking $25,995 here with Bluetooth, iPod integration and three months of complimentary satellite radio. Add $2,000 for the Technology Package for navigation, back-up camera, Sirius Traffic and the 8-speaker Infinity audio system. For another $2,000 and some change you’ll get the Premium Touring Package with a panoramic sunroof, a power seat for the front passenger, seat memory for the driver, heated and cooled seats for both passenger and driver, even heated seats for the folk in the rear. And with practically everything but rain sensing windshield wipers, a fully loaded Optima SX Turbo will have you riding, smiling and singing right along with Atlanta songstress, Rhonda Thomas…”There is no other. No one is sweeter. I’m in a trance going deeper deeper. High as a rainbow. There’s only you and me is how you make me feel.” Just Us! Delivering much bang for the buck, Kia’s 22 mpg city / 34 highway Optima SX Turbo has the power to do just that to you. If and when it does, grab a copy of Rhonda’s new CD Listen for the ride. It’s a real feel good kind of project, which is exactly what you deserve.