Another early gift hit the ground today here at AllStar Kia of San Bernardino, the very first 2011 Forte 5 was dropped of just now! In addition to the all new Optima, reviewed below, the new Forte adds excitement to the line with a sporty new hatch that has the style you want with all the space you need and still saves you the cash you have to keep! Watch for some better pics once the Service Dept. gets it checked in and I can get it out on the road! Until then I want to send out the very Happiest of Thanksgiving to all my readers and friends from the Fleet Guy, Mike Correra
As a youth I was a car fiend, I had posters of dream cars covering every inch of the walls of my room. One of my all time favs was the De Tomaso Pantera, man what a mean machine! Long since gone from all but the memories of us car freaks the name Pantera is now mostly associated with a heavy metal rock band! That will soon change as a former Fiat exec just got a big boost from the Italian government and will be reopening a plant in my homeland of Sicily and going into production with three all new De Tomaso branded vehicles! Lets hope the Pantera rises from the ashes and once again brings us some Italian exotic pavement fury! Read the details here while we wait for the 2011 Geneva Auto Show where they will be debuted!
I will try to keep it brief but no promises! The first of the all new 2011 Kia Optima's arrived at AllStar Kia just yesterday and I had to wait for the Service Dept to clear it before my chance behind the wheel, talk about chomping at the bit! Its rainy out but that actually made for a great first drive as I was more measured and intent on what I was doing.
Walking past the striking new exterior and sliding into the drivers seat I realized that there is enough room for me to really get comfortable and at 6'4" that's not frequent in cars today. A push of the ignition button (oh yeah!) and the dash lights up, even greets me with a pleasant welcome. Well thought out cluster gives me everything neatly and the center stack is angled perfectly to me, the driver (yes I will control the stereo thank you).
Pulling onto the wet street the new 200hp 2.4 pulls strong even on light pedal. Its good that the new rear end design is so nice to look at because Accord and Camry drivers will only be seeing this view. It amazes me that the new 2011 Camry still has only 168hp, what the... The Optima rode firm and controlled without being harsh at all. Steering if tight and secure making corners smooth and allowing me the confidence to know it I COULD have gone faster if I had wanted to. The seats are fairly deep bucket style and hold firm even in hard cornering, very comfortable and great back support.
I pulled back into the lot and jumped in the back seat without moving the drivers seat forward, low and behold 'the Kia Guy' fits fine! Great headroom and not tasting my kneecaps! The roof line gives the appearance that the back will be smaller, keeping a great profile but causing a bit of apprehension, I was very pleasantly surprised. The trunk is cavernous and low lift-over height should make loading and unloading of my clubs a breeze, ok the Kia Guy doesn't golf but still!
Overall this vehicle blew me away more than I expected and I had very high hopes from all that I have read over the past few months, I can't wait for an extended drive on a sunny day!
Stay tuned friends for more as I get time on the road with the new Optima, OR come in to AllStar Kia today and see it in person! See ya soon!
I consider it a privilege to salute those who have answered the call to duty, often in the face of extreme danger, such as our brave men and women face today in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world. They all demonstrate extraordinary courage and dedication while they honor America and its people by their service. It is our duty and responsibility to honor these individuals, many of them our brothers, sisters, or mothers and fathers to ensure that their service and sacrifice is not forgotten or taken for granted. Please take a moment and just look around you, imagine what it would be like had it not been for the men and women who have served our Great Nation, find a Service Man or Woman and shake their hand as you say Thank You! The FleetGuy Salutes our Service Men and Women Past, Present and Future!
I'll save you the excuses for the lack of attention to my lil site, I have been overwhelmed blah blah blah and damn it my fingers are just plain tired o typin! This weeks FridayCarporn, as with them all stopped my dead in my click so to speak! Two of my all tjime favs in one package; the Ford SOHC 427 and the AC Cobra! Whoa, match made in heaven but makes for some pure tire smokin drivin hell! Those not familair with the SOHC 'Cammer' 427 may like to know that it was a very limited production Ford big block developed for NASCAR use. Vintage 'Cammers' still around just make your pulse quicken at the mere thought of that open header idle.... Happy Friday!
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