Recently I shot some pics of the empty dealers that surround us here in the San Berrnardino Auto Center and posted a sort of photo essay about these tough times. Well, as the saying goes, "tough times never last, tough people do" I guess I must be at least a lil tough cause I'm still here and we are still selling cars and "Rebuilding the Inland Empire one Kia at a time!' One big sign that we are least on the road to recovery, though its a road chock full 'o potholes(!), is the new sign going up for our once nearly dead center. And a big sign it is at over 70 feet tall and once done will light the Inland Empire night sky just like Vegas baby! It sounds cheesy but it is really a good feeling to know I am part of bringing life back to San Berdo! :)
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!
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