2013 Kia Optima SXL
July 30, 2012 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Should I buy the 2013 Kia Optima SXL (Ltd).

(they just arrived at Chicago dealers a couple of weeks ago)I am very close to buying one and interested in hive input regarding estimated safety reliability and desirability.
Pros: 1.They are totally loaded with all the features I wanted Or lusted for (and same price as 2012 SX once you add on all those features that are options in SX but standard in the 2013 Limited) such as sunroof, heated/cooled seats, back up camera, blind spot warning, elec. seats, navigation system, etc etc.
2. so fun to drive, unusually responsive for cushy sedan.
3. Great warranty 60k miles/60 mos
4. Good gas mileage
5. Roomy
6. Beautiful leather, comfortable seats

1.No Kia dealership/service center that near my house(about 20 miles away and I am one of those urbanites who despises driving to the burbs)
2. About $5000 more than I hoped to spend
3. Not sure how good a car Kia is these days
4. Will prices go down by December?
5. Is it good to buy a new model that just came out?
6. I am not very impressed with the closest dealer despite them offering me a better price than two dealerships in a neighboring state

Bonus points if you can advise me re: is it worth financing a minimum of $10K through the dealer in order to get additional $500 off price ( supposedly can be paid off with no penalty after 2 months). I do not yet know the finance rate but probably around 2.3 or 2.4%. I could come up with cash, don't really need to finance.
posted by Lylo to Shopping (5 answers total)
5. Is it good to buy a new model that just came out?

I can’t say whether it’s good or bad in the absolute sense, but buying a brand new model is never a good investment. Cars lose a lot of value the second your drive it off the lot and lose a higher percentage of their value in the first couple of years of ownership than in subsequent years. While the reputation and perceived reliability of Korean models have improved a lot over the last decade, Kias and Hyundais still have some of the worst resale values of any car maker operating in the US. That’s bad news for new Kia buyers…

…but good news for used Kia buyers. You should be able to get a used Optima or Sonata (even in the current body style) still under warranty and comparatively equipped for significantly less than the new model.

Honestly, I think it’s crazy to buy a new unless you really can’t think of anything to do with the thousands you’ll save buying used. Take time and shop for a low-mile ’09 or ’10 model, and treat yourself to something nice with some of the savings as a consolation prize to make up for the loss of that “new car feeling.”

(It just occurred to me that your question could be in reference to the reliability of all new models. I believe the powertrain/platform that the Optima is built is shared by the current Sonata, which has been in production for about three years now. You should be safe, reliability-wise.)
posted by Kevtaro at 11:55 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Buying a car is almost never an investment. It WILL lose value. It is supposed to; you are using it up.

All I can offer is my personal experience. I bought a new '12 Hyundai Accent in November. I have 19000 miles on it now. ZERO issues with it over that time. My goal was to buy the cheapest car with the best gas mileage, and the Accent was the car that met both criteria. But I have been pleasantly surprised with how well built and designed the car is. Everyone I know who has bought a Hyundai/Kia in the last 5-10 years has been happy with their purchase.
posted by gjc at 5:50 AM on July 31, 2012

3. Not sure how good a car Kia is these days

Datapoint on that one: I bought a Kia Spectra5 in 2006, and it's been a fucking champ all the way. Maybe they've gone downhill since then, or maybe it's just that model that's good, but anecdotally it's as good of a car as any I've owned.
posted by COBRA! at 6:59 AM on July 31, 2012

Bear in mind, when we bought our Kia, the warranty was not transferable. We purchased an extended warranty, and that was transferable - but not everyone will have purchased an extended warranty. Also, certified pre-owned cars bought from the dealer will have a much shorter and less extensive warranty.

Buying new is worth the peace of mind, IMO. Besides, my Kia is worth $13000, and I've already paid off all but $10000 - not an investment, but not bad for trade-in value, if I decide I want to.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:06 AM on July 31, 2012

3. Not sure how good a car Kia is these days

Kias have been excellent lately, on par with the best of the class. Consumer Reports has the Optima on its recommended list, with excellent reliability over the last several years. The do place it a little behind the Hyndai Sonata.

Personal data point: I have a Kia Forte Koup, with 32,000 miles, and it has been excellent. Not a single problem and very well appointed and finished.

Also, it's worth it get a subscription to ConsumerReports.org when researching cars. Lots of data there, and I think it's only $20 or so for a year.
posted by The Deej at 7:07 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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