This tricked-out Optima sedan looks stunning!
Many of our interviews in the Kia owner series have focused on people looking for a car that they can modify and change to their own unique style.
What about the driver who is just looking for a great ride to take them on a long daily commute?
That was the question asked of John, our latest interviewee, a Systems Administrator who make a 90 mile round-trip hike from Lakeland, FL to Tampa. That car of choice would be the Kia Optima.
As you might guess from the job title, this is a man that loves his tech. The technology features of the Optima are a bit hit, but the power and comfort of the ride are what made it such a big selling point.
It also helped that he got a tome of help and support from his friends at Optimaforums.com, many of whom have given him some real ideas about tuning the car to deliver a better ride than the great one he is currently getting.
One thing that John is quickly becoming used to is the reaction that people have when they see and ask about his car.
They are usually surprised to learn that it’s a Kia, with many really taking time to express how cool they think the car looks.
What surprises them even more is when they learn that something that looks so great and has so much good stuff packed comes with a price tag under 40K.
1. Tell us something about your Kia car ownership experience?
I’ve been really happy with the car and it’s been a different experience than any of the dozen plus other cars I’ve owned.
I have to attribute a lot of that to the OptimaForums.com. It’s a relatively small enthusiast group that that’s always looking to help each other out; from simple appearance advice to complete DIY guides to replace your suspension.
That camaraderie spills over into the real world with car meets and fellow members wiling to go out of their way to help you out on a project.
2. What do other people say about your modified Optima?
It almost always starts with two questions, the fist is “What kind of car it that?”.
The send one is in response to the answer; “Really?”.
Once we establish that it is in fact a KIA the conversation is typically centered around ‘that’s a really cool looking car, did it come that way?
I’ve never had strangers express as much interest in a car as this one and makes the whole ownership experience all the better every day I drive it.
3. How long have you owned your ride?
I bought it new Memorial Day weekend of 2011
4. Honestly, what was your intention when you bought your Optima sedan?
I was looking for something better looking than another Honda that was also economical to own. Good looks, great options, good mileage, and low maintenance were top priorities.
5. What do you like the most about your ride?
The stunned reactions when people find out it’s a KIA. It’s rare to ever own a sub $40k ‘family sedan’ that turns heads like this car does.
6. What is it that makes your ride look unique?
The ‘murdered’ or blacked out appearance with that touch of red up front. Add to that the lowered suspension and it’s a pretty unique look.
7. Installed aftermarket accessories & future plans?
There’ a laundry list, but here are some of the bigger items are listed below. I have to thank David at K5OptimaStore.com and Will at KarbonKoncepts.com for all of the help and advice they have provided with the many of the modifications and enhancements I have done.
Complete List Of Mods
- Ark DT-S Catback – Custom Black Tips
- D2 Racing Coilovers – 2” Drop
- TSW Brooklands – Matte Black 18×8
- Custom FMIC
- Injen SRI – Black w/Red HydroShield
- Synapse BOV
- Nameless Charge Pipe, Nameless FSTB
- Roadruns V2 Grille
- Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser
- Front Diffuser – Custom Red Paint
- Engine Cover – Custom Red Paint
- Brake Calipers – Custom Red Paint
- SunTek CXP 18 Tint (16%)
- K5 LED Scuff Guards
- Chrome Blackout – 3M Vinyl Wrap
- 3.0 K Badges – Custom Black
- Trunk Badge Delete — Optima / SX GDI
- Camily Bumper LEDs
- Lamin-X Tinted Headlights Gunsmoke, Lamin-X Tinted Foglights, Lamin-X Tinted Taillights – Charcoal, Lamin-X Tinted Bumber LEDs – Charcoal
- exLED Turn Signal Mod, Trunk Smile #1 – Brake + Reverse, Trunk Smile #2 – Parking + Reverse, exLED Trunk Interior Light Bar, Interior LEDs – 6000k
- Sylvania OSRAM HIDs – 5000k, SilverStar High Beams – 5000k
- Piaa Fog Lights
- Stage 3 Amber LED Turn/Parking Light
- Stage 1 License Plate LEDs
- Escort 9500xi
- BlendMount Hardwired Mirror Mount
- Updated GPS Software
- iPhone Mount
- GoPro Hero Black, GoPro Headrest Mount
Images Of The Modified Optima Sedan
A List Of Future Modifications Waiting To Install:
- Nameless Custom CAI
- Karbon Koncepts Carbon Fiber Side Skirts
- Power Folding Mirrors
- Auto Fold Mirror Module
Kia Optima Specs
engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder Turbo
Exterior color: Ebony Black
Model year: 2011
Tire size: 235/45/18
Average mpg: 28
Miles driven so far: 50,000