Joining the owner ranks
Took delivery of the new-to-me K900 since last week. Comments/observations:
1. I’ve owned Mercedes, BMW and Jag sedans. This car is every bit as good as an MB S-class, BMW 7, Audi A8, Lexus LS or Jag XJ. Not better, not worse, but just as good – all at a fraction of the cost.
2. I wash all my cars, which gives me a good idea of its build quality. The statement that “Kia put everything it knows about how to build a car onto this one” is true. It is a heavily constructed, solidly build auto. The doors, for instance, are unusually heavy for an Asian brand.
3. For prospective buyers pondering on the sidelines:
a. This is the best used car buy among large premium sedans, since it's dismal in holding values. The same factor that makes it the worst new car buy. I was able to pick a CPO MY2015 Luxury VIP for slightly over half its full MSRP. Lesson: don’t ever buy this model new.
b. Get the one w/ VIP package if you can. Many more toys to play with, giving it features for cars selling in the $80k-$150k range.
c. I bought this car sight unseen from an out-of-state Kia dealer since there is no other offered in North TX where I live w/ the same color/equipment I was looking for (white exterior w/ ivory interior). The condition is as- advertised (whew). Since Kia has not been successful selling these in large numbers (in all of the US: approx 1,300 sold in 2014 as MY2015, and perhaps less than 1000 in 2015), you will rarely see another one. Here in north TX so far I’ve had 3 sightings (no, that’s excluding my own, and 2 maybe of the same car…). Unless it wears a Rolls/Bentley badge, no other large 4-door sedan (again the aforementioned BMW/Merc/Jag) will garner a double take from strangers, except this Kia. I witnessed from a distance 2 gents gawking at my car in the parking lot during my 1st week of ownership. Isn’t this an important reason people pay more for a premium badge?
d. Speaking of brand, I think there is a certain coolness/been-there-done-that maturity for someone to be able to get past the urge of a 3-pointed star/4 interlocking ring, etc brand and move “down” to Kia. This is not a slap on the owners of these other luxury makes. Again, they are great cars, but so is this Kia.
e. The most often quoted criticism of this model is its suspension tuning and handling do not measure up to the best German standards. This is true. But keep in mind all auto journalists are obsessed with cornering/figure-8/0to60 times even when they’re testing minivans and pickups. So (pardon the shouting) UNLESS YOU HABITUALLY DRIVE AT 10/10, this Kia has more than sufficient handling capability that most drivers can use. The car WILL go where you point it. I know because I’ve had the blessing to own these other German makes in the past. You won’t win a contest against a Miata in a windy mountain road, but that’s not why owners buy the K900.
f. Did I say don’t buy new…?
g. No wobbly tires for me, another whew…
h. This car is quiet. It’s a strange sensation when you press the honk on the road but can barely hear it inside the cabin.
i. Dislikes: one fan motor only, as mentioned by another poster. No easy way to delete a preset radio station (yes, the perils of buying used). The suspension is fine going over railroad or freeway connection joints and tar strips, but I did sense it bottom out once under full load going on a hump at speed on the freeway. That’s it. I will likely find more faults in the coming weeks…
j. Will very much like to get the Korean "K" badge the Optima K5 guy sells, but I’m not DIY-er and don’t have the confidence to remove the KIA badge w/o damaging the paint, despite having seen the dental floss/goo-gone method. If I have to pay someone professionally to do this, with what source should I inquire – an auto body shop??