FOLLOW ALONG WITH WHAT I GOT GOING ON
It's been over a year since I parted ways with my 2011 Kia Optima SX. I really enjoyed it for the 2.5 years I owned it. Prior to purchasing it, my wife and I shared one car. But, with her at home on maternity leave, we needed a second one. I ordered it in February and took delivery (the first in the city) in May of 2011. It didn't see a lot of use, and I sold it just prior to Christmas 2013 with only 8,800 kms on the clock. I sold it for $29k with the summer wheels. The guy who bought it said it looked better than the brand new model he test drove earlier that week. <blush>
One of the best parts of owning that car was the attention it garnered. I rebadged the car with a different Kia logo used in Korea, so that really confused people. I installed a set of Eibach springs, which in combination with the MRR HR2 19" rims, gave it a pretty aggressive stance. As fun as the attention was, I did find myself often having to defend the Kia brand against criticism. Anyone who had some time behind the wheel was impressed with the car, but there are still a lot of people out there who think all Kia's are garbage. That was a bit frustrating.
The 274bhp turbo 2.0 was shockingly fast. Power came on quickly and very smoothly. The suspension was decent, made better by the low profile Hankooks. Compared to its competition, this car had personality and spirit. There were some issues with the quality of finishing, but for $33k, there is nothing that touched it in terms of looks, performance, and value. It was loaded with equipment you wouldn't find in a $50k car.
There's no such thing as the perfect car, but all things considered, this car was perfect for what I needed at the time.
Great, but not-so-Great G8
In March of 2009, GM was on the verge of bankruptcy and dealers in our city were offering handsome discounts on their stock. We ended up trading my wife's 2007 Lincoln MKZ in for a 2009 Pontiac G8 GT. This car was essentially a Holden Commodore with Pontiac badging. We received a $7500 discount on the car and ended up driving it off the lot for $31k. It was a smoking deal. Within three months, the shine had worn off the penny and we listed it for sale. It sold in less than an hour for $30,500. While I absolutely loved the looks and performance of the car, it wasn't really fitting the bill for us.
One thing that really irritated me about this car was the fact it arrived from the dealer with all kinds of scuff marks on the paint. I took it back to them twice, but their detailing staff lacked the skill to rectify any of the paint issues. I spent a month trying to get the paint back to factory-fresh condition, but the paint was so thin and weak, it proved useless. The paint seemed to scratch incredibly easily and it was a magnet for dust. I actually think the paint held an electrostatic charge that attracted dust particles. A few other maintenance issues began to surface and the dealer proved unable/unwilling to address them. After three frustrating months of ownership, I was done.
Pontiac went out of business shortly after this car arrived in Canada ('08 version was available in the US), and it's a shame because this car had great potential. I imagine the second generation of this car would have been something really special. This YouTube clip will give you an idea of what this car was all about:
SQ5 Meets Old Q7
I was picking up a pizza when I saw a familiar sight. Our 2009 Audi Q7 we parted with last Fall. The new owner lives not too far away. It looked to be in excellent shape still. I had a quick chat with him and he loves it. I peeked inside and I did notice just how much bigger the interior of the Q7 is compared to the Q5. His little guy had about 6-8 inches more legroom in the backseat as compared to my little guy. Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool that these two cars finally had an opportunity to meet.
RAD GARAGE is my personal detailing theatre. I am a teacher who finds immense pleasure in completing deeply therapeutic, thorough and highly satisfying detailing projects in my residential garage. I have converted my suburban double car garage into a world class detailing environment and I enjoy caring for my own car and select cars belonging to others. The garage and the work I complete in it have allowed me to connect with other detailing enthusiasts from around the world.
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Carzilla is a local detailing store that caters to the North American community of professional and enthusiast detailers. I have been a longtime customer and I am fortunate to call the owner a friend. Besides stocking a vast quantity of top quality detailing products, the owner has supported various garage and detailing projects of mine over the years.
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