Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wait. Wait Wait Wait Wait...

There's a $35,000 KIA???


Now, I'll grant you that it's a sharp looking car, and it comes with a nice list of amenities.On the other hand, IT'S A FREAKIN' KIA. They're a company that got their start in the US selling cars that were cheaper than Hyundais. Think about that. These are the less-refined versions of the Hyundai. And someone thinks that they can put "leather" interiors in and charge $35K? Good luck to you and the Red Sox, pal.

Especially considering that I can get a Honda Accord hybrid with leather interior and premium sound system for several thousand dollars LESS than the price of that Kia. Comparably sized car, WAY better gas mileage, MUCH better reliability, all for less money? Hmmm. Let me run the math on that: Kia + $3,000 larger price tag = BUY THE DAMN HONDA.

I guess I just don't get it. I'm not impressed by "badge engineering" - one of the touted competitors that the Cadenza is aimed at is the Lexus 350, basically a re-badged Toyota Avalon. Why on earth wouldn't you just get the high-end Avalon rather than the 350? You're going to pay more for a freakin' "L" on the grill? Then again, people throw money away on Cadillac Escalades and Lincoln Navigators, so I guess there's no limit to how quickly a fool and his money are parted...

But $35K for a KIA? Apparently the position of "Fool" pays well...

That is all.


Phssthpok said...

Don't forget Jay that when hyundai first came ashore here they were generally regarded as being 'on par' with the 'Yugo'. Now look at them. I daresay some of their upper-mid level offerings (I'm looking at YOU Sonata) are giving the Camry/Accord crowd a run for their money (and don't forget the first Civics had a re-purposed motorcycle engine in them!)

SOMEbody had to be the 'early adopter' of the higher quality offerings in order for Hyundai to have been able to achieve this.

I was just thinking about the Hyudai/Kia paradigm the other day and came the the personal conclusion that Kia is now occupying the market slot that Hyundai had back in the early 90's: Generally accepted as reliable (if just plain functional), but not *quite* considered 'Quality'...yet.

Give Kia another 20 years, and they may just surprise you.

Sailorcurt said...

Don't get me wrong, I think new cars are WAY overpriced and for that reason I haven't purchased a new car since...let's see now...1992? No...1998 was the last new car I bought.

Anyway, with that said, refusing to pay top dollar for a quality car because the badge says "Kia" is no different than overpaying for a car because the badge says "Lexus"...just in reverse.

The question is not "what does the badge say?" The question is "is the car worth what they're asking for it?"

If the Kia is better built, with better performance and better amenities than the Lexus or the Honda, then I'd say it's worth it, regardless of the Kia on the label.

I'd say it's a pretty good strategy: Start out with low end, cheap cars to get into the market and get some name recognition, then after a few years, when the shopping public knows your name, expand the line to include niche markets like performance or luxury.

Whether they will be successful with this strategy remains to be seen, and I wouldn't pay $35k for a conveyance, but if they can do it, more power to them...who knows, a decade or two from now, Kia may just be the recognized name for luxury sedans.

Phil L. said...

Things have changed. Even at $35K, you can no longer discount Kia.

Keep in mind that Kia is essentially a division of Hyundai these days - and we've seen what the results of Hyundai's laser-like quest for quality and constant improvement has done for them in recent years.

The Cadenza shares its chassis with the well-regarded Hyundai Azera (some claim the Cadenza beats its corporate sibling).

Yes, Honda is noted for quality - but Hyundai and Kia have done remarkable things to catch up. The Cadenza has a longer warranty (5/60K basic and 10/100K drivetrain) than the Honda Accord (3/36K basic and 5/60K drivetrain) - and even includes something Honda doesn't want to talk about: Free maintenance for the first 3 years/37.5K miles.

Years ago, I helped a friend with some problems he had with an early Hyundai Accent. I quickly determined that the car's design was mostly a set of poorly-made compromises that made maintenance work a real hassle. But a few years later, a different friend got a Hyundai Elantra - and I also helped him with that car (yeah, I'm the car guy people call). The difference was night and day: It was then obvious to me that Hyndai/Kia was putting serious effort into their cars and could no longer be ignored.

I don't know much about the Cadenza - but I've seen what Hyundai/Kia can do when they put their minds to it.

Laura said...

it's a Genesis in Kia clothing. i'd drive one happily if i could afford it. my Sonata is a fantastic car, and had i another $10k to spend on a car i'd have gone Genesis.

seriously. drive it before you judge it. :)

Jay G said...

I guess my point is more that I don't see why someone would spend $35K on a Kia when they could get a comparably equipped Accord for $7K *less*. Or a Camry, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

the early Hyndai and Kia's were old type toyota,nissan,honda's that were not imported to the US.The Yugo was actually a fiat if I recall.The chevy luv pickup was an Isuzu!The ford courier was a mazda....

Laura said...

well, the car you shared is a tier above the Camry/Accord. it's located between the Camry and the Avalon. and i will honestly say my car is equal in quality to Honda and Toyota with a better warranty, plus more interior room than either of them (which you know is a necessary thing when the Husband-Elect is a tall guy).

don't judge a brand until you drive it. :)

(i test drove anything that Chris would fit in, and Hyundai won out by leaps and bounds.)

Jim said...

In Korea, Hyundai and Kia are divisions of the same company.

Thing I don't like about the Hyundai warranty, is that to get the erstwhile 100k benefit, one MUST do ALL the scheduled maintenance at the Hyundai dealership.

The price of that adds up to far more than one might imagine. And, that 100k warranty is powertrain, not comprehensive, bumper to bumper coverage.

That said, the upper end Korean cars are carrying some world class engineering, electronics, fit, finish and materials.

I wouldn't write 'em off, but I'd not be their customer, either.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX