Attack of the Giant C-Pillars: Kia Optima SX Turbo

This is a 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo. It's a decent-looking car; hell, most everything put out by Kia these days is pretty easy on the eyes.

However, there's one design element that bothers the absolute shit out of me. It's this stupid C-pillar.


Look at that fucker. It's gargantuan. It's so big, it's pushed the window line forward, making room for even more fucking C-pillar. Not only does it make the rear windows look tiny, but it makes the C-pillar ... okay, you get the idea. It just looks off. Streamlined and somewhat aggressive, yes, but still off.

With a pillar that big, you'd think the rear sight lines would be hella lacking. Like, to the point where blind-spot checking resembles backing up in a Lamborghini Countach. A quick glance into the cabin reinforces that idea. You thought the C-pillars looked big on the outside? HA!


Of course, from the angles I took the pictures, they do look rather imposing. Thankfully, that's not the case from the driver's seat. Through witchcraft, a pact with the devil — something not of this world — Kia made the rear sight lines halfway decent.

Yes, the beltline moves upwards towards the C-pillar, which diminishes some lower-angle visibility, but when you're sitting in the driver's seat, the C-pillar isn't as thick as it is long (heh). That means you're not actually losing too much behind that metal. Here's a shot where I tried to replicate a quick over-shoulder glance:


It's not as bad as it looks from the outside. Yes, a thinner C-pillar would add a little visibility, but in all honesty, I think you lose more from the rising beltline. It's nothing that also looking in your mirror can't solve.

Still, even with this Korean hexenwerk at play, the massive C-pillar makes the cabin look small from the outside, which could spell trouble for Kia, as this segment primarily contains buyers that are trying to maximize space without also maximizing the budget.


And when you're going up against the Honda Accord, the Mazda6 and the Ford Fusion, every inch of perceived spaciousness counts.

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