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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #1
I am very upset today. I'm sorry to re-hash an old topic (I know there are other threads devoted to this), but here's my sob story.

After months of searching for the perfect car, I thought I had found it in the 2012 Optima EX. I absolutely love the car, everything about it. I test drove it, and I've been absolutely giddy about it ever since. The only thing I had to do was have my wife drive it and like it to seal the deal.

Did that yesterday. She is a very petite person, at about 5 feet or maybe 5-foot- 1. As a driver, she really liked it. The driver seat is completely customizable, and she was able to increase the height etc., to her liking.

In the passenger seat, however, she absolutely hated it. She couldn't see over the dash. She couldn't see the road. There's no way to adjust for this.

My only hope is that she will consider using a wedge or cushion in the passenger seat. She's not pleased about that idea.

I'm gutted. I was picturing myself in this car, and it made me so happy. I think this is going to be a deal breaker .
 

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2017 sportage sx
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448 Posts
You can shim the seat on it's tracks and gain nearly 5/8". Not hard-4 bolts. Buy 4, 40mm long x 1.25 x 10 bolts. Also 4,nuts and washers slightly larger than the bolt thread for shims.
The change is very noticeable and comfortable.
 

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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #3
Codger, did you do this? Are could you describe it a bit more detail? I'm a bit stupid when it comes to this stuff.

I called my garage this morning and they said they could probably help me, but he also said "well, there are a lot of cars out there, you know." :(

My concern is that it would affect the safety of the car (either the stability of the seat in the event of an accident, or the airbag deployment).
 

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1995 Procharged Mustang Cobra, 2021 Sportage EX
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All you have to do is make sure your using grade 8 hardend bolts. Same grade as the factory uses.
 

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2017 sportage sx
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448 Posts
Yes I did it and another member give me the method he used. Works perfectly. If safety were an issue, I'd never have done it. Bolt it securely and it will withstand more than your passenger will. If you're doubtful-don't do it.
I make no warranties. But my own car has it.
Slide the seat back and you'll see 2 black plastic covers on the track edges. Pry them and the bolts are there.
Same for the rear. Should take 20 minutes for all.
If you're really a 'SciWhiz' this should be cake...
 

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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #6
LOL, thanks guys. Codger, I'm in a bummer mood about this but your comment about me being a SciWhiz actually made me smile. But I'm a biochemist, the wrong kind of SciWhiz!
 

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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #7
Actually one other question - what do you think is the max height that one could gain by doing this? I'm worried that 5/8" isn't very much.
 

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2017 sportage sx
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Actually one other question - what do you think is the max height that one could gain by doing this? I'm worried that 5/8" isn't very much.
It is plenty. She will look over the dash and window edge-not at them.
If you raise it higher:
A. You'd need lathe-turned steel tubular shims. And 50mm bolts.
B. The entry height will be uncomfortable-the roof line is low at entry. No one will like that.
 

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Spicy Red Optima SX, Mazda6 Wagon
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168 Posts
You could gain another 1/8-1/4" with thicker shims - 5/8" diameter nuts and multiple thick washers would work fine. That extra lift seems to require a bit of extension in the holes on the seat rails, which would take a few minutes with a Dremel tool, and dabs of paint to prevent subsequent rusting. 50mm long 10x1.25 Grade 8.8 long bolts are available at Home Depot.

I did the mod that Codger describes and the 0.6" lift from 1/2" diameter nuts and washers was quite noticeable. He's also correct that more lift might affect entry/exit, as well as limiting headroom for taller passengers.

I would NOT ask someone else to do this mod. They would probably object on liability grounds (not that I think this mod is a safety concern), and it is really quite easy to do. Very few tools and about $10 worth of bolts and washers to accomplish.

You could give your spouse an idea of the change before purchasing by having her sit on a pillow that gives an equivalent amount of lift.
 

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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks dfrost.

I will not have any garage do it. My neighbour, whom I've known for many years and who is a car mod enthusiast, may help.

I really appreciate your help guys.

Take care.
 

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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #12
Hahahaha, well it certainly is from her perspective!

It's a bit of a head scratcher to me why the passenger seat has no height adjustment. But I think we're going to be able to fix it, so I'm feeling better about it.
 

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2014 Optima SXL
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92 Posts
This is ridiculous. My wife is 5 feet even and in 6 months, she hasn't said a single thing about not be able to see something or being inconvenient. Even when I asked her straight up after reading these silly threads, she said she never even thought about something being wrong. I really hope your wife could be reasonable about this.
 

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2017 sportage sx
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448 Posts
Three owners (at least) have experienced the same problem. Why is it a silly thread and ridiculous?
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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Fooling with seats to gain maybe 5/8" doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

Personally, I'd be looking for another car. There are many other mid-size cars to choose from; I just checked our Mazda 6 and seat-to-eye height between 65 and 85cm in the passenger seat gives comfortable viewing. I'm 183cm (6ft), and my seat-to-eye height is 82cm. If you wife is proportionally built, she would be viewing from 66cm. The Mazda 6 dash dips down on the passenger side.

Greetings from another biochemist. Don't even think about changing your wife; costs more than 10 cars.
 

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2012 Optima EX+, Pearl White with all black interior
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Discussion Starter #16
Well xXHaim,

I don't know what to tell ya, because there are numerous threads devoted to it, maybe hundreds or thousands of people who have noticed it, and I asked an acquaintance who is a technical supervisor at Kia and he said that he's heard it all before.

5/8" or slightly more might be enough to make a big difference for my wife. I love the car enough to do it, compared to other cars I tested, included Mazdas.
 

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2014 Optima SXL
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92 Posts
I'm just saying, if she is not spoiled princess and actually likes you, she could live with it. I'm sure she has her own ride for most of her commute.
 

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Black 2007 Spectra EX, 19.2mm Tib rear bar.
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NO Optima models have a power passenger seat? I'm thinking wrecker yard parts or look for another model.

How about scavenging a Sonata seat? Are any of them adjustable on the passenger side?
 

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11 Optima EX 2.4, 04 F-150, Burgman 650, V-Star Midnight Custom
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NO Optima models have a power passenger seat? I'm thinking wrecker yard parts or look for another model.

How about scavenging a Sonata seat? Are any of them adjustable on the passenger side?
The Optimas with the Premium Package have a 4 way power passenger seat rather than the 8 way one the driver has. Up and Down front and rear are the 4 ways the passenger seat does not have.
 
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