2011 Kia Optima Turbo
Following close on the ground-up redesign of the Hyundai Sonata comes an all-new 2011 Kia Optima mid-size sedan.
Sharing the Sonata's underpinnings, the angular Optima is an even more striking change than the swoopy Sonata. With its raked stance, angular headlights flanking the Schreyer grille, and switchblade taillights, there's no mistaking the 2011 Optima for its predecessor, or its Hyundai cousin.
The new Optima's interior is a study in excellent ergonomics and attractive, Audi-esque design. Drivetrains are also common with Sonata. Standard is a 2.4-liter I4 mated to either a six-speed manual or new six-speed automatic. But, there's also a turbo in the mix.
The all new 2011 Optima Turbo represents Kia's first ever turbo-charged engine. And with 274 horsepower, it's perfect for those requiring more power without sacrificing fuel economy. – Brian Roberts
Indeed, the Optima T-GDI, equipped only with the six-speed auto, ought to deliver a 0-to-60 in the low to mid sixes and over 30 mpg on the freeway.
On our initial drive of the standard Optima, we found the suspension tuning didn't quite live up to its sheetmetal's sporting pretensions. But the Turbo gets a stiffer suspension tune and beefier wheels and tires for more grip. Also like Sonata, later this year the Optima Hybrid arrives, using the same lightweight Lithium ion battery pack and gasoline-electric drive.
On sale now, the 2011 Kia Optima starts just under $19,000. The T-GDI will start under $25,000.
Engine: 2.4-liter I4
Price: Starts just under $19,000