The new 2011 Kia Optima is truly a breath of fresh air with its overall new design. This is the third-generation for the Optima and Kia needed to find a way to compete with the Hyundai Sonata in the mid-size car range. This upgraded Optima has a new power train, sporty interior and a sleek exterior in both a hybrid and turbo option.
The 2011 Kia Optima Engine Performance
The standard on this Kia Optima is the 2.4-liter, four cylinder 200 horsepower, and 186 lb torque engine. It’s a good engine, not a great engine for this Optima. However, if you are looking for a little more bit in your engine, the Optima is also available with a 2.0 liter, 274 horsepower turbo. Both engines are respectable, reliable, and solid for most drivers. The standard will give the driver a 24 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway experience. With both the standard and turbo, the Optima drive can have the choice of standard or manual transmission.
The 2011 Kia Optima Driving Experience
When taken out and pushed a bit, the Kia Optima driving experience can be a lot of fun. The Optima tends to take turns well and though when revved up, the motor can be a little bit loud. However, this engine will make this mid-sized sedan move when it needs to go somewhere. We found the manual and automatic transmissions both shifted smoothly when put through their paces. The braking was more than adequate with just enough bite when applied lightly. Many found the steering to be a bit too light which can be said of many cars in this mid-sized class. However, there seemed to be more responsiveness the more it was pushed.
The 2011 Kia Optima Exterior and Interior Look
Not to sound too vain, but the exterior needs to compliment the car and the Kia Optima certainly does that. Starting from the front of the car, the Optima gets the infamous Kia “Tiger” grille, which is a chrome arc that sweeps back. The Optima has fender flares, a dual chrome exhaust with optional HID headlights and LED taillights. The interior of the Kia Optima is comfortable and quiet. You will find plenty of leg and headroom in both the front and back seats. The trunk has plenty of room, as you would hope for in a mid-sized sedan.
Overall Impression of the 2011 Kia Optima
Kia has been known as the car company that caters and markets its cars to the offbeat and funky crowd. However, this new Kia Optima is a much slicker, more serious look at the mid-sized sedan. With a choice in hybrid or turbo will satisfy most middle of the road drivers and truly brings the Kia Optima into what many will call real family car.