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New York 2010 Preview: All-new 2011 Kia Optima unveiled

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Filed under: New York Auto Show, Sedan, Kia

2011 Kia Optima
2011 Kia Optima - Click above for high-res image gallery

The next stage of Kia's transformation from design also-ran to serious contender will kick off at the New York Auto Show in few weeks. After launching the Forte sedan and Koup, the new Sorento and, most recently, the Sportage, Kia's new design language is being applied to the Optima. The all-new 2011 Kia Optima is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces although we don't know by how much. While it's not as aggressive as the sketches released a few weeks ago, this Optima is certainly a huge step forward.

We don't have any mechanical details yet, but we'd guess that the Optima shares a lot under the skin with the new Hyundai Sonata. Nor would we be at all surprised to learn that the Optima won't have a V6 engine option this time around. Instead, it'll probably use the same direct-injected 2.4-liter inline-four found in the Sonata. The turbocharged and hybrid variants may follow as well.


Gallery: 2011 Kia Optima

next-generation-kia-optima-front_thumbnanext-generation-kia-optima-side_thumbnai

[source: Kia]

Continue reading New York 2010 Preview: All-new 2011 Kia Optima unveiled

New York 2010 Preview: All-new 2011 Kia Optima unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 13 Mar 2010 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Well that is quite a letdown from the sketch that is for sure. Maybe it will look better in real life like the Sonata does. I wonder if it powertrain will get the same nice 22/35mpg rating in this application.

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MUCH better looking than the Klingon Sonata. I like it!

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Wow! I like it a lot. Especially that front view. It looks very upscale and handsome. It doesn't even look all that derivative. that C-Pillar is especially interesting.

Only thing I don't like are the wheels, which are an easy fix.

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I dont like how Kia is making all their cars look alike. Just a few years ago, each car had its own, unique look. Maybe not attractive (remember the 2000 Kia Spectra?) but they didn't all look alike like the new Kias do.

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Actually I like how they seem to be getting their own design language. I prefer that than a bunch of random designs.

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It just seems they're moving towards the same design available in small, medium and large.

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Family resemblance among models adds credibility to the brand. Makes each new model instantly recognizable, so if a potential customer sees something they like on the road, they know where to go to buy it.

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I like it. It is a nice looking car, and looks better than the other cars at that price point.

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Looks good..doesn't look it shares panels w/ the Sonata. The previous iterations showed their Sonata roots, this one doesn't. I like Kia's signature grille and headlight designs that are spreading across their line.

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Actually the previous Optima was on a different platform that the previous Sonata.

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Actually the previous Optima was on a different platform that the previous Sonata.

Really? Thought it had the same greenhouse, different front and rears...

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I like this car too. The back end is very TSX-ish (which isn't a bad thing) and I like the interesting rear door treatment. Hyundai continues to improve!

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Wow, it looks surprisingly distinctive for a midsize family sedan. To most consumers, it probably looks as expensive as the new Saab 9-5... which certainly isn't good for the new Saab 9-5.

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i to thought the teaser sketches were nicer, and this is a bit of a letdown. At the same time I do give them credit for a lot of improvement. The C pillar to me ruins the deal. Just like now after an initial romance, I really am totally bored with the new Sonata. I don't like how that one is really just a Lexus wanna be but what really seals the deal for me, the extension of the chrome strip from the A pillar, up over the fender and tying into the headlight. Really a cheesy gross thing. The C pillar on this Optima kind of has that 'trying to hard for a unique cool look' thing going in that regard.

Overall i give this credit though. Kia is growing up.

Wow! I like it a lot. Especially that front view. It looks very upscale and handsome. It doesn't even look all that derivative. that C-Pillar is especially interesting.

Only thing I don't like are the wheels, which are an easy fix.

i don't like them wheels much either. but as you say, easy fix.

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Not bad. Wheels throw me off though.

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Wow, it looks surprisingly distinctive for a midsize family sedan. To most consumers, it probably looks as expensive as the new Saab 9-5... which certainly isn't good for the new Saab 9-5.

i've gazed at the new 9-5 now the last two saturdays, it looks 'distinct', unique, and well done. its not extroverted enough for an expensive car. At the same time its not a cheap looking car and there is a lot of subtlety to it, almost too much actually, that will make it stand out over time. One thing about the new 9-5 all the detailing is consistent and very appropriate even if it is underdone. and that is how this Kia is different. This Kia will look good at launch and for a year or two after and then it will just fall back into the pack with everything else. So folks at first will notice this Optima as 'new'. It will have more folks attention so they will think its as expensive.

Expensive cars have the details worked out to a higher level and that C pillar in the rear is just a shot at an attention grab. It would be nice if it were done as well as the old 'hofmeister kinks'......

Edited by regfootball
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Wow, it looks surprisingly distinctive for a midsize family sedan. To most consumers, it probably looks as expensive as the new Saab 9-5... which certainly isn't good for the new Saab 9-5.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought 'Saab' when they saw the side profile of this car. :P

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i've gazed at the new 9-5 now the last two saturdays, it looks 'distinct', unique, and well done. its not extroverted enough for an expensive car. At the same time its not a cheap looking car and there is a lot of subtlety to it, almost too much actually, that will make it stand out over time. One thing about the new 9-5 all the detailing is consistent and very appropriate even if it is underdone. and that is how this Kia is different. This Kia will look good at launch and for a year or two after and then it will just fall back into the pack with everything else. So folks at first will notice this Optima as 'new'. It will have more folks attention so they will think its as expensive.

Expensive cars have the details worked out to a higher level and that C pillar in the rear is just a shot at an attention grab. It would be nice if it were done as well as the old 'hofmeister kinks'......

you know i really think you're on to something here. its gonna take a little while before everyone in the general buying public catches on, and sees design through these lenses. to your point though, design is getting so good, that attention and moderation of detail, and subtle surface detailing separate really great and experienced design from those that are just catching up. i would put a lacrosse for example into the latter category and the 9-5 into the former category, or a CTS into the latter category and the new 5-series in the former category. It's so amazing and interesting to see design evolve into what it is now, that a KIA, a KIA, is showing all the others how to do it, meanwhile we're already looking at it through the lens of all the rest of the designs out there and what they've done, and calling it slightly behind the times.

this kia is fantastic needless to say, but i agree with you reg that there will be designs that will catch it and pass it and some of its themes which are just repeats from other cars will be passe within a couple years. the new malibu will be one of the first to pass this up.........

but the kia is an astonishing jump forward for hyundai, it's funny but this is what i've been talking about and many others as well here. get the execution right of the product and you can remake any brand. kia is still kia for me, so it's bleh, but give me five years of this level of product and kia could move into a different status in my mind and the mind of most consumers.

kia has the best styled midsize sedan now. in the age of the internet and 20 or so makes competing in the same space, that means it'll be months before somebody comes along and teaches us a new way of doing it. Malibu, when do you come out?

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taking a bit more time to study it and i have to temper my words with it borrows a lot of themes and such. still great, and best looking midsize could still apply, but it's a little too much like many others to honestly say it leapfrogs everybody else. it looks great, but then it's just too similar a template to Malibu, Altima, and others noted here.

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the thing is for me, the actual greenhouse shape is a tish stodgy and doesn't match the rest of the sportier features on the remainder of the car, or perhaps that rear window kink is simply fighting what COULD be a nice flow to the greenhouse if your eye wasn't glued to the weirdness there.. There is a nice character line that comes in full motion into the grille. The front grille and especially the hood cutline is very nice. Yet the A pillar is a bit upright, top of the front glass is very high, and the arc of the greenhouse as a whole is a tish soft and needs more decisiveness in its flow (or maybe just looks like it because its fighting that damned window on the door). I would love to see a chop of this thing with more of an Audi side windows on this greenhouse sort of thing. The window shape on the rear doors seems inconsistent with anything else on the car, truly...and almost looks a bit avalonish except for the weird kink. I think the trunk needs to meet the rear window up higher. Door sculpting is blah but is not bad either. Fender vents I am so sick of. Rear taillights seem kinda dull. Character line at the top of the door and fenders is a bit too crisp, I'd soften it a tish and pinch the width of the car with it a tish too. I like the stance of the car from the front looking towards the rear though. I might push the rear wheels back and inch and actually I would put a little more into highlighting the wheel arches a bit and maybe an extra inch of GM in tire chains style clearance on them from the wheels too.

It's done alright mostly, and pleasant enough. It just seems like if a couple things could get changed or massaged it would really benefit. But as it is it doesn't offend i guess.

I really want to see the interior.

I guess its the old Acura TL vibes I am getting from this is making me a little cloudy......even if it shouldn't be.....i think that window kink reminds me a little of the one on the TL.

02acura_tl.jpg

Edited by regfootball
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