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First Drive: 2011 Kia Optima

15 posts in this topic

Filed under: Sedan, Kia, First Drive

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

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

We admit it - we're genetically preprogrammed to be shallow creatures. Despite our moms' best efforts, recognizing inner beauty is all well and good, but it's physical beauty that first puts both people and consumables on our radar.

Exhibit A? The 2011 Kia Optima. You see, while exactly nobody was paying attention, the outgoing Optima actually became a reasonably competitive mid-size sedan. But with the lackluster reputation of its predecessor compounded by styling so banal that it might as well have had "John Doe" as a model designation, the Optima was seemingly forgotten by everyone but fleet managers.

That's not going to be a problem any more.



Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

Continue reading First Drive: 2011 Kia Optima

First Drive: 2011 Kia Optima originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Sep 2010 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What a fantastic looking midsize sedan. Kia should make sure to give the design a raise and make sure to keep him. This is easily the best looking car in the segment. If I were in the market it would be one of the top runners.

I also really like and respect that the new Optima isn't a blatant copy of other designs. It has its own design language going on that works very well for it.

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In some ways, it's rather Saab-like. It's hard to imagine spending $50K on the new 9-5 when this car looks nearly as good.

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I quite like that, and I think that is a lower end model, because I saw other pictures that appeared to be a top of the line model. Looks really good, sort of sporty look, but classy and refined too. I like that the center stack is angled toward the driver too, and you can get a panoramic sunroof. It seems very well equipped for the price.

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I agree with Empowah, it does evoke some SAABness in spots. This is a very nice looking car. I really dig that interior, too.

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Okay, I'll admit, I'm a badge snob.  But the exterior is a home-run.  The interior, while also top-notch, is not what I like... I'll probably be in the minority here, but I hate driver-oriented interiors.

I'm impressed that it offers cooled seats as I believe the Sonata doesn't even offer that.

This will get people's attention... I see TONS of new Sonatas on the road and this is better looking.

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It has a bit of a Accord Coupe/Acura look to the front, but it looks better than those cars. I like this more than the Mazda 6 or Altima by a ton. And I can see a lot of 25-40 year olds that don't want to drive the Camry their parents have looking at this or the Sonata. I saw a new Sorrento the other day that was expensive looking also, Kia has really turned themselves around.

Cooled seats at this price point is impressive, and I too see lots of 2011 Sonatas on the road. This car is light too.

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I've totally been digging this car since I've first seen it, but why the fender vents?

And they embellished the bottom of the front a bit too much at the corners.

Surfacing on the rear decklid backside is a bit out of control.

I wonder if the Kia and Hyundai have the same taillight cutouts.

Interior is totally fine for the prices this will sell at. I like Pauli have illed of driver oriented interiors, but for the price and value of this car the design is done alright and not at all a reason to dislike the car.

Kia + Hyundai = why Chevrolet may be become irrelevant in the not to distant future if they keep this up.

I still like the Regal way more than this. Problem for GM is that the Cruze overlaps this car on price and fails to give you for that money what this car does.

Edited by regfootball

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I also felt the car looked SAABish when I first saw pictures of it. Even the dash has some hints of SAAB. I agree the rear could be cleaned up a bit, but overall, this is a very upscale-looking car. I wouldn't mind being seen in one.

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WHOA, hold UP... this car can be optioned up to $30,495! Has Kia graduated to first-tier status like that? Are we dazzled by its styling and its features on paper? How's it going to hold up after 5 years?

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yes, there is a maximum price point where this car makes sense. 30k is too high. i do know someone who got a sonata limited recently, i think they forked out 27 or something. but all car prices are way out of whack. there are equinoxes north of 35k out there, that is as much as a rip off as a 30k optima. and we all know chevy also has a near 27k tag on a cruze.

to me, the optima should stick to the low 20's range.

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Hmm.. I'm not noticing Saab so much as I am noticing Volvo in the design. If I see Saab at all, it's in the flat door panels, but not much other than that.

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