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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.

2011 Kia Optima
Features And Pricing


Related: How To Get A New Kia At The Lowest Price

The totally redesigned 2011 Kia Optima has elevated its stature from a decent midsize family sedan to a class leader thanks to its appealing new looks, powerful yet fuel-efficient engines, capable handling, attractive interior, long list of features and overall bang for the buck.

Based on the same platform as the recently rejuvenated and instantly embraced Hyundai Sonata, the Optima has upped the ante still further with sportier suspension and steering tunings ... and all while getting 34 mpg on the highway whether opting for the 200-horsepower four-cylinder or the 274-horsepower turbo-4. What's more, both cars have a unique interior and exterior, with Kia going with a more European, upscale look for the Optima. In fact, once inside you're likely think you're in a pricier car.

2011 Kia Optima

Even with its many changes, the new Kia Optima remains attractively priced. With its long list of features, the Optima offers a lot of feature-value when compared to competitors as well as some goodies not even offered by others, such as heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Trims, Standard Features And Options:

The 2011 Kia Optima is available in four trims: LX, EX, EX Turbo and SX.

Standard features on the already well-equipped base Optima LX with a manual transmission include power windows, power doorlocks, power mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, keyless entry, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, satellite radio, a height-adjustable driver seat with power lumbar adjustment and an audio system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. The Optima LX with the automatic transmission has all of the above plus cruise control, alloy wheels and the option to include the Convenience package, which adds an 8-way power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Moving up to the EX model adds all of the above plus the Convenience package, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, foglights, automatic headlights and rear air vents, while the EX Turbo gets a more powerful engine, larger brakes and a different grille design.

The Optima SX, also turbocharged, then tops things off with a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, steering-wheel paddle shifters, a rear lip spoiler, xenon headlights, LED taillights, an upgraded trip computer and unique bumper designs.

2011 Kia Optima rear view

In terms of optional features, the Technology package (available on all models except the manual LX) includes navigation, a rearview camera, and an 8-speaker Infinity audio system (it also adds dual-zone climate control and rear air vents on the LX). There's also a Premium package for the EX and SX that includes a panoramic sunroof, driver memory functions, a 4-way power passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats (it also includes a heated steering wheel on EX and EX Turbo models).

Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:

Powering the 2011 Kia Optima LX and EX is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard on the LX, while a 6-speed automatic is standard on all other models and optional on the LX. The EPA-estimated gas mileage for Optimas with this engine is a solid 24 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway with the automatic and 24 city and 35 highway with the manual.

Under the hood of EX Turbo and SX Optimas is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for a robust 274 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Although not yet performance tested, a mechanically similar turbocharged Hyundai Sonata was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in a very quick 6.6 seconds. The EPA-estimated gas mileage for Optima Turbo's is a still very impressive 22 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Safety:

Standard safety features across all 2011 Optima models include stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), side airbags, side curtain airbags and hill start assist. In addition, a rearview camera is an available option.

The 2011 Optima had not yet been government crash tested at the time of this writing.

Interior:

2011 Kia Optima interior

The new Optima's cabin was designed by a former Audi designer, perhaps explaining its surprisingly more upscale overall look and feel. While of course not matching Audi's luxurious interiors, its soft-touch materials, user-friendly layout and high quality fit and finish make it one of the very best in this segment.

The seating is comfortable and supportive both front and rear, while overall cabin space is roomy with ample of legroom all aound. Headroom is a little on the tight side, however, due to the car's sloping roofline and taller occupants lose even more in models equipped with the optional panoramic sunroof. Trunk space is useful, coming in at an about average 15.4 cubic feet.

Drive:

The 2011 Kia Optima has an easy-going and secure ride with a nice balance between ride comfort and handling. While perhaps not quite athletically inspiring, most will likely be satisfied with the new Optima's pleasant and capable drive that's clearly above average for this class.

Both engines are impressive, each providing best-in-class power while being mated with smooth-shifting and responsive transmissions ... and offering truly impressive fuel-efficiency at the same time.

How To Get The Lowest Price:

Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.

Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Kia ... or any other car.

Also, For 'Used' Car Buyers ...

Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.

And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try a Wholesale Public Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.


Price:

2011 Kia Optima Sedan:

LX, manual: list price: $18,895, invoice price: $18,620
LX, automatic: list price: $20,495, invoice price: $19,590

EX, automatic: list price: $22,495, invoice price: $21,020

EX Turbo, automatic: list price: $24,495, invoice price: $22,890

SX, automatic: list price: $25,995, invoice price: $24,290




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