• Mar 13th 2010 at 4:00PM
  • 109
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.

[Source: Kia]
Show full PR text
Next generation Kia Optima to showcase confident new design direction
World premiere to be held at 2010 New York Motor Show

(SEOUL) March 14, 2010 – The next generation Kia Optima (currently, also known as 'Magentis' in some markets) is set to make its world premiere next month at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.

"The next generation Optima possesses the power to surprise," says Peter Schreyer, Kia's Chief Design Officer. "It's a car that people will simply not expect from Kia – and that's exactly what we set out to achieve."

The Optima exudes an athletic confidence from every angle and shutline – its raked roofline, the high and pronounced shoulder line of its sculpted flanks and its extended wheelbase are complemented by boldly flared wheelarches and a shallow glasshouse that create a saloon with a muscular and self-assured stance.

The striking visage of the Optima features a new interpretation of Kia's bold 'tiger' family face that's edged by piercing projector headlamps.

Longer, wider and lower than before, the Kia's coupe-like profile is enhanced by the sweeping chrome arc that flows from A to C pillar, a distinctive design motif that visually lowers the car further still and enhances its cab-backwards proportions.

Spacious, and with class-leading levels of safety and luxury equipment, the Optima's intelligently configured and driver-oriented cabin underlines this newfound poise and presence.

"The Optima embodies Kia's confident new design direction," says Schreyer. "It's a global car with individual appeal."

The Kia Motors press conference for the New York International Auto Show will take place on April 1, 2010 from 10:10-10:35 a.m. at the Kia Stand on Level 1 of the 'Jacob Javits Center' located between 34-39 Streets on 11th Avenue in New York City.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      And last I checked when it came to quailty, Kia doen't have nothing to worry about compared to Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Chevy, Saturn. If Kia's are crap why didn't they go out of business like Pontiac or Saturn. Huh? If anything from Korea sucks tell GM to give Daewoo back their Cruze and Aveo and go back to making your own Chevy Metro and Cobalt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        10 years ago, Kia almost went out of business until Hyundai bought them. They did not share platforms untill the 2004 Spectra. Pontiac and Saturn were put down not because of reliability (because they were well built cars and fun to drive, I know because I own one), they were put down because GM went into bankrupcy and those 2 brands kept losing money, and because they were redundant. Lastly, Daewoo cars are based on GM platforms and Daewoo is a GM division, the cruze was designed in korea but was engineered in 3 continents. As an owner of a Kia model for 5 years, I do notice that they are good cars all around. But in the end as far as reliability and quality, it seems no matter where you go from toyota down to chrysler, the quality is all the same. No better no worse
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thisi s the best sedan made by Kia so far. I used to hate Kia for two reasons.first,it was a korea brand.second,it had bad reputation. But,my attitude towards korea brands changed since last year. After all,Korea companies are increasingly becoming major players in respective industries. After studying the history of modern korea,I come to appreciate how much they are hardworking and resilient. I gradually came to admire them. Finally,I have come to an conclusion that from today onward,If i were to buy a new car,it would either be hyundai or kia,nothing else.Bye bye to toyota,honda,suzuki,subaru,mazda,mitsubishi,ford,and GM. well,simply because i won't partonise them bcoz they have not shown any real leap in design and performance whereas Hyundai and Kia are doing the really astonishing jobs.
      Keep UP Hyundai and Kia
      I will be always supporting!
      Just ignore those who like to diss Hyundai/Kia based on biased knowledge.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just a bit of Saab inspiration in the styling, but in a good way.

      But I'm still kind of old-school in the way that anything I drive must have some power under the hood, and I'm willing to sacrifice some fuel economy to have that. So, my feeling for the Sonata also applies to the Optima: no V-6, no thanks.

      Sorry, I had to edit and re-submit: I misspelled "just."
      AB, how about instant spell-check, please? Thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Check out Google Chrome. It has a built-in spell check. Anything typed not in its dictionary will be underlined in red like in MS Word. Not a stand-out browser overall, but not terrible, either.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Also, I like the new "Show Press Release" button on this site. I like getting to the comments after reading AB's take without having to go through the full press release.
      Now, if only the commenting system was this good...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh yeah if Kia's are crap, why is it that the 2011 Kia Sorento outsold the Chevy Equinox that looks like the Mersedes M class? The Cruze has the 2006 Sonata's greenhouse. The Honda Pilot looks like a Jeep. The Campus's c pillar looks like it came from the Rav-4. The Honda CR-V's talights is also found on Saab and Volvoo including the old Chevy Luminua van back in the 90's. The front of the Mazda 5 looks like the 09' Toyota Sieanna. The Tundra, Lancer and VW Iroc concept has the same face. Those ain't Korean and they copied.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is obviously a copy of every other sedan on the market. It has four wheels, four doors, grill, cup holders and headlights!

      Seriously though, all the Hyundai/Kia bashers are being pretty ignorant. I own a 2010 Ford Fusion and I don't think this is an imitation of it at all. In fact, I wish my Fusion looked this good. Yes, I see some similarities between the grill/headlight combo of this and the Ford Fusion but Kia had this setup on their 2009 Optima. Ford didn't have it on their Fusion until their 2010 model. The hood vents that look like the ones on the 2010 SHO have been used on the BMW M3 for years! You can bash on the Hyundai/Kia of the 1980-90s all you want because those cars really were cheap imitations of their Japanese counterparts. Actually, if you want to know what imitation really looks like, go google a 1990 Accord, Camry, Sonata, and 626.

      If you're going to accuse the Korean car companies of imitating American or Japanese cars then you should realize those cars have always been trying to imitate European designs. But feel free to accuse the Korean car companies of imitating the European car companies because it really should be considered a compliment.

      • 5 Years Ago
      wow impressive for Kia...def better looking then the Accord and the up coming Camry...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks so Nice.............. Kudos for Kia.

      I have never thought I would love a Kia. However, they have accomplished only in 5 years what Japanese companies had done for more than 15 years. New Sorento, New Forte, Forte Koup. Again this Optima. I might fall in love wih Kia.

      If new Optima comes out with such nice reliability and performance as new Sonata, it will be a tough decision for me between New Sonata and New Optima.

      I currently have a 2006 Camry. It is not a bad car. But, new Sonata and Optima are so attractive and irresistable.

      I still can't believe I would buy a Korean car over Japanese one.
      However, many things have changed.

        • 5 Years Ago
        tabloidcanada +1

        UR right. Many things have changed.

        I think Korean cars now have equal, if not better, quality and reliability with Japanese cars, especially small and midsize cars. And their design is way better than bland Toyota and Honda.
        I'm sure they will surpass Japanese competitors, soon.

        One more thing. I had a chance to drive a Genesis sedan a few days ago. It was so gorgeous, in fact, a lot better than my Lexus ES. I was really surprised.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. This new optima is much better than bland, boring Camry and Accord. I'll seriously consider buying this handsome car. I'm amazed how Korean cars have deveolped such wonderful cars like Sonata and this Optima. I think, they have already overtaken Japanese cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kudos to Kia, this thing sure looks good... even better than the Sonata.

      In other news, these trolls should grab an eye exam and know some facts bout Kia before talking the same old usual bs bout "stealing" designs. They don't realize Peter Schreyer an ex Audi/VW designer designed this. And comparing Korean's to the Chinese? Comon, I've never seen a Korean a recent Hyundais and Kias that looks exactly like the same thing as the competition.
      • 5 Years Ago
      hmmm... I see a lot of Japanese & American car fanboys getting all scared & rammbling on about their own PERSONAL & SUBJECTIVE 'nonsense' as if they are some absolute truth.

      Fact is, people who actually work in the automotive industry(eg. designers & engineers) would laugh at all of your childish nonsense. All the immature fanboys who are full of fear bcus of this car should just stand up & leave if you don't like it. The more you guys cry, it just shows how scared you are...

      Well done with your new design , Kia.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford Fusion copy. Kia FAIL
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looking great...now please remove the KIA logo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is upgrade look of 2008 Kia Optima.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "crap... we can't decide... do we go with the LEDs of the Golf R or the fog lights of golf?"

        'hey guys, how about both, squished right next to each other, in a lower valance that's a direct erm... flattery... of the MkVI Golf?'

        "yeah... that's it, if we can't decide we'll just use 'em both!"

        Shape's good, but that lower valance is annoying. Leds or fog lights, choose, not both.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There seems to be a certain crowd to whom *everything* looks like a Ford Fusion. Honestly, guys, the Fusion is a pretty good car, but no one's going to copy its looks.

        If you really take a good look at this car, Kia has done some outstanding styling work--quite bold, too, considering the class it will compete in. There's some next-gen Saab 9-5 up front, and some Maser Quattroporte in the profile, but the proportions are really quite different to anything in its class.

        Good to see Schreyer taking his work at Kia so seriously.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks like an agglutination of various styling themes...some Audi silhouette, sleeker Lexus IS tails, VW inspired rims and a somewhat Saab-ish side profile from B-pillar/rear window kink/C-pillar and beyond. Lines are a tad busy..but otherwise an impressive effort by Kia. Priced right...I believe this new Optima would sell well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lol @ Vizel

        "trust me, It's not a shame to drive a Hyundai/Kia in Asia/Eastern Europe, it's freaking expensive there!"

        Are you kidding? Cars are generally much more expensive in Europe than in States, so yeah, you may say Kia or Hyundai are "freaking expensive", but still they're pretty much the cheapest cars availble, what is the main reason they sell, as none of the people i know would buy a Hyundai/Kia for reasons other than their price...
        • 5 Years Ago
        it looks like a baby taurus sho with those head lamps, leds, and side vents. now if only they had there own variant of sync, oh wait............
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is exactly what I thought. No greater form of flattery.
        • 5 Years Ago
        guys i dont see the audi-ness at all.. please show me. a picture?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No no, you don't get it... I know cars are expensive because of the heavy taxes. I mean more expensive than some of the competition. Like here (Kia is on the low side price, but there are lot more cars cheaper than Hyundai Sonata say if you want to get a mid size sedan even in the US) but more upscale. At least middle of the market, and mid-high. North America is pretty much only place where Hyundai tries to go for value. I've been looking at their revenue/profit by region, they don't make a dime here selling the cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        well, it looks better than a Hyundai.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Support your statement with some information. I can claim that your a failure in life and live with your parents.

        • 5 Years Ago
        where do you see fusion? lol

        anyway, dayuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!! what's going on with Kia!! wow!!

        Peter, you da man!!

        • 5 Years Ago
        Whatever, they can vote me down along with you......I see Taurus and Fusion, with Camry headlights. It looks good, but I would not rave about the awesome originality of the styling. The Koreans, much like the Chinese, are quite adept at, and rather fond of, copying the work of others and tweaking it just enough to get away with it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fusion, Camry, Saab, Taurus, Accord, etc. - lol

        C'mon people, how can the Optima look like all of them?

        The only real thing that the Optima has in common w/ the Fusion, Saab 9-3 and the Lexus RX is the fact that it has rectangular-shaped headlamps angled downward.

        Considering the fact that these types of headlights were seen on the Kia Kue concept dating back to 2007 (before the Fusion, Saab 9-3 and RX), one could very well say that they all copied Kia.

        Really, the people saying Taurus have no clue; the headlamps are much more similar to that of the Fusion than the Taurus (of which the Kia Kue concept predated).
        As for the side vents, the Pontiac G8 had the side vents before the Taurus - so I guess that means Ford copied GM (not that side vents are that original to begin with).

        As for the Accord comments, they are esp. funny since the current Accord's front facsia looks a lot like the previous gen Sonata (before the 2007 refresh).

        And all these comments about Koreans are just IDIOTIC considering that the Optima was designed by Kia's EUROPEAN design team led by esteemed designer Peter Schreyer (formerly head of design at VW and Audi) who hardly needs to rip anybody off.

        • 5 Years Ago
        reminds me of Acura from the rear.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know where do you take your informations from.
        Sonata 2.0 -starts from about 22.5 k $
        Opel Insignia 1.8 - 28k$
        Ford Mondeo 2.0 - 26k$
        Honda Accord(Euro) 2.0 - 32k$
        The cheapest version of Chevy Cruze with 1.8 engine costs similarly to Sonata.

        And Generally prices in EU are pretty similar (apart from UK).

        Also from the listed vehicles Sonata's the most powerfull one.

        Tho i have to admit that right now this comparison might not be really truthfull, with the new Sonata soon to be in dealer lots.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes indeed, I would go even father, it's not only looks like fusion, but like tens of other sedans. After all it has four doors, four wheels and most likely steering wheel inside.
        Those Korean can't design anything original. Darn!
        • 5 Years Ago
        No one is going to copy the utterly horrible rear lighting of the Ford Fusion.

        I see some of the new Saab 9-5.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Honestly... I dont' see it. If anything it reminds me of the Accord, and some Audi cues. Either way, everything looks like something else these days... all i know is that this looks good, and not just for a Kia. KIA WIN!!
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