• Nov 17th 2010 at 11:58AM
  • 47
2011 Kia Optima – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Kia Optima appears to be a quantum leap improvement over the 2010 model, with improved aesthetics, powertrains and technology. But do all those improvements come at a cost? According to Kia, the 2011 Optima will start at $18,995. That's $1,000 more than the outgoing model, but still $1,000 or so lower than many competitors' midsize offerings, and lower still than its cross-Korean cousin, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. With the base model comes standard power window and door locks, Sirius Satellite radio and a USB interface for your iPod.

Move up to the LX trim level with a six-speed automatic transmission and the starting price is $20,495. The LX comes standard with alloy wheels, cruise control and an eco mode for more efficient driving. The EX is the next step up the luxury ladder with leather seating surfaces, an eight-way power driver's seat, dual zone climate control, 17-inch wheels and push-button start.

If horsepower is your thing, the EX Turbo supplies 274 horsepower, a revised front grille and special interior accents for a reasonable $24,495, which in this case actually costs a little more than the Sonata Turbo at $24,145. The top-end Optima, the SX, starts at $25,995. Standard features for the SX include a host of interior upgrades, 18-inch wheels, revised lower trim, a sport-tuned suspension, HID headlamps and LEDs out back.

$18,995 is a very reasonable starting price to pay for a vehicle that appears to have gone from being a rental fleet afterthought to a midsize contender in a single product cycle. But what about resale value? The residual value experts at ALG, inc. claim that the 2011 Optima will retain 53 percent of it's value after 36 months, a 66 percent increase over the outgoing model. That's not at the resale level of a Honda Accord, mind you, but a definite step in the right direction. Hit the jump to read over Kia's official press release.

Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

[Source: Kia]
Show full PR text
IRVINE, Calif., November 16, 2010 – The all-new Kia 2011 Optima has been turning heads since its unveiling earlier this year, and the stylish and performance-oriented midsize sedan is sure to attract more attention after Kia Motors America (KMA) announced today the official manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) will begin at $18,995. Meanwhile, ALG, Inc.4, the industry benchmark for residual values and a leading provider of data and consulting services to the automotive industry, has assigned a residual value of 53-percent of the 2011 Optima's original MSRP for 36 months of ownership. This strong residual value is a 66-percent improvement over the previous generation Optima and represents KMA's best-ever increase.

"The all-new and highly anticipated Optima delivers an outstanding combination of value, eyecatchingdesign and premium-level amenities that will continue Kia's ongoing brand transformation and attract new buyers to our showrooms," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. "With an aggressive starting price and a strong ALG rating, the 2011 Optima provides consumers with an outstanding value proposition and builds on the increased awareness and consideration our recent new products such as the Soul, Forte, Sorento and Sportage have generated."

Arriving in showrooms in the coming weeks, the next-generation Optima advances Kia Motors' design-led transformation with completely new and stunning design characteristics, highlighted by a dynamic and streamlined profile that conveys elegance and athletic confidence from every angle. The all-new Optima's three new powertrains – including the brand's first-ever turbo and hybrid engines(available next year) in the U.S. – deliver a class-leading combination of power and fuel economy while the sedan's spacious cabin is outfitted with the latest technology features and luxury amenities.

The all-new 2011 Optima, which stars as the Official Vehicle of the NBA, is available in three trims, LX, EX and SX. The aggressively priced Optima LX six-speed M/T, with a starting MSRP of $18,995, offers a wide array of convenience and luxury features including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service5, power windows, power door locks, dual exhaust with chrome tips, a cooling glove box and auxiliary USB audio input jacks for connecting MP3 players6 and Bluetooth®7 wireless technology connectivity with steeringwheel mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones. In addition, all Optima models feature an extensive list of standard safety equipment, including six airbags8 (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain). Moving up to the LX six-speed A/T, starting at $20,495, adds alloy wheels, cruise control and an Active Eco System for fuel-efficient driving.

Beginning at $22,495, the Optima EX offers upscale amenities in a mid-level trim, including 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, leather trimmed seats, eight-way power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, push-button start and auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink® and compass.

Priced at $24,495, the Optima EX turbo is powered by Kia's first-ever turbo engine in the U.S., a 2.0-liter274-horsepower Turbo GDI engine that delivers up to 34 mpg9, and adds larger front disc brakes, a unique front grille, and wood and metal interior accents.

Positioned at the top of the Optima model range, the SX package starts at $25,995 and delivers a spirited combination of performance, styling and value. The viscerally satisfying 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine is standard and exclusive content includes 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, unique lower body trim, HID head lights, LED tail lights, black leather and woven seat trim, Supervision™ meter cluster, steering wheel paddle shifters, carbon fiber interior trim, metal pedals, and illuminated door scuff plates.

Like all Kia vehicles, the 2011 Optima is equipped with a high level of standard safety features. In addition to six airbags, additional safety equipment includes front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a Brake Assist System (BAS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC) also are standard.

Design-Led Transformation and Product Line Kia Motors is in the midst of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technology such as the soon-to-come UVO powered by Microsoft®10 in-car hands-free entertainment system. The launches of the 2011 Sorento CUV, the first vehicle to be assembled* at Kia's first U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia, the dynamic 2011 Sportage compact CUV, sophisticated 2011 Optima midsize sedan and versatile Forte 5-door hatchback further enhance the lineup.
Kia's model year 2011 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio sub-compact sedan, Rio5 sub-compact hatchback and Sedona minivan.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is interesting how everybody now is hurriedly copying that Honda Accord look: even the concept Impreza is obviously inspired by it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean the Honda Accord look that was (1) previous gen Sonata front fascia, (2) BMW greenhouse/Hofmeister kink C pillar and (3) Saturn rear?

        And don't need to look at the Impreza concept, the current Subaru Legacy and the Accord sedan have nearly the same take on BMW's greenhouse/C-pillar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      it's like a bunch of drunk koreans got really really bored, saw an Audi A4 drive by.....then saw an Acura drive by.....and by the time they got to the part where they were trying to copy an Audi A4, they started to confuse their feeble memories with that silly Acura; resulting in a mess of a design, which vaguely looks like a drunk Audi A4 with an inversely constructed and warped interior also sucked out of an Audi. Peter Schreyer; you should be ashamed of yourself!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is no wonder why your bar is so red....
      • 4 Years Ago
      S. Korea imposes an 8% tariff on all US cars sold there.

      STOP buying S. Korean cars until this tariff is dropped.

      $19K for this piece of rat turd!?

      Oh, and if one more Hyundai/Kia fanboy yaps up about beef tariffs, I swear I will reach through this monitor and donkey punch you!

 : )

      Thank you and have a nice day.
        • 4 Years Ago
        this is really starting to get old
        • 4 Years Ago
        u mad bro???
        • 4 Years Ago
        How much is the UAW paying you, son?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dude seriously did you skip out on your psychiatrist visits again as well as being truant to your anger management and AA classes???

        You need to first go back to those classes before you get detained and permanently committed as ordered by your local judge. And second...BEEF TARIFFS !!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you post this same thing in every single Hyundai/Kia article? You are just as obnoxious as sportsbike88.

        Oh, and BEEF TARIFFS!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very Saab-esque looking interior. Nice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The ONLY thing I don't like about this car is that it makes me think "Hmm, maybe I should save up for something like this instead of a new sports car."
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ NightFlight

        Reason why Americans don't like manuals - How the f- am I supposed to talk/text on a cel phone, eat a meal, and scarf down a 64-oz. drink at the same time if I have to do all the shifting myself too?!
        • 4 Years Ago
        its alright, both sonata and k5 aka optima doesnt come with manuals in korea either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If this or the Sonata were offered with a true manual transmission with LSD I'd have one on order already.

        It is too bad that nearly everyone in this country is a pansy and doesn't like to drive a manual.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Poor 200, the list of better cars for the money keeps growing
        • 4 Years Ago

        I would say a Camry, but even then... I'm not sure.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Better looking than Sonata AND $1k less?
      Sounds like a no-brainer!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Though I am not liking the fender pothole or whatever it's call. Whats the point?
        • 4 Years Ago
        This Optima to me has that Jag XF/XJ-like silhouette/impression..a smooth looking sporty saloon.

        I'd drool for a stick shift Optima Turbo...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, according to Hyundai's website the Sonata starts at $19,195 or $200 more. That's not THAT huge of a difference.

        That being said, I'd probably pick the Optima up over the Sonata. I find them both attractive, but I've had good luck with my Forte so far, and the Optima is like a more attractive, larger version of my car which is cool. And while the styling isn't as offensive as the Sonata's, it's still attractive (at least in my book).
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's no difference in the real world though, and sometimes Hyundai dealers will actually give the better deal anyways on similar models just because they tend to have higher volumes. So they can get volume incentives from Hyundai, and of course if you sell more cars you can do with a lower profit margin on each.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's a LOT of car for the money.

        Although the Sonata starts at just under 19 before destination if I'm not mistaken...
      • 4 Years Ago
      This and the Sonata are the class leaders as far as I am concerned.

      The EX turbo is one hell of a deal for a lot of power. The 2.0T Sonata had a 99MPH trap speed (!!!!!) at the end of the 1/4 mile.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stock tip: Go to www.ft.com and look up Kia Motors in the "quotes" box. Then look at the charts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Meh. Too much work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not a bad deal! Going for the Hyundai is just a waste of money when compared to this car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too bad that blue is only available in the top level SX trim. That blue in a base model with a manual would make for a very like family sedan. Although, I would rather have a wagon/hatchback for my "family" car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No one here mentioned that the top trim models of the Kia Optima get heated AND cooled seats, where the Sonata only gets heated seats. I wonder what other extra goodies the Optima gets that the Sonata did not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's what I'm wondering too. Here it says HIDs are available on the Optima-dont think you can get them on the Sonata. The Optima is looking like the better deal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Heated rear seats, LED taillights, panoramic roof are all available in the Kia SX. Not to mention the sport suspension.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Other things the Sonata does not have among its options:

        UVO, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, cooling glove compartment (for drinks), HID, power front passenger seat, 2 memory settings for power driver's seat, power folding side mirrors (European and Korean versions only)

        I might have missed one or a couple more but all those added features plus the lower price and better styling (in my opinion) make the Optima a much better value than the Sonata.

        And oh...the Optima has slightly better EPA mpg than the Sonata (22/34 for the turbo Optima vs. 22/33 for turbo Sonata). The regular Optima also has better combined mpg (24/34 = 27mpg for Optima vs. 22/35=26mpg for Sonata).
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's my concern, too, cuz Motor Trend tested the turbo Optima to be just 7.4 secs from 0-60 (the regular was just half a second slower at 7.9!). They blamed it on faulty transmission tuning. There's no reason it couldn't be as fast or slightly faster than the Sonata, which has gone as fast 6.2 secs per Car and Driver.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X