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What makes the 2011 Optima so different from its competitors? Not only is its exterior styling unparalleled, but its interior offers a wealth of luxurious and practical features that drivers don't expect to find in the mid-size sedan. We asked Ralph Tjoa, Kia's Manager, Car Product Planning to guide us through the finer details.

  • "The sweeping panoramic sunroof adds to the styling. On the outside, it really stands out. But it also gives the interior space an open, light and free feeling, and adds to the feeling of roominess inside. In spite of its sleek profile, there's a ton of head and legroom."

  • "People really love the heated and cooled front seats. The front seats take the cabin air and cool that down about six degrees. This is one of those features that once you try it, you cannot do without. We also offer heated rear seats."

  • "One of the things we paid attention to with this car was to make sure the excitement of the exterior styling carries over to the inside -- this is a driver's car. One of the ways we accentuated that is by angling the center stack about ten degrees toward the driver so that all controls are within easy reach."

  • "When you have leather seats, the dash comes wrapped in leatherette with French-seam stitching. It's just another small detail that really enhances the look of the interior."

  • "We have a 7-inch navigation screen with backup camera. And soon we'll also give customers the option of the UVO Powered by Microsoft® system, which offers a ton of other options along with an on-board music library stored in the 1-GB hard drive."

  • "On the SX you'll definitely notice the brightly lit electroluminescent gauges and paddle shifters. The paddle shifters enhance the visceral nature of the turbo, and it works seamlessly."

  • "There's a nice feature on the Optima called the Active Eco System. There's an Eco button on the steering wheel which helps improve the real world efficiency."

  • "The steering wheel is well laid out because you have Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel -- Bluetooth comes standard. You've also got trip computer functions, like average miles per gallon and current mileage; Active Eco System button; cruise control; the most useful audio system controls. This steering wheel gives your fingers easy access to everything you'd need while driving, so you can pay attention to what's down the road."

  • "The heated steering wheel is a classic feature. Honestly, in colder climates everyone loves the heated steering wheel."

  • "The Infinity® Premium Audio System is an eight-speaker setup with 530 watts of power. It also integrates SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, a USB/iPod connector and an auxiliary input. And when you get navigation, you also get three months of complimentary SIRIUS Traffic Service. That's a really nice feature for commuters."

  • "The cooling glove box is standard, and feeds from the air conditioner to keep water bottles cool in the summer. The little touches make a big difference."


Learn more about the new and improved Optima at Kia.com.

*Some features are not available on base models or may be optional equipment only. Features may be trim or option-package specific.