The 2011 Kia Optima Sedan is more powerful and larger than its predecessor and of competitor midsize sedans. In addition to the superior power and size, the Optima is still less expensive than most of the competitor versions. The Optima still manages to stay light for better performance on the roads and for an improved fuel economy. The standard engine is a 200 horsepower, 186 pound feet of torque 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. There is also the option for a 274 horsepower, 2.0-liter twin scroll turbo engine with a six speed automatic transmission.
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The Optima gets 24-mpg city and 34-mpg highway with an eco mode available for drivers that want maximum fuel economy. The eco mode will alter certain characteristics like adjusting the engine, transmission, and dulling throttle in order to maximize miles per gallon. The mode will make the sedan less fun to drive, but the mode can be turned off at the switch of the button to switch to the more fun and less efficient option. The exterior is longer and wider than competitors but the roofline is low, creating a coupe like appearance.
Overall, the exterior is stylish and more attractive than many competitor models. The Optima offers a variety of trims, 5 in total including the LX, EX, EX Turbo, SX, and the Hybrid Trim. The interior of the Optima offers wide seating with plenty of legroom and headroom. The body of the Optima is built on a unibody frame and uses independent front and rear suspension systems. However, the front wheels don't offer much feedback when driving.
The 2011 Kia Optima Sedan has an abundance of safety features and ranks high on government tests for safety. Standard safety features include full-length side curtain airbags, which contains six standard airbags that are part of Optima's advanced supplement restraint system. The system monitors the severity of an impact and other factors to control airbag inflation accordingly. Additionally, there are dual front seat mounted side airbags. There are front seat-belt pretensioners that tighten seat belts in the event of certain collisions. Furthermore, there is an impact absorbing steering column on every Optima. The national Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Optima 5 out of 5 stars for front and side impact protection. In keeping with the Optima's goal of being family friendly, there are latches for children seats.