Is the Kia Optima the Mid-Size Sedan for You?

The mid-size sedan market is highly competitive, with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata. Kia entered into the competition in 2000 with Kia Optima. The Optima has since been distinguished from its competitors when it won the 2011 Red Dot Design Award. The Optima is currently in its third generation, and has had a few exterior design updates for the 2014 model. For more info on Kia Optimas in your area, visit the website of a local dealer.

Optima History

The first generation of Kia Optimas ran from the 2001 to 2005 model years. These models had a standard 2.4-L, four-cylinder engine with 149hp, or an optional 2.5-L V6 with 170hp. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, with an optional four-speed automatic. In 2002, the V6 had an increase in horsepower to 178. Second-generation Optimas were from midway into 2006 to 2010. The trim levels at this time were base, EX, and SX. This generation of Optima began with a standard 2.4-L with 161hp, or an optional 2.7-L V6 with 185hp. The engines were upgraded in 2009 to 175hp for the 2.4-L engine and 194hp for the V6. A five-speed manual was standard for the base trim level, with an optional five-speed automatic that was standard on the EX and SX trim levels. In 2008, antilock brakes and stability control were standardized for all Optima models.

Current Specifications

The current generation of Optima has mostly only experienced a change in the trim levels options from 2011 to 2014, with an EX turbo trim level being offered for the 2011 and 2012 model years, and the SX Limited trim level added in 2013. The current trim levels available are LX, EX, SX, and SX Limited, as well as a hybrid model. The engine on the LX and EX trim levels is a 2.4-L, four-cylinder with 200hp and a standard six-speed manual on the LX trim level and optional six-speed automatic, which is standard on the upper trim levels. The SX and SX Limited have a 2.0-L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 274hp. The hybrid model has a four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor giving it 206hp, and it also offers a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4-L engine has a gas mileage of 24mpg in the city and 35mpg for highway, the V6 has 22mpg in the city and 34mpg for highway, and the hybrid gets 36mpg in the city and 40mpg on the highway.

Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, an auxiliary jack, USB port, power windows and locks, and fog lights. Upper levels offer auto climate control, keyless entry and ignition, and 17- to 18-inch wheels depending on the trim level. Standard safety features include stability control, daytime running lights, and six airbags, including front and side curtain airbags. For more info on the features offered on the Kia Optima, contact a dealer near you.

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