2011 Kia Optima EX: Flash Drive
This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Pictures don't do the Kia Optima justice. In person, the Optima is gorgeous — at least, in white with a black top it is. The interior is spacious, comfortable and extremely well designed. It's a pleasure to drive. And power is plentiful, if not excessive. But the most surprising thing about this Kia is that it is still well-priced when compared with its competitors. It may not be a bargain-basement economy car, but it is just a little bit more car for just a little bit less money than similar vehicles. In fact, in my opinion the interior of the Kia Optima is a lot nicer than the interior of similar passenger cars. You definitely should take it for a test drive. –Paul Hagger
The 2011 Kia Optima EX — now this is really an impressive car. It's stylish, functional and impressively built. The distinctive and sporty exterior design makes the Optima look like a much more expensive, high-end vehicle, especially when compared with its competition in the midsize 4-door category. The 2.4-liter gasoline direct-injection engine has great power and the throttle is very responsive. When mated with a great 6-speed SportTronic transmission, the 2.4-liter delivers 24 mpg city/34 mpg highway. The Optima is not a sport sedan, so steering has a little bit of an artificial, heavy feel at slow speeds. Bottom line, the new Optima delivers great looks, good performance and impressive fuel economy. What more could you want? –Mike Meredith
All I could think when sitting in this car and looking at the Kia logo in the center of the steering wheel was, "Wow, this is a Kia?" The Optima has a thoroughly modern design that stands out from all other midsize sedans on the road. The sedan's interior is also quite impressive, and while there are plenty of hard plastics, Kia has made the car look like a premium offering. The rear seat is very roomy and comfortable, and the dual sunroof adds to the spacious feeling. The base engine puts out 200 horsepower, but it feels more powerful, partially due to the smooth-shifting automatic transmission. The ride is comfortable and the Optima handles well. Some of the cost-cutting, however, seems to have been in sound insulation; road noise is quite loud even on smooth roads. But it's hard to complain about such a good-looking sedan that can be had fully loaded for around $27K. –Perry Stern