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2011 Kia Optima

Overview
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2011 Kia Optima Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

If midsize sedans were contestants on a dating show, the previous-generation Kia Optima would have been among the first would-be suitors kicked off. Bland to behold inside and out, and generally uncompetitive in every category but average selling price, the old Optima was easy to overlook. But things have changed in a big way for the 2011 model year. The Kia Optima is now one of the most stylish, most amenity-laden midsize sedans available, and qualifies as a viable, attractive alternative to the segment's heaviest hitters.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Kia Optima backs up its standout styling with driving dynamics and an equipment list that outclass most of its competitors'. And price is still a strong suit.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Kia resale values are improving at a rapid rate, but the 2011 Kia Optima isn't predicted to prove as resilient as stalwarts like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Kia Optima is as all-new as it gets, offering sharper interior and exterior styling, new engine options (including a turbocharged variant) and new tech-savvy features

Driving the Optima

Driving Impressions We were impressed with the 2011 Kia Optima's balance of sport and comfort. Smooth and quiet on the highway, the Optima also corners as confidently as most anything you'll find...

in the category. We were only able to drive the EX trim level with the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter engine, but it did not disappoint. The engine was responsive and very smooth with more than enough power for passing and going up steep hills; its fuel-sipping qualities are an added plus. On the inside, the seats remained comfortable over long stretches, and the driver-centric dash was a welcome arrangement for making climate/audio adjustments on the fly.

Exterior Styling
If the 2011 Kia Optima isn't the sportiest, most stylish midsize sedan out there, it's pretty close.

Turbocharged 2.0-liter engine
Who needs a V6 anyway? This four-cylinder has 274-horspower and an EPA highway estimate of 34 mpg.

2011 Kia Optima Details
Interior

The interior of the 2011 Kia Optima takes a different approach than other cars in the segment as its driver-focused center stack gives a cockpit-like feel. Leather touches abound - on leather-equipped models - and we appreciated the soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels. Taller passengers might take issue with the Optima's rear headroom.

Exterior
2011 Kia Optima photo

We call it "futuristically bold," but most would call just plain "different." From the cross-hatch front grille sandwiched between wrap-around headlights to the sweeping chrome arc that extends back to the sleekly styled rear end, the car exudes a luxurious feel that makes it look more expensive than it is. What makes it more interesting is the high beltline and sloping roofline that give the car a sporty profile. Depending on the trim, the Optima is equipped with a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2011 Kia Optima offers Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod/USB audio connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a cooling glove box that keeps drinks chilled. As for safety, the Optima comes with an impressive array of features including six airbags and electronic stability control. Like other base-priced models in its class, the entry-level Optima comes with 16-inch steel wheels and six-speed manual transmission.

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment highlights include a panoramic sunroof, heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Infinity sound system, touch-screen navigation system and back-up camera. In addition to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the top-of-the-line 2011 Kia Optima SX offers a lightly sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive styling cues.

Under the Hood

Offering more horsepower than the previous-generation Optima's V6 – and far better fuel economy – the new 2.4-liter engine is a welcome addition. It boasts more power and better fuel-economy than other cars in the category, while those wanting more power can opt for a turbocharged 2.0-liter (EX Turbo and SX trims only). Both engines are offered with a six-speed automatic, while the base-trim (LX) offers a six-speed manual.

2.4-liter in-line four cylinder
200 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
186 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 (manual), 24/34 (automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder
274 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
269 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750 - 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34

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2011 Kia Optima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 317 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

VEHICLE IS A COMFORTABLE RIDE WITH GREAT MPG

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"BOUGHT NEW AND HAD THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR CONDITIONED. EXTERIOR DOESN'T NEED JUST KEEP CLEAN. I THINK ITS A GOOD LOOKING VEHICLE AND A COMFORTABLE RIDE. LOT OF ROOM INSIDE."

Love my Kia!

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, lots of car for the money"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my Kia Optima EX with the premium package three years ago. It is a wonderful car. Very reliable, fun to drive, every bell and whistle a car double the price might have--I love it so much I plan to buy another one. I am glad that Kia stands behind their product--I can't find any car company willing to provide the warranty Kia does; you really don't need it as it is very reliable, but it is nice to know they back it up with an excellent warranty."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Smoothest Driving Car

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 432

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth ride, excellent price, great features"

Cons: "Needs bigger sun visor and window tint"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I was recently forced to buy a new car. I researched similar cars and found the Optima to be the best quality for the price. I love everything about this car. I was a SUV driver and never thought I would be happy in a car. The ride is so smooth, the features are great. The only suggestion I would make is too make the sun visor a touch bigger and make window tint standard. Other than that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Kia Optima!!!!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

kia turbo

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "0 percent and the make first 3 payments, can't bea"

Cons: "did not have remote starter, i paid for one, no al"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"drives well. excellent gas mileage. beautiful and well built. wish the depreciation price was better. very satisfied with warranty. overall good deal."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Next to the Toyota Avalon, best car for the money

By on Monday, June 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, Style, Dependability, Smooth Ride and Easy"

Cons: "Steering wheel blocks the bright light indicator"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my second Optima and for good reason, the cars are awesome. The Kia Optima is the most car you can possibly buy for the price. They are very reasonably priced and perform very well. You can find much nicer cars, but for the money, the Optima is by far the best deal on the market! The warranty is outstanding and my interactions with my dealership have been great. Most Kia dealers follow up with their customers on a regular basis. I also love that this car was made right here in GA less than 50 miles from my home, so I feel good knowing that I am supporting local jobs."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

value drop

By on Thursday, June 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "good gas mileage"

Cons: "lost value tremendously"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"like my car good gas mileage excellent handling can't complain about really anything I think I get pretty much almost 50 miles to the gallon but the bad side is I am very disappointed and its value it holds less than one year old and I have dropped $10,000 almost in value really a disappointment if I would have known that it doesn't hold its value like it should I would have never bought it I have lost money by purchasing it"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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