[reviews]2011 Kia Optima SX: Road Test

The 2011 Kia Optima SX delivers performance of a V6 powered car, but delivers fuel economy of a four-cylinder car, has belligerent good looks and comes with plenty of features and has extended warranty.

The 2011 Kia Optima SX’s tires suffer from poor grip, the headroom surely will be a problem for the taller occupants and the steering of the car has a numb feel.

Not very long ago there was a time when you say “family sedan” people thought of a boring and solemn car that woul hardly entise anyone.But the introduction of 2011 Kia Optima SX aka the 2011 Kia Optima Turbo it looks as if the days of beige is numbered. The Optima Turbo enters the market with a long list of optional and standard features, and offers adequate performance and just enough performance to get the blood pumping. The all new Optima Turbo tops our list of preferred family sedans and will appeal you as well.

As far as the external styling is concerned the 2011 Kia Optima SX makes it pretty clear that it holds something really special for you. After all the likes of Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are no more head turners. Are they? The overall attraction for the car continues within the car as well, and the cabin flaunts a very European touch and look. And this definitely should be estimated, as Kia somehow has managed to squeeze a top Audi designer on its side. Though, the 2011 Kia Optima SX strays away from its European roots with its lack of steering feel and reduced tire grip, but we thing that these minor offenses can be neglected, especially when you are buying a family sedan.

If truth be told we will like to say that the 2011 Kia Optima SX is such a good car that we think it easily can outdo its rivals in the family sedan segment. The primary rivals for the Optima having the same spirit include the likes of Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion Sport. It should be known that the Kia Optima is based on Hyundai Sonata. The rivals having the same performance and similar styling include the likes of V6-powered Mazda 6 and Honda Accord. But ultimately we think that you will find the Kia Optima as enticing as we found it.

The power for the front-wheel-drive 2011 Kia Optima SX comes from a 2.0 ltr turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, generating maximum power of 274 bhp and 269 lbs-ft of maximum torque. The strong engine here is mated with a 6 speed smooth-shifting automatic transmission having manual shift control. The gear change for the car could be controlled using the console-mounted selector or using the shift paddles on the steering wheel, although the downshifts on the vehicle are not all that rev-matched, so it will take a bit longer than you’ll probably find in any of the performance or luxury cars.

In our performance testing, the Optima turbo sprints from 0 to 60 mph in as quick as 6.5 secs, which is rather competitive with V6 powered sedans. The EPA estimated fuel economy for the Optima SX is of 26 mpg combined of 22 mpg in city and 34 mpg on highways. We managed to get only 19.7 mpg, that too mostly in city driving.

The 2011 Kia Optima SX that we were testing came equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, shift paddles on its steering wheel and a rear spoiler. The car feels confident and sporty on the open roads, but when it comes to twists and turns the car is not all that impressive and the tires for the car starts loosing grip. Till this point, though, the Optima SX delivered respectable amount of performance which could be said sporty performance.

The best and the most impressive thing about the 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo is that the performance of the car didn’t come at the cost of comfort. Despite the strong suspension, the car doesn’t show any substantial harshness over the seriously worn roadway. The cabin remains immensely pleasant, quiet and calm on highways and that’s something that is highly appreciated in the family sedans. The seating position should be comfortable for average height drivers, but even if you don’t find it you don’t have to worry, as the car comes with plethora of seat adjustment settings that you surely will get you a comfortable seating position. But if you are over 6 feet, then you might find the sunroof a tad too low for comfort, and probably will want to get a tad more high thigh support from the seats behind you.

The rear seat passengers will find the car immensely comfortable, and surely won’t be having any sort of problems.

Build Quality and Styling:

The first and the probably the most striking thing about the 2011 Kia Optima SX is its aggressive and sharp styling. The car offers a significant presence, thanks to the wide expanses of the unadorned accents and sheet metal which have been tastefully incorporated. Though the styling for the car is subjective, but a lot of people agrees to the fact that the European roots of the car makes it one of the finest looking midsize sedans to have ever entered the market in a very long time.

The European feel and look of the car clearly reflects from the interiors of the car. In more than one ways it becomes clear how the inclusion of Audi’s design chief, into Kia has influenced the designing of the company. The styling is not completely an influence of Audi, but the appearance and material quality clearly is way ahead of what we are use to seeing for Kia. Most of the surfaces for the car are smooth and gives a great look and feel.

Why Should One Consider The 2011 Kia Optima SX?

The 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo is a superb alternative for the customers looking for a car having stunning looks, and striking all the right nodes in terms of performance and quality. Apart from the tire choice, it’s hard to find any defect in the Optima at all. If you are in the market for a comfortable family sedan, that can also deliver respectable performance, then the Kia Optima SX definitely should be on top of your list.

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