Car review of the Kia Optima EX, Kia Optima EX photos and pics
Kia Optima EX

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The hits keep coming from Kia Motors and the 2011 Kia Optima EX is no exception. Kia's Optima is going head to head with some of the big boys in the midsize segment by making huge improvements to styling and engineering.

Exterior

The 2011 Kia Optima EX has a very attractive exterior. The Ebony Black paint on our test model this car gets your attention fast. From the outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, front fog lights, solar glass and dual exhaust chrome tips and 17-inch tires with alloy wheels, the EX flat out looks great. The sleek stance radiates a high performance yet elegant appearance that is striking and upscale. Even though the Optima EX is a sedan, it has a coupe-ish profile with sweeping chrome and a low stance that many designs chase but never attain. The striking face on the Optima EX features Kia's signature tabbed grille surrounded by projector headlamps that demonstrates a tough and confident personality.

Interior

After being totally impressed with the exterior of the 2011 Kia Optima EX, expectations were very high entering the cabin. Our test model had plenty of features including dual zone automatic temperature controls with rear vents, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with an Infinity 8-speaker system, SIRIUS satellite, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth wireless technology, heated and cooled leather front seats, heated outboard rear seats, heated leather steering wheel, push button start with smart key, cooling glove box, navigations system with back up camera and Sirius traffic and panoramic sunroof. There is more but as you can see this car offers a huge feature list to top off a roomy interior. The instrument panel is somewhat contoured toward the driver with precise gauges and controls for an overall performance cockpit experience without sacrificing comfort or roominess. After spending a week in the car we would like to see some upgrades in some of the materials including the knobs and handles but overall the interior of the 2011 Kia Optima EX is still ahead of many in this segment.

2011 Kia Optima EX

Performance

The new platform for the 2011 Kia Optima EX is distinctive with her low and powerful stance. At a length of 190.7 inches and 72 inches overall width and ground clearance of 5.3 inches for enhanced aerodynamics, performance was built into this car. Our EX model boasted a 2.4-liter direct injection 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed sportmatic transmission and motor driven power steering. When I learned the vehicle delivered 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg in highway driving I had to wonder how much power was under the hood. The anti-lock brake system, traction control system and electronic stability control performed as advertised for a sporty driving experience. Optima’s lightweight design uses high-tensile-strength steel to enhance structural strength while also achieving high torsional stiffness, benefitting handling, ride quality and refinement. Don't expect overwhelming power but the 2011 Kia Optima EX certainly has enough under the hood to live up to the exciting exterior design.

Overview

There are so many great cars in the midsize segment and after spending a week behind the wheel of the 2011 Kia Optima EX, rivals should take notice. For a car that looks great, drives well and has a solid interior with loads of options at a price tag of $27,440, this car will sell a ton. It's truly amazing how far Kia has improved over just a few short years. The 2011 Kia Optima EX is an example of a smart design that goes from drawing board to the showroom floor and is priced to sell.

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