We’ll be the first to admit that a car’s badge means something to us. Take for instance, the Ferrari badge. There have been countless numbers of Ferrari products that have been less than stellar, but do we love them? Of course we do, simply because they wear the prancing horse on the hood.
The Kia Motor Company, on the other hand, has a badge that gets about as much street credibility as a science professor. The Korean automaker came to the United States offering cheap and not so cheerful vehicles that are still haunting them to this day.
Despite the badge and despite the misconceptions, Kia has come a long way. The mind numbingly boring Optima may have been in a line of cars that nobody paid any attention to, but the next-generation model may start to change all of that.
Kia unveiled the 2011 Optima today at the 2010 New York Auto Show. For 2011, the Optima will be offered in the same three trims as before: LX, EX, and SX. Sales will begin this fall.
Customers will have to choose from three different engines as opposed to the two engines previously offered: a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder with 200 hp, a 2.0-liter GDI V6 turbo engine that delivers 274 hp or a 2.4-liter hybrid (available starting 2011). The engine will be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission (LX only) or a six-speed automatic transmission.
The exterior gets a more futuristic look with sharper lines and a new grill. The new, curvier grill is surrounded by projector headlamps and accented with boldly flared wheel arches, a raked cabin, dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, outside mirror turn signal indicators, and 16-inch steel wheels.
The interior comes standard with UVO powered by Microsoft®4 infotainment system with rear-view camera and a push button-start ignition with smart key. Some of the previous features are still seen in the new Optima such as dual-zone automatic air conditioning with rear vents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink®5 and compass, auto light control, driver and front passenger automatic window up/down and eight-way power driver’s seat, lighted glovebox, rear reading lamps, floor mats, and chrome door handles.
UPDATE 10/22/2010: Check out our review of the 2011 Kia Optima by clicking here!
Updated 11/16/2010: Kia today announced prices for the 2011 Optima that is offered in three trims, LX, EX and SX. The LX version is priced at $18,995; the EX version at $22,495; the EX turbo at $24,495 and the SX version at $25,995.
A spyshot of the new Kia Optima – or K5, or Magentis depending on which part of the world you live in – was recently spotted roaming around the streets of Korea.
According to CarBlogger, the spotted Optima is, in all likelihood, Kia’s base model for the car as evidenced by those undersized wheels. In any event, all the speculations surrounding this car – and maybe we’ll get some clarity on what to call it – will be answered at the New York Motor Show in a few weeks time.
Until then, we’ll settle for spy shots – or in this case, a spy shot – of a car that we’ve been waiting a long time to get a hold of.
The US market may know it by another name – the Kia Optima – but in other parts of the world, it goes by its other tag, the Kia Magentis, and according to the folks over at Kia, it’s officially bound for the New York Motor Show.
In addition to announcing the venue for the 2011 Magentis’ world debut, teaser sketches of the new Magentis were released. The car, at least as far as we’re concerned, looks a lot sharper and more streamlined than it’s big brother – and fellow new release – the 2011 Cadenza.
According to Kia, the 2011 Magentis will be longer and wider than its predecessor and as a result, will carry a significant increase in cabin space.
Following its debut in New York in April, the Magentis is scheduled for a US release later this year – possibly around fall – and with a Europe release in the spring of 2011.
Kia unveiled at the New York Auto Show the 2009 Optima, a model that offers a completely modified exterior, which offers a more aggressive, dynamic style than previous models, and is outfitted with a new engine that provides more power and better fuel economy. The 2009 Optima will go on sale in early fall.
For 2009. Optima is being offered in three different versions: LX, EX and the new sporty SX trim. Along with a sport-tuned suspension, SX upgrades include: a black-bezeled front grille and headlamps, LED outside-mirror turning signals, fog lights and hyper-silver-finished 17-inch wheels. EX and LX V6 models are equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, and are fitted with Goodyear tires.
The 2009 Optima is available in two powerplants – a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 2.7-liter V6 engine – and two five-speed transmissions (manual with LX four-cylinder model only). The four-cylinder engine delivers 161 hp and the 2.7-liter V6 delivers190 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is mated to a five-speed, gated automatic transmission. All automatics feature Sportmatic clutchless shifting.
The latest step in the complete regeneration of the Kia product line-up over the past three years, the all-new Optima combines distinctive styling with a longer wheelbase, a wider track, increased horsepower, better fuel economy and dramatically improved driving dynamics for enhanced performance and passenger comfort.