2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo.
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If you are shopping in this segment and you don't compare the 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo to everything else, you are making a big mistake.
I don't think I've been more impressed by a recent vehicle than this Optima Turbo. Sure, there are countless better cars on the roads today, but none at this price point, and none that give you this kind of bang for the buck.
The only, and very minor complaint I could come up with in this vehicle is the slight "whine" the steering wheel makes when turning it, and a very slight rattle coming from inside the dash for just a few seconds when initially taking off from standing still. That's it.
It is an extremely pleasant place to be. This interior is just simply unmatched by the competition. It has every possible feature you could want in a car. From heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Sirius, USB, Navigation, Infinity Sound System and Paddle shifts to just being plain comfortable. The all-glass panoramic sun roof makes the vehicle feel enormous.
One additional, and very minor negative for me is that the passenger seat is not vertically adjustable, so you end up sitting quite low. Naturally, this depends on your size, but everyone that sat in that seat, complained about it.
The ride is very modern, crisp, confident and stable. I tend to be a stickler on this mater since I am used to driving my BMW M3, Audi S4 and Porsche 911, and I did not feel this was a step down. Don't misunderstand me, this car is not those cars, but you will simply not be disappointed. Just keep thinking that this car's MSRP was $30,840 complete (and including) the $2,000 for the navigation system, the $2,150 for the SX Premium Touring Package and the $695 freight.
Some of the vehicles in this price segment to consider are the Audi A4 (which starts about $5k more), the BMW 1 Series (starts at $30,325) the BMW 3 Series ($34,025), the Buick LaCrosse ($34,760), the Buick Lucerne ($33,895), the Chevrolet Impala ($30,755), the Chevrolet Malibu ($29,245), the Chrysler 300 ($31,995), the Chrysler Sebring ($33,460), the Ford Fusion ($29,795), the Honda Accord ($32,700), the Nissan Altima ($31,300) the Volvo S40, The Acura TSX and the Lexus IS, just to name a few. I realize many of these have a better brand reputation, and some are entrenched in the consumer mind as a default option, but a few seem to be resting on their laurels and have become extremely boring, such as most Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans.
• Engine: In-line four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head
• Valve gear: DOHC
• Horsepower: 274 @ 6000
• Torque: 269 @ 1750, 4500
• Bore & Stroke: 86 X 86
• Displacement: 1998cc
• Compression ratio: 9.5:1
• Fuel System: GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection)
• Fuel tank capacity (gal.): 18.5
• Emissions rating: ULEV-II
• Coolant capacity (qt.): 3.5 (A/T)
• Engine oil capacity (qt.): 4.9
• Transmission: Electronically-controlled Six-speed automatic, overdrive w/ Sportmatic™
• Clutch type: Torque converter
• Front suspension: Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
• Rear suspension: Independent, multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
• Steering: Rack-and-pinion, electric motor
• Overall length: 190.7
• Overall width: 72.1
• Overall height: 57.3
• Cargo volume (cu. ft.): 15.4
• Curb Weight: 3385 lbs.
• Weight Distribution: 61/39
• Brake Type: Hydraulic, vacuum power-assisted
• Front Brake: 12.6-inch ventilated discs
• Rear Brake: 11.2-inch solid discs
• Fuel Economy: 22/34
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