At Your Fingertips - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: At Your Fingertips

July 28, 2011

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When a car company goes to the trouble of mounting a gear changing apparatus to the steering wheel, you'd think they would put the controls within easy reach - you know, to make it convenient. Surprisingly, not everyone does that.

But from my muddled memory banks, cars like the SHO, the Aura and early PDK equipped Porsches stand out as having really poorly placed shift paddles/buttons. Thankfully, our Optima SX Turbo's paddles fall right to your fingertips. The paddles are quite broad, making it easy to flick up or down a gear without having to move your hands at all from the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. I like the lip on the end of the paddles too; it's a nice finger hold.

How could they be better? I'd have them coated with a rubber backing. And, perhaps the only real gripe here, I'd prefer them mounted to the steering column instead of the wheel, like on a GT-R or an Evolution X.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 9,515 miles


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