BMW Versus Kia - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: BMW Versus Kia

August 26, 2011

Optima rear close up.jpg

There are real benefits to having all these long-term cars on hand, and it's not just so the editors have a free mode of transport for getting to and from the office. For instance, I didn't realize how much I despise the BMW 528i's throttle tip-in until I drove it and the Kia Optima SX Turbo on back-to-back nights.

One word to describe the BMW's throttle? It sucks (okay, that might have been two). There always seems to be a bit of a delay anytime you hit the throttle, and the transmission is hesitant about the gear to be in as well. If you give it any punch at all, after the delay it then lurches forward abruptly. If you try and get all delicate with your right foot and/or switch to the Comfort setting, the Bimmer moves out like the emergency brake is on. Sport seems to be the best compromise, but it's still far from perfect. Super annoying, and totally unbecoming of a BMW.

Getting in the Kia last night, I immediately felt, "yes, now this is more like it." I didn't have to work hard at being smooth with the throttle so as to not jerk the car suddenly off the line. The action is much more intuitive.

But get this. Between the last three long-termers I've driven, it was actually the Honda Odyssey that had the most supple, most natural throttle tip-in. Yep, that's right. The minivan.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 10,757 miles.

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