Charged Up - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: Charged Up

November 15, 2011

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I have turbocharging on the brain today. That's because I'm editing an article about the role turbos will play as manufacturers continue their quest for lighter, more fuel-efficient engines in order to comply with ever-more-stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The federal agencies that regulate fuel economy and emissions have set a 2025 goal of 54.5 mpg for the U.S. fleet. (For a bevy of complicated reasons, that's equivalent to about 36 mpg on a window sticker.)

Experts say that turbos are present in about 10 percent of the light-vehicle market today, headed toward 23 percent by 2016 and as high as 80 percent by the end of the decade. That's speedy adoption.

From a consumer standpoint, the Optima seems to be an excellent example of why turbos might take off. If all turbocharged cars drive like it does, achieving that 80 percent figure should be a snap.

What's your take on turbos? Are there downsides that would deter you from having turbo in your next car?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @14,428 miles


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