Dated - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: Dated

September 07, 2011


Kia chose to use the old Motorola RAZR as an icon on its Bluetooth pairing screen. Remember how slick that phone was when it came out in, what, 2003? I remember how slick I thought I was, three years later, when I landed one for $100 on a T-Mobile contract. Damn phone started disintegrating about a year later, but I managed to leg out another year or so on it, until the keypad started sticking and dialing only eights.

A horribly trivial thing to pick on, I know. But someone among the software developers should be lightly spanked for picking the RAZR to represent a universal cell phone icon in 2011. Or not. Maybe the RAZR was that iconic? Maybe it's better than a generic Nokia silhouette or a rectangle with an apple in the center? The mind wanders.

I'm still undecided on the Optima. Judged through my narrow prism of cars that will get me home in peace and double as decompression chamber, the Optima works. Nice wide powerband, good seats, lots of features, thumpy Infinity audio system. Small, but important victories.

But with a few of my colleagues, I'll pile on the steering. It just feels over-caffeinated and tense, as if all that electric assist is overflowing and welling up in the steering column. The minor inputs required to keep the steering on-center during a mostly highway commute add up. It's not exhausting by any means; it's not the 911, after all. But it's not relaxing, either.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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