It's Got Sauce - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: It's Got Sauce

May 10, 2011


I tell ya, the 2.0-liter turbo in this 2011 Kia Optima is impressive. Not just in the total amount of sauce it cranks out at full throttle, but also in the way it is delivered in those nuance-y moments between full throttle and no throttle.

Hyundai/Kia intended for this engine to replace a V6, and I have to say they succeeded. Buyers of V6s want immediate torque, and that's what this turbo mill provides. It's a very linear engine. Rarely with this engine do you get the rubber-band sensation typical of turbo engines; instead the rise in torque is immediate and in lockstep with your right foot.

Credit here goes in part to the Kia's twin-scroll turbo. It's a nominally more expensive feature that they saw fit to include as it helps improve time-to-boost.

And yeah, when you give it the wood, it really goes. I'm a fan of this engine in this car.

Now, about the lack of a manual gearbox...

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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