Aggressive Styling - 2011 Kia Optima Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Turbo: Aggressive Styling

March 29, 2011

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Love at first sight? Yeah, I think so. The moment I saw the Optima in person, I was taken. The whole execution just says "solid" to me, and I really like that. Really. So here's my take on why I think it's the best looking midsize sedan.

It has a subtle aggression to it. It doesn't scream "look at me!" No, it's almost as though it's staring you down. As if to say, "why would you ever buy anything as dull as a Camry?"

Kia hired a former Audi designer to revamp the lineup, and the results are stunning. Sure, there are some hints of Audi in there, but I see a bit more BMW influence. It's a solid-looking car, but it's not chunky or overly angular. The proportions, on the whole, just seem to work well together.

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Driving around car-jaded L.A., the Optima manages to turn more than a few heads. In the beginning, I'd watch others check out the car, then realize it's a Kia. Yes, a Kia. A lot of times, I think that some cars have an uphill battle with their brand names, and certainly I thought any Kia would fall into this category. But the Optima is so evocative, it won't have that problem.

It's a looker, for sure, but it's pretty good from the driver's seat as well. Then there's the price and long list of features. My critique of the Sonata is positive as well, making it more a curvy and fluid interpretation of the same theme. But I'm still hooked on the Optima, and I have a feeling I will be for a while.

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor


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