2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2011 Kia Optima - Road Test Specs

2011 Kia Optima Sedan

(2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic)


Model year2011
StyleSX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Base MSRP$25,995
Options on test vehiclePremium Package ($2,150 -- includes panoramic sunroof, four-way power front passenger seat, two-way driver seat memory, heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard rear seats); Technology Package ($2,000 -- includes navigation system with back-up camera, Infinity audio system with eight speakers).
As-tested MSRP$30,840


Drive typeFront-wheel Drive
Engine typeTurbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,998/122
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)9.5
Redline (rpm)6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)274 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)269 @ 1,750
Fuel type87-octane recommended
Transmission typeSix-speed automatic with console shifter and steering-mounted paddles
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 4.65; II = 2.83; III = 1.84; IV = 1.39; V = 1.00; VI = 0.77; R = 3.39; Final = 2.89


Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent multilink, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional, rack-and-pinion power steering
Tire brandNexen
Tire modelClasse Premiere CP 662
Tire typeAll-season (35 psi cold front; 35 psi cold rear)
Tire size, frontP225/45R18 95V
Tire size, rearP225/45R18 95V
Wheel size18-by-7.5 inches front and rear
Wheel materialCast aluminum
Brakes, front12.6-inch ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Brakes, rear11.2-inch solid with single-piston sliding calipers

Track Test Results

Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)2.8
0-45 mph (sec.)4.4
0-60 mph (sec.)6.5
0-75 mph (sec.)9.2
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)14.6 @ 98.4
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)6.1
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)31
60-0 mph (ft.)125
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)62.7
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.80
Sound level @ idle (dB)43.9
@ Full throttle (dB)70.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)63.9

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsAccelerates equally quick regardless of method, or whether stability control is on or off. Upshifts for itself at 6,000 rpm for the 1-2 and at 6,200 for the 2-3. Launches with zero fuss, then the turbo comes on hard and spins the front tires dramatically at 3,500-4,000 rpm. Manual shifting via steering wheel paddles or console lever; does not hold gears; does not blip throttle on downshifts.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsFirm pedal, but not a lot of feel as to what the tires were doing. This improved somewhat on later runs. Tires felt slippery. Significant amount of nosedive; light tail with minor amount of wagging.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsSkid pad: Where's the grip? Nexen tires made the Optima feel like it was attempting to turn on ice. Good ability to dial out understeer with drop-throttle, though, and car would rotate slightly. With ESC on, could bury the throttle and system would cut power to keep on intended arc, but it overcompensated for the slippery tires and this proved very slow. Slalom: Steering has good weighting, but feels a bit rubbery. Has quick turn-in and the chassis is willing to rotate, helping it change directions around the cones. But unlike its Hyundai Sonata 2.0T cousin, the Kia's ESC system cannot be completely defeated and as such, it cuts in slightly even in "Off" mode, slowing the time. Tires seemed to overheat and get greasy within a few runs.

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (°F)52.1
Relative humidity (%)52.4
Wind (mph, direction)3.75, Cross

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)22 city/34 highway/26 combined
Edmunds observed (mpg)19.7
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18.5

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,385
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,535
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)59.7/40.3
Length (in.)190.7
Width (in.)72.0
Height (in.)57.3
Wheelbase (in.)110.0
Track, front (in.)62.6
Track, rear (in.)62.6
Turning circle (ft.)35.8
Legroom, front (in.)45.5
Legroom, rear (in.)34.6
Headroom, front (in.)40.0
Headroom, rear (in.)37.6
Shoulder room, front (in.)57.3
Shoulder room, rear (in.)55.7
Seating capacity2
Cargo volume (cu-ft)15.4


Bumper-to-bumper5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain10 years/100,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years/60,000 miles


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsDual front
Head airbagsFront and rear
Antilock brakesFour-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsBraking assist, braking assist
Traction controlTraction control
Stability controlStability control
Tire-pressure monitoring systemTire-pressure monitoring
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
IIHS offsetNot tested

New Car Buying Guides

See which cars and trucks our editors recommend