2011 Kia Optima Hybrid priced from $26,500*

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Kia

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’re capturing our first driving impressions of the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid this week, but we’ve already learned that the midsize fuel-sipper will be priced at $26,500 when it goes on sale in the coming months, excluding $750 for destination and handling.

Curiously, the $26,500 price tag represents an increase of $705 versus the Optima’s platform mate, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Kia tells us that the price increase is because the Optima comes with more standard equipment than the Sonata, including things like a rear backup camera, rear spoiler, auto-down front windows for the driver and passenger, a cooling glovebox, compass, and Uvo, Kia’s brand new infotainment system.

Like its Sonata kin, the Optima Hybrid uses the automaker’s 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine, mated to an electric motor and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This combination expected to return fuel economy ratings of 35/40 miles per gallon city/highway, same as the Sonata Hybrid.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid priced from $26,500* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 17:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Optima beats Camry, Accord in CR test, Altima still favorite; Explorer lambasted

Filed under: Sedan, SUV, Ford, Honda, Kia

2011 kia optima 2.0t

2011 Kia Optima 2.0T – Click above for high-res image gallery

The mid-size sedan battle rages on year after year. Perennial kings are dethroned while new challengers emerge boasting fresh styling and a bountiful list of standard features. Consumer Reports launches its June issue today, and the institute’s testers have put a host of family-minded four-doors powered by four-cylinder engines through a workout to determine which is the top dog. Ten vehicles were tested but, as Christopher Lambert will tell you, there can be only one.

As it has here at Autoblog Towers, Kia’s 2011 Optima draws big praise from the Consumer Reports crew. In fact, the Korean squeezes out a higher rating than the Honda Accord. It may have only beat the Honda by one point, but this represents a significant win for Kia. The opinions of Consumer Reports are highly valued by a large number of car shoppers, and this victory ought to push the Optima further onto radar of the American car buying public. Interestingly, while the Optima earned a “Very Good” rating, it wasn’t the comparison’s overall winner, however, as the Nissan Altima (a perennial CR favorite) claimed the test’s top spot, neatly trumping the Honda and the best-selling Toyota Camry in the process.

One vehicle not fairing so well in the June issue of Consumer Reports? The 2011 Ford Explorer. Nineteen mid-size sport utility vehicles were rounded up for testing, and the Explorer wound up in 17th place – well behind the Toyota Highlander Hybrid – a dismal showing for the Blue Oval brand. If you don’t have an issue of CR in your mailbox, check out the official press release after the jump for more details.

Continue reading Optima beats Camry, Accord in CR test, Altima still favorite; Explorer lambasted

Optima beats Camry, Accord in CR test, Altima still favorite; Explorer lambasted originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blake Griffin to auction dunked-over Kia Optima on AutoTrader.com [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Auctions, Videos, Kia, Celebrities

blake griffin goes airborne over a 2011 kia optima

Blake Griffin goes airborne over a 2011 Kia Optima – Click above to watch video after the jump

Mixed opinions arise when discussing Blake Griffin’s over-car dunk at the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Regardless, it got people talking and the 2011 Kia Optima played a major role in the jam. Kia turned Griffin’s hop into a commercial, and now Griffin is again using that same Optima for another good move; one that will benefit cancer research organization Stand Up to Cancer.

With the help of AutoTrader.com, Blake Griffin will auction off the car that helped him win the 2011 Dunk Contest title. Signed by the recently named Rookie of the Year, this Optima has been seen by millions of people courtesy of YouTube (and you can join that group by clicking past the jump and watching the dunk for yourself).

All proceeds will go to Stand Up for Cancer, which is a charity close to Griffin’s heart. His friend, and former high school basketball teammate, Wilson Holloway recently lost a three-year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. AutoTrader.com, which typically does not auction vehicles, has stated that it’s eager to help raise as much money as possible for such a worthy charity. The auction will run through May 15th, and can be viewed at a special Blake Griffin-specific page on AutoTrader.com.

Click past the jump to get a refresher on Griffin’s sedan-soaring slam, then be sure to read through the press release for more information. It’s also worth mentioning that donations can be made to Stand Up to Cancer here.

Continue reading Blake Griffin to auction dunked-over Kia Optima on AutoTrader.com [w/video]

Blake Griffin to auction dunked-over Kia Optima on AutoTrader.com [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kia adding Optima production line to Georgia plant

Filed under: Sedan, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, Kia

2011 kia optima ex

2011 Kia Optima EX – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Kia Optima has been a resounding success from the minute the midsize sedan’s redesigned 2011 model hit dealer showrooms. Optima sales have nearly doubled since its November introduction, which has helped the automaker claim a 36 percent sales increase on the year.

The Korean automaker seems to think the good times will continue into the future, announcing a third hiring wave at the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant. The additional employees will help increase Optima output when the 2012 model arrives in the third quarter. This is good news for the red-hot Kia brand, and those looking for work in Georgia are likely excited as well. Kia says in the post-jump press release that its hiring spree will increase the workforce at the facility to 3,000 workers. Hit the jump to read over the official release.

Gallery: 2011 Kia Optima EX: Review

2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX

Photos copyright (C)2011 Dan Roth / AOL

[Source: Kia]

Continue reading Kia adding Optima production line to Georgia plant

Kia adding Optima production line to Georgia plant originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review: 2011 Kia Optima EX

Filed under: Sedan, Kia, Reviews

The New Benchmark, For Now

2011 Kia Optima EX

2011 Kia Optima EX – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nobody remembers the 2010 Kia Optima, but just like that, the 2011 model may be the mainstream sedan to beat. While some consumers – the uninformed and brand-bigoted – might remain skeptical, the 2011 Kia Optima is the new benchmark. How could the Optima go from warmed-over also-ran to the segment’s latest front-runner?

Continue reading Review: 2011 Kia Optima EX

Gallery: 2011 Kia Optima EX: Review

2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX2011 Kia Optima EX

Photos copyright (C)2011 Dan Roth / AOL

Continue reading Review: 2011 Kia Optima EX

Review: 2011 Kia Optima EX originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Kia Optima Hybrid delayed due to Hyundai Sonata Hybrid pushback

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, Hyundai, Kia

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – Click here for high-res image gallery

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was supposed to go on sale in December, but at the eleventh hour, the company decided on a last-minute engineering change to enhance safety. When the automaker learned that President Obama planned to sign a bill that would ban a switch that can disable a noisemaker designed to warn blind pedestrians, the Korean automaker decided it was best to remove the switch. The move delayed mass availability of the Sonata Hybrid from December to late April.

But what about its twin, the Kia Optima Hybrid? Ward’s Automotive reports that the mid-size hybrid has been delayed until late in the second quarter, or about five months after its scheduled January launch.

Will the substantial delay of the Optima and Sonata Hybrids hurt sales and satisfaction? We’re sure there are probably some impatient buyers out there who don’t understand why they have to wait, but in the long run, we’re likely looking at a mere bump in the road.

Gallery: 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid2011 Kia Optima Hybrid2011 Kia Optima Hybrid2011 Kia Optima Hybrid2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

[Source: Ward’s Automotive – sub. req.]

Report: Kia Optima Hybrid delayed due to Hyundai Sonata Hybrid pushback originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Kia recalling 70,000 Optima sedans over rollaway fears

Filed under: Sedan, Recalls, Kia

2007 Kia Optima

According to The Detroit News, Kia is recalling 70,115 examples of its 2006-2008 Optima sedans over a weak shift cable that could break and cause the car to roll unexpectedly when parked. Kia first noticed the problem in 2007 and changed manufacturing processes to try and cure the issue. They also notified technicians to look for flaws in customers’ Optimas and address the issue if there was a problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started an investigation into the 2007 model in November after getting three reports of weak or broken shift cables in automatic transmission cars preventing owners from shifting between Park, Drive and Reverse. In one case, a broken cable caused a parked car to roll away.

In response to the NHTSA inquiry, Kia has done more testing and evaluation on the cars and decided that a recall was necessary. Despite the recall, Kia says the problem hasn’t resulted in any “real world safety incidents.”

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: AOL Autos]

Report: Kia recalling 70,000 Optima sedans over rollaway fears originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Kia Optima receives five-star NHTSA crash rating

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Safety, Crossover, Kia, Mini

2011 Kia Optima

2011 Kia Optima – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Kia Optima set the mark as the first Korean-built car to be officially five-star certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The all-new Optima recieved five-star ratings in the frontal, side-impact and rollover tests.

The Optima sports six airbags, active front headrests, side-impact door bars and height adjustable three-point seat belts for each seat. This five-star rating is indeed something worthy of bragging rights, as NHTSA imposed significantly stricter testing standards for 2011 models. Follow the jump for Kia’s press release.

Gallery: 2011 Kia Optima 2.0T: First Drive

2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T

Photos copyright (C)2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Kia]

Continue reading 2011 Kia Optima receives five-star NHTSA crash rating

2011 Kia Optima receives five-star NHTSA crash rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chicago 2011: Kia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race Car

Filed under: Chicago Auto Show, Concept Cars, Motorsports, Sedan, Kia, Racing

Kia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race Car

Kia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Is Kia considering following the lead set by Toyota in crafting an entry into NASCAR? No – at least not that we know of. But the Korean automaker is proving it has an interest in racing nonetheless, as you can see from the 2011 Kia Optima Turbo SX built by Kinetic Motorsports seen above.

According to Kia, this race car was built as a prototype to showcase the performance and racing capabilites of the Optima. Performance aside, this machine, which is being shown off at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, certainly looks the part of a credible racer.

It’s worth noting that the Kia Forte race car, also built by Kia racing partner Kinetic, finished second in the Grand-Am race at Daytona a few weeks ago. Will the Optima be following suit? It certainly wouldn’t be a complete surprise…

Gallery: Kia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race Car

Kia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race CarKia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race CarKia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race CarKia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race CarKia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race Car

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

Chicago 2011: Kia Optima Turbo SX Kinetic Race Car originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Feb 2011 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Epic Kia Optima Super Bowl ad stars Poseidon, aliens

Filed under: Sedan, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Kia

2011 kia optima one epic ride screen-grab

2011 Kia Optima ‘One Epic Ride’ Super Bowl ad – Click above to watch the video after the jump

We know the 2011 Kia Optima is an excellent sedan, but apparently it’s so desirable that anyone and everything across time and space are clamoring to get it.

In the Korean automaker’s new Super Bowl ad, a police officer playing ‘bad cop’ decides to take the car off the hands of a couple, now cuffed to his parked motorcycle. The constable, in turn, is no match for a super villain, his slick helicopter and a waiting mega-yacht. The Optima nearly falls into the villain’s hands, but by then, the all-new sedan has piqued the interest of the gods (we would have pegged Poseidon as a Maserati guy), and that’s when things get really interesting.

Click past the jump to watch the elaborate and visually impressive journey unfold.

Gallery: Kia Optima goes on One Epic Ride

[Source: Kia via YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Epic Kia Optima Super Bowl ad stars Poseidon, aliens

Video: Epic Kia Optima Super Bowl ad stars Poseidon, aliens originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Feb 2011 12:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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