January 2012

Vehicle Profile: The 2012 Kia Optima Family

Any sentence containing the words “average midsize sedan” clearly do not refer to the 2012 Kia Optima, a midsize sedan that exceeds expectations for midsize sedans so decisively that it probably skews the averages upward for the entire segment. That skewing begins with the number of choices the 2012 Kia Optima model line offers including high-powered turbocharged versions and a 40 mpg hybrid.
 
Glance at a Kia Optima while it’s parking or passing by, and you could mistake it for a luxury-brand sedan costing upward of $35,000. If that sounds a little wild, consider that, among its many awards, the Kia Optima recently picked up a "Most Gorgeous Car” in its class accolade from Esquire magazine. Who’s to argue with an expert in design and fashion?
 
A “gorgeous” design could easily be considered a special bonus in a sedan starting at an MSRP of $21,000. That’s for a well-equipped 2012 Optima LX A/T model with a standard six-speed Sportmatic® automatic transmission with manual shift capability, USB and auxiliary audio input jacks, heated exterior mirrors, foglamps, Bluetooth® connectivity, a cooling glovebox, steering wheel-mounted controls and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. The upscale Optima EX model adds the comfort of leather-trimmed seating, an eight-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, wood interior trim, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink®, a compass and rear reading lamps.
 
In Optima LX A/T and EX models, the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces a prodigious 200 hp and 186 lb/ft of torque. That’s better than nearly all models in the class, and it’s just getting warmed up. The Optima EX Turbo gives you a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine. With 274 hp and a stunning 269 lb/ft of torque produced from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm, this engine outpowers competitors’ V6 engines. Remarkably, it also outpowers the turbo four’s standard in three 2012 luxury sedans – the Audi A6 (211 hp), BMW 5 Series (240 hp) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (201 hp).
 
Even with its big power advantage, the 2012 Kia Optima EX Turbo models still deliver 34 mpg highway fuel economy and use Regular grade fuel.
 
Order the Premium Package with the Optima EX or EX Turbo and you add luxury that rivals some much more expensive models. Comfort features include heated and cooled front seats, a four-way power passenger’s seat and heated rear seats. There’s much more including a panoramic sunroof, Infinity® premium audio system and the UVO Powered by Microsoft® infotainment system with rear camera display and HD Radio. Consider the driver’s seat memory and power-folding exterior mirrors icing on this rather rich cake.
 
For the driving enthusiast, the top-of-the-line Kia Optima SX couples the turbocharged engine and EX-level content with a special sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and steering wheel paddleshifters for the six-speed Sportmatic® automatic transmission. The SX accentuates its athletic demeanor with a sporty body styling package and exclusive interior trim. Car and Driver magazine described the interior of its Optima test car as “a study in elegant design, excellent materials and all-day comfort.”
 
In the new 2012 Optima Hybrid, Kia technology combines the power of a 2.4-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor through a specially designed six-speed automatic transmission. The resulting combined system output of 206 hp and 195 lb/ft of torque provides outstanding all-around performance while also delivering the most impressive fuel economy ratings in the Optima line - 35 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The Kia Optima Hybrid can run in full electric mode at up to 62 mph, or in full hybrid gas-electric mode at any speed. The Hybrid model’s MSRP of $26,500 includes all the standard features of the Optima LX model, plus features from the more luxurious EX model. 
 
A soon-to-be-released Optima Limited model takes all the features of the top-of-the-line SX and adds Nappa premium leather seats, an Alcantara headliner, LED front positioning lights and chrome wheels, accent side sills, outside door handles and rear spoiler. The Limited model also includes all the available options from the SX trim including heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard rear seats, a Navigation system and panoramic sunroof as standard equipment.
 
All Optima models deliver the peace of mind of the “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and all 2012 Kia models come with a five-year/60,000-mile Limited Basic Warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty. The Optima Hybrid, in addition, backs up its lithium-polymer battery system with a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty.
 
The 2012 Kia Optima family offers style, performance, safety, luxury and outstanding fuel economy across the model line. Come in and see which one fits your life.


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