The newly redesigned 2011 Sportage and Optima added more awards to the Kia trophy case in 2010. Both cutting-edge models are at the core of Kia’s recent design-led transformation.
Overall, Kia Motors America increased sales by 18.7 percent in 2010, due in large part to the introduction/redesign of four vehicles: Sorento, Sportage, Optima and Forte 5-door. The Sportage is a compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) and the Optima, the Official Vehicle of the NBA, is a midsize sedan.
The 2011 Sportage and Optima were each named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2010. Both models received top ratings for front, side, rollover and rear impact protection. Other Kia products to earn “Top Safety Pick” distinction from the IIHS include the 2010 Soul urban passenger vehicle, 2010 Forte compact sedan, 2011 Sorento CUV and 2011 Sedona minivan. Institute ratings are based on results from front, side and rear-impact crash tests. A roof strength test to measure occupant protection in the event of a rollover was added in 2010.
In addition to being named Top Safety Picks by the IIHS, the 2011 Sportage and Optima were each honored by Automotive Lease Guide (ALG). The Sportage received a best-in-class residual rating of 61 percent of original manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for 36 months of ownership. That rating is 20 points higher than the 2010 Sportage residual and ranks as Kia’s highest ALG rating ever. The 2011 Optima also received a record residual value increase from ALG.
Showing its wide-ranging appeal, the Sportage was named “Best Crossover” by Ruedas ESPN, a leading Hispanic sports radio show. The Sportage was selected for its high-quality features and for providing consumers with good value.
Rounding out a decorated year, the 2011 Optima was also named a “Best Buy” by Consumer Guide Automotive in the midsize car category. The 2011 Sorento received the “Best Buy” distinction, too, while the 2011 Sportage received the “Recommended” designation. Vehicles are rated on price, features, performance, accommodations, fuel economy, reliability records and resale value. The annual list is designed to make car buying easier for consumers. More than 150 new vehicles are test driven each year to produce the ratings.
The numerous awards and accolades earned in 2010 are just a small portion of a truly historic year for the Kia brand. The company enjoyed its best-ever full-year sales, a 16th consecutive year of market-share growth and saw the launch of the company’s first U.S.-built vehicle—the Sorento CUV. Kia now looks to ride its recent wave of momentum into 2011 and beyond.