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The 2011 Kia Optima has surprised a lot of people with its refined, sporty good looks and worthy road performance. If you’re shopping for a Kia Optima and would like to know what this affordable sedan costs to insure, the process couldn’t be simpler — just enter your zip code in the indicated box to begin your search. You can also read our summary here to learn about the Kia Optima’s design, performance, and safety features, and you can get a taste of what reviewers are saying about the Optima. We’ll finish up with a look at some factors that affect insurance costs so that you’ll be ready to shop for the best insurance deal for your Optima!
KIA – A Korean Success Story at Last
Since it was introduced back in 2000, the Optima has proved less than exciting compared to the competition. With its complete redesign for 2011, however, the Kia Optima is now a true contender in the crowded mid-size affordable sedan category. Reviewers compare it favorably to established icons such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and its platform-mate the Hyundai Sonata. Praise for the Optima highlights its low sticker price, nifty performance, stellar fuel economy and extensive features.
Kelley Blue Book sums this all up by saying that the 2011 Optima has “transformed itself from a fall-back option to a potential major player”
Car and Driver awarded the new Optima a spot on its 2011 list of “10 Best Surprises” for its high-quality interior, attractive lines, dynamic performance, generous list of features and value pricing. Cars.com goes a step further and gives it a “Best of 2011” award.
Kia is owned by the Hyundai Corporation, so comparisons with Hyundai’s mid-size Sonata seem inevitable. While the two sedans share a powertrain and suspension, the 2011 Optima’s exterior is unmistakably distinct from the Sonata’s. Reviewers note that it offers a true alternative that’s more European in style. The Optima’s sleek, coupe-like lines and its other improvements in style and performance were spearheaded by its lead designer Peter Schreyer, former head of the design team for Audi and Volkswagen, who oversaw Kia’s rebirth as a vibrant competitor across the board. Schreyers’s new emphasis on a sportier Euro-aesthetic sets the Optima apart from the Sonata, so you can rest assured that despite a shared platform and its past history in the shadows of the Sonata, the Optima now projects its own savvy, unique image both inside and out.
The Kia Optima: Specs, Features, and Price
Let’s take a look at what the new Kia Optima has to offer. The base LX and EX engine is a 2.4-liter direct-injection inline 4-cylinder yielding 200 horsepower, offered with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with electronic manual shift option. This engine, and overall handling and suspension, are tight and precise, providing an energetic, fun-to-drive end result when paired with the Optima’s mere 3,223-pound curb weight. Many reviewers are downright impressed with the base engine.
The EX Turbo and the SX get a 2.0-liter turbo-charged 4-cylinder with direct injection and an impressive 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Several reviewers have singled out the Turbo as more proof of Kia’s feisty determination to compete with the best of the midsize sedan class by carving out its own sportier niche.
The Optima’s impressive list of features is a hit with reviewers, too. With USB, Bluetooth, MP3 and Sirius standard on all trims, you’ll also find cruise control, steering wheel audio controls and a push-button Eco mode standard on all but the manual-transmission base LX. Go a little up the line and you get choices such as 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support and memory, power front passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, larger tires, navigation with rear camera display, smart key and push-button start and some nifty sport-trim options. Its impressively-low starting prices range from $18,995 to $26,675, and fuel economy beats even the Toyota Hybrid Camry and the Chevrolet Malibu at 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for the base engine, earning the Kia Optima an EPA “SmartWay Certification Mark” for 2011.
Safety and Insurance for the Kia Optima
For a mid-size sedan, all these selling points would be wasted without a solid commitment to safety. As a consumer shopping for car insurance, you need to know: Does the Optima deliver on safety? As it turns out, both the federal government’s NHTSA and the insurance industry’s IIHS have award the 2011 Optima their top safety ratings, and the latter also named it a “2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick.” You can learn more about these organizations and evaluations at www.safercar.gov and www.iihs.org, and feel confident that Kia’s determination to excel includes attention to safety and protection. The Optima comes standard with a full complement of front and rear airbags, seat-belt safety features, anti-lock brakes, and stability traction control. Safety clearly runs deep this year: four other new Kia vehicles were also named top safety picks in addition to its platform-mate the Hyundai Sonata.
As for insurance costs, the Kia Optima comes across as more expensive than several other popular mid-size sedans by some sources, but has also been cited as an inexpensive car to insure by others. With mixed signals, possibly owing to its all-new redesign, you’ll want to be extra diligent when comparing quotes. Depending on where you live, as well as your age, credit history, driving record and annual mileage, you may pay under $1000 per year in places like Vermont, or you may exceed $2800 for the same coverage in places like Montana or Michigan. Begin shopping for you Optima car insurance now — just enter your zip code in the box!