The Kia Optima SXL is a handsome vehicle, both inside and out. Our Snow White Pearl tester looked especially classy, and the black and chrome accents didn’t make it look too gaudy. Even with the eighteen-inch chrome wheels—a part of the Limited Package that comes with the SXL—it didn’t look at all offensive, and actually appeared to be a tasteful use of the shiny stuff. Even the housings for the (power folding) side mirrors look nice on this car. Plus, the Limited gets a set of LED daytime running lights and red brake calipers to help set it apart form the rest of the crowd in a subtle yet fashionable way.
Now, make no mistake, this Camry is no sports sedan. The car is “all motor,” by which I mean the only really fun/dynamically distinguishing feature of the vehicle is the power it offers, and the quickness with which it lays that power down. The rest of the package is very subdued, soft, and quiet in terms of driver feedback.
In case you haven’t noticed, we really like what Kia (and sister company Hyundai) have been up to lately. Case in point is the new turbocharged Optima, which takes all the things that made the regular mid-sizer so great, and adds a big, fat helping of force-induction goodness.
Here comes Optima, one of the best-looking sedans from the 2011 model year, hot on the heels of the Sportage and the Koup, two of the best looking entries in their respective market segments, too. All offer exterior design that manages to be a little bit edgy without stepping far enough outside of the mainstream to risk polarization. That’s a fine line to tread, and one that the Kia folks have tight-roped beautifully for two years now.
Kia has unveiled the manufacturers first hybrid vehicle, the new Optima Hybrid. The green Optima is motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a forty horsepower electric motor. When working together, the gas and electric engines generate a total of 206 horsepower.