The 2011 Kia Optima has already made a splash in the midsize sedan market with its far-from-bland looks. It turns out that Kia’s midsizer has some substance to its style: it was already rated a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and has now received a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Optima earned a five star rating in each of NHTA’s frontal impact, side impact, and rollover tests – the highest possible score from the government agency. This marks the first time a Korean-built car has received the top rating under NHTSA’s more stringent testing methods that went into effect for the 2011 model year. Joining the 2011 Honda Accord and 2011 Mazda 6, the Optima now sits at the top its class in terms of safety.
A quick refresher on the front-wheel drive Optima: current power choices are a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 274-horsepower inline-four with a six-speed automatic, or a 2.4-liter, 200-horsepower inline-four with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The car is rated at 22/34 mpg city/highway for the turbo, and 24/35 mpg or 24/34 mpg city/highway for the non-turbo depending on transmission, manual or automatic respectively. Base prices for Kia’s mid-sized sedan range from $19,690 for a base-level LX and up to $26,690 for a top-level, turbocharged SX model (both prices including destination).
Source: NHTSA, Kia