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2011-12 Optima



  • I don't know what to believe anymore...
    Please tell me that Autoweek got the dates wrong for the Optima. If you read the article, it says that the Optima is out "next year", and then the Hybrid out "1st quarter of 2011". Aren't they really the same timeframe? This is contrary to what Kia has "officially" put on their website.

    Also the Sportage 2.0T date could be wrong as well...this article says "arrives this year" while "officially" it is 2011.

    Future products: Kia seeks lively, upscale look

    Kia's redesigned Optima sedan and the Cadenza replacement for the Amanti, both due next year, reflect an emphasis on creating a livelier and more upscale look for the once-bland brand.

    Indeed, styling has been a crucial element of Kia's new-product push in the past 18 months.

    The team at Kia Design Center America near Los Angeles--part of the automaker's global design network led by onetime Audi design chief Peter Schreyer--has helped set the new styling direction.

    Designers in California created the Kue crossover concept that was the basis for the Sportage redesign. They also did the exterior styling on the Soul, Forte and Forte Koup and Sorento and the interior of the upcoming Optima. Kia's design center in Frankfurt did the Optima's exterior.

    Look for more excitement under the hood, too, as Kia strives to be seen as a brand that delivers moderately priced vehicles that are fun to drive. For example, the new Sportage, which went on sale this month, gets a 270-hp direct- injection turbocharged engine as an option in early 2011.

    Here are highlights of Kia's U.S. plans for the 2011-13 model years.

    Rio: A redesign of Kia's small car is expected to go on sale in late 2011.

    Rondo: The compact minivan may be replaced for the 2013 model year with a new five-door model based on the same platform as the Hyundai i30, which is sold in Europe.

    Soul: The first reskin for the quirky, boxy subcompact since its February 2009 debut is planned for the summer of 2011, when the Soul gets a new fascia. A redesign is scheduled for the 2014 model year.

    Optima: The mid-sized sedan, which shares a platform with the Hyundai Sonata, will be redesigned early next year. Styling of the 2011 Optima is sporty and streamlined. It gets the “tiger nose” grille seen on all new Kia models since the debut of the Soul. The new version will be launched with a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an optional turbocharged version that puts out an estimated 270 hp. A hybrid version will be introduced in the first quarter of 2011.

    Sorento: The crossover was redesigned in December. A restyling is planned for the 2013 model year.

    Sportage: The third generation of Kia's compact SUV debuted this month with styling cues from the 2007 Kue concept done at Kia's California design center. A version powered by a 270-hp, turbocharged direct-injection engine arrives this year. A reskin is scheduled for the 2014 model year.

    Forte: A replacement for the compact sedan is planned for the 2013 model year, with a new platform and possibly a new name.

    Cadenza: The Amanti replacement--introduced in Korea last year as the K-7--will go on sale in April as a 2012 model. The Cadenza, powered by a 3.5-liter V6, is longer and wider than the Amanti. The wheelbase of the Korean version is about 112 inches, compared with the Amanti's 107.1 inches. The Amanti name will disappear.

    Borrego: The body-on-frame SUV will remain in Kia's lineup through the 2013 model year with no changes planned. Kia executives are not convinced that the segment is worth additional investment, so the Borrego may be killed when its current life cycle ends after the 2013 model year.

    Sedona: The minivan segment is shrinking, so Kia may not replace the Sedona after production is scheduled to end after the 2013 model year.

    Hybrid: Kia is kicking around the idea of a dedicated hybrid, likely a compact car, but it is struggling with the business case in a segment dominated by the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    Bleh. Well hopefully we will learn more in September. If we're starting to see first looks now, I'm holding out hope for later this year.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Not in the market, but dropped by to see the new Sportage. The salesman told me fall, October, I think.

    Given Kia's marketing history, I hope to hell that they don't bring out an old model '11 Optima and then follow it up with the new one, also '11. Those days are, hopefully, past.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I think it will be an interesting year for Kia, what with the new Sorento, the new Sportage, the Optima this fall, and the Cadenza (replacing the homely and unloved Amanti), and then following that with a new Rio. A loaded Optima (with heated/cooled seats, etc) will be priced right about where the Cadenza starts (which will be no stripper itself). The Cadenza will go up against the Lacrosse, the Taurus and the Avalon, offering as much or more room, and more equipment for less money (and bulk) than any of those cars. For the first time in its Amercan history, this formerly cheap little brand is on a roll.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    Yeah I'd be pretty stoked if I were a Kia dealer right now. The K7 is a beautiful car, i would think it will do very well compared to the Amanti.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    your are from Canada and Kia Canada doesn't even mention anything about the new Optima - they are pretty useless for current info.
    I go off production figures which is a more accurate gauge and as of the end of July they had produced no Optima's for export. Won't know about August production till about mid September.
  • read here


    Enough said. I think I want a red 2.0T.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    And looks like they have a new Forte hatchback also! :)
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    edited August 2010
    Damn that car is just hot in red. I'm in for a red 2.0T myself. Beautiful. Hope it drives as good as it looks. Still has those wheels though...

    Wow a lot of big news there:

    "Both machines are due in KIA dealerships before the end of the year. Though official pricing will be released shortly before the Q4 on-sale date, we were told that the Optima will come in under its Hyundai Sonata stablemate"

    "General consensus is that in the flesh, the Optima is a notch up from the already handsome Sonata, and will come loaded with content for the price point. Highlights include the new nav system (with Kia's (UVO) take on the Microsoft/ Sync multi-media setup due later in the model year)"

    "later in the model year" is bumming me out. I wonder how long of a wait that would be. I really was looking forward to the UVO.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    I would like to see a dark gunmetal grey 2.0T with blacked-out center alloy wheels. Not necessarily what I would buy if I bought an Optima but I would like to see how that looks.
  • Autoweek First Drive

    Quoted from the article: "...It will launch with a four-cylinder engine making 200 hp, paired with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. A turbo four pumping out 274 hp will join later this year, followed by Kia's first U.S. hybrid in early 2011."

    OK, these dates are more in line with what we know so far. However, It is now August 31 with 4 months left in 2010. Worse case scenario should put the 2.0T date to be late December 2010, right?
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    Ooooh very interesting:

    "The 2011 model features dramatic new styling with a sweeping chrome arch, Kia's Tiger front grille design and a choice of four wheel sets, including two 18-inch options.

    Read more:"

    I'm guessing the turbo Sonata and Optima will hit around the same time late this year. So yeah Nov/Dec.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Interesting that the Optima outsells the Sonata in S Korea, where they have both been available for awhile. It is individual taste of course, but the Optima seems a bit less "in your face," while still being a head turner that looks more expensive than it is, Also intriguing that using the same platform, the Optima ekes out 2 more mpg's city. That could really add up over time, if that is more or less accurate.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    Yeah, there really is no explanation as to how they wring out 2 more mpg city.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    Don't like it in white. The blue one in the autoblog looks good. I still would like to see it in a gunmetal grey. The silver looks good too.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421
    Two very positive articles. Great set of wheels as a second option. Cheaper than the Sonata, and better looking, with more features. ... It's almost too good. Only negatives so far is lack of a track record, first year car from top to bottom. That's a big one. Throw in the badge as a downside if you want, but I'll happily drive a Kia that looks like that.
  • ctlctl Posts: 129
    edited September 2010
    I think this Optima looks very attractive! if someone wants buy a Korean family car, most shall pick Optima over Sonata (not that it's bad looking, but out-looked!). These two cars are so similar underneath that one wonders why Hyundai decided to bring both over...
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    edited September 2010
    No, I think Hyundai has a much more established name and that is why people are buying the Sonata in droves and they will continue to do so. Optima will stay under the radar for awhile just because it's a Kia and the Kia brand hasn't had as good of rep over the last several years. That will hurt the Optima but to me it a nicer looking and appointed auto.

    I realize that the new Optima is outselling the Sonata in Korea but I believe the Kia name in Korea has a lot better rep than they have established this point. The Sorento, Sportage, Forte and now the Optima are going to change that perception fairly quickly I think. It really only took one car, the 2011 Sonata, to really put Hyundai on the map here. So many people would now consider Hyundai because of that one car it's quite amazing really.
  • chronochrono Posts: 149
    Glad I waited on the Optima. Better looks, better steering, better mpg and most likely cheaper pricing then the Sonata. Looking forward to test driving when it comes out.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Hyundai was "on the map" long before the 2011 Sonata. Cars like the 2006 Sonata, the 2007 Santa Fe and Elantra (both being CR top picks now or in the past), and the Genesis (2009 NA COTY) have raised public perception of Hyundai over the past few years. The 2011 Sonata stands out because of its styling in a mostly ho-hum class of cars. The coming turbo will make it stand out even more from the pack.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    First year car is no longer a negative. First of all, the Optima is not has been out in Korea for awhile. Secondly, it is a Sonata with a different skin. Third, manufacturers no longer release cars and then work the bugs out. That old thinking has thankfully died. When problems arise now, they are just as likely (due to supplier changes, part modifications and so on) on second, third, fourth, fifth season cars. Most people who buy a car these days get a trouble-free driving experience. You always of course hear about the mess-ups, but if you look at the stats, even the mediocre quality ratings today are far better than the good ones used to be. And thank goodness. Just buy what you like.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Good response backy...Hyundai has been on a roll for several years. Now, it is Kia's turn.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    You're right, it was on the map but just not percieved as a cool car to have to a large degree. The new Sonata changed that. It created an excitement that just wasn't there before. They had good cars and they were getting recognised by CR and other auto press but the public perception IMO really took off with this new Sonata. I have many relatives and friends that say they would consider one now. That never happened in the past. I know its a small sample but the buzz at the auto show around the Sonatas was pretty amazing as well. The superbowl ads is where it really got peoples attention.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I think Kia is still behind Hyundai in public perception, in the USA at least, but cars like the new Optima, Sportage, and Forte will go a long way towards changing that perception. I like what I see of the Optima, but personally my fav Kia right now is the new Forte hatch--it brings to my mind the 2001-6 Elantra GT hatch, but even better looking (and better driving I am sure).
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    You are aware Hyundai is recalling some new Sonatas for a steering defect? Cars have been manufactured for over 100 years and there are still first year "bugs" from every manufacturer.

    We don't agree here.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    A very significant difference between Hyundai and KIA is the size and quality of their networks. I remember visiting a Hyundai dealer in the mid-90s with a friend to test drive an Accent. The building and lot had previously been the "value" used car lot for the adjacent Honda and Oldsmobile dealerships. Prior to that it was the main used car lot and originally it had been the Olds dealership. It was old and smelled like a basement, the carpet was stained and none of the office furniture matched. Basically, it was a dump! It felt more like a 'Buy Here, Pay Here' used lot than a new car dealer. The Suzuki dealer up the street seemed classy in comparison despite having a trailer for a sales office and no showroom! :P

    My next visit to a Hyundai dealer was almost a decade later in late 2003. A co-worker wanted to test drive a new Elantra and asked me to tag along for support/protection. My expectations of the dealership experience were pretty low, but I was pleasantly surprised. The building was only a few years old and the appearance of the showroom and sales area was nicer than a lot of Nissan and Mazda dealers in the area (Atlanta). The sales guy was friendly, neatly dressed and he knew his product very well. I negotiated the price and we closed the deal within 90 minutes, without any undue hassle. She is still driving her red 2004 Hyundai Elantra GT 5-door and I've referred several folks to that salesman since then.

    I visited a KIA dealer for the first time in Dec 2005 when I was car shopping. This particular dealership was originally a restaurant and then a Budget Rental location before it became a KIA franchise. I wanted to check out the Spectra5 and they only have one on the lot. It was parked on the grass in front of the lot and blocked in by two other cars. When I asked to test drive it, the sales guy he complained about the hassle of moving those cars! He said he didn't want to "go thru all that" unless I was a serious buyer! I won't repeat what I said, but about 20 seconds later I learned just how good of a smoky burnout you can do in a 2WD Jeep Grand Cherokee (borrowed from my dad)...he got the message, needless to say.

    I went to another KIA dealer last year when the Forte was introduced. It was in an ancient building that had been a Ford dealership for decades. The lot had potholes, the windows looked cloudy and the sales area wreaked of cigarette smoke! The salesman who greeted me and showed me the car was very friendly, but he looked too young to even have a driver's license. I asked for brochure when we got back to the lot and he told me they didn't have any (adding that his boss was "too cheap" to order them). Then he handed me a business card with another salesman's name crossed out and his scribbled below it...kinda sad.

    I'd love to see KIA upgrade their dealer facilities along with their product lines. With products like the Soul, Forte, Sorento and now the new Optima, they have some great cars to help build a strong brand identity. It would be a shame to let the a crappy retail network hold them back.
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 421

    Looks like they are ramping up the press for this car. Article confirms a turbo "60 days" after the initial release, and confirms you can get an EX- Turbo as well as the SX model.
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