Kia, the once not-so touted cousin of the equally once not-so lauded Hyundai, has joined its midsize brethren in the honors line.
Cars.com has given the Kia Optima its “Best of 2011” award. The editors of the web site cited the Optima’s outstanding fuel economy overall driving. Hyundai, which owns Kia, has received its share of honors for its Sonata and other vehicles in the Korean manufacturer’s lineup.
“With its value, sharp packaging, outstanding fuel efficiency and lofty features, the Optima gives all family-car shoppers a shot at something far more compelling than the segment represents.”
The BMW 5 Series, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Volt (recently named North American Car of the Year), Honda Odyssey and Nissan Leaf were runners-up.
Kia’s honor was particular impressive because its positioned in the mid-size sedan segment – the most competitive in the auto industry.
“As befits an age-old group, family cars generally have played it safe, even when the big fishes are redesigned,” said Cars.com editors. “Like its platform sibling, the Hyundai Sonata, the new Optima did not play it safe. Its declarative stance will look good years from now. The cabin’s wraparound contours recall pricier Saab and Audi interiors, and its upscale materials — upholstery-stitched portions of the dashboard, for example — are a far cry from what this segment usually delivers.”
To read more about the Kia Optima, visit: www.cars.com.