2011 Kia Optima
2011 Kia OptimaEnlarge Photo
Price: $19,690 (LX)
Overall Rating: 8.7
Key Takeaway: Kia simply gets it; basic doesn't have to be boring, and the 2011 Kia Optima shows that mid-size sedan shoppers don't have to settle to design boredom or a lack of features.
Strongest Attributes: Safety, Features, Green
The 2011 Kia Optima is very closely related to the 2011 Hyundai Sonata—and they both earn an excellent 8.7 Overall Rating—but the Optima is the one to make this list because of its somewhat lower base price. With top crash-test ratings from both agencies, it's one of the safest mid-size sedans on the market; it's also one of the best-equipped, with Bluetooth standard even on the base model; and the base Optima's EPA ratings of 24 mpg city, 35 highway are at the head of the class while performance is lively from the 198-hp engine. With a quicker Turbo version of the Optima already out and a high-mileage Hybrid soon to arrive, shoppers willing to spend a little more have some exciting options.