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(2001 model shown)
The mid-size Optima sedan shares platforms and powertrains with Hyundai's Sonata, but carries specific styling touches. It offers only relatively modest changes for 2005. The standard 138-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers modest acceleration, while an available 2.7-liter V-6 provides a more-pleasing 170 horses. Both engines can be mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox. Four-wheel-disc brakes are standard (ABS is optional), along with front side airbags, a tilt steering wheel, rear defroster, power locks, mirrors and windows and a cassette stereo. The top EX model further includes a premium audio system, cruise control, keyless entry, a power driver's seat and alloy wheels.