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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
In what has been a Kia home-run feature of late, the steering wheel impresses with its girth, controls layout, and appearance.
very Sync-like navigation and concierge electronics
Road & Track
a feature list that zooms past the competition, stealing the thunder from luxury sedans
Kelley Blue Book
At the top end, the equipment reads like a big luxury sedan
air-conditioned glove box for cooling drinks
Just as with other models in the Kia lineup, the 2011 Optima has a feature list that doesn't disappoint. Just as with other models from Kia, expect to see the Optima price about the same or slightly less than rival base models, yet with more standard features.
Even the base model comes with much-wanted features like Bluetooth, and those heated-and-cooled front seats that we rave about are available in mid-level EX or SX trims. The heated backseat is yet another class-exclusive.
Kia's available UVO (Your Voice) system on the Optima would allow you to, for instance, quickly request a different song from the iPod while you're in the middle of following navigation directions. However, for now there's one glaring equipment issue: you can't yet get UVO and the navigation system together. They simply don't play with each other at this point, though Kia expects to soon have a solution. If you do opt for the nav system (packaged with the upgraded audio system), you get a the same Bluetooth system that base Optimas have—by Parrot instead.
Inside, the Optima LX includes cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering, a cooled glovebox, and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks. A roomy trunk and low, flat floor completes this very travel-friendly package. Stepping up to the EX gets you push-button start, a smartkey system, dual-zone climate control, leather trim, a power driver's seat, auto up/down windows, a Homelink garage-door opener, and upgrades to illumination and trim. On SX models, there's an upgraded gauge cluster, black leather woven seat trim, French seams, steering-wheel paddle-shifters, and lighted scuff plates.
The 2011 Kia Optima has some available featuresÃ¢â‚¬â€?like heated-and-cooled seatsÃ¢â‚¬â€?that aren't even available on some luxury cars costing much more. The only blemish is that you can't get UVO and nav together.