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SAFETY | 10 out of 10
Five stars, overall; five stars, frontal and side impact
'Good,' frontal, side, rear, and roof strength; Top Safety Pick
If you're shopping by crash-test ratings, you simply can't do better than the 2012 Kia Optima; it receives top ratings in every test from the federal government as well as the insurance-funded IIHS.
The 2012 Kia Optima earns top 'good' ratings in every test category from the IIHS, and it's a Top Safety Pick for 2012. And in the tougher federal tests, it's earned a top five-star score in all tests--including the side pole test. While the Optima is structurally similar to the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia has a number of different details--which, apparently, make a difference here, as the Sonata only manages a four-star frontal score while the Optima achieves five stars.
Both safety features and accident-avoidance features receive as much, if not more emphasis in the 2012 Kia Optima than in other mid-size sedan models. Front active headrests are standard in the 2011 Optima, along with front seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain bags. Stability control and anti-lock brakes are of course standard, too; so is Brake Assist, and Hill Assist Control, which helps avoid rolling back when starting uphill.
The 2012 Kia Optima stands out as one of the safest vehicles on the market, thanks to top crash-test scores across the board.