2011 Kia Optima Hybrid Review – Arriving fashionably late to the hybrid party

Tuesday September 27th, 2011 at 7:99 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
By David Colman

Likes:

  • High Level of equipment
  • Refined interior
  • Stunning looks

Dislikes:

  • Balky drivetrain
  • Annoying “Easy Access” seat slide on entry

The 2011 Kia Optima sedan is a spectacularly successful styling effort. Its proportions, stance and attention to detail make it look twice as expensive as its $32,000 price tag. It is more handsome and better proportioned than any of the current gape-mouthed Audis or flame surfaced BMWs. But where those storied German makes succeed is performance. In that regard, the Kia falls short of the lofty mark promised by its stellar styling.

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2011 Kia Optima Hybrid First Impressions Review

Thursday June 23rd, 2011 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Eye-catching exterior design
  • Roomy, well-apportioned interior
  • Smooth, quiet hybrid drivetrain
  • Solid handling and ride quality

Cons:

  • A bit slow for a car with over 200 hp
  • Brake pedal feels squishy
  • Untested fuel efficiency

The folks at Kia Motors are very optimistic. Having launched seven brand new models in under 2 years and with record sales growth over the past year, Kia is transforming itself into a major player in the car market.

Part of this success is surely due to an emphasis on value, which has resonated with buyers in these tough economic times. At the same time, a shift away from forgettable econoboxes and towards quality design and engineering has made for an almost unbeatable combination of high quality at a low price.

To keep the momentum rolling, Kia is now offering a hybrid gas-electric vehicle in the form of its Optima mid-size sedan. With gas prices looking to stay close to $4 a gallon, this could be the perfect time to make a case for fuel efficient motoring and take a bite out of the growing hybrid sedan segment.

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Video Review: 2011 Kia Optima by Driving Sports TV

Friday June 10th, 2011 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: Derek

2011 Kia Optima

Hyundai and Kia are getting better and better with each new model release and the latest from Kia is a prime example why they are gaining market share at a fantastic rate. The 2011 Kia Optima jumps into the one most heavily contested categories and does well competing against the heavy hitters such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.

Designed at Kia’s studios in Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California, the all-new Kia Optima is longer, wider and lower than the out-going model it replaces and is based on an all-new midsize platform that allows for distinctive dimensions and proportions, while also providing a unique canvas for Kia’s global design team to pen a vehicle that stands apart from everything else in its segment.

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2011 Kia Optima Review – Not Your Average Mid-Size Sedan

Friday April 8th, 2011 at 7:44 AM
Posted by: mtan

2011 Kia Optima
By Ming Tan

Pros:

  • Feature and amenity laden
  • Smooth design aesthetics
  • Peppy 2.4L 4 cylinder motor
  • Sporty handling suspension

Cons:

  • A few oddly placed function buttons
  • Narrow trunk pass through
  • Awkward blind spots
  • Light steering feel

Just what is an “average” sedan? This is an interesting question in a world dominated by Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet. Is average boring? Is it plainly functional? Or should even an average car stimulate your senses and make you want to take a detour just to spend a little more time in it?

The marketing hype surrounding Kia’s new Optima, which culminated in an eye-popping Super Bowl commercial involving alien abduction and Mayan sacrifice, has absolutely peaked my interest. Having owned both Hondas and Toyotas in the past, I know what an average sedan feels like. I want to feel something different. Not often do thoughts of mid-sized sedans evoke passion and verve, but why shouldn’t they?

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40 MPG Cars – Affordable and Fuel Efficient

Tuesday March 29th, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2011 Chevy CruzeWith fuel prices continually rising, 40+ mpg cars are looking like a great option for consumers who can’t afford or don’t want hybrid technology. Without breaking the bank, these affordable fuel efficient cars range from $15,000 to about $20,000 and all provide 40 mpg or more highway mpg driving. Companies that have joined the 40-mpg club are Ford, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, and Smart.

Automakers are achieving the 40 mpg mark by using lighter-weight materials, modern gasoline powered engines with direct injection and six-speed automatic transmissions along with additional fuel-saving technologies such as low-rolling-resistance tires.

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Posted in Audi, Chevrolet, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Press and News, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , || 4 Comments »


Car Companies are Spending Big Bucks on Super Bowl Ads

Tuesday February 1st, 2011 at 3:22 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2011 Super Bowl XLV (45)2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) , the biggest television event of the year is coming up this Sunday, February 6, and the auto companies are spending big bucks ($3 million for 30 seconds) on advertising that will rival beer companies’ air time. Car makers such as Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, Volkswagen, and Bridgestone are all going to be making TV appearances from pre-game through post-game shows. Some companies have already started to build their campaigns before Super Bowl Sunday through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Audi is stirring up interest for their A8 Super Bowl commercials by posting the “Audi Estate Sale” on Facebook and messages on Twitter. Audi will also takeover YouTube’s homepage on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Posted in Audi, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Press and News, Viral Video |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »


2011 Kia Sportage EX FWD First Impression Review – The Sportage comes of age

Monday November 8th, 2010 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Kia Sportage
Pros:

  • Sharp styling
  • Good acceleration
  • Better than average MPG
  • Baby friendly access for moms and dads
  • Bluetooth® music streaming

Cons:

  • Temperamental power steering
  • Slightly harsh ride

Driving Impressions

The redesigned Kia Sportage makes a very good first impression, having inherited its handsome looks from the Kue concept of 2007. The sloping windshield makes this one of the most sporty looking crossovers on the road today. The Kia Sportage has a more distinctive design than any of the competition – the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, even its close cousin Hyundai Tucson.

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2010 Kia Forte Koup SX Review – Kopious Kar for the Kash

Friday June 4th, 2010 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2010 Kia Koupe Forte

By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Outstanding value
  • Head-turning exterior design
  • Performance on par with Civic Si
  • Class-leading rear seat legroom

Dings:

  • Rage-inducing drive-by-wire throttle
  • Vague clutch takeup
  • Cheeseball speaker LEDs
  • Rear seat headroom fit for the Headless Horseman

Ruling: Behold, the very first Kia that you’d actually want to be seen in.

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2011 Kia Sorento EX 3.5 Review – A Lot More Than Meets the Eye

Tuesday May 25th, 2010 at 3:55 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Kia Sorento

By Danny Chang

Pros:

  • Third-row seating
  • Good power & decent MPG
  • Great backseat AC
  • Panoramic sunroof

Cons:

  • Narrow cabin
  • Temperamental iPod jack
  • Slightly harsh ride

After seeing Kia’s TV commercial for the Sorento that features the oversized stuffed animal monkey with freaky button eyes, an orange one-eyed monster, a teddy bear, and the robot daydreaming about cruising around town having a blast, I’ve been curious about this SUV. Is it really that much fun that toys dream about driving this thing around town and getting mom tattoos sewn onto their stuffed animal arms? I wondered. I thought about renting a monkey suit to drive the Sorento around town, but quickly realized that I don’t have the budget to do so.

Driving Impressions

Even without the monkey suit, the Kia Sorento EX has a 3.5L V6 that pumps out 276 horses and 248 lb-ft of torque which was actually very decent for this 3,896-lb. SUV. Get-up was good and I felt like a champ merging into traffic on the 280 in the morning. High-end acceleration was also good as I passed up those suckers on my way to the carpool lane. Life is good. Steering feel is solid and the SUV handled well at highway speeds as well as at 35 MPH down Main Street in Los Altos. The ride was smooth for the most part with an occasional creak from the rear of the vehicle. The view out of the side of the vehicle was less than ideal, since the C pillar is pretty darn thick.

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First Impressions: 2010 Kia Forte Koup

Thursday April 22nd, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2010 Kia Forte Koup

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Gutsy 173 hp engine
  • Appropriately agile in the turns
  • Nicely finished interior for the money
  • Excellent value overall

Cons:

  • Manual tranny needs refinement
  • Suspension could be a bit firmer
  • Styling is somewhat bland

Ahhh, to be young again. Footloose and fancy free, and looking for that perfect set of wheels with which to cruise into summer. But what to buy? A nice little pocket rocket should fit the bill, and luckily there are quite a few sporty compact cars available. Unfortunately, a quick look at favorites like the GTI or Civic SI and you’re in for some sticker shock, with prices starting well over the $20k mark.

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