Every year at least one of the cars I review takes me by surprise and delivers everything I need in a car. Notice I didn’t say want. Want is too speculative and since I’m not in the oil and gas business I rarely speculate.
Take the 2011 Kia Optima 2.0 turbo. I’ve noticed the Korean brands making a Schwarkophian charge on the Japanese and American car makers for some time. The first to make the charge was Hyundai in the early twenty first century. I should have paid more attention to the automotive revolution in Korea. The 2011 Kia Optima offers class matching and in many cases class winning horsepower and creature comforts.
The only thing I found myself questioning about the car is a chrome strip following the roof line. It looks more out of place than Gene Simmons at a marriage counselor. Except for that minor design flaw the newest version of the Optima is an absolute show stopper.
Starting with the front end. The front fascia has the familiar Kia tiger front with sunken driving lights that make for a very aggressive appearance. The lines on the Optima are sharp. A machined look gives the impression the Optima could slice through the air and the wheels look like they could turn 90 degrees and be used as turbines to actually lift the Kia into flight. Note to Kia, I did not try this.
From the captains chair the Optima offers what looks to be a more European experience. The Korean’s are known to load their cars with more gadgets than Neverland and the 2.0 turbo is no different. Starting with Sirius Traffic the interior offers heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The sound system was easy to work and sounded great. I would have moved the USB port to another location. It sits just at the bottom of the center stack. Finishing off the amenities is a very user friendly navigation system.
My favorite part of the car lies under the hood. The 2.0 turbo is one second faster, zero to sixty than the Honda Accord with the V-6. It’s 274HP makes driving as fun as a rain storm in Texas. I found the car had very little turbo lag and the six-speed auto seemed to let the engine live in the “useful” rpm range. Just in case you might not be ready to trust an all new power-plant Kia offers a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty to alleviate your fears.
Don’t forget the mileage 24 city and 35 highway. I averaged 26 miles per gallon and I drove the car to have fun. If you haven’t looked at the Kia brand it’s time to. Just remember to ask for a turbo.
Finally, goodbye to Ryan Dunn, the Jackass star (my favorite). Ryan died while driving his highly modified Porsche GT3 into the woods. The crash was horrendous and reminds me of how delicate life is. While many will say he got what he deserved I would say those people are wrong. Just as Ryan was wrong to drink and drive. Not only Ryan lost his life in that tragic accident but the life of another man was lost. Look. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t competition drive on the street. It’s a death trap as Ryan found out. Ryan,thanks for all of the gut busting laughs you provided for millions and may you rest in peace. I can just imagine Ryan trying to prank St. Peter.
I’m Lonnie Johnson and this is this week’s review sponsored by Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive. Stop by and see Gary today. I’m very proud to have them sponsor these reviews and hope you will give them a chance to earn your business. At the corner of Donnybrook and Troup Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive offers what I think is the last full service station on the planet. You won’t find a more enhanced, enjoyable atmosphere anywhere in Tyler.