- The Washington Times - Friday, April 16, 2010

IRVINE, Calif. | With sharp styling, power and impressive safety features, the 2010 Optima midsize sedan returns to the Kia Motors America lineup as a real contender within its segment. Offering consumers a stylish, spacious, powerful and fuel-efficient midsize sedan, Optima was named No. 1 on the “Best Vehicles for Carpooling” list by Forbes.com as well as given a “Best Bet” distinction by the Car Book 2009.

For 2010, Optima brings with it much of the sophisticated design and features from the refreshed 2009 model, including the dynamic tabbed grille found on all new Kia models, as well as enlarged and narrowed headlamps that have a more forceful look. New for 2010 all V6 models receive a blacked-out lower rear bumper to enhance the sedan’s more refined persona, as well as a push-button start feature, standard on all SX trims.


The 2010 Optima presents a solid and aggressive stance that builds upon Kia Motors’ philosophy of creating dynamic vehicles that evoke passion. The fog lamps, large lower front grille and narrowed headlamps create a sharp look, while the wide side garnishes add athleticism and the acute front lines continue toward the back, ending on a distinctly edged trunk lid. To complete the uncluttered rear fascia, narrowed tail lamps enhance Optima’s smooth cosmetic appearance.

Available in three trims for 2010, the value-oriented LX, luxuriously appointed EX and energetic SX, all trims effortlessly offer consumers a comprehensive blend of features and value. Optima LX presents a sleek profile with clear-lens halogen headlamps, a chrome grille, dual power heated body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals, body-color door handles, bumpers, side moldings and garnish, a tinted windshield with sunshade band and chrome edging around the windows.

For those looking for additional well-appointed refinements, the EX trim also comes equipped with standard front projection fog lamps and chrome door handles, and adds solar glass to the tinted windshield with sunshade band. For a more muscular variation, the Optima SX offers standard blacked-out halogen headlamps, a blacked-out front grille and uniquely designed alloy wheels with hyper-silver finish.

Putting Optima into motion are 16- and 17-inch wheels, the LX and EX trims equipped with 16-inch wheels wrapped in 205/60R16 tires, while SX offers larger 17-inch wheels outfitted with 215/50R17 tires. Optima’s low, lean and powerful stance is assisted through its overall length of 189 inches, overall width of 71.1 inches, wheelbase of 107.1 inches and low ground clearance of 6.3 inches.


Optima’s cabin offers occupants space and comfort with standard convenience features. The standard AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system features USB and auxiliary jacks and Sirius Satellite Radio capability with three months of complimentary service. For EX and SX models, an optional in-dash voice-activated navigation system also ups the convenience level.

Optima LX comes well-equipped with standard air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front passenger seat as well as 60/40-split folding rear seats. Automatic transmission models add tilt and telescopic steering column, keyless entry and alarm, cruise control and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

EX models upgrade to leather seat trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic temperature control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a compass, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and floor mats. The Premium Package on EX and SX trims offers further content upgrades, including a power sunroof, an Infinity audio system, power front passenger seat, heated front seats and rear window sunshade. EX Premium Package adds power adjustable pedals and 17-inch alloy wheels. Hands-free Bluetooth calling capabilities heads the list of available accessory options.

The barrel-type instrument cluster design exudes a luminous red glow, while two seat trims are offered in either gray or beige color schemes — cloth (LX), leather (EX) — and black leather with woven fabric inserts on SX models. SX models also feature aluminum trim, alloy sport pedals and a Supervision meter cluster, push-button start with smart-key system and steering-wheel paddle gear shifters.


Available in two power plants — a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 2.7-liter V6 engine — and two five-speed transmissions (manual with LX four-cylinder model only), the fuel-efficient 2.4-liter engine produces 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. Upgrading to the available 2.7-liter V6 engine (for EX and SX models) will deliver 194 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, while mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the 2.4-liter engine comes in at an impressive 22/32 A/T (city/highway) while the 2.7-liter V6 engine offers a respectable 20/28. All automatics feature Sportmatic clutchless shifting.

Optima’s four-cylinder engine is further enhanced with dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and a Variable Intake System (VIS) while the 2.7-liter V6 has single CVVT and VIS. These added systems improve the vehicle’s fuel economy without sacrificing power.

Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel-drive Optima uses independent front and rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts are used in the front with a multi-link layout in the rear and are both joined with coil springs and anti-roll bars (standard equipment on all models) to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide utmost comfort whether the road is smooth or less than ideal.


A recipient of a five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2010 Optima is equipped with a high level of standard safety features, as is the rest of the Kia lineup. This includes six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seat belts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seat belts for all seating positions, lower anchors and tethers for children and a tire pressure monitoring system. Four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic stability control, a traction control system and a brake assist system also are standard.


The 2010 Optima is covered by Kia’s comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the comprehensive vehicle coverage.

Product line

Kia Motors America offers a dynamic and diverse product line to meet the needs of all lifestyles. The vehicle line features the stylish and all-new Forte compact sedan and all-new two-door Forte Koup, the highly personalizable Soul, functional Rondo CUV, award-winning Sedona minivan, purposeful Optima midsize sedan and versatile yet fuel-efficient Rio and Rio5 subcompacts.

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