Ride and handling; fuel economy; standard safety features.
The Optima is the only car in its class with standard full-length side curtain air bags, active headrests, and a tire pressure monitoring system, according to Kia, and the brand also has "America's leading warranty," which brings five years or 60,000 miles of roadside assistance and bumper-to-bumper coverage and ten years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. The Optima also has a roomier interior than most of its competitors, with its interior volume greater than that of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Nissan Altima.
The 2008 Kia Optima's base engine is a 2.4L four-cylinder engine with CVVT variable valve timing, making 162 horsepower. The optional 2.7L V6 also incorporates variable valve timing and produces 185 horsepower. The base LX model with the four-cylinder engine is available with a five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic transmission, while the EX four-cylinder model and both the LX and EX V6 is only available with the automatic.
The new five-speed automatic with either engine gets a Sportmatic system that allows manual shifting for sporty driving.
The Optima boasts responsive handling reflexes thanks to an independent multi-link rear suspension and anti-roll bars used front and rear.
The Optima offers more standard safety features than are typical in its class. Front seat-mounted side air bags and full-length curtain air bags are standard on all Optimas. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on the Optima, but anti-lock braking, brake assist, and electronic stability control are optional in the Electronic Stability Package, available on EX and V6 models. Other standard safety features include front active headrests to help reduce whiplash injuries.
The 360-watt Infinity sound system offered on EX models includes a six-disc CD changer and MP3 compatibility, and also brings eight channels and nine speakers, including a rear subwoofer.
LX models include air conditioning, heated outside mirrors, an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, a CD sound system with six speakers, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and power windows and locks.
Automatic transmission-equipped LX models add cruise control, keyless entry with alarm, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The LX V6 adds alloy wheels.
EX models step up to alloy wheels, along with automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver's seat, fog lamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, the upgraded Infinity sound system, and various other trim and appearance enhancements.
An LX Appearance Package includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a blacked-grille and trim, fog lights, a supplemental gauge cluster, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The EX Appearance Package adds most of the above.
Changes for the 2008 Kia Optima are minimal. The audio system no longer has a cassette player and instead comes with an iPod input jack. The EX trim now includes leather seat trim instead of cloth.
Vehicle Price: 17,430.00
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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