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#13

in 2011 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $13,190 - $18,245
Original MSRP: $19,200 - $26,200
MPG: 24 City / 35 Hwy
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2011 Kia Optima Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Most reviewers are impressed with the interior on the 2011 Kia Optima. There’s more passenger space than much of the competition, loads of standard features and the materials keep pace with class leaders.  Reviewers also give points for the driver-oriented dash layout and the cabin electronics, which are easy to use. The only complaints are about the seats. Some reviewers want more padding and note a lack of headroom in the back seat.

  • "If the Optima were a farmer, its standard-equipment crop would be bountiful." -- Car and Driver
  • "This is one good-looking sedan, and it is matched by an equally good-looking and easy-to-use interior.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Material choices are unlikely to have the Germans seeking therapy, but they're wholly class-appropriate. Observed ergonomics were first-rate, as was fit-and-finish.” -- Autoblog
  • “The interior is almost Audi-like in its quality, while the seats are covered in a sort of neoprene mesh." -- Jalopnik

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Seating

The 2011 Kia Optima's seating is a minor stumble in an otherwise well-done interior. While reviewers commend the space in the Optima’s cabin, a few wish the front seats were more supportive. Others point out a lack of headroom in the back seat, which is a casualty of the Optima’s swoopy, coupe-like design, so if you frequently carry taller passengers, you might want to go for a car with more conventional looks, like the Hyundai Sonata or Ford Fusion.

  • "The seating is firmly supportive and the cockpit styling lends a sporting feel." -- Road and Track
  • "With 34.7 inches of legroom, the rear seat feels plenty roomy. Thought the headroom is a mere 1/5 inch less than the Sonata's, it felt tight: This test driver's noggin came within a finger's width of the lowest point on the headliner. Perhaps that's the price you pay for the stylish roofline." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The front seats have ample adjustment range, but after a few hours' driving I could feel harder pieces of the seat underneath the cushioning." -- Cars.com
  • "We wish the SX (and the forthcoming turbo model) were fitted with more aggressive seat bolsters, but this is still a family sedan at the end of the day." -- Autoblog

Interior Features

Even the base trim of the Kia Optima comes with a standard features list that impresses reviewers. An auxiliary input jack, USB port and Bluetooth are all standard, as are steering wheel controls for the stereo and phone. The EX trim comes standard with Kia’s UVO system. Developed in partnership with Microsoft (the same people who created Ford’s well-liked SYNC system), UVO lets drivers control entertainment, climate and information systems with voice commands. Reviewers say the system works well and is even a step up from the SYNC system on the Ford Fusion. Optional features include things like heated seats, a heated steering wheel and Homelink.

Overall, reviewers say they’re pleased with the interior features on the 2011 Optima, noting that the cabin is well-laid out and that the features are easy to use.

  • "The new cabin is spacious and equipped with every expected near-luxury feature, including very Sync-like navigation and concierge electronics Kia calls UVO." -- Road and Track
  • "Instead, all the controls are intelligently and simply laid out, so operating the navigation, audio system and the dual-zone climate control don't tax your intellectual capacities." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Kia demonstrated [UVO] to journalists, and it works fluidly enough. Its female voice sounds more natural than Sync's robotic lady, and you can turn her off once you get the hang of things, which expedites the command response." -- Cars.com
  • "Options like a panoramic roof, heated steering wheel and heated and cooled front seats (including rear bun warmers!) are unheard of in this segment, and sitting in a fully-loaded SX for a few minutes is enough to make one wonder if Kia won't lure more than a few premium-badge buyers for their troubles." -- Autoblog

Cargo

Reviewers are impressed with the 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the Kia Optima, which is more than most of the competition offers.

  • "Trunk volume, however, is impressive: At 15.4 cubic feet, the Optima beats most of the class. Only the Sonata, Ford Fusion and Mazda6 have appreciably more." -- Cars.com

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