2011 Kia Optima Wins Cars.com's 'Best of 2011' Award

The past year has seen the automotive industry rebound from bankruptcies and an economic crisis with an outpouring of new and redesigned models, with electric cars stealing most of the headlines.

Out of the dozens of newly introduced or redesigned cars, our experts have chosen the Kia Optima as the “Cars.com Best of 2011.” Here’s a peek at what our experts had to say about the Optima:

“The Optima delivers outstanding fuel efficiency and a good driving experience – better on both fronts than the [Hyundai] Sonata. The smaller Chevrolet Cruze was the strongest runner-up in our voting on this award, but the Cruze’s impressive gas mileage comes with only one of its five trim levels. The fact is, the Optima’s mass-market drivetrain — a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic — renders 27 mpg in combined EPA city/highway ratings, and you can get that in the mainline LX and EX trims. That matches the most efficient four-cylinder competitors; you’d have to get a hybrid family sedan to beat it.”

The Optima edged out these five other outstanding nominees:

  • BMW 5 Series
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Nissan Leaf

Get all of the details here.

By Patrick Olsen | January 11, 2011 | Comments (9)
Tags: Best of



I think the Leaf should have won as it's a game changer. The Cruz does not belong on the list but I guess you need to kiss GM's butt given how much advertising they've been doing on Cars.com.


Very happy to come into the office and see this, as I just bought an EX on Monday. It has so much power for just 200hp and I love everything about the car. I really can't say anything bad, except I kinda wanted the nav screen, but that's what my Droid is for. Congrats KIA!

You should take a drive in the Cruze. I took the 1.8 to detroit (a 5 hour drive) and it is still one of the best riding cars in its class. Perhaps THE best ride out there with a very nice interior for the money. The turbo is a smoother engine, but even the 1.8 is terrific at highway speeds.

As usual I will remind readers of our staunch editorial policy. We are completely separate from our advertising department and unlike almost every automotive publication, we do not take trips or gifts (or long term test cars) from manufacturers. We pay our own way.


And where is the 2011 hyundai sonata on this list?

Tim Kelly

I have just bought the new Kia
Optima and traded a 2003 BMW525... I just cannot believe the power and quickness of this car.It have more buttons and toys then the BMW did.It is so much fun to drive that it is like driving a luxury go cart. I highly recommend it

Turning Point

Just got back from a long 5 hours at the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS). Saw quite a few cars.... But was definitly most impressed with Kia and Hyundai products (can't beleive it, but it's true). After the time spent there reviewing and looking at all the cars I can see why this won the "Best of 2011" award. Great work Kia/Hyundai, keep it up!!

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

Good job Kia! Finally offering some cutting edge competition


Just got iPad 2 put in dash and am about to have it painted with synergy green two tone. Lambo doors are on the way to hinge up and halo, led headlight kit! LOve my optima

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