$16,355 – $20,400 MSRP
$15,435 – $18,890 Invoice
22 / 30 MPG City/Hwy
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The current version of the Optima was launched in 2006 as a "2006.5" model. The Optima echoed its platform-mate, the Hyundai Sonata, with its choice of 4-cylinder or V-6 power and a wide selection of standard equipment. For 2007, the 2.4-liter engine gets a 1-hp increase and the interior boasts minor refinements.
Kia first entered the midsize market in 2001 when it launched the original Optima. At the time, the Optima, like its near-mechanical twin the Hyundai Sonata, was intended to be a less-expensive alternative to mainstream midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima. The Optima received a major redesign in 2006. Though the new Optima was once again based on the Hyundai Sonata, it was slightly smaller, its styling differed significantly, and it used a McPherson strut front suspension in place of the Sonata's more complex (and more expensive) double-wishbone setup.
The Optima is available in LX and EX trims. The standard 162-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is shared with the Sonata, but the 2.7-liter V-6, which puts out 185 hp and 182 lb.-ft. of torque, is not. A 5-speed manual transmission comes standard; a 5-speed automatic is optional with the 4-cylinder and standard with the V-6. All Optimas have front-wheel drive and are built in South Korea.
Standard safety features on the Optima include front, side, and side curtain air bags. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control are optional but require the automatic transmission. The Optima is covered by a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Kia Optima competes in the Midsize Conventional segment, which consists of 18 models. Buyers in this segment look for reliability, fuel economy, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Camry (397,630 units sold), Honda Accord (354,441), and Nissan Altima (232,457). The Kia Optima sold 38,408 units in 2006, a decrease of 7.1 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Conventional segment include the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, and Subaru Legacy. Joining the segment in 2007 is the Saturn Aura.
|LX (M5)||5 speed manual||$16,355||162-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||24/34|
|LX V6 (A5)||5 speed automatic||$19,345||185-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||22/30|
|EX (A5)||5 speed automatic||$19,395||162-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||24/34|
|EX V6 (A5)||5 speed automatic||$20,400||185-hp / 2.7L 6-cyl||22/30|