Large Trunk

The large trunk has a low, wide opening and a lid that raises easily on gas struts. Rear seatbacks can be flipped forward for more cargo space, but they don't sit entirely flat. The pass-through area between the trunk and rear-seat area is only moderately large.

The seatbacks have trunk releases that were hard to use on my test car, but prevent thieves from gaining entry to the trunk from the back seat.

Kia hopes the redesigned Optima will help it reach its goal of 500,000 annual U.S. sales by 2010. It's looking for at least 50,000 annual sales here of the Optima, or about 10,000 more than it annually has been selling in recent years.

Optima buyers shouldn't expect Toyota or Honda resale values, but neither can owners of most family sedans.

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