THE VERDICT

Kia won’t release pricing for the Optima for another few weeks, but we’re assured it will come in at under $20,000 to start and we expect it to undercut (slightly) the Sonata, which starts at $19,195. At that price, with the quantity of features, quality of the package, as well as class leading fuel economy and power, the Optima has leapfrogged much of the competition to establish itself as a front-runner in the mid-size sedan category. And that’s before you even begin to consider the emotional side of the equation – something that’s never really been much of a factor before when purchasing a mid-size sedan.

Targeted at Generation X, the Optima was built to out-do its competitors when it comes to sensible family-sedan characteristics, making it a car you should buy. And by packaging it in dramatic sheetmetal it’s also something you’ll want to own. Kia then tosses in some class-exclusive options and is certain to slap a sticker price on the window that won’t leave much room for argument.

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    Overview
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    Tires and wheels
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    Manual Transaxle
    Manual transaxle operation The manual transaxle has 5 forward gears. This shift pattern is imprinted on the shift knob. The transaxle is fully synchronized in all forward gears so shifting to e ...