SOLID RIDE WITH POWER TO SPARE AND EXCELLENT FUEL ECONOMY

In terms of driving characteristics, the Optima is very much in keeping with the Hyundai Sonata, which shares the same platform. The cabin is quiet and the drive is smooth, with the Optima feeling substantial (though not big) out on the road.

Handling isn’t what we’d call sporty, but is good for the mid-size sedan crowd. EX models benefit from larger 17-inch alloy wheels and wider 215 tires, although the low-budget Nexen rubber doesn’t do much to aid in cornering. Steering feel is generally good and is weighted quite heavily, although, like the Sonata, the electric power steering system is initially vague, with a split-second delay (or about an inch of movement) where there’s very little response.

Power is more than adequate, with 200 ponies standard from the direct-injection 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Importantly, this isn’t some strung-out torqueless four-banger either with a total of 186 ft-lbs available at 4500 rpm. Combined with either a six-speed manual (base trim LX models only), or a 6-speed automatic the new powerplant is both efficient and capable, delivering some of the best acceleration in its class (thanks to having the most power of its competitors) while also delivering fuel economy numbers that tie its Sonata sibling with best-in-class fuel economy of 24/35-mpg (city/hwy). And better yet, those numbers are actually achievable in real-world driving.

Another big reason for the notable acceleration and fuel economy is how light the Optima is with a 3,200 lb cub weight. And yet what’s so surprising is how solid it feels on the road.

    See also:

    Brake system
    Power brakes Your vehicle has power-assisted brakes that adjust automatically through normal usage. In the event that the power-assisted brakes lose power because of a stalled engine or some oth ...

    Safety-Minded
    As with the rest of the Kia line-up, the 2009 Kia Optima is equipped with many safety features as standard equipment. This includes six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as ...

    Seating
    The Rio can accommodate five passengers, but reviewers recommend that you limit it to four since the rear seat can be a squeeze for adults. The front seats may also be a tight fit for taller adult ...