ABS available, standard from 2009. Side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2007. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2010.
New for 2001, the midsized Optima is now Kias flagship. But its essentially a rebadged Hyundai Sonata with different front and rear styling. It offers a choice of Sonatas two engines, a 149-hp, 2.2-liter Four or a 170-hp, 2.5-liter V6. Models with the V6 come with an automatic transmission only. Four-cylinder models start at under $16,000 and come reasonably well equipped, though they dont offer antilock brakes. Judging by the Sonata, the interior is fairly spacious and quiet. The V6 powertrain is reasonably refined. Expect a fairly comfortable ride at low speeds and less-than-nimble handling.