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.