2011 Kia Optima and Sorento Named Consumer Guide® Automotive 'Best Buys'

New Generation Kia Vehicles Continue Dramatic Brand Transformation

- Optima selected for fresh styling and all-new hybrid option

- Sorento recognized for ride and handling characteristics and standard safety features

Dec 20, 2010, 13:56 ET from Kia Motors America

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a year of sales records and notable awards and accolades, Kia Motors America (KMA) added to the brand's trophy collection this week with Consumer Guide Automotive's "Best Buy" designations for the 2011 Optima in the midsize car category and the 2011 Sorento in the midsize SUV category.  In addition, the 2011 Sportage received the Consumer Guide Automotive "Recommended" designation.  Each vehicle was evaluated on price, features, performance, accommodations, fuel economy, reliability records and resale value.

"Receiving three awards from Consumer Guide Automotive reflects Kia's growing presence in the U.S. market and is a direct result of the brand's ongoing design led transformation," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA.  "Continuing into 2011 with the arrival of the brand's first turbocharged and hybrid vehicles in the U.S., Kia will continue to meet consumer's evolving needs and deliver on the company's philosophy of delivering vehicles with high levels of style, quality and value."

Before selecting the "Best Buy" and "Recommended" picks, editors at Consumer Guide Automotive test drive more than 150 new vehicles each year.  The annual list is designed to make car buying easier for any consumer and represents the best overall value in 18 distinct vehicle categories.  A team of 10 editors evaluates vehicles to ensure that recommendations are based on experiences that best reflect the settings and conditions that car buyers encounter every day.  The vehicles are tested to reflect a typical car buyers' daily needs, including driving through the city, highways, rural areas, long trips and picking up the kids at school.

The all-new 2011 Optima, which stars as the Official Vehicle of the NBA, advances Kia Motors' design-led transformation with completely new and stunning design characteristics, highlighted by a dynamic and streamlined profile that conveys elegance and athletic confidence from every angle.  The all-new Optima's three new powertrains – including the brand's first-ever turbo and hybrid engines (available next year) in the U.S. – deliver a class leading combination of power(1) and fuel economy(2) while the sedan's spacious cabin is outfitted with the latest technology features and luxury amenities.  Available in three trims, LX, EX and SX, the 2011 Optima features a starting price of MSRP of $18,995.(3)

The 2011 Sorento, the first vehicle to roll off the line at Kia's new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia*, encompasses both the brand's signature design cues as well as its distinct combination of value, safety and style.  The 2011 Sorento, which has been Kia's best-selling vehicle each month since going on sale in early January, offers consumers a well-equipped, well-appointed CUV, suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver.  Available in LX, EX and SX trim levels, the 2011 Sorento features a starting MSRP of $22,395(4).

The all-new 2011 Sportage CUV, Kia's dynamic compact CUV, offers image-, safety- and value-conscious consumers increased levels of performance and efficiency, comfort and convenience, the latest in-vehicle technologies incorporated into all of Kia's latest new vehicles and an abundance of standard safety features.  Retaining the functionality and versatility of the previous generation model, the 2011 Sportage also offers a sleek, modern and boldly styled package with new proportions and a completely new look.  "2010 Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the all-new CUV received top ratings from IIHS for front, side, rollover and rear impact protection.  Available in Base, LX and EX trims, the 2011 Sportage features a starting MSRP of $18,295.(5)

For more information about the Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy and Recommended Awards, visit http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2011-best-buy-and-recommended-awards.htm.

Design-Led Transformation and Product Line

Kia Motors is in the midst of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share.  With three new vehicle introductions and several other key initiatives planned for 2010, Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.  The launches of the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV, the first vehicle to be assembled at Kia's first U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia, and all-new 2011 Sportage compact CUV, further enhance the lineup, and are both available in retail showrooms.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea.  KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 725 dealers throughout the United States.  For 2009, KMA recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share and recently achieved its best quarter of sales ever in 2010.  Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles.  Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline "The Power to Surprise."

Kia Motors America is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA."  Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site – www.kia.com.  For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.

About Consumer Guide Automotive

Since 1967, Consumer Guide has published authoritative, objective reviews of new and used cars and trucks.  Its staff of 16 includes 10 full-time automotive editors with more than 150 years of combined automotive experience.  Consumer Guide's singular focus is to make car shopping easier for consumers. Consumer Guide editors provide professional, unbiased evaluations of nearly 1000 new and used vehicles as well as expert shopping advice, timely feature articles, and insightful automotive editorials.  Consumer Guide is based in Lincolnwood, IL.  It is published by Publications International, Ltd. and presented on-line through an exclusive relationship with HowStuffWorks. 

* The 2011 Sorento is assembled at the Kia U.S. plant (Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.) with U.S. and globally sourced parts.

(1)  HP claim based on comparison of 2010 and available 2011 midsize sedans with standard 4-cylinder engine as of December 2010.  Maximum horsepower for Optima 2.4L GDI engine is 200 hp @ 6,300 rpm; maximum horsepower for Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) 2.4L GDI engine -- the only non-turbo engine available in CA, CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT and WA -- is 192 hp @ 6,300 rpm.

(2) MPG claim for LX manual transmission.  EPA estimate for 2011 Kia Optima LX 2.4L GDI engine w/MT are 24 mpg/city and 35 mpg/hwy.  Claim based on comparison as of December 2010 of 2010 and available 2011 EPA city/hwy mpg estimates for midsize sedans with I4, nonhybrid engines.  Actual mileage may vary.

(3)  Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRPs exclude $695 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

(4) Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRPs exclude $795 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

(5) Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRPs exclude $695 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

SOURCE Kia Motors America