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Consumer Reports: Kia Sedan Tops Honda Accord

Consumer Reports ranks the Kia Optima midsize sedan ahead of big seller Honda Accord.

By Jerry Edgerton | CBS MoneyWatch – Wed, May 11, 2011 5:25 PM EDT


2011 Kia Optima

Until recently, Kia was known chiefly as the automaker with the funny commercials featuring hip-hop hamsters.

But now, with its sales surging (up 56% in April), Kia has taken another step toward serious consideration by shoppers: Consumer Reports, after a comparison test, ranks the Kia Optima midsize sedan ahead of big seller Honda Accord.

Consumer Reports test drivers gave the Optima the edge over the Accord for its superior handling, although the magazine kept Accord on its Recommended list. They cited these additional attributes for the 2011 Optima (list price $21,885 in the test model), which has had a complete redesign:

  • The 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which delivers strong performance
  • Good fuel economy, with an EPA ratings of 24 mpg in city driving, 35 mpg highway
  • Smooth shifting by the six-speed automatic transmission
  • An attractive interior and plenty of trunk space
  • Crash test performance – the Optima garnered a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

But it was the quick steering and crisp handling that gave Optima the edge over the Accord, long among the top-selling midsize sedans. CR test drivers said the Accord handling was “sloppy with notable body lean” when it was pushed on the magazine’s test track.

Optima ranks sixth overall among four-cylinder family sedans. The top five are Nissan AltimaHyundai Sonata,Toyota CamrySubaru Legacy and Suzuki Kizashi. The Accord came in at No. 7. The review is in the June issue or available on the CR website if you are a subscriber.

Both Kia and its Korean corporate stablemate, Hyundai,  already sell well,  but the two have benefited further  from tight supplies of Japanese cars and parts after the recent earthquake and tsunami.

In addition to the Optima, sales have been strong for Kia vehicles like the midsize Sorento SUV and the small, boxy Soul (promoted by the hip-hop hamsters). At the recent New York Auto Show, Kia introduced the 2012 subcompact Rio, which is rated for 40 mpg in highway driving.

May 17, 2011 - Posted by | av best kia, av chevy, lancaster kia, palmdale kia

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