Kia’s Sonata twin does good [fflash=left]http://www.youtube.com/v/lX1wsFO1n44?version=3[/fflash]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Mar. 3, 2011 2011 Kia Optima during its NHTSA 35-mph frontal crash test. Bang! And you walk away with nothing more than a headache… The 2011 Kia Optima achieved a first for the marque five-star rating on the US DOT’s NHTSA’s 2011 Crash Tests, the most stringent crash testing regimen in existence. Not only did it earn an overall 5-star rating but scored in each individual test including the 35-mph fontal, side impact and rollover calculation 5-stars! The Optima was already a "Top Safety Pick" given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) late last year. Since the Hyundai Sonata is built here in the US and the Kia Optima in Korea, the Optima is the first Korean-built vehicle to be awarded a five-star crash safety rating under NHTSA's new, stricter 2011 crash test ratings. Maybe an asterisk needs to be added here but it not only scored perfect across the board on the NHTSA’s tests but did so in the IIHS’ as well. Few if any makes and models score this well proving that the Kia Optima/Hyundai Sonata twins (close anyway ) are two of the safest models on the road no matter which vehicle brand they are compared against. The Optima includes six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtains), front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), ESC, a Traction Control System (TCS), a Brake Assist System (BAS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC) also are standard. 2011 Kia Optima at a Glance The 2011 Kia Optima is a value busting mid-sized providign class leading crash protection and fuel eoncomy. It comes standard with equipment that you usually have to pay extra for through more expensive trim levels on other makes (ahheemm, Honda). Available in LX, EX and SX trims, the 2011 Optima offers a wide array of convenience and luxury as well as impressive technology features standard across the board including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Also standard on all trims are auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players and Bluetooth wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones. Additional standard interior features include a tilt/telescopic steering column (AT buyers only ), power locks, windows and mirrors, sun visor extension and a cooling glove box. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat offers multiple seating and cargo arrangements and the base Optima LX with the 6-speed AT on up includes cruise control. Available with three all-new and fuel-efficient engines, a 2.4L DI I4, a DI 2.0L I4 turbo or a 2.4L Hybrid with prices starting at just $18,995.