Kia's current flagship model will one day have the credentials of a fully-fledged sport sedan.
It's no secret that Kia wants to play with the big boys. Specifically, they're targeting those of certain Germanic origins. You can probably name a few. And now that Kia has clearly shown they're capable of building reliable and now stylish cars at very reasonable prices, it's time for the South Korean brand to turn things up a notch. That means they want to build sportier models. And if their track record shows anything, they may just end up pulling it off.
Since it first arrived, we loved the all-new Optima's looks, both inside and out. Compared to its first cousin, the Hyundai Sonata, the Optima isn't over-styled, but looks the part of sport sedan quite well. Thing was, it doesn't drive quite like one. And while Kia is working on that, they've just launched the 2013 Optima SX Limited at this year's Chicago Auto Show. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 274hp and 269lb-ft of torque, Kia has also thrown in standard red front-brake calipers and chrome 18-inch wheels. The interior can be had in either high-grade black or white Nappa leather that adorns the seats, door panels, center console armrest and center fascia trim.
There are also wood accents on the steering wheel, interior door trim, and shift knob. Interestingly, there's also a first-aid kit. Combined with all of the other features found on the standard SX trim, such as a sport-tuned suspension, LCD display, heated/cooled front seats, nav system with back-up camera and Sirius XM radio, the SX Limited is set to arrive in showrooms next month with pricing starting at $34,900. The only thing Kia is missing here is a car that handles as good as it looks. And we have no doubt that within just a few short years, Kia will indeed build that car.