02/09/09 ID: 3606
  • Vehicles ranked based on safety ratings, interior volume and fuel efficiency
  • A recipient of a five-star crash safety rating from NHTSA, Optima earns yet another accolade

    IRVINE, Calif., Feb 9, 2009 – Recently named a “Best Bet” by The Car Book 2009, Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced that the Optima sedan also has topped the recently released “Best Vehicles for Carpooling” list by Forbes.com. Refreshed for the 2009 model year, Optima was lauded for combining excellent class-leading safety features, a spacious interior and impressive fuel efficiency – all for excellent value, starting at less than $18,000.

    “It’s great to see our vehicles winning more and more industry accolades, and it’s an honor for Kia Motors to sit atop the Forbes.com ‘Best Vehicles for Carpooling’ list,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing of KMA. “The 2009 Optima demonstrates the brand’s commitment to offering consumers dynamic vehicles designed with an emphasis on quality, safety, comfort and affordability.”

    Using data from Kelley Blue Book, Forbes.com considered only 2009 vehicles that have received five out of five stars on all crash tests and at least four out of five stars on rollover results. The group was then pared down by awarding each vehicle points based on seating capacity, fuel efficiency, amount of front and rear headroom and legroom, and the presence of standard or optional navigation and entertainment systems.

    The 2009 Optima is the recipient of a five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)¹. As with the rest of the Kia line-up, Optima is equipped with many standard safety features, including six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Electronic stability control (ESC), a traction control system (TCS), brake assist system (BAS) and four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS) also are standard.

    2009 Product Line

    Kia Motors America offers a dynamic and diverse product line of 11 vehicles to meet the needs of all lifestyles. The 2009 vehicle line features the functional Rondo CUV and award-winning Sedona minivan along with a wide variety of popular passenger cars, including the refined Amanti full-size sedan, purposeful Optima midsize sedan, versatile and compact Spectra and Spectra5, and sporty yet fuel-efficient Rio and Rio5 subcompacts. The vehicle line also features the affordably luxurious Borrego, rugged Sorento and value-packed Sportage SUVs. The 2010 Soul will further complement the lineup when it arrives in dealerships this spring.

    About Kia Motors America

    Kia Motors America (KMA) is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2008, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. 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.


    ¹ Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov).

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