2011 Audi
A4 Premium
vs. 2011 Kia
Optima SX

2011 Kia Optima SX

9.5

Winner

Kia Optima SX

starting from

$26,950
"A large, clear display and intuitive layout."
edmunds.com | talking about the Optima's controls
"The cabin remains pleasantly quiet and calm."
edmunds.com | talking about the Optima's noise

Reasons to buy the Kia Optima SX

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Safer for the driver in head-on collisions
5 stars
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Average number of gears
6
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Very spacious front seats
60.2 ft3
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Fantastic range on the highway
629 miles
2011 Audi A4 Premium

9.3

Runner-up

Audi A4 Premium

starting from

$33,175
"A car defined by a high-quality interior"
edmunds.com | talking about the A4's interior quality
"A decent-sized backseat and trunk"
edmunds.com | talking about the A4's seating

Reasons to buy the Audi A4 Premium

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Has continuously-variable transmission
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Power windows
Standard
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Rear air conditioning
Optional
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Good cargo space
34.0 ft3
Performance 7.5 vs 10.0
2011 Kia Optima SX Winner: Optima SX
[details]
  • The Optima SX has 6 more gears, which can improve performance, 6 vs Continuously variable
  • The Optima SX comes standard with paddle shifters for ultimate driving control; not available on the A4 Premium
  • The Optima SX's Semi-automatic transmission offers the best driving experience, Semi-automatic transmission vs Automatic transmission
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 7.8
2011 Audi A4 Premium Winner: A4 Premium
[details]
  • The A4 Premium's subwoofer accurately reproduces deep bass notes in music
  • The A4 Premium's stereo compensates for road noise as you speed up
  • Like your tunes? In the A4 Premium, you can upgrade to satellite radio
Crash Test Ratings 8.6 vs 10.0
2011 Kia Optima SX Winner: Optima SX
[details]
  • The Optima SX has 3.9x less risk of serious injury, 5 stars vs 3 stars
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 8.9
2011 Audi A4 Premium Winner: A4 Premium
[details]
  • Enjoy additional natural light with the A4 Premium's standard sun roof
Cost 9.4 vs 10.0
2011 Kia Optima SX Winner: Optima SX
[details]
  • Basic warranty lasts 1 more year, 5 year vs 4 year
  • Basic warranty lasts 10,000 more miles, 60,000 mile vs 50,000 mile
  • The best price we've seen is $6,225 cheaper (around 20% less), $26,950 vs $33,175
Practicality 9.6 vs 10.0
2011 Kia Optima SX Winner: Optima SX
[details]
  • Passengers in front seats enjoy more than 10% more room, 60.2 ft3 vs 53.1 ft3
  • The Optima SX has 4 more cupholders, 8 vs 4
  • A single tank lasts more than 20% longer, 629 miles vs 516 miles
Safety Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Overall 9.3 vs 9.5

Performance

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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Horsepower 211 HP @ 4,300 RPM vs 274 HP @ 6,000 RPM Average power
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Number of gears Continuously variable vs 6 The Optima SX has an OK number of gears, while the A4 Premium has very few
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Transmission Automatic transmission vs Semi-automatic transmission The Optima SX's semi-automatic transmission is a rare find for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Standard The Optima SX comes standard with paddle shifters for ultimate driving control; not available on the A4 Premium
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Air compressor Turbocharger vs Turbocharger Both have an air compressor, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 16.7 lb/hp vs 12.4 lb/hp The Optima SX is a sporty car, while the A4 Premium is just average
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 37.4 ft vs 35.8 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Entertainment System

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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Number of speakers 10 vs 6 The A4 Premium has more speakers, but the Optima SX has very few
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Has speed sensitive volume Yes vs No The A4 Premium's stereo cranks the volume to compensate for road noise, but the Optima SX does not
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Not Available Like your tunes? In the A4 Premium, you can upgrade to satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer Yes vs No The A4 Premium has a subwoofer to accurately produce deep bass frequencies in music
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Crash Test Ratings

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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Rollover resistance 5 stars vs 5 stars Great protection, only 10% chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
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Front driver crash test 3 stars vs 5 stars The better is 3.9x safer than the A4 Premium
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Driver side crash test 4 stars vs 3 stars Poor protection, 6% to 10% chance of serious chest injuries in a crash

Luxury Features

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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moon roof Standard vs Not Available Enjoy additional natural light with the A4 Premium's standard sun roof
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power seats Standard vs Standard Both have power seats
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Standard Both come standard with leather interiors

Cost

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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MSRP $33,175 vs $26,950 Both are priced reasonably
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In-city gas mileage 22 mpg vs 22 mpg Both get OK mileage in the city
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 60,000 mile Both have long-lasting basic warranties, but Optima SX in particular is extraordinary
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 5 year Both have long-lasting basic warranties, but Optima SX in particular is extraordinary

Practicality

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 516 miles vs 629 miles Both can go pretty far on the highway on a single tank, however the Optima SX in particular gets exceptional range
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Cargo space 34.0 ft3 vs 15.4 ft3 The A4 Premium has lots of cargo room and the Optima SX is pretty good
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front seats 53.1 ft3 vs 60.2 ft3 The Optima SX has very spacious front seats, and the A4 Premium is OK
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folding rear seats Optional vs Standard A standard folding rear seat on the Optima SX is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the A4 Premium
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders 4 vs 8 The Optima SX has an absurd number of cupholders, 2 extra in front and 2 extra in rear
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Safety Features

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Road Tests

Audi
A4 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX Kia
Optima SX
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0-60 mph 7.2 seconds vs 7.4 seconds Neither car's 0-60 time is remarkable
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Braking distance at 60mph 140 ft vs 125 ft The Optima SX's braking ability is average for this class of vehicle, but the A4 Premium is quite bad
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1/4 mile 15.6 s @ 92 mph vs 16.1 s @ 83 mph Both have average 1/4 mile times for this class of vehicle
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Lateral acceleration Unknown vs 0.78 g
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Top speed 130 mph vs Unknown

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Audi A4 Premium 2012 Audi A3 Premium A4 Premium vs A3 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium 2011 Audi A5 Premium A4 Premium vs A5 Premium
2011 Audi A4 Premium 2011 BMW 328i A4 Premium vs 328i
2011 Audi A4 Premium 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport A4 Premium vs C300 Sport
2011 Audi A4 Premium 2011 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring A4 Premium vs 6 i Grand Touring
2011 Kia Optima EX 2011 BMW 328i Optima EX vs 328i
2011 Kia Optima EX 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Optima EX vs Genesis 3.8
2011 Kia Optima EX 2011 Nissan Maxima SV Optima EX vs Maxima SV
2011 Kia Optima Hybrid 2011 Toyota Prius Two Optima Hybrid vs Prius Two
2011 Kia Optima SX 2011 Toyota Avalon Optima SX vs Avalon

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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