2011 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
vs. 2011 Kia
Optima EX

2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6

9.6

starting from

$42,605
"The biggest surprise though, would have to be the transmission...we were glad to have it."
automobilemag.com | talking about the CTS's transmission
"The FE3 suspension on our tester manages the car’s considerable weight with supreme competence, keeping body motions in check through quick switchbacks."
automobilemag.com | talking about the CTS's ride quality

Reasons to buy the Cadillac CTS 3.6

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Power windows
Standard
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Great braking distance from 60mph
108 ft
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Entertainment system
Standard
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OK drivetrain traction
rear-wheel drive
2011 Kia Optima EX

9.5

Runner-up

Kia Optima EX

starting from

$25,450
"Audio quality is balanced with a nice neutral sound ."
reviews.cnet.com | talking about the Optima's stereo
"Great combination of power, handling, safety and fuel economy."
reviews.cnet.com | talking about the Optima's ride quality

Reasons to buy the Kia Optima EX

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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Less chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
5 stars
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Very spacious front seats
60.2 ft3
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Fantastic range on the highway
629 miles
Entertainment System 7.5 vs 10.0
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Winner: CTS 3.6
[details]
  • If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the CTS 3.6; no amount of money can buy it on the Optima EX
  • The CTS 3.6's subwoofer accurately reproduces deep bass notes in music
  • Have your pick of music from around the world with the CTS 3.6's satellite radio
Practicality 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 Kia Optima EX Winner: Optima EX
[details]
  • The Optima EX's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the CTS 3.6
  • The Optima EX has 4 more cupholders, 8 vs 4
  • Passengers in front seats enjoy more than 10% more room, 60.2 ft3 vs 54.0 ft3
Cost 10.0 vs 9.2
2011 Kia Optima EX Winner: Optima EX
[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 $17,155 cheaper (more than 40% less), $25,450 vs $42,605
Safety Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Both come standard with leather interiors
  • Both have power seats
  • Neither offers a sun roof
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Performance 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both provide sporty handling
Road Tests - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
Overall 9.5 vs 9.6

Entertainment System

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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Number of speakers 6 vs 10 The CTS 3.6 has more speakers, but the Optima EX has very few
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs No Neither offers speed-sensitive volume
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Not Available vs Standard Have your pick of music from around the world with the CTS 3.6's 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 No vs Yes The CTS 3.6 has a subwoofer to accurately produce deep bass frequencies in music
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entertainment system Not Available vs Standard If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the CTS 3.6; no amount of money can buy it on the Optima EX

Practicality

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 629 miles vs 486 miles The Optima EX gets fantastic distance on a single tank, and the CTS 3.6 gets OK distance
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Cargo space 15.4 ft3 vs 13.6 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 60.2 ft3 vs 54.0 ft3 The Optima EX has very spacious front seats, and the CTS 3.6 is OK
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folding rear seats Standard vs Optional A standard folding rear seat on the Optima EX is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the CTS 3.6
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power outlets Standard vs Not Available The Optima EX's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the CTS 3.6
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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 8 vs 4 The Optima EX 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

Cost

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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MSRP $25,450 vs $42,605 Both are priced reasonably
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In-city gas mileage 22 mpg vs 18 mpg The Optima EX has OK city mileage, while the CTS 3.6 is very inefficient
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basic warranty miles 60,000 mile vs 50,000 mile Both have long-lasting basic warranties, but Optima EX in particular is extraordinary
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basic warranty years 5 year vs 4 year Both have long-lasting basic warranties, but Optima EX in particular is extraordinary

Safety Features

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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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 OnStar

Luxury Features

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a 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

Crash Test Ratings

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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Rollover resistance 5 stars vs 4 stars The Optima EX is exceptionally safe; 1.5x safer than the CTS 3.6
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Front driver crash test 5 stars vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test 3 stars vs Unknown

Performance

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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Horsepower 274 HP @ 6,000 RPM vs 304 HP @ 6,400 RPM The CTS 3.6 is fairly powerful, but the Optima EX is not far behind
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Automatic transmission The Optima EX's semi-automatic transmission is a rare find for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor Turbocharger vs None The Optima EX's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 11.8 lb/hp vs 12.7 lb/hp Both provide sporty handling
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive The CTS 3.6 has a good drivetrain for off-road and poor weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 35.8 ft vs Unknown

Road Tests

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Cadillac
CTS 3.6
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0-60 mph 7.4 seconds vs 6.5 seconds The CTS 3.6 has a good 0-60 time, but the Optima EX is just average
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Braking distance at 60mph 125 ft vs 108 ft The CTS 3.6 has extraordinary brakes, but the Optima EX is just OK
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1/4 mile 16.1 s @ 83 mph vs 14.9 s @ 95 mph The CTS 3.6's 1/4 mile time is zippy, but the Optima EX's is just OK
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Lateral acceleration 0.78 g vs 0.84 g The CTS 3.6 has OK cornering abilities compared to the below average Optima EX
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Top speed Unknown vs 146 mph

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 2011 Cadillac STS CTS 3.6 vs STS
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 2011 Chrysler 300 300C CTS 3.6 vs 300 300C
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 2012 Buick LaCrosse CTS 3.6 vs LaCrosse
2011 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 CTS CTS-V vs Corvette Z06
2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6 2012 Lincoln MKZ CTS 3.6 vs MKZ
2011 Kia Optima EX 2011 Nissan Maxima SV Optima EX vs Maxima SV
2011 Kia Optima SX 2011 Audi A4 Premium Optima SX vs A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima SX 2012 Kia Sorento EX Optima SX vs Sorento EX
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

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