2011 Kia
Optima LX
vs. 2012 Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE

2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE

9.6

starting from

$24,495

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE

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Power windows
Standard
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Cruise control
Standard
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Spacious back seats
48.8 ft3
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Power seats
Standard
2011 Kia Optima LX

9.5

Runner-up

Kia Optima LX

starting from

$19,950
"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 LX

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Longer-lasting basic warranty
5 year
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Longer basic warranty
60,000 mile
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Very spacious front seats
60.2 ft3
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Fantastic range in the city
444 miles
Luxury Features 7.8 vs 10.0
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Winner: Passat 2.5L SE
[details]
  • Almost the same
Cost 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 Kia Optima LX Winner: Optima LX
[details]
  • Basic warranty lasts 2 more years, 5 year vs 3 year
  • Basic warranty lasts 24,000 more miles, 60,000 mile vs 36,000 mile
  • Gets more than 10% more miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg vs 21 mpg
Entertainment System 9.2 vs 10.0
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Winner: Passat 2.5L SE
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • The Passat 2.5L SE has 2 more speakers, providing a better entertainment experience, 8 vs 6
Performance 10.0 vs 9.2
2011 Kia Optima LX Winner: Optima LX
[details]
  • The Optima LX's power-to-weight ratio is more than 10% better, providing a sportier ride, 16.0 lb/hp vs 18.6 lb/hp
  • The Optima LX has 1 more gear, which can improve performance, 6 vs 5
  • Around 20% more powerful, 200 HP @ 6,300 RPM vs 170 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Practicality 10.0 vs 9.5
2011 Kia Optima LX Winner: Optima LX
[details]
  • Passengers in front seats enjoy more than 10% more room, 60.2 ft3 vs 53.5 ft3
  • The Optima LX has 4 more cupholders, 8 vs 4
  • A single tank lasts around 10% longer, 648 miles vs 592 miles
Safety Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Overall 9.5 vs 9.6

Luxury Features

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Standard Conveniently adjust your seat with the Passat 2.5L SE's power seats; not available on the Optima LX
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a leather interior

Cost

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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MSRP $19,950 vs $24,495 The Optima LX has a great price and the Passat 2.5L SE is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 24 mpg vs 21 mpg Both get OK mileage in the city
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basic warranty miles 60,000 mile vs 36,000 mile The Optima LX's basic warranty is fantastic, but the Passat 2.5L SE's warranty is very limited
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basic warranty years 5 year vs 3 year The Optima LX's basic warranty is fantastically long-lasting, but the Passat 2.5L SE's warranty is very limited

Entertainment System

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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Number of speakers 6 vs 8 The Passat 2.5L SE has an OK number of speakers, while the Optima LX 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 Passat 2.5L SE'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 No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Performance

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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Horsepower 200 HP @ 6,300 RPM vs 170 HP @ 5,700 RPM The Optima LX is of average power, but the Passat 2.5L SE is underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 5 Average number of gears
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Manual transmission Both offer a manual transmission, unlike most in this class
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor None vs None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 16.0 lb/hp vs 18.6 lb/hp The Optima LX has OK performance while the Passat 2.5L SE gives sluggish performance
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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 35.8 ft vs 36.4 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Practicality

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 648 miles vs 592 miles Fantastic highway range
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Cargo space 15.4 ft3 vs 15.9 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 60.2 ft3 vs 53.5 ft3 The Optima LX has very spacious front seats, and the Passat 2.5L SE is OK
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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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 Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a navigation system
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Cupholders 8 vs 4 The Optima LX 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

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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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

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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0-60 mph 9.2 seconds vs Unknown
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Braking distance at 60mph 121 ft vs Unknown
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1/4 mile 16.9 s s @ 84.2 mph mph vs Unknown
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Lateral acceleration 0.76 g vs Unknown
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Top speed Unknown vs Unknown

Crash Test Ratings

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Volkswagen
Passat 2.5L SE
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Rollover resistance 5 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test 5 stars vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test 3 stars vs Unknown

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Kia Optima LX 2011 Nissan Maxima SV Optima LX vs Maxima SV
2011 Kia Optima LX 2011 BMW 328i Optima LX vs 328i
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Kia Sorento LX Optima LX vs Sorento LX
2011 Kia Optima LX 2011 Audi A4 Premium Optima LX vs A4 Premium
2011 Kia Optima LX 2011 Kia Sportage EX Optima LX vs Sportage EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 BMW 328i Passat TDI SEL Premium vs 328i
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design Passat TDI SEL Premium vs S60 T6 R-Design
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2012 Audi A3 Premium Passat TDI SEL Premium vs A3 Premium
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 Volkswagen Golf Passat TDI SEL Premium vs Golf
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion Passat TDI SEL Premium vs Tiguan SE 4Motion

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

Showing 1 comments

Chuckbabe (6:46 PM, December 26, 2011)
horsepower is quite misleading as the TDI has gobs of torque which makes the car go, horsepower is uneccessary when you have torque