2011 Kia
Optima EX
vs. 2012 Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

9.5

starting from

$32,965

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

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Power windows
Standard
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Fantastic range in the city
574 miles
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Fantastic range on the highway
796 miles
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Fantastic highway fuel efficiency
43 mpg
2011 Kia Optima EX

9.4

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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Longer-lasting basic warranty
5 year
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Sporty performance
11.8 lb/hp
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Longer basic warranty
60,000 mile
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Very spacious front seats
60.2 ft3
Luxury Features 8.9 vs 10.0
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Winner: Passat TDI SEL Premium
[details]
  • Enjoy additional natural light with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard sun roof
Cost 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 Kia Optima EX Winner: Optima EX
[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
  • The best price we've seen is $7,515 cheaper (more than 20% less), $25,450 vs $32,965
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Safety Features 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Performance 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have an air compressor, quite rare for this class of vehicle
  • Both offer a semi-automatic transmission, a nice perk for this class
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Fantastic highway range
  • The Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard navigation system will ensure you never get lost again; optional upgrade required on the Optima EX
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
Entertainment System 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither offers satellite radio
Overall 9.4 vs 9.5

Luxury Features

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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moon roof Not Available vs Standard Enjoy additional natural light with the Passat TDI SEL 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

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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MSRP $25,450 vs $32,965 Both are priced reasonably
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In-city gas mileage 22 mpg vs 31 mpg The Passat TDI SEL Premium has great city mileage and the Optima EX is pretty reasonable
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basic warranty miles 60,000 mile vs 36,000 mile The Optima EX's basic warranty is fantastic, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium's warranty is very limited
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basic warranty years 5 year vs 3 year The Optima EX's basic warranty is fantastically long-lasting, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium's warranty is very limited

Road Tests

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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0-60 mph 7.4 seconds vs Unknown
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Braking distance at 60mph 125 ft vs Unknown
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1/4 mile 16.1 s @ 83 mph vs Unknown
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Lateral acceleration 0.78 g vs Unknown
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Top speed Unknown vs Unknown

Safety Features

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Unknown
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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

Crash Test Ratings

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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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

Performance

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Horsepower 274 HP @ 6,000 RPM vs 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM The Optima EX is of average power, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium is underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Semi-automatic transmission Both offer a semi-automatic transmission, a nice perk for this class
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Unknown
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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 11.8 lb/hp vs 24.3 lb/hp The Optima EX is a sporty car, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium is sluggish
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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 EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 629 miles vs 796 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 EX has very spacious front seats, and the Passat TDI SEL Premium 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 Optional vs Standard The Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard navigation system will ensure you never get lost again; optional upgrade required on the Optima EX
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Cupholders 8 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Kia
Optima EX
2011 Kia Optima EX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Number of speakers 6 vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer No vs Unknown
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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 Passat TDI SEL Premium; no amount of money can buy it on the Optima EX

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Kia Optima EX 2011 BMW 328i Optima EX vs 328i
2011 Kia Optima SX 2011 Audi A4 Premium Optima SX vs A4 Premium
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
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2012 Audi A3 Premium Passat TDI SEL Premium vs A3 Premium
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 BMW 335d Passat TDI SEL Premium vs 335d
2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SE 2011 Audi A4 Premium Passat V6 SE vs A4 Premium
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid Passat TDI SE vs Fusion Hybrid
2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SE 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan S Passat V6 SE vs Tiguan S

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