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

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

9.4

starting from

$32,965

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

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Power windows
Standard
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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Fantastic range in the city
574 miles
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Fantastic range on the highway
796 miles
2011 Kia Optima LX

8.3

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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OK performance
16.0 lb/hp
Luxury Features 6.6 vs 10.0
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Winner: Passat TDI SEL Premium
[details]
  • Leather comes standard on the Passat TDI SEL Premium; the Optima LX only offers cloth seats
  • Enjoy additional natural light with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard sun roof
  • Conveniently adjust your seat with the Passat TDI SEL Premium's power seats; not available on the Optima LX
Cost 10.0 vs 8.9
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
  • The best price we've seen is $13,015 cheaper (around 40% less), $19,950 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]
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Fantastic highway range
  • 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 8.3 vs 9.4

Luxury Features

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
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 Not Available vs Standard Conveniently adjust your seat with the Passat TDI SEL Premium'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 Standard Leather comes standard on the Passat TDI SEL Premium; the Optima LX only offers cloth seats

Cost

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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MSRP $19,950 vs $32,965 The Optima LX has a great price and the Passat TDI SEL Premium is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 24 mpg vs 31 mpg The Passat TDI SEL Premium has great city mileage and the Optima LX is pretty reasonable
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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 TDI SEL Premium'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 TDI SEL Premium's warranty is very limited

Road Tests

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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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 @ 84 mph vs Unknown
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Lateral acceleration 0.76 g vs Unknown
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Top speed Unknown vs Unknown

Safety Features

Kia
Optima LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
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 LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
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 LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Volkswagen
Passat TDI SEL Premium
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Horsepower 200 HP @ 6,300 RPM vs 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM The Optima LX 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 Manual transmission vs Semi-automatic transmission Both the Passat TDI SEL Premium's semi-automatic transmission and the Optima LX's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Unknown
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Air compressor None vs Turbocharger The Passat TDI SEL Premium's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 16.0 lb/hp vs 24.3 lb/hp The Optima LX has OK performance while the Passat TDI SEL Premium 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 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 648 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 LX 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 Not Available vs Standard You won't find this in the Optima LX, but the Passat TDI SEL Premium's standard navigation system will ensure you never get lost again
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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 LX
2011 Kia Optima LX
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 LX

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L S Optima LX vs Passat 2.5L S
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SE Optima LX vs Passat 2.5L SE
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE Optima LX vs Passat TDI SE
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SEL Optima LX vs Passat 2.5L SEL
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SEL Premium Optima LX vs Passat 2.5L SEL Premium
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SE Optima LX vs Passat V6 SE
2011 Kia Optima LX 2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL Premium Optima LX vs Passat V6 SEL Premium
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 2011 Toyota Prius Four Passat TDI SEL Premium vs Prius Four

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