New York Auto Show – Kia

While their stand boasted four models under wraps, there was nothing revolutionary from the Korean brand this year. The big news was the world debut of the 2011 Optima, which receives an extensive redesign that looks quite stylish from every angle…except the front, which looks a bit like what would happen if you tried to splice together a Camry and an Accord. (Which was probably what they were aiming for.)

While we had our suspicions right away, it became quite obvious the Optima is just Kia’s version of parent company Hyundai’s Sonata when they announced its identical powertrain. It’ll be interesting to see how the market splits between the two models, which really seem to differ only in looks. But hey, it works for Ford and GM…

Kia also unwrapped a hatchback version of its Forte compact (which doesn’t honestly look that much bigger in back), their new Sportage (surprisingly good looking, but it’s been seen before) and a new sporty trim level for the Sorento called the SX. They lowered it one whole inch! X6 M drivers, beware…

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