2016 Kia Optima Named International Car of Year

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For the fourth straight year, Kia has been honored by the Road and Travel Magazine at the annual Los Angeles Auto Show, once again taking home top honors at the event. Following in the footsteps of the K900 luxury sedan (2015), Cadenza premium sedan (2014), and previous-generation Optima (2013), the 2016 Kia Optima has been named the International Car of the Year.

From a United States perspective, this award may seem rather insignificant. However, it’s actually a great sign for the brand that Kia is flourishing around the globe. So, before you decide to go shopping for a Kia Optima in Miami, see why the nameplate is respected and beloved worldwide…

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The mid-size car was awarded the honors at a mid-November gathering in Los Angeles. The judges ultimately commended the Optima for its “aggressive design,” reasonable value, the variety of features, and the “impressive powertrain options.” One of those three choices is the innovative 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is coupled with the Dual Clutch Transmission to make one of the better-handling midsize sedans on the market.

“We’ve never had one brand win this award four years in a row, but Kia has done it. It goes to show just how exceptional the new Kia models are, providing clear direction of where the Kia brand is headed,” said Courtney Caldwell, the editor-in-chief of Road & Travel Magazine. “We are near speechless at the level of progress the Kia brand has made in spite of the stiff competition. It is without a doubt the brand that gets the most ‘wows’ from our staff and is truly an industry success story that we can relate to in many ways.”

Meanwhile, the brand took home even more accolades in the sport utility segment. the Kia Sorento took home the award for the International SUV of the Year, with the jurors basing this decision on the vehicle’s “combination of premium interior amenities, extensive safety features and all-wheel drive capability.” Of course, the vehicle also features a boatload of passenger and cargo room, as well as three possible engine choices (like the popular 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-charged inline-4 engine).

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“The Optima and Sorento are two of Kia’s best-selling vehicles and both were instrumental in the transformation of the brand,” said Michael Sprague, the chief operating officer and EVP of KMA (via a press release on Kia’s website). “To win the prestigious ICOTY award four years in a row, with two models winning their categories this year, is a clear indication that our products continue to offer a world-class balance of design, amenities, craftsmanship, safety and value for today’s savvy consumers.”

The magazine has held the annual awards for the past 20 years, handing out accolades for International Car of the Year, International SUV of the Year, and International Family Vehicle of the Year. Besides the previously mentioned voting factors (like performance, style, and comfort), the vehicles are also graded on their ability to connect “emotionally” with consumers.

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If you’ve ever needed a reason to purchase an Optima or Sorento, this would be it! With reasonable price tags ($21,840 MSRP for Optima; $24,900 MSRP for Sorento) and a plethora of impressive features, there’s no better time to pursue a pair of Kia’s newest models.