New Kia Optima Shows Up in Paris to show VW how to Design a Mid-Size Sedan

The Kia Optima, which made its original debut in New York, has crossed the pond to give the Europeans a little bit of that Korean flava (or is that German?) and rub the 2011 VW Passat B7's newly styled nose in the ground. Riding on the same platform as the "fluidic" Hyundai Sonata, the Optima brings Kia's "tiger" style to the mid-size saloon segment.

The results speak for themselves; anyone with an iota of style would walk straight past the humdrum Passat and get in this.

With a pretty face, a driver-centric cockpit, and some efficient engines - a 170-horsepower 2.0-liter gasoline unit and a 136-horsepower 1.7-liter turbo diesel - here's hoping this will continue to push the Koreans into Europe and light a fire under the designers of the usually-conservative mid-size German players.

For the essential specs on the European Kia Optima, check out our previous post. European readers out there, it's time for you to weight in: is the Kia Optima possibly worth your Euros, or will you still be buying European?

By Phil Alex