Top Safety Pick

2011 Kia Optima

midsize car / 4-door sedan

2011 Kia Optima 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2011-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2012 Kia Optima LX 4-door

The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2011 model year.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was not maintained well.

The frontal and side curtain airbags worked reasonably well together to protect the head from injury in the crash test. Still, the curtain airbag should extend farther forward toward the A-pillar to protect the head from contact with forward side structure and outside objects if crash circumstances were to differ slightly.

Despite considerable intrusion into the driver footwell area, risk of injuries to the dummy's legs and feet was low.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEN1225
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 22
Footrest (cm) 12
Left toepan (cm) 4
Brake pedal (cm) 3
Parking brake (cm) 21
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 6
Upper occupant compartment
Steering column 4
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 10
Upper dash (cm) 13
Lower instrument panel (cm) 18

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEN1225
Head
HIC-15 53
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.9
Extension bending moment (Nm) 8
Maximum Nij 0.19
Chest maximum compression (mm) 23
Femur (kN)
Left 0.9
Right 0.1
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 4
Right 1
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.74
Right 0.55
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 1.1
Right 0.3
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 80
Right 42

How the driver-side small overlap front test is conducted

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2011-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2011 Kia Optima LX 4-door

The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by Hyundai/Kia as part of frontal crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTF1012
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 9
Left (cm) 12
Center (cm) 12
Right (cm) 6
Brake pedal (cm) 12
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 3
Right (cm) 2
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) 0
Rearward (cm) -4
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 3

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTF1012
Head
HIC-15 144
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.2
Extension bending moment (Nm) 16
Maximum Nij 0.26
Chest maximum compression (mm) 36
Legs
Femur force - left (kN) 1.9
Femur force - right (kN) 2.3
Knee displacement - left (mm) 1
Knee displacement - right (mm) 4
Maximum tibia index - left 0.32
Maximum tibia index - right 0.31
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 2.9
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 1.4
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 42
Right 76

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side

Rating applies to 2011-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2011 Kia Optima EX 4-door with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags

The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2011 model year.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Rear passenger head protection

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side curtain airbag.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CES1017
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) -11.5
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID CES1017
Head HIC-15 287
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.3
Compression (kN) 0.6
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 33
Lateral force (kN) 2.0
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 36
Average deflection (mm) 32
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 6.07
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.51
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 2.1
Acetabulum force (kN) 0.8
Combined force (kN) 2.6
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.7
L-M moment (Nm) 199
A-P moment (Nm) 53

Passenger injury measures

Test ID CES1017
Head HIC-15 181
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.2
Compression (kN) 0.5
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 20
Lateral force (kN) 1.1
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 28
Average deflection (mm) 23
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 3.13
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.43
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.2
Acetabulum force (kN) 1.0
Combined force (kN) 1.1
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.5
L-M moment (Nm) 148
A-P moment (Nm) -62

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2011-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2011 Kia Optima LX 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,264 lbs
Peak force 16,720 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.12

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Seat type: Manual Cloth seat (AHR)

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
Seat type Manual Cloth seat (AHR)
Geometry
Backset (mm) 28
Distance below top of head (mm) 20
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 10.7
Head contact time (ms) 54
Force rating 1
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 31
Max neck tension (N) 323

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted