AutoGuide.com gathered six of the most significant new cars for the 2017 model year for our annual Car of the Year evaluations. This year, our contenders are the Hyundai Elantra, BMWM2, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 2017 Kia Optima, Ford Focus RS and Chevrolet Cruze. There was no hard price cap on this years entrants, but we tried to make sure none of them were extravagantly priced. We will release a new video on each contender every day leading up to Dec. 13, when we announce our winner. Stay tuned for our Crossover/SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year series, which is also coming soon!

The 2017 Kia Optima is an important sedan for the Korean automaker, as the popular family sedan is a great showcase for how the brand is trying to move upmarket. New for 2017, there is also a hybrid andplug-in hybrid model, both of which are treated to the full redesign that its gas-powered sibling got, making the Optima lineup one of the most significantly changed for the 2017 model year.

Bringing the fire to such strong cars as the Honda Accord and Nissan Maxima, the new Optima boasts one of the classiest interiors in the segment, looking much more expensive than it actually is. The quilted leather seats, aluminum trim, and the fantastic flat-bottomed steering wheel all add up to a premium-feeling cabin that is well built.

The 2017 Kia Optima lineup backs up its premium aspirations with a whole suite of available technology such as lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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Read more about the 2017 Kia Optima: AutoGuide.com Car of the Year Contender at AutoGuide.com.