The editors of Cars.com have chosen the 2011 Kia Optima as the winner of the Cars.com “Best of 2011” award. The site’s most prestigious honor was given during a gala awards show at the Fillmore Detroit Tuesday night (January 11) before an audience of more than 1,000 auto industry-insiders and executives, and featuring a special performance by Barenaked Ladies.

“The new Kia Optima enters the most competitive segment in the industry and tops it with a lot of value, good looks and a solid ride,” said Cars.com Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen. “While there is a lot to be said for the electric vehicles that were contenders for this award, we think it’s even more significant that Kia’s best vehicle to date is one that millions of buyers consider every year.”

A total of six vehicles were nominated for the “Best of 2011” award, including the 2011 BMW 5 Series, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the 2011 Honda Odyssey and the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

Also highlighted during the “Best of 2011” Awards Show were the Cars.com “Lifestyle Award” winners, which included the Honda Odyssey (Family Car of the Year), the Ford F-150 (Work Car of the Year), the Ford Mustang (Play Car of the Year) and the Nissan Leaf (Eco Car of the Year).

“Our awards are a true celebration of the auto industry,” said Mitch Golub, Cars.com president. “Our editorial team reviews hundreds of new cars every year, and we’re proud to showcase the best vehicles on the road, which is just one more way we give car buyers the confidence to know they’ve found the right car.”