2012 Kia Optima Review
The 2012 Kia Optima’s numerous standard features, bold styling and good fuel economy make it a great value among affordable midsize cars.
The 2012 Kia Optima was redesigned last year and has since become a serious contender among midsize cars. Test drivers say the Optima is attractive and spacious. They also like that it comes with plenty of standard tech features, like Bluetooth and a USB iPod jack. However, it receives a few complaints for its unsupportive seats and small trunk opening.
Behind the wheel, test drivers say the 2012 Kia Optima strikes a good balance for most drivers. It’s comfortable on straight roads and sporty around turns. A few test drivers found its handling isn't very responsive. The base four-cylinder engine receives positive marks, but reviewers say those with a lead foot should check out the turbocharged model. They like that the turbo engine has power that matches most V6 engines in the class.
Overall though, the automotive press agrees that the 2012 Kia Optima should be on most midsize car buyers’ lists because it provides pleasing performance, good fuel economy and a spacious, high-tech interior, all of which combine to make it a great value.
Other Cars to Consider
The Suzuki Kizashi is a good alternative to the Optima because it has a similarly sporty exterior, but offers optional all-wheel drive, which is something you can’t get on the Optima. However, reviewers caution that the Kizashi has a smaller interior than many of its competitors. If you need lots of space, you might want to stick with the Optima.
If the Kia Optima’s styling is a little too bold for your tastes, check out the Volkswagen Passat. Although reviewers think its styling is sedate, they agree that it will still look good years down the road because it isn’t as trendy. Like the Optima, the Passat has a roomy interior and lots of standard features. Instead of a hybrid version, like the Kia Optima Hybrid, the Passat is available with a fuel-efficient diesel engine, which test drivers like.
Details: 2012 Kia Optima
The 2012 Kia Optima comes in three trims: LX, EX and SX. The Kia Optima Hybrid is reviewed separately. After its launch last year, the Optima receives a few exterior tweaks and a couple interior feature additions for 2012. See the full list of 2012 Kia Optima specs.
- "Kia has transformed its Optima family sedan from a plain, forgettable entry to one of the most distinctively styled cars in the class." -- Cars.com
- "Kia Optima aims to deliver upscale accoutrements and a sporty, driver-oriented demeanor at bargain prices, and it mostly succeeds." -- Consumer Guide
- "Against formidable competition -- and the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion are certainly formidable competition -- the Optima shines." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "In short, it’s perfect for the majority of people searching for an above average midsize sedan with good manners at a reasonable price." -- Road and Track
- "The Optima's long list of options should make it a compelling choice for those who want a sedan that won't get lost in the four-door crowd." -- Popular Mechanics