Kia Optima Review
The 2013 Kia Optima ranks 13 out of 22 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Kia Optima, as well as reliability and safety data.
With sportier performance than many competitors top safety scores, good fuel economy and upscale available features, test drivers agree that the 2013 Kia Optima is a good value in its class.
Performance is one of the 2013 Kia Optima’s strong suits, with auto writers saying it’s sportier than many other midsize cars thanks to its nimble handling, comfortable ride and choice of powerful four-cylinder engines. Many like that the optional turbocharged engine has power that matches most V6 engines in the class, yet delivers good fuel economy. At 24/35 mpg city/highway with the base engine, the Optima’s fuel economy is better than many competitors.
Auto critics like the 2013 Optima’s cabin for being roomy, high-tech and stylish. They particularly like the available comfort and tech features that rival those found in upscale midsize cars. Standard features include Bluetooth, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary jacks and a cooling glove box. The Optima can be equipped with navigation, a rearview camera, an Infinity surround-sound audio system, HD Radio, Kia’s Uvo infotainment system, push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control. The tech features receive high marks for being easy to use and many reviewers think the seats are comfortable. However, the sloping roofline limits headroom in the back seat and one test driver dislikes the small trunk opening.
- "If you're looking for a fuel-efficient family sedan that isn't easily lost in a crowded parking lot, the 2013 Kia Optima is it. Combining stunning styling with an affordable price and an unbeatable warranty, the 2013 Kia Optima goes beyond the basic family sedan in features, performance and resale value." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The 2013 Kia Optima is one of our top picks for a midsize sedan. With evocative styling, strong engine choices and a long list of features, it's easy to see why." -- Edmunds
- "Optima aims to deliver upscale accoutrements and a sporty, driver-oriented demeanor at bargain prices, and it mostly succeeds." -- Consumer Guide
- "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 (2011)
Other Cars to Consider
The redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima is a good alternative to the Kia Optima because, like the Optima, reviewers say it has solid performance and nimble handling, but its fuel economy is better than the Optima’s. Test drivers also like the modern styling and quality materials in the Altima’s cabin.
The Suzuki Kizashi is a solid option thanks to its lively handling and available all-wheel drive, which is something you can’t get on the Optima. The Kizashi’s fuel economy isn’t as good as the Optima’s, however. Keep in mind that the Kizashi is smaller than the Optima, so if you frequently have passengers sit in the back or need a larger family car, the Optima’s spacious interior and trunk might be a better fit.
Details: 2013 Kia Optima
The 2013 Kia Optima comes in four trims: LX, EX, SX and new-for-2013 SXL. The Kia Optima Hybrid is reviewed separately. LX and EX models have the base four-cylinder engine, while SX and SXL trims get the turbocharged variant. All models have an automatic transmission. The Kia Optima was completely remodeled for the 2011 model year and has undergone only minor changes since, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011, 2012 and 2013.