Korean cars have come a long way over the past decade or so, and the 2013 Kia Optima reflects this rise in respectability. The midsize model in the Kia lineup, the Optima has a handsome design and features that make it a viable alternative to its competition from Japan, the U.S., and Europe. The midsize sedan market is so vast that it is difficult to stand out from the pack, but Kia wisely included many standard features to give the Optima a competitive advantage over the many alternatives in its category. The price point also compares favorably to the competition and when one considers the wealth of features that are included on even the base trim, it becomes clear that the 2013 Kia Optima is a genuine bargain within its category. The Optima is available in four trims, including a hybrid option, and the different trims correspond with different engine sizes as well.
New For 2013
The LX manual transmission and EX turbo models are no longer available. There’s a new ?Kia? badge on the hood, trunk, and steering wheel of all Optimas. Remington red replaces spicy red as an exterior color.
The exterior of the 2013 Kia Optima is assertive and bolder than other cars in its midsize category. It should also be noted that Kia has enlarged the Optima over the years, and the net result is a midsize car that looks more sure of itself and confident than the Optimas of yore. The pronounced rear lights recall those of upscale manufacturers like Infiniti or Acura. All Optima trims arrive with virtually the same dimensions. The only difference between the trims lies in wheel size. The base LX has 16-inch wheels, while the EX has 17-inch wheels. The top-of-the-line SX and SX Limited trims arrive with 18-inch wheels.
Interior & Cargo
The 2013 Kia Optima has a sleek, upscale interior that offers plenty of room for both front and rear passengers. Those in the front seat enjoy a full 45.5 inches of legroom, which is among the most of any car on the market. Meanwhile, rear passengers should remain comfortable, as the Optima offers a generous 34.7 inches of legroom in the rear. Cargo space is also substantial, with 102.2 cubic feet in total and 15.4 cubic feet of luggage space. Additionally, Kia assists drivers in organizing their items, with two seatback storage pockets that come standard and an optional cargo net.
Another area in which the 2013 Kia Optima excels is interior features. Lumbar support is a major benefit for those who engage in substantial amounts of driving, while power windows and door locks ensure ease of entry and exit. Those looking for a particularly dramatic interior would be well-served to consider the EX or SX, as they arrive with both a sunroof and a fixed-glass second-row sunroof. An additional benefit of the EX and SX trims is that they offer heated and cooled front seats, as well as memory settings. The SX Limited trim offers some luxury touches, such as Nappa leather seats and wood accents. Those with families also appreciate the heated rear seat option. The base LX trim comes with cloth upholstery, although upgrading to the EX brings leather seats. The most unusual upholstery option is found on the top SX trim, which offers a blend of leather and cloth upholstery.
The 2013 Kia Optima also comes with a number of standard entertainment features, which should please youthful buyers who require the space of a midsize automobile. The most notable of the entertainment features is the satellite radio. Other features include MP3 capability, an LCD screen, and Bluetooth capability. An exterior temperature display is another handy touch that comes standard on all trims.
The 2013 Kia Optima was awarded a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Front, side, and side curtain airbags are standard. There are also active front headrests and anti-lock brakes with brake assist. Stability control, traction control, and hill assist all ensure a steady ride. Kia has also done a thorough job of protecting drivers from theft, with a theft-deterrent alarm system and panic alarm included on all trims.
The driving experience is not the main selling point of the 2013 Kia Optima, although the vehicle still offers a strong and capable driving experience. Those looking for increased power should spring for the SX or SX Limited models, which arrive with the strongest engine. The SX comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, with 274 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the LX and EX trims share a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that has 200 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid option comes with yet another engine, a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that has 206 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Fuel economy on the 2013 Kia Optima is quite strong and particularly excellent should one spring for the hybrid option. It is estimated that the vehicle gets 22-35/34-40 mpg city/highway. All options come with an automatic transmission and there is no manual transmission option available. However, the lack of a manual transmission option is unlikely to deter many buyers. A greater possible deterrent is the lack of a four-wheel-drive option, as all models arrive with front drive.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Kia Optima
- Hyundai Sonata
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry