Kia Optima draws from concept car styling to herald the Korean automaker’s design language for this decade’s product portfolio.
The base LX, sporty SX, luxury EX and gasoline-electric Hybrid model make up the midsize 2013 Kia Optima lineup.
“Kia Optima’s design has caught the eye of a lot of people because it stands out from all the other cars in its class,” says Lou DiRienzo, assistant manager for Arnell Kia in Burns Harbor. “Some people seeing Optima for the first time are surprised to learn it’s a Kia.”
DiRienzo says the Optima’s design is targeted toward younger buyers, but has now spread to older generation consumers who are bored with established sedan designs.
“Everything started to look the same. Kia owners what something that sets them apart from competitive brands in the segment,” he said.
Optima LX and EX models come with a 200 horsepower, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. The SX winds a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to build an exhilarating 274 hp.
A standard six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters team with Optima’s engines and front-wheel drivetrain. No traditional manual gearbox is available.
A 2013 Kia Optima with the 2.0-liter turbo engine rates mileage of 22 miles per gallon around town and 34 mpg on the open road.
Fuel economy for the 2.4-liter motor renders 24 mpg/city and 35 mpg/hwy.
Kia Optima Hybrid pairs the 2.4-liter engine with a battery-powered electric motor for a combined output of 206 hp to yield an impressive 35 mpg/city and 40 mpg/hwy.
Optima’s control is equally as impressive with crisp handling communicated by responsive and well-balanced steering. Brakes deliver smooth and confident stopping power.
Inside, Kia Optima is complimented by a spacious cabin with generous head and legroom adequate for a six-foot driver and four adult passengers.
The 2013 Kia Optima EX and SX offers a Premium and Premium Touring Package ($2,950) that includes front heated and cooled seat cushions, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof and Kia’s UVO infotainment system.
Soft lighting in the front doors enhance the interior ambiance at night with rear doors that open wide with no intrusion of rear wheel well bulge to interfere with riders’ ingress or egress.
The 60/40 split-rear seat backs fold forward, though not flat, to increase Optima’s 15.4 cubic-foot trunk volume.
A contemporary instrument panel design greets the driver with backlit inset gauges. Dials and switches are large and clearly marked for at-a-glance use.
The center stack is angled toward the driver for quick and easy accessibility to audio or climate controls and optional navigation system.
Kia Optima also features an available 12 speaker 550-watt Infinity Premium audio system.
Helping quench occupants’ fixation for hydration, Optima comes standard with a cooled glove box for cold storage of water bottles or sports drinks.
The 2013 Kia Optima is built in America with models value-priced from $21,350 to $31,950 plus freight.