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2013 Kia Optima

Overview
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2013 Kia Optima Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The famous automotive leader Bob Lutz once said it costs as much to build an ugly car as it does a beautiful one. In the 2013 Kia Optima sedan, Mr. Lutz's words have been proven spot on. Costing no more than a comparably-equipped Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, the Optima for 2013 outshines its competition with stunning good looks, compact car-like fuel economy, a great warranty and ever-improving resale figures. Add to the mix a panoramic sunroof and heated and cooling seats, and the Optima might appear to be the bargain of the century. Models range from the well-equipped entry LX to the luxurious EX to the fuel-efficient Hybrid. There's even a high-performance turbo model that will shame some premium brands costing tens of thousands more.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2013 Kia Optima's styling may be a bit too over-the-top for some, and its sloping rear roof severely cuts into rear-seat headroom. Also, some of the Optima's interior plastics still look and feel a bit hard.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, Kia has added a Limited model to the SX trim than includes Nappa leather seating, LED daytime running lights, red brake calipers and 18-inch chrome wheels. The manual transmission on the LX trim has been dropped, as has the turbo version of the EX.

Driving the Optima

Driving Impressions After just a short time behind the wheel of the 2013 Kia Optima, we came away impressed, both by the car's driving dynamics and its 2.4-liter 4-cyinder engine. Confident cornering...

aided by nicely-weighted steering encouraged us to push the Optima sedan hard, and the electronic traction and stability controls always intervened when we pushed a bit too hard. The naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter engine develops an impressive 200 horsepower. This gasoline direct-injection engine is smooth, powerful and able to deliver 35 highway miles on a single gallon of gasoline. Whether it was passing slow-moving traffic or climbing steep grades, the 2013 Kia Optima's 4-cylinder engine never failed to impress us. There is also a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine for those who crave more power. Equally as smooth and quiet as the 2.4-liter engine, the 2.0 turbo pumps out 274 horsepower, but is mated to the same 6-speed Sportmatic manually-shifting automatic transmission.

EXTERIOR STYLING
The 2013 Kia Optima sedan is one of the sportiest, most stylish mid-size sedans out there. We'd even put it up against the styling of some $40,000 European luxury brands.

TURBOCHARGED 2.0-LITER ENGINE
Who needs a V6 anyway? This four-cylinder engine has 274 horsepower and an EPA highway estimate of 34 mpg.

2013 Kia Optima Details
2013 Kia Optima photo Interior

On upper-end EX and SX trims, customers can opt for such extravagant features as a dual-panel moonroof, heated and cooling front seats, heated rear seats and a voice-activated navigation and infotainment system similar to Ford's SYNC. While we love the look of the 2013 Kia Optima sedan's interior, some of the plastic on the dash and steering wheel still lack the quality look and feel found in Honda, Mazda and even some GM and Ford products. The front seats are pretty comfortable for tall folks, but the Optima's sharply-raked rear roofline may cause some headroom issues for the rear-seat passengers.

Exterior
2013 Kia Optima photo

Looking a bit like something from the sci-fi movie Tron, the Kia's 2013 Optima is a bold and original piece of work from the ground up. From its cross-hatch front grille and long sweptback headlight housing, to the weather-vane-style wheels on the SX trim, the Optima looks likes it's going fast even when it's parked. There is a duality about the Optima sedan for 2013, speaking to both luxury and performance all while masking its true nature to serve duty as a humble family sedan. Even base trims offer such nice features as heated side mirrors, chrome door-handle inserts and 16-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2013 Kia Optima family sedan offers Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod/USB audio connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a cooling glove box that keeps drinks chilled. As for safety, the Optima has an impressive array of features including six airbags and electronic stability control. Like other base-priced models in its class, the entry-level Optima includes 16-inch steel wheels and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment highlights include a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, Nappa leather seating, Infinity sound system, touch-screen navigation system, UVO infotainment voice-active system and rearview camera. In addition to a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the top-of-the-line 2013 Kia Optima SX and SX Limited models offer a lightly sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive styling cues. The 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid features lightweight wheels in your choice of standard 16-inch or sporty 17-inchers, as well as the EcoMinder LCD panel with graphics and lighting that change to show when the car is achieving maximum fuel economy.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Kia Optima sedan doesn't offer the option of a V6, and why should it? The standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is nearly as powerful as some V6 engines and gets far better fuel economy. In fact, it has more power and better fuel economy than many other 4-cylinder cars in the category, as well. Those wanting more power can opt for the turbocharged 2.0 liter (SX trims only). Only one transmission is offered: A 6-speed Sportronic automatic with manual-shift mode. The Optima Hybrid uses the 2.4-liter engine mated to a 40-horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 206 horsepower.

2.4-liter inline-4 (LX and EX trims)
200 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
192 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle)
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (SX and SX Limited)
274 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg

2.4-liter hybrid inline-4 + electric motor/generator (Hybrid)
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
40 horsepower @ 1,400-6,000 rpm (electric motor)
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
152 lb-ft of torque @ 0-1,400 rpm (electric motor)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 35/40 mpg

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2013 Kia Optima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 302 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

I love the look of this car

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Body styling is hot"

Cons: "Convenience and comfort are lacking."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The handling is amazing and the fuel consumption is impressive, I'm getting ~29 mpg city. There are some design features that really irritate me. First off the passenger seat is so LOW it's almost laughable. You can move the seat forward or back but not UP!!? I hate it!! You cannot fold down the back seats without opening the trunk to access that feature. Irritating! And if your headlights aren't on at night (my roommate turned them off) the panel stays fully lit so unless you're looking for it or know what you're looking for you can be totally clueless. Other than these annoyances the car is awesome. Roomy and somewhat comfy."

From a Sorento to an Optima - Fabulous!

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Avg. gas mileage stays around 30-34"

Cons: "None!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car for better gas mileage and the dealership in Knoxville had a special on the 2015 Optimas. I had put over 25,000 on my Sorento the previous year. Only downfall I have had is I had to forfeit my backup camera and seat heaters when I traded in. I LOVE the look and comfort. I was able to get black on black LX (Interior/Exterior) and the only thing I would have changed is a backup camera. LOVE MY OPTIMA."

Looks like car should be more expensive.Joy to own

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Classy interior, good gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this car one year ago from a private party. He produced all records and I have continued to maintain the car in tip-top shape. Fun car and very good gas mileage."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Could stand some improvements

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Price was decent and it is "fun to drive"."

Cons: "Gas mileage rots. Paint could stand to be stronger"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I purchased this vehicle based on the expected "Great" gas mileage it was rated for. Of course, it is based on the "perfect car and driver and terrain (the flat salt plains" that may produce this great feat. My KIA, as impressive as it appears and the great pickup it has when entering the highway, delivers a mileage of 20 miles in the city, 37 miles on the highway with an average combination of 24 miles per gallon. Not as impressive as I thought it would be. The light weighed front end cannot handle the impressive 200 horsepower this car boasts of, it swings from side to side until the accelerator is released or the desired speed is reached. once there, the vehicle handles well. Stopping is another issue. The anti-lock brakes seem to engage almost at every stop. Makes the driver concerned if it will stop at all. Did anyone think to ask if the car comes with a spare? I didn't and when I got my first flat due to an imbedded nail (tires are horrible, by the way)when I called for service, they informed me that they had to tow for the $75 dollar tire filler could not fix the flat. Now KIA offers New owner's choice. (pick the spare, it's only $50 more. There is an old saying I remember: "once you get past the smell, you have it licked", well, once you get past all the little flaws this vehicle has, the rest of the experience of owning a KIA Optima EX is fairly decent. The interior, the cooled and heated seats, the dual climate control, the rear view camera, the NAV system (even though it cost an additional $800, works well and since KIA upgraded the Bluetooth (after about a year and a half), my cellphone once again works well with it. Would I buy another one,depends on whether i can afford one and if they improve the flaws. Otherwise, I will return to Toyota."

4 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Flawless!

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, function, appearance, and economy."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've waiting for the day when this car would give me a reason to be displeased with something. I'm still waiting..."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great looking and terrific value for your money

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great value for your money."

Cons: "Front spoiler to low."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Quicker then I thought for a hybrid but some lag when you first accelerate, but the lag is only for a very brief second and then it gets up and goes faster then the base 4 cylinder optima. Great style."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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