- Repair & Care
Kia has transformed its Optima family sedan from a plain, forgettable entry to one of the most distinctively styled cars in the class. Three trim levels are available — LX, EX and SX — and the five-seat Optima competes against cars like the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It's also offered in hybrid form.
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New for 2013
The base LX trim level gains new sliding front head restraints and loses the choice of a manual transmission, leaving a six-speed automatic for all Optimas. A new SX Limited trim features Nappa leather seats, unique 18-inch chrome wheels, LED daytime running lights and red brake calipers.
With its creased sheet metal and low-slung shape, there's luxury-car sophistication to the Optima's exterior that you don't see in a lot of family sedans. The Optima features the new face of Kia that we've seen on models like the Sorento and Sportage crossovers. It's essentially a black mesh grille bordered by angular headlights, and the design enhances the car's aggressiveness. The placement of the Kia badge above the grille is a little odd-looking, though. Exterior features include:
The five-person cabin features front bucket seats and a rear bench seat. The interior has a driver-oriented design, with the entire center control panel angled toward the driver. The optional Premium Package includes an Infinity stereo, Kia's Uvo hands-free entertainment and communication system, and HD Radio. Interior features include:
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:
Standard safety features include:
Like its sister vehicle, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, the Optima Hybrid combines a 30-kilowatt electric motor with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder to produce a combined 206 hp. The transmission-mounted motor works with a six-speed automatic rather than the electrically variable transmissions most hybrids employ.
The Optima Hybrid can cruise on electric-only power under light acceleration and sufficient battery charge. For pedestrian awareness, the Optima Hybrid emits simulated engine noise when the car is moving on electric power alone.
The electric motor draws power from a lithium-polymer battery that's mounted behind the rear seat; consequently, the backseat forgoes a 60/40-split folding arrangement for a center pass-through. Overall trunk volume falls to 9.9 cubic feet. That's a considerable drop from the non-hybrid Optima's 15.4 cubic feet, but it's typical of a hybrid sedan.
Visual changes amount to a hybrid badge in back, aerodynamic 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels, minor differences to the grille and front lights, and a small rear spoiler. Aerodynamic enhancements include lower bumper extensions and a slight reduction in ride height. All told, the Optima Hybrid looks far more like the regular Optima than the Sonata Hybrid does a Sonata.
Standard features include a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and keyless access with push-button start. Heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic moonroof and a navigation system with a backup camera are optional. Back to top
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