2012 Optima

Consumer Reviews

2012 Kia Optima

$5,689 - $13,657  MSRP Range
2012 Kia Optima

Review Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5

181 Reviews
87% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.6 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.6 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.6 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.5 out of 5 stars Performance
4.8 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 181 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Loved 1st Kia Optima SO bought a 2nd Kia Optima

by Kia Owner since 2002 from Marysville, WA on Sat Dec 31 2011

Just received the 2012 Optima EX GDI as a Christmas present to replace my 2002 Optima SE. I loved my old Optima but the 2012 Optima is definitely an upgrade. From the heated seats & steering wheel to the Navigation System I'm really in love! It's a very classy looking car on the road. People make the assumption it's a more expensive car & are really surprised to find out it's not. Having been a Kia owner for 10 years, I'm very pleased with the maintenance history of the Kia versus other cars that I have owned.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Stylish and worth the Money

by Optima Fan!!! from Mount Morris, MI on Wed Dec 28 2011

I currently own a great 2012 Kia Optima EX. It is quite possibly the best vehicle I have ever purchased! It's a full sized sedan with tons of room inside the cabin and in the trunk. The trunk space is so huge i can fit at least 3-4 sets of Golf clubs in it! Its gets me outstanding gas mileage averaging around 34mpgs with my everyday driving to and from work. When I first test drove the car I was sold just in the convenience and comfort of the interior. The amount of options and standard features that you get for the price are astounding. Features such as standard Bluetooth, Leather seats, Dual Zone climate control, Power drivers seat and tilt and telescopic steering are just the tip of the ice berg. Then you have options like heated and cool front drivers and passenger seats, with heated rear seats, Navigation with a Back-up camera in the NAV screen, heated steering wheel, and many more options all for a VERY competitive price. I would highly recommend this vehicle to anyone in search of a full sized sedan. Also, this vehicle is made right here in the US in Georgia!!!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

LOVE my new Kia Optima SX

by Girlflyer from San Diego, CA on Tue May 22 2012

Admittedly, I've only had my new Kia Optima SX Turbo for 5 days, but I am in love with this car already! It's fast, it's economical (well, it was today when I finally took my lead foot off the gas), and it's every bit the head-turner as a new "X, Y or Z" at WAY less cost. LOVE the air-conditioned seats, the quiet and steady ride. This 4 cylinder turbo-charged car has as much power as my truck, which is a V8.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

2012 Optima Hybrid has it all

by Former Subaru and Acura owner from Denver, CO on Sat Jun 02 2012

The first week driving my Kia Optima Hybrid, in black with convenience package and leather. From doing a LOT of reading online in the past 2 weeks before buying, I am not disappointed. 1. Regarding poor reviews of the "uncomfortable seat": Leather seats feel much better than the cloth version. Perhaps not as luxurious as some competitors, but perfectly satisfactory after some detailed adjustments for height, lumbar support, thigh angle, etc. 2. Regarding mixed reviews of the gas mileage, my current average is 38.3 according to the onboard MPG calculator; almost all reviews I read indicated that the calculation at-the-pump is perhaps 1-2 mpg lower than this. I will find out in a week or so when the tank runs down. have driven over 280 miles this week, and still 2/3 tank left. Amazing. Would have been filling up tomorrow, if it were my outback. Driving 1/3 city, 2/3 freeway. 3. Regarding acceleration; very zoomy. Also test-drove the turbo version; ok, so not that zoomy, but plenty for me as i trade up from a decade-old vehicle. 4. Regarding its looks: I've had a couple folks stop me in the parking lot and ask how I like the car. I enjoy telling them about it; love its looks. The black is spectacular. And, so glad I did not choose the technically comparable (and perhaps slightly better) 2012 Camry hybrid; really bland styling, and the stat that I read that got me (and rang true): the average Camry buyer is 65. Moreover, I enjoy driving a car almost no one has on the road--This good review from me notwithstanding, please don't all go out and get one.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Completely blown away with this car

by Coast2Coast from Spokane,WA on Fri Jan 25 2019

I went shopping for a reliable used car. When I was browsing the lot, I had no idea what I wanted in a car and was being really indecisive. I use to have a 2002 Kia and I knew I didn’t want another Kia. I came across the 2012 Kia Optima GDI turbo and didn’t realize it was a Kia because of the new logo. Once I sat down in the driver seat and felt the luxury interior I fell in love. One of my favorite features is when you shut the car off the driver seat automatically slides back making exiting and entering the car a breeze. The turbo and 274hp makes this car super fun to drive and the great gas mileage is a plus.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

I love this car so much!

by Beth from Central Illinois on Wed Aug 13 2014

I've had this car for about 14 months and wanted to give a nice long run before I reviewed. I love this car and am still excited to drive it. It has beautiful styling, handles great, is peppy to drive. Comfortably accommodates 4 large adults and still feels comfortable after driving all day (considered a midsize but just as roomy inside as my old Taurus). I was very impressed that through the notorious nasty winter of '13-'14 this car never once left me stranded, never slid or stalled driving on winter roads, and never failed to start even in the -25 degree winter mornings. I have put on 30,000 miles in the time I've had it and regularly get 36 mpg--in a roomy comfortable car! Bottom line, I did tons of research before settling on this as the best combination of style, reliability, consumer satisfaction ratings, efficiency and price and have been very happy!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Sedan for the money

by Brutus1988 from Fort Worth, Texas on Mon May 07 2012

I bought a 2012 SX primarily to commute to work. I have gotten many compliments on the looks of this car. This car is a great combination of fuel economy and performance. When drive aggressively it is really quick and handles well. When driven passively I get about 31 mpg..24 with a heavy foot. Inside I find the seats very comfortable and even though I am over six feet tall the passenger seated behind me has plenty of room. The trunk has got to be the largest in its class and the rear seat pass through is very handy.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

An all-around winner

by A car guy from Alaska on Tue Oct 07 2014

The Optima is superb. I've owned many cars, probably around 50, and frequently rent cars in my travels. I've owned sports cars from MGs to Porches and Vettes, sedans from Simcas to Rolls-Royce, including two Mercedes currently in my garage. You might be surprised to hear that the Optima is my all-around favorite. I have found only one fault with the car, and that I will reveal at the end. Price and value: I bought new, dealer offered a discount and I got several KIA discounts. My depreciation has averaged less than $100 a month for 30 months of ownership so far. Warranty: Everyone who follows cars already knows that KIA and sister-company Hyundai offer the best warranty in the business. Looks: Aggressive, masculine design which I believe will wear well for the 10 years I plan to keep the car. My opinion is that compared to the 2012 Sonata, for example, the Optima starts out better and will resist looking dated much better. Economy: The EPA numbers understate what the car is capable of getting. It gets 42 -46 mpg cruising on the highway doing 60 mph, plus or minus 5 mph. On most fill ups I average about 37 mph overall. Performance: I chose the 4-cyl. standard engine, which is rated at 200 hp. I seldom ask for quick acceleration; however, if you put the pedal down at highway speeds, be prepared to be amazed. It jumps from cruising to passing speeds, say 60 to 80, in a few quick seconds. Comfort: I have driven some 700 mile days in the Optima, and been comfortable all through the drive. The one fault the car has is that the front passenger seat is a couple of inches too low, and has no height adjustment. Rear seat knee room is surprisingly generous. The Optima beats the competition in interior volume. Conclusion: I couldn't be more pleased or impressed. This car has made me a big believer in GDI. The performance and economy are testament to this efficiency. The Optima beats the Cam-Acc-Alt competition hands down, and could compete with the Lex ES class and the Avalon.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Head Turner 2012 SX

by rrwilliams64 from Warren, OH on Sat Apr 20 2013

I wanted the SX with Technology package. Fully loaded, every option...Turbo, Navigation, Panoramic sunroof, rear camera, heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, and numerous other goodies. With the performance and styling of the SX package, it has a European feel- "athletic" in its more tightly tuned suspension yet still very comfortable. Road and driving feel is tangible with the perfectly balanced steering. (Note, the SX has the MUCH better performance of the Hankook tires rather than the lacking Nexen brand of the EX. Night and day) Styling is sporty and aggressive without overreaching. I've had numerous queries re: "what car is that?". I got black on black, tastefully (and legally) tinted the glass, opted for the premium rims Quite the distinctive looker. And lastly...a 5 yr/60K warranty bumper to bumper? That's just icing on the cake. What's not to love? Drive an Optima, Altima, Accord, Camry and Mazda 6 (similar trim lines) and you'll realize the same...the Optima is the clear class leader in performance and value.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best car I have ever owned

by Turbo lover from Minneapolis, MN on Thu Apr 19 2012

I bought a 2012 EX Turbo in December. This is by far the best car I have ever owned. I'm 60 and have been through quite a few cars. For a $30,000 sticker there is nothing else in the game except a Sonata but I love the looks of the Optima much better. GReat mileage and power combination. There are so many little, well thought items. The heated steering wheel in winter, cooled and heated front seats, the full glass roof. When the sunroof is open it is still quiet inside and not like a tornado with wind. I could go on and on. the only weak point is the telephone voice command. someone really dropped the ball there. It is much faster to have Siri dial the number on my iPhone. Maybe a firmware update can fix this. I have told many friends I would put this against a Lexus or Acura any day.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2012 Kia Optima

Editor’s note: This review was written in April 2011 about the 2011 Kia Optima. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2012, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

Kia’s midsize sedan used to be a forgettable car with an obscure name. (Optimal? Altima? Optimus Prime?) Today, the redesigned 2011 Kia Optima boasts sharp styling, competent driving dynamics and a cabin that leapfrogs other family sedans — and could stay in the lead for years to come.

Honda and Toyota should pay close attention to the Optima’s success, which seems all but inevitable.

Trim levels for the car include the LX, uplevel EX... Read More