The Optima was entirely new in 2011, and it comes back basically the same for 2012. The new model showcases a dramatic new design that's been led by Kia's new Soul and Forte small cars.The Optima shows off the brand's new European-influenced style, with crisp but flowing lines and a chrome-tipped dual exhaust on all models. The new Optima comes in four trims: LX, EX, EX Hybrid, EX Turbo and SX. Both the LX and EX are powered by an all-new 2.4L direct-injected 4-cylinder engine making 200 horsepower. EX Turbo and SX models get a new direct-injected turbocharged 2.0L four making 274 horsepower. The base LX can be equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed automatic, while all the other models come only with the automatic. Fuel economy ratings with the base 2.4L 4-cylinder are very impressive, at 24 mpg city, 35 highway. The turbo models aren't that much lower, at 22 city/34 highway. All automatics come with a Sportmatic manual mode. The EX Hybrid pairs the 2.4L engine with a lithium polymer battery and an electric motor to get up to 39 mpg on the highway. It comes with a conventional 6-speed automatic.The Optima is front-wheel drive, utilizing a 4-wheel independent suspension incorporating MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link layout in back, with anti-roll bars in front. The suspension is tuned to be rather firm compared to some other mid-size sedan models, while electric power steering manages convey some feel of the road in tight corners. Inside, there's enough comfortable space for five adults and the trunk is among the more spacious ones in its class.Optima LX models include a 6-way adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, SmartKey keyless entry, trip computer, tilt/telescopic steering adjustment and a sound system with satellite radio capability, aux and USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity. Optima EX models get push-button start, a HomeLink garage-door opener, auto-down front windows and supplementary lighting, while the EX Turbo gets wood trim and metal accents. The top-of-the-line SX is outfitted in the way of sporty European imports, with black and carbon-fiber interior trim, woven black leather upholstery, steering-wheel paddle-shifters and metal pedals with lighted scuff plates.All the important safety features come standard in the 2012 Kia Optima, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, front side airbags, full-length side-curtain bags and front active headrests.
Fog lights and SmartKey keyless entry are now standard on all Optimas. The two Communication and Entertainment system packages have been discontinued.
- Stylish new design
- roomy interior
- excellent gas mileage, even with turbo
- hybrid available
- steering and handling
- extensive standard features
- strong resale value
- long warranty
2.4L DOHC GDI 16-valve I4 engine -inc: variable intake system, aluminum block & headEngine cover6-speed automatic transmission w/OD, Sportmatic shifter, H-Matic -inc: Auto Shift lock system, ECO switchFront wheel driveBattery saver w/interior lamp auto-cutIndependent MacPherson strut front suspension w/coil springsIndependent multi-link rear suspension w/coil springsDual-flow shock absorbersFront stabilizer barElectric motor-driven pwr steeringPwr vented front & solid rear disc brakesDual exhaust w/chrome tips -inc: semi-active mufflerTire mobility kitENTERTAINMENTAM/FM stereo w/CD/MP3 player & satellite radioAux input jack w/USB portBluetooth hands-free callingIn-glass antenna
Front bucket seats -inc: driver pwr lumbar, driver height adjustment60/40 split-folding rear bench seat w/adjustable outboard headrestsDouble rachel cloth seating surfaces -inc: cloth door trim insertClean Tex anti-stain fabric treatmentFront center console -inc: armrest, storage, cupholderRear center armrest w/cupholderPlastic door sill scuff platesTilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel w/audio controls -inc: wheel-mounted Bluetooth controls w/voice activation button, illuminated ignitionTrip computer -inc: distance to empty, average speed, drive time, ambient temp, average fuel economy, instant fuel economyWarning features -inc: parking brake on, key-operated chime, seatbelt reminder, low washer fluidPwr windows -inc: driver one-touch auto downPwr door locks -inc: front central locking, auto unlock, driver two-turn unlock, drill-protected lockRemote keyless entry w/panic & alarm function, security indicatorElectronic fuel lid releaseSteering wheel-mounted auto cruise controlAir conditioning w/filterRear window defroster w/timerCooling glove box(2) aux pwr outletsDoor map pockets -inc: integrated front/rear in-door bottle holdersChrome accent door handlesMetallic paint door & center console accents -inc: metallic gear shift indicator bezelOverhead sunglass holderDual sunvisors w/illuminated covered vanity mirrors, extensionsDual front assist handlesTime-delay interior dome lampFront reading lamps -inc: front pin lampFront seatback storage pocketsRear coat hookIlluminated trunk w/hinge cover16" x 6.5" silver painted alloy wheelsP205/60R16 tiresInsulated hood w/gas liftersBody-colored bumpersBody-colored side moldingsBright chrome door moldingBlack-gloss front side fender garnish w/chrome accentsChrome grilleClear-lens halogen automatic headlights w/black bezel -inc: escort lighting, projection high-beamsRear LED high-mounted stop lampFront fog lightsBody-color folding heated pwr mirrors w/integrated LED turn signalsSolar glass windshield w/sunbandVariable intermittent front windshield wipers w/jet washersBody-color door handles w/chrome trim