Traded my '09 TSX for a '12 Optima SX.
While there are tons of nice standard features, like the heated and cooled seats, the turbo, the push button start and the panoramic sunroof, it's easy to tell the trade-offs Kia sacrificed to appease the value conscious consumer.
If you're a true car person who pays attention to details and spends a decent amount of time in the car, spend a little more and get a car from a manufacturer who figures out the details.
The car has great power.
It will go when you want it to.
The tires are the weak point and you find that out with wet pavement.
The mileage is less than what mfr states on the sticker and on the "ave mpg" show in the dash.
Heated/Cooled seats are comfy & rear heated seats are pleasant surprises for passengers, Great exterior look (lots of rubber necks!), lots of cargo space in trunk, good infinity sound,
lots of power under the hood and great highway acceleration when needed, streaming music or phone conversation is really nice.
closed panoramic moonroof.
Steering wheel control is ok for radio but not useful for the phone, although once connected, the hands free is nice.
Folding mirrors are a nice touch, too.
Wind/Road noise are excessive, iPod/phone user interface is terrible even with the factory iPod cable - hard to navigate menus and playlists, also would have been nice to hide the wires like Acura! Gauge panel cluster is lacking (better info would be nice - some nav or temp info like audi), navi screen is cluttered with menu icons, and navi rarely recognizes a named destination, voice recognition is awful and voice dial is cumbersome, sunroof operation is not intuitive and is accompanied by sound wave buffeting
behind another vehicle! Cheap materials in the buttons and poor button placement. Kia just didn't think through on a lot of things and cut corners on quality to provide features.
I bought a new 2012 Kia Optima LX in Snow White Pearl back in May 2012.
Originally I had an issue with the driver's seat not being very comfortable.
(I didn't notice this in the short test drive.)
In the 9 months I've owned it, my butt seems to have gotten used to it.
The acceleration is great!
So good that if the roads are slick, I have to put it in ECO mode so the tires don't slip.
This may also says something about the OEM Nexen tires.
I haven't been driving much so far- only 4700 miles.
(Try to walk/bike as much as I can).
MPG per tank is 22-27 with an avg 24.5 .
As expected, mileage is lower in the cold winter months.
No long trips yet - can't wait to see what I'll get then!
I like the dash layout, the computer functions, the manual auto shift pattern, reasonably sized trunk, impressive pickup, styling, electric steering, handling, USB port (where I have my music on a 16GB stick), and Bluetooth w/cell phone connection.
As mentioned by others: passenger seat is too low; a manual elevation pumpup would be an inexpensive and appreciated feature.
Quality control could have been better since the driver's door needed to be adjusted for fit at the dealer.
The lighter sheet metal makes the interior somewhat noisy when driving in the rain puddles.
I wish it had a space saver spare.
I got the beige cloth interior; it's very light, too light!
I wish I had gotten the gray cloth.
It would be nice if the "random" song feature would remain set. A 12V plug for the rear seat would be nice.
I would like to reply to all those customers who are complaining about the Fuel economy of the Optima. I just bought a new 2013 Optima LX and after reading your peeves about MPG I am flummoxed as to whether or not we are driving the same model. First off, I am approaching 7000 miles and I have averaged 30 MPG. No, I do not only drive on a traffic free highway, for I happen to live in California. Also, if you have the LX or EX model in a 2.4 Litre and you complain about getting under 20 MPG there is something specifically wrong with your driving style and habits. Fuel economy relies where and how you drive. What matters is how smoothly and how often you depress the accelerator.
The body design, dashboard, electronic displays, and the headroom.
I bought my Optima in the fall of 2012.
It has had engine work done 3 times.
Kia refused to take the car back.
Full engine was replaced on third trip in...
Great looking car- but gas mileage is WAYYY lower then advertised.
I got rid of my SUV to save money on gas.
I'm now getting the same if not less mpg with this car.
If I do not keep "ECO" option on I actually have gotten as low as just over 11 mpg.
Not even a turbo...
Can't say I'd recommend a Kia to anyone I know.
Seats are very comfortable.
Better engines, tell the truth about the gas mileage!!
I bought a fully loaded 2012 Optima EX in Feb. 2012.
I noticed soon after buying it that the leg room is very tight.
My leg was constantly jammed up against the speaker in the driver's door.
The seats are sharply molded and hard.
The transmission went out at 13,000 miles.
Recently, I noticed an issue with the steering.
While driving down the freeway, the car would begin drifting right or left.
When you go to correct it, there is a "catch" in the electronic steering.
If you do a search for this you will see many others have had this problem.
The real world MPG is nowhere near what thet advertise.
This car has a ton of bells and whistles and is great looking, but buyer beware.
Heated and cooled seats.
Beautiful exterior looks.
More comfortable seats.
Fix the problem with the steering.
Make the passenger seat height adjustable so you don't feel like you are sitting in a pit.