2012 Kia Optima EX
(2.4L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 9/27/2010 (2011 2.4L EX)
With the same efficient and peppy 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine as the 2011 Sonata, the Optima EX can zip to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds and earn up to 34 mpg on the highway. EX Turbo is quicker but thirstier.
Electric-assist steering is natural feeling and responsive. Track test results show handling is competitive and exhilarating. Capable 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and a 6-speed automatic with manual shift control are standard.
The Optima EX's suspension proves a midsize family car can have a compliant ride with good handling. Unlike its Hyundai sibling, the Optima EX rides smoothly without the Sonata's floaty. Seats are supportive in a sporty way.
When the engine is working hard, you'll know it, but in normal driving you'll rarely hear it. Only the coarsest road surface transmits tire noise but the Optima is otherwise better than its direct competitiors in this regard.
This is definitely a driver-centric cockpit layout and it is ergonomically sound. Options include navigation and standard equipment includes keyless ignition and Bluetooth. Better than most overall.
Typical midsize sedan sight lines. Standard halogen (optional Xenon) headlamps plus foglights; optional rearview camera. Better than most similarly priced sedans.
Seat Access & Space
Better than adequate seating dimensions are definitely larger than a compact sedan. Available (and recommended) heated/cooled front seats and heated rear seats.
Cargo & Storage
With nearly 15 cu-ft of luggage space, the Optima is about average. Standard split-fold rear seats expand ultimate cargo capacity.
Our test car (built early in production sequence) showed tight tolerances and good paint quality. Not a single rattle from the exterior or interior. Interior fit and finish above competition, including the Hyundai Sonata.