Researched, thoroughly. Physically checked out every other competitor. Hands down, this is the best deal out there for a mid-sized sedan. This feels more luxurious and sporty than you'd expect. It's so nice you almost want to take your shoes off when you get into it. People who sit in the front and the back comment about the remarkable comfort, quietness, and luxurious feel. Strangers stare, daytime or night. People who drive Accords and Camrys marvel over its looks inside and out. My teenagers think it's one of the best looking vehicles around. Recently ran into black ice. The car took over and stopped me smoothly much like normal - save the feel of the anti-lock brakes. It's sure-footed!
I have the LX AT version with the Appearance package. I've had it for 3 and a half months at the time of this writing, and I am convinced that I made the right choice when purchasing this vehicle. I owned a Kia before this and had a couple of problems that needed warranty work, and the fit and finish were not that great. This has not been the case with this vehicle. I have yet to have any issues and no matter how much I've inspected it, I haven't identified any fit and finish defects, and the material seems high quality. The interior with the appearance package is just plain beautiful, worthy of a $30,000 vehicle, and I paid about half that after rebates; WAY LESS than an equivalent Accord.
Bought the car Used from Enterprise car sales with 43,000 miles on it. Gas mileage was below expected averaging around 20-24 instead of the 28-32 like the sticker said. Absolutely love the look and design of the car but, have had numerous problems with the transmission not shifting smoothly. The headlights and tail light bulbs blowing every 6 months, but fixed that issue with an HID conversion kit on the car. The trunk randomly pops open on it's own, and It has had the worst electrical issue with the AC randomly shutting off and on, Dealership tried to tell me it was the blower motor but that was a lie. I had it replaced and it does the same thing.
Build quality inside and out is first rate. Has good pickup and ride is quiet. Looks like a much more expensive car than it is. A great value and fully loaded with extras you would pay extra for in other cars. Tight responsive steering and good road feel...very European ride (which means you're not floating over bumps).
So far, a great ownership experience. Quiet ride. Gas mileage is improving, I am up to 21mpg in city driving 4-cylinder. Kia's road hazard tire policy already saved me over $246 when I picked up a sidewall nail. ESC package is very handy to have on rainy mountain roads and CA freeways. Sunroof wind noise is very low up to about 50mph. I feel confident while driving this car. Front styling shows character. Rear styling is "nondescript" midsize. You can park this car anywhere. Most people are very surprised once they get inside.