I have owned Dozens of new cars, including,7/ VW's,3/BMW's,3/Audi's,2/Acura's,1/Jag& a M-B. All were special in their own way, But as far as Packaging, performance, style, funtion, and safety rating (NHTSA/IIHS), My 2012 Kia Optima SX, is by far the best car I've ever Owned. it feels as solid as any of them. And on my trip From Texas to Va. I got 33 true MPG, at speeds somewhat above those posted. so a word to the wise car shopper, Don't be fooled by the Badge.
Researched and compared to the Malibu, Camry, Accord, Altima, etc., and found this to be the best choice for me. Quiet and smooth ride, stunning looks, good interior materials, Bluetooth, USB, 10/10 drive train, 60/60 bumper to bumper (lifetime drive train from the dealer). With what Kia includes even on the LX AT, I've only added a factory spoiler and window tint. All this for under 20K after rebates..Gas mileage has been 25 around the city and up to 36 on the Hwy. Best of all, it's made here in the USA by American workers in Georgia.
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.
This car is amazing, after dismal repairs on my 2009 Honda Accord EX-L, I gave in on my frustrations and traded in the car for a brand new 2012 Kia Optima EX with Tech and Prem packages. The car is so much nicer than the Accord and a pleasure to drive. I have already put 3k miles on the car in one month because it is so addicting to drive and it turns heads wherever I go and people always ask "That's a KIA?" I highly recommend it and don't pass it by because it is a KIA, the brand has made drastic changes and it definitely shows. My Honda Accord was my third and last Honda and I will not be going back.
I have now had my SX for a little over a month, its a big step up from my '96 Camry. I wanted a fun, reliable car that was comfortable with luxury amenities that could handle my 90 mi round trip commute, yet was fun. I looked at Audi A3 (D), Ford Fusion, Focus, VW Golf (D) and decided the best bang for my buck was the Kia Optima. I got leather, fun, outstanding warranty, great design, all the fancy features I wanted, none of the add ons I didn't want. I paid $29,200 out the door for a white 2012 Kia Optima with Touring and Premium Package (no nav), I talked them down by using email, it helped a lot rather than on the phone or in person, allowed me time to choose words carefully.