2013 Kia Optima Review
2013 Kia Optima Review
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Used Optima for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Solid acceleration with any of the engines
- handsome cabin
- ample feature content
- top crash scores
- conventional gasoline models offer impressive value
- lengthy warranty.
- Tight on rear-seat headroom
- real-world mpg historically falls short of EPA estimates
- odd brake response in hybrid model.
The top-of-the-line Limited trim level debuts for 2013. The EX Turbo trim has been discontinued. The Kia Optima Hybrid is now offered in two trim levels, and both feature a revised hybrid drivetrain that lifts the car's EPA numbers in trade for a slightly lower horsepower rating.
The 2013 Kia Optima is one of our top picks for a midsize sedan. With evocative styling, strong engine choices and a long list of features, it's easy to see why.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2013 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.26 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize Car
Family sedans should not look this good. This would be the conventional wisdom, anyway. But the 2013 Kia Optima does not follow conventional wisdom. Its styling and interior design are not only sleek, sophisticated and timelessly handsome for a family sedan, but also impressive for any car, period. Driving an Optima down a crowded street draws double-takes from bystanders and then inevitable squinting as they attempt to identify the badge on its tail. A look of confusion usually follows as the answer turns out to be "Kia."
Behind the pretty face is a well-rounded midsize sedan with a long list of positive attributes. It starts under the hood with a choice of four-cylinder engines (one is turbocharged) that produce exceptional power and fuel efficiency. There's even the Kia Optima Hybrid model, and the automaker has made changes to the hybrid drivetrain for 2013 to improve its smoothness and efficiency in traffic. The 2013 Optima Hybrid LX earns 36 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined EPA ratings, up from last year's 34 city/39 highway/36 combined. Alongside that, the overall horsepower rating on the hybrid has declined slightly (206 versus 199 previously), though the effect on acceleration is negligible.
As with any Kia model, the Optima sedan gives you plenty of features for your money. Even the base LX model, for instance, comes standard with items such as alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth and an iPod/USB audio interface. The Optima can also be had with sophisticated features like ventilated front seats and a panoramic sunroof -- items unavailable on most competitors. A long warranty is another dollars-and-sense attribute.
Of course, the Optima isn't perfect. Headroom might be an issue for some passengers, especially those seated in back, and the cabin in general is less spacious than the confines in the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat. Also be mindful that your mileage is likely to vary from Kia's lofty EPA estimates. Overall, though, the 2013 Kia Optima is a great family sedan choice that boasts equal parts style and sensibility. The mechanically related 2013 Hyundai Sonata pulls off a similar trick, and we suspect the eye-catching new 2013 Ford Fusion is likely to as well. However, if you're looking to go beyond conventional wisdom -- as well as the conventional family sedan -- the 2013 Kia Optima is a great place to start.
Performance & mpg
Every 2013 Kia Optima is front-wheel drive. The LX and EX come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. In California-emissions states, this engine has a Super Ultra Low Emissions rating (versus Ultra-Low elsewhere), and it has a lower power output of 192 hp and 181 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the LX, and a six-speed automatic is optional. The automatic comes standard on the EX.
In Edmunds performance testing, a loaded Optima EX in SULEV form went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, which is average for the class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined regardless of transmission.
The SX is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. In Edmunds testing, the SX went from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is an average time for a family sedan of similar power. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22/34/26, which is theoretically superb, but we struggled to meet those numbers in the course of a year-long test of the Optima SX.
The Optima Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. Combined power output is rated at 199 hp. During testing, a 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid EX accelerated to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, about the same as the Fusion Hybrid but quite a bit slower than the last Camry Hybrid we tested. The Optima Hybrid LX model earns 36 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined EPA ratings, while the heavier EX model rates only 35 city/39 highway/37 combined.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Kia Optima include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, side airbags, side curtain airbags and hill start assist. A rearview camera is optional on regular gasoline Optimas and standard on the Optima Hybrid.
In Edmunds brake testing, an Optima EX came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is average for the class. The SX made this stop in 125 feet, still acceptable for this class. A 2013 Optima Hybrid needed 129 feet -- better than the Fusion Hybrid but not as good as the hybrid Camry.
In government crash tests, the Optima earned a top five-star rating for overall safety performance, with five stars awarded for both overall frontal and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Optima a top score of Good in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The IIHS gave the Kia an Acceptable rating (second highest) in its new small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.
The 2013 Kia Optima rides comfortably without isolating you from the environment, although the car's numb steering with its artificially high effort is less praiseworthy. The overall driving experience is certainly pleasant and better than average for the segment. The SX is sportier, though some may find its ride too firm.
Both of the regular four-cylinder engines are impressive. They produce best-in-class power and are paired with responsive and smooth-shifting transmissions. We've found both versions enjoyable for commuting to and from the office.
Most drivers will find the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid's performance more than adequate as well. You'll scarcely notice the transitions between gas and electric power in traffic, and there's ample power for passing maneuvers. However, you won't find it any easier to hit the Optima Hybrid's EPA fuel economy numbers than in other Kia Optimas.
The biggest thing you'll have to get used to in the Optima Hybrid is the odd braking response: Due to the blending of the car's conventional brakes with the hybrid regenerative braking system, there's a small but noticeable delay between pressing the brake pedal and actually getting the desired braking force. That said, this is a peculiarity of driving the hybrid more than anything else, as our testing has shown that the car has plenty of braking power for repeated, hard stops.
First impressions of the 2013 Kia Optima's interior are usually favorable. Whereas most other family sedans in this segment fall somewhere between sedate and bland, the Optima has a distinct European flair. That should come as no surprise when you consider that Kia's chief designer used to work for Audi. While the Kia's interior isn't as sumptuous as an Audi's, there's an abundance of soft-touch materials, and any hard plastics are at least well textured.
Kia's Uvo (pronounced "yoo-voh") electronics interface system is now available on all but the conventional gasoline LX model. Similar to Ford's Sync system (both are powered by Microsoft), Uvo provides voice control of cell phones and MP3 players as well as other services such as turn-by-turn navigation. In our testing of Uvo, we've found that it works quite well, although we prefer the setup in the 2014 Sorento, which allows you to combine Uvo with a navigation system. That said, the touchscreen interface in navigation-equipped Optimas is easy to use for both navigation purposes and operating the stereo.
The Optima has a fairly spacious cabin, with comfortable seats and a useful amount of legroom front and rear. Headroom (particularly in back) is a bit tight due to the car's rakish, coupelike roof line. Taller folks should definitely think twice about the optional panoramic sunroof, as it further decreases headroom. The Optima's 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space is about average for its class, but the Optima Hybrid's trunk offers considerably less space due to intrusion from the hybrid battery pack.
2013 Kia Optima models
The 2013 Kia Optima is a midsize sedan. For the conventional gasoline-powered Optima, there are LX, EX and SX trim levels. The Kia Optima Hybrid comes in LX and EX trims only.
The gasoline-powered LX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The LX Convenience package adds an eight-way power driver seat, driver lumbar adjustment and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, while the Technology package adds dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, HD radio, navigation with real-time traffic updates and a rearview camera.
The Optima Hybrid LX is equipped similarly to the regular LX, but comes standard with automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry and a rearview camera. The Convenience package items are also optional for the hybrid LX. The upgraded sound system and nav system are not available, but you can get Kia's Uvo voice-activated phone and media player interface as an option.
The gas-powered Optima EX trim includes all the Convenience package items and adds 17-inch wheels, keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, rear air vents, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, upgraded dash trim and floor mats. The Technology package remains optional on the EX.
The Optima Hybrid EX has all the Tech package items as standard (except for the nav system) along with auto-leveling xenon HID headlights. You can get navigation as an option on the EX hybrid, but it deletes the Uvo interface. Uvo is part of the optional Premium package for the regular EX model, but again, can't be had in combination with navigation. The Premium package also includes a panoramic sunroof, power-folding mirrors, the rearview camera and HD radio, a four-way power passenger seat, driver memory functions, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
The SX adds a turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, unique exterior and interior styling elements, the HID headlights, steering-wheel-mounted transmission paddle shifters, upgraded gauges and cloth/leather upholstery. As on the EX, you have your choice of the Technology and Premium packages, which allow you to add the Uvo interface or navigation, but not both. There's also the SX Limited package, which bundles 18-inch chrome wheels, red-painted brake calipers, additional chrome trim, LED running lamps, SXL exterior badging, the nav system, an electronic parking brake, a first aid kit and upgraded leather upholstery.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Never thought I'd own a Kia
2013 Kia Optima EX Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Well, I bought a Kia... Man was that a great move! Keep in mind Im a Honda kind of guy and how dare I walk away from the accord models that have done me right for so many years?! Well, After weeks of comparing and constrating numbers and figures (warranty, mpg, price) I did it, In the summer of 2014 (June to be exact) I purchased a used 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid EX with 17,500 miles for … $21,597.88 (ttt). Let me be the first to tell you the step up from an accord to this beauty was a life changer. The ergonomics of this car just makes me feel like I'm at home. Oh and the features well she's loaded nothing spared for the best! It may sound like I'm joking but the luster I have for this car is still present today. So let's get to the nuts and bolts! How is she today(12 July 2016) (I'm referring to the optima)? She has approx. 127k miles on her... Yes 127,000 miles. Any problems?! Yes, the backup camera doesn't work all the time. Well... Anything else?! No, I change my oil every 4K miles (full synthetic mobile 1), I have put two sets of tires on her, one K&N air filter, 6 cabin air filters, regular fluid changes, and she still spits out avg 33mpg. I have 99 problems but a Hybrid component ain't one. Now keep in mind I drive 1000 miles a week on avg. she has been in two accidents (cosmetic damages), but has never left me stranded or in distress (knock on wood). I will tell anyone who is looking for a reliable vehicle to consider Kia. I plan on putting another 150k miles on her before I retire her so I'll keep you posted when I hit 200k. Until then drive Kia and stop texting and driving!
5 out of 5 stars
WAY impressed with this car!
2013 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Went shopping for a used Optima the minute I realized it was 'car time'. Found a used 2013 with 44K on it, and almost dismissed it out of hand for high miles, until I drove it, then ...WOW! Like it just rolled off factory floor. Loaded EX with ALL the bells and whistles. Have had it for 7 months and another 6K, and I cant find the slightest flaw. Getting about 24 MPG around town, and up … to 38MPG on hwy, so I do NOT understand the MPG complaints I've read here. Car drives like it's on rails, and very quiet. My wife has the 2011 Sonata Limited so we're always comparing cars, and she'll admit, the Optima is the better of the 2. For the price, you can't beat it 4 years old now, and still drives like new. 72,000 miles and you cant feel ANY of them. Car is as new. Still getting great mileage and loving all the features. I'll drive this for at least another 6 years (I try to do 10 years on all my cars) without any worries. Other than tires and oil changes, no expense yet! 5 years of ownership now, and still loving this car. Not a day of trouble, and over 78K on it now. Still tight, quiet, and getting me up to 34 MPG on trips. Would 'highly' recommend this vehicle to any potential buyer. I'm sold on Kia. 6 years in...same story holds. Not a SINGLE issue with this car! 84K and performing perfectly. Tight, quiet, comfortable, economic...what else could you ask for. Now granted, I don't abuse it, but I don't baby it either. If you can find one used, don't hesitate to buy, it's going to give you many years of enjoyable driving at an unbelievable value. OK, now 8 years of ownership, and over 106K on the car, and still amazed with it! With the price of used cars, it's almost worth what I paid for it, and I may NEVER sell. When I bought it, dealer threw in a 100K warranty, and I never needed it. Now that it's expired, I still feel confident taking it on long trips without concern. 2 sets of tires, 2 sets of brakes, scheduled oil changes, almost nothing else. If you can find one used, especially in this market, grab it! OK, Now nearing 112K, and almost 9 years of ownership. Car still looks and runs new! If my driver seat wasn't showing signs of wear, the car could still be as good as new. Still just oil changes, tires, and gas..it's incredible. All mechanicals and electronics function as from day 1.Cost of ownership has been nominal, and now that a replacement would be well over $40K, I'll be happily driving it for several more years.
3 out of 5 stars
Kia Optima SXL 2.0 Turbo Blown Engine
2013 Kia Optima EX Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
At 80,00 miles I had to replace the engine. In total I spent $5,500 for the engine replacement at the Kia Dealership. They said the cause of it was "metal to metal rod bearings". According to kia I was to blame for not using a KIA GENUINE oil filter. Because I did not use their oil filter somehow metal got in my oil and ruined the engine. Thats a bunch of BS. I read multiple peoples … accounts of the same experience with their KIA optima. I saw on the news where Hyundai recalled the same engine this car has. Clearly they need to investigate the optima engine as well. KIA doesn't care about their customers.
3.88 out of 5 stars
2013 Kia Optima SX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
the Kia Optima we purchased was our third, we had an Amanti, we purchased a Sorento for our son, and now we have an Optima. the car ran great but it blew the engine. the repairs approved was a re-manufactured engine. Every mechanic I have spoken to said that a new engine in a 1 1/2 year old car with 21,500 miles was the correct repair NOT a re-manufactured engine. If you want a vehicle … that will be repaired properly, stay AWAY From KIA.
2013 Kia Optima Sedan Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 24 City / 35 Hwy / 28 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 200 hp @ 6300 rpm
- Torque: 186 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
- Length: 190.7 in. / Height: 57.3 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 72.1 in.
- Curb Weight: 3223 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.4 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver3 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat3 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.6%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2013 Kia Optima
Used 2013 Kia Optima Overview
The Used 2013 Kia Optima is offered in the following submodels: Optima Sedan, Optima Hybrid. Available styles include EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), EX Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and LX Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). Pre-owned Kia Optima models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 274 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2013 Kia Optima comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2013 Kia Optima comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Kia Optima?
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Kia Optima trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Kia Optima LX is priced between $8,995 and$17,998 with odometer readings between 24485 and153658 miles.
- The Used 2013 Kia Optima EX is priced between $10,498 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 9091 and130179 miles.
- The Used 2013 Kia Optima SX is priced between $15,495 and$21,998 with odometer readings between 43249 and111067 miles.
- The Used 2013 Kia Optima LX Hybrid is priced between $15,990 and$17,998 with odometer readings between 76309 and105924 miles.
- The Used 2013 Kia Optima EX Hybrid is priced between $15,990 and$18,998 with odometer readings between 29198 and102342 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2013 Kia Optimas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Kia Optima for sale near. There are currently 76 used and CPO 2013 Optimas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,995 and mileage as low as 9091 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Kia Optima.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Kia Optima?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.