I purchased a new Kia Optima in 2014. It was a good looking car, but by the time I had 30k miles I started having problems: rattling Windows that after 3 visits to the dealership was never resolved; hit a bump in the road, no audio or display until I learned to pull the fuse and re-insert it to force a reboot; I had to replace the tires twice and purchase a new battery before 40k miles and the last straw was when I learned I needed new brakes at 45k, at which time I traded it in for a new Toyota. Save yourself the frustration - bypass this brand. I've had many cars in my lifetime and only Mazda was as bad as Kia.
We have owned our 2014 Optima LX for over a year now. over all, we are happy with the car. Plenty of power, good cornering, nice ride, very sharp design.
The front passenger seat is very low. I had to buy a cushion for my wife. The back seats are a bit low also. The steering could be a bit firmer. We have the car in for service now with a coolant leak. This is our first Kia so we will see about the reliability. It is fun to drive so I hope it is a keeper.
The Optima does have a sport sedan feel to it and it handles better than many of the midsize sedans that we test drove.
The looks of the car attracted us also.
The interior materials are quite good also.
Our mpg has been good with about 25 in town and 35 on trips.
Higher back seats and front passenger seat
Firmer power steering.
2014 Kia Optima Sedan SXL Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Bought the loaded Optima SXL a year ago for 32k after rebates. The car so far has been a pleasure to own - spacious trunk, soft ride, comfy seats, quiet interior. However, there are some downsides. First of all, the mileage on the turbo is terrible. I drive mostly in the city, and I get 15mpg on average in normal mode. Tried putting it in Eco, but the car becomes completely unresponsive and dangerous. Second, the moonroof takes a lot of space: I'm 5'10 and I repeatedly hit my head on the roof when going over bumps. Finally, Pandora integration is terrible compared to Mazda and Accord. Overall, it's a decent car for the money, but I wish I've gotten Optima Hybrid or new Sonata Eco instead.
The car is packed with enough features to rival luxury brands - ventilated seats, cross traffic alert, HID lights, etc. Soft ride, quiet interior, spacious trunk.
Eco mode is rubbish - the car feels slow and completely unresponsive. UVO system has terrible Pandora integration compared to Mazda and Accord. Mileage leaves much to be desired. Moonroof takes too much space.