2016 Kia Optima: No Insider Access
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 8, 2016
Our long-term 2016 Kia Optima has a good-sized 15.8-cu-ft trunk that further benefits from a low and wide opening. Those rear seatback releases in the trunk are an added bonus, which means if you need to transport longer items, you won't need to climb into the rear seats to unlatch them.
A lot of manufacturers are doing this now and it's a good thing. But...
There is no latch inside the passenger compartment to fold the rear seats. Maybe I have an unusual parking situation that makes this a bigger problem than it is, but hear me out. In my carport, I back into a spot as close as I can to the wall on the passenger side. So close, in fact, that those doors won't open and the trunk can't be accessed, either.
I usually put cargo in the rear seats or footwells to get around this, but some things need to be transported in the trunk. I'd normally wrestle those things through the passageway behind the seatbacks, but the lack of interior releases won't let me. Instead, I stop about halfway into the parking spot, pop the trunk and either unlatch the seatbacks or unload the trunk next to the car.
Note to manufacturers: we like the trunk releases, but please keep the latches on the inside, too. Ok, thanks, bye.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 2,592 miles