Skip to main content

Featured Post

Amazon's Black Friday Sale Begins: See What's On Offer

Amazon's Black Friday Sale is finally here. Here are some of the best deals on now.
We've had our fingers poised over our keyboards long enough in anticipation of Amazon's Black Friday Sale, which went live at midnight and will last until 25 November.

2013 Kia Optima

The 2013 Kia Optima adds generous dashes of style and sophistication to what's otherwise a sensible, frugal, and spacious mid-size sedan. Handsome exteriorSporty, simply instrument layoutGreat gas mileageShort, flat front seatsEntry/exit to the back seatsNo UVO if you want navigation STYLEENGINEDRIVE-TYPEINVOICEMSRP LX 4dr Sedan EX 4dr Sedan SX 4dr Sedan SX w/Limited Pkg 4dr Sedan

The Optima may very well be the hero in the story of Kia brand transformation. Completely redesigned in 2011, the Optima went from bland and shapeless to one of the best-looking sedans in the mid-size class. It came with sophisticated new drivetrains and excellent handling, and Kia went suddenly from the outfield into the heat of the competition. Today, it's still one of the most handsome vehicles on the road, and in many cases, the rest of the segment is still playing catch-up with this sleek, well-equipped sedan.

Though rivals like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima are new this year, at best they meet the Optima's racy look head-on. Its crisp, distinct styling direction is nearly the opposite of the more exuberant, sculptural look that's all over the Hyundai lineup and the Sonata sedan, which is closely related. With sporty, European detailing, a low roofline, stretched headlamps, and a nifty upkick in back, it's focused and exciting, with an athletic stance and some flashy wheel designs. Inside, the Optima doesn't make waves in the same way, but it's a classy, minimalist cockpit look, reminding us of Audi's interiors of a few years ago, with a wide rectangular bank of controls canted toward the driver.

There are three different performance flavors for the Optima--all including a four-cylinder engine under the hood--and each of them caters to a different type of driver. Base cars have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection, 200 horsepower and just a touch of unremarkable noise and vibration when it's wound out. A manual six-speed is offered; we've tested the six-speed automatic, which teams expertly with the four. On top of the complexity curve is the Hybrid, which teams up the basic four-cylinder with electric motors and batteries that, in our opinion, could use more work on smoothing and integrating the juddering that sometimes comes at midrange speeds, when the hybrid drivetrain drops gas power to operate on electric charge alone. With all powertrains, highway gas mileage hits a minimum of 33 mpg in turbos, with four-cylinders hitting a stellar 35 mpg and hybrids reaching to a rated 39 mpg. We've had difficulty hitting the hybrid's high-water marks, but the basic Optima offers repeatable, real-world gas mileage that's tops in its class, and equal to some economy cars.

No matter which engine you pick, the Optima rides and handles well with its independent suspension, giving the Optima a quick, nimble feel. Key to that is electric power steering that's somehow tuned in a more agreeable way than that of the Sonata; it feels precise yet requires fewer small adjustments on the highway. Ride quality is on the firm side, but comfortable enough, and quiet over coarse surfaces.

The Optima's interior offers good back seat space--enough for three across--although the roofline can make getting in and out a little harder. Front seats in the Optima also have flat, short cushions, which can cut into the kind of long-distance comfort that the Accord delivers mile after mile. But with heated and cooled front seats available--heated back seats, too--the Optima and the back seats can be heated, too.

With top safety ratings from the IIHS (including the new Top Safety Pick+ rating) and the federal government likely to carry over, the 2013 Kia Optima is one of the most secure family-car picks. A Bluetooth interface is standard, a rearview camera system is available.

Across the lineup, in fact, features remain a strength. The 2013 Optima is a strong value, with standard power features, cruise control, a USB port and satellite radio. Even mid-level EX trims get things like dual-zone climate control and a smart-key system, with options for leather trim, a panoramic sunroof and Infinity audio. Infotainment is the only weakness of the Optima's feature list. UVO, Kia's flavor of the Microsoft-written software also sold as Ford's SYNC, has fewer voice commands than the Ford system, but the issue is that if you want this system, you can't get the navigation system. And if you get nav, you instead get the same simpler Bluetooth system that base Optimas have. UVO gets replaced in the 2014 model year by a smartphone-driven system; it's the one reason you may want to look ahead to a newer Optima than this one.
Handsome exteriorSporty, simply instrument layoutGreat gas mileageDecent handlingGood value for the moneyShort, flat front seatsEntry/exit to the back seatsNo UVO if you want navigation


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Does Amazon's New FireTV Stick 4K Do It All

HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos... Yup!
It seems like every year a new format comes along to make all our "old" gear obsolete. For audio video afficionados, those latest formats include Dolby Atmos immersive sound, and three different flavors of High Dynamic Range for enhanced picture quality. The three HDR flavors currently on the market include HDR 10 (the most common), HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ promise better picture quality than standard HDR 10 by using something called "dynamic meta data." Basically they're able to shift around the required storage bits on a scene-by-scene basis to get the best dynamic range out of movies and TV shows that are encoded in the format.

Amazon Echo Plus (Second-Gen) Review

The second-gen Amazon Echo Plus is shorter, louder and better-looking than ever. What's not to like? Here's our review.
Should I Buy The Amazon Echo Plus (2nd-gen)?
The new Echo Plus offers a radical redesign compared to the original, ditching the plastic body for a fabric mesh housing that helps the speaker blend into the home environment. It’s not only better-looking either, as a larger speaker and tweeter provide improved audio quality and Dolby Play 360 audio support helps fills the room with music. What’s not to like?

Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse Best-Value Activity Tracker Review

You will not find an activity tracker that offers better value than Xiaomi's Mi Band Pulse. We put the upgraded Mi Band to the test in our Xiaomi Mi Band 1S review.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse?
With a tougher band addressing our issues with the original, and a new heart-rate sensor bringing it into line with rival activity trackers, you quite simply won't find a better-value fitness band than the Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse. It still falls down on social interaction, apps and its use of a proprietary charging cable, but given the price we can accept these shortcomings.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: The Best Cheap Fitness Tracker Money Can Buy

The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is the best cheap fitness tracker we’ve seen. Read our Mi Band 2 review to find out what’s new in this excellent-value budget activity tracker.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi Band 2?
With a new OLED screen the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 offers better value than ever. We’d like to see better integration with third-party apps, but at this price the Mi Band 2 is impossible to fault.

2019 BMW M5 Review

The 2019 BMW M5 sedan is a high-performance luxury car without compromise and few rivals.
The 2019 BMW M5 high-performance sedan gives us all of the feels.
The digital wizardry from the last generation is still there, but this year’s version integrates the human into the experience. It’s a better feeling super sedan on a super budget. For 2019, BMW added an M5 Competition version that bumps power output to 617 horsepower (up from 600 hp in the M5), bigger wheels and a handful of small performance tweaks. The M5 Competition starts at a rich $110,000, give or take, up from the M5’s asking price of more than $103,000.

Like Fan Page