Flash Drive: 2013 KIA Optima

2013 KIA OptimaBy Bruce Caldwell

Model Tested: 2013 KIA Optima SX Limited

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, 274 hp, 269 lb/ft

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, Front Wheel Drive

EPA Ratings: 22-mpg city/34-mpg highway

Base Price: $26,800

As Tested: $35,470


  • Turbocharged 4-cylinder has V6 power
  • True sports sedan performance, but capable of 30+ mpg
  • Reasonable compromise between sport suspension and ride quality
  • Excellent 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Solid, confident braking


  • Very generous front passenger legroom
  • Excellent front seats are heated and cooled
  • Heated rear seats
  • Excellent long trip comfort for all occupants
  • Panoramic sunroof makes interior bright and airy
  • High quality leather
  • Spacious back seat for large adults


  • Excellent windshield wipers
  • Big, deep trunk with flat floor and quality carpeting
  • Medium size pass-through
  • Moderate lift-over height
  • Slight slant to split folding rear seats
  • Big, bright reading lamps

WOW Factors:

  • Luxury sedan features at bargain prices
  • Impressive turbocharged performance
  • Sharp styling


  • A 6-speed manual transmission isn’t offered
  • Heated steering wheel is available on EX, but not SX models

Bottom Line:

The 2013 Kia Optima SX is a great car period and an outstanding car for the money. It’s a very handsome, contemporary sport sedan that exceeds expectations on every level.