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2013 Kia Optima Preview

Automotive columnist: , Updated:

Pros and Cons*

The 2013 Kia Optima provides a lot of bang for the buck, which is definitely its main competitive advantage. The driver-oriented instrument cluster, inspired design, great fit and finish, generous cabin space, well-balanced chassis and choice of engines combine to give the Optima a definite leg up on its competitors.


On the flipside, absence of an all-wheel drive option, overly firm suspension, and poor quality original equipment tires contribute to lower the overall comfort level of the Optima.

The 2013 Kia Optima is available in seven different configurations.

The LX, which starts at $23,450, is equipped with standard air conditioning; steering wheel mounted controls, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, AUX and USB ports as well as heated front seats.

You’ll need an extra $2,400 to add the ECO-ACTIVE automatic transmission, power driver seat and rear air vents. The LX is the only model equipped with manual transmission as standard.

The LX+ comes with standard automatic transmission, auto-dimming rear view mirrors, compass and panoramic roof, with a starting price of $27,250.

Base price for the EX model is $28,250, which adds additional equipment including, backup camera, push start/stop button, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather covered steering and shifter knob, leather seats and UVO infotainment system.

The EX+, at $29,650, comes standard with panoramic roof

The $30,550 EX is equipped with standard 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder. In addition to EX+ standard equipment, the turbo has additional sport grille, larger brakes, wheel-mounted paddle shifters and rear spoiler. An extra $1,400 is required for the panoramic roof.

The Ex Luxury model is powered by a normally-aspirated 2.4 litre engine and is equipped with standard heated seats and steering, 18-inch alloy wheels and Infinity audio system, at a MSRP of $32,350 (or $33,850 with navigation package).

The turbocharged SX model starts at $35,450 and benefits from the complete lineup of available options.

Fuel Economy
The manual transmission and 2.4 litre engine combination delivers fuel economy ratings of 8.7 L/100 km city and 5.7 L/100 km highway while automatic transmission versions benefit from a 0.1 L/100 km reduction in overall fuel economy.

Turbocharged ratings consist of 9.2 L/100 km city and 5.8 L/100 km highway.

Exterior Styling
This mid-size sedan benefits from an exceptionally inspired, refined overall appearance. The triangular foglights, two-piece grille and flowing taillights make it unique.

The base model 2.4 litre engine produces 200 hp and 186 lb-ft torque. It can be mated to both a manual or automatic 6-speed transmission.

The available 2.0 litre turbocharged engine delivers 274 hp and 269 lb-ft torque. The automatic is the only transmission option.

A hybrid version is also available.

Cargo Capacity

The 436 litre of available trunk space is on par with the Optima’s main competitors.

Brake-assist, six airbags, electronic stability and traction control as well as an impacting-sensing system are some of the main safety features of the 2013 Kia Optima.

Comparable Models

Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Avenger, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat.

2013 Kia Optima side view
Photo: Kia

Joubert Antoine, L’annuel de l’automobile 2013, Montréal Transcontinental, 2012, p.340
Lachapelle Marc, Le guide de l’auto 2013, Montréal, Les éditions de l’Homme, 2012, p.360

2013 Kia Optima
kia optima 2013
2013 Kia Optima
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