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2013 Kia Optima Pros, Cons, Prices
And How To Get The Best
(See Also: "The Ultimate Kia Optima Negotiation Secret")
The 2013 Kia Optima is clearly among the leaders in the midsize sedan segment thanks to its head-turning design, capable engines and abundance of features for the dollar. But before making a final buying decision, it's best to consider both the good as well as potential problem areas. And if one decides to proceed with a purchase, it's also best to have a rock-solid plan for getting the absolute lowest price possible.
Before going into more detail and pricing below, the Optima's overall positives would include its stunning design, powerful and fuel-efficient engines, an attractive cabin, an abundance of features, excellent crash test scores, a long warranty and an impressive value. On the downside, its overall negatives would include tight headroom, elevated SX ride firmness and noise level, as well as uninspiring handling with the hybrid.
Both inside and out, the Optima's design is modern, sleek and refined, particularly for a family sedan ... and particularly for one in this price range. It simply gets stares as it drives by. And those who haven't been keeping up with the 'car world' who get a closer look at the cabin just can't believe it's a "Kia".
Powerful, Fuel-Efficent Engines:
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the LX and EX models impressively delivers 200 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, while getting an an EPA-estimated gas mileage rating of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway with either transmission. Powering the SX is a feisty 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet, while getting 22 mpg city and 34 highway. In performance tests, an SX was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds (8.9 for the other engine).
Under the hood of the Kia Optima Hybrid is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor that combined generates 206 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, with a fuel economy rating of 35 city and 40 highway. And it's still able to do the 0 to 60 sprint in just 8.4 seconds, which is quite quick for a hybrid.
The interiors of other top family sedans can usually be described with words such as "traditional", "average" and often even "bland". Quite to the contrary, the Optima's is sophisticated and lively with a distinctive European flavor. And this makes total sense once you know that Kia's head designer came from Audi. Of course, it's still not an Audi, but there's loads of well-designed features and soft-touch materials. Even the hard plastics are higher grade.
There's simply a lot of features for a vehicle in this price range. Even the base LX model comes already well-equipped with standard features such as full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth phone connectivity, keyless entry, traction control, stability control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
Opting for an upper model adds more goodies, while even upscale features most rivals don't offer, such as a panoramic sunroof or ventilated front seats, are available as options. And the Technology Package, for example, adds navigation, a touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, real-time traffic and HD radio.
Safety: Top Crash Test Scores:
In government crash testing, the Optima was given a five-star rating (out of five stars) for overall safety performance, consisting of five-star ratings for both overall frontal-impact and side-impact occupant protection. In addition, standard safety features across all models include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, side airbags, side curtain airbags and hill start assist.
The Optima's warranty is one of the best in the business. The standard warrranty covers 5 years / 60,000 miles, while the Drivetrain warranty extends to 10 years/100,000 miles. Their Roadside Assistance coverage is also 5 years/60,000 miles and their Rust warranty is for 5 years/100,000 miles.
When compared to other class leaders such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat and Ford Fusion, the Optima simply offers more for less. That's not to say any of these rivals don't have their own individual advantages, but given the overall package of design, features, performance, build quality and warranty, the Optima offers an awful lot of car for the dollar.
Potential buyers should bear in mind that headroom could be somewhat of a problem for taller passengers. And while interior space is adequate, cars like the Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat are roomier. Rear headroom can be particularly tight due to the vehicle's attractive but sloping roof line. Opting for the optional panoramic sunroof reduces headroom further.
SX Ride Quality and Road Noise:
While the LX and EX models provide a generally smooth and comfortable ride over the most typical road conditions, the SX's firmer suspension can cause it to ride on the harsh side over bumps and rough spots. In addition, its sport-tuned suspension along with its larger wheels and tires contribute to added road noise.
The hybrid certainly looks good and in some situations offers impressive acceleration for a hybrid. But while driving at low speeds or quickly changing city traffic, it can lurch a bit while the transmission is settling on the proper gear. Its steering is also numbish and the regenerative braking system's engagement is unimpressive.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best, bottomline, out-the-door-price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Not only is this doable, but it's also very easy ... much easier than most car buyers can possibly imagine and done right from the safety of your own home or office. Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Kia Optima.
Good luck and all the best,