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Kia Optima 2012 sedan
The Optima is Kia's version of the Hyundai Sonata, and falls short of its corporate cousin in ride comfort, braking, and fuel economy. It has responsive and very secure handling, but the ride is borderline stiff and road noise is noticeable. The standard 200-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine performs well. Top-level trims get a turbocharged four-cylinder that's economical and powerful but not as refined as competitors' V6 engines. An unrefined hybrid is also available. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seat is low. The coupe-like styling detracts from rear visibility and access.

See Reliability page for the latest 2012 Kia Optima recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS available, standard from 2009. Side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2007. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2010.

Road Test

The Kia Optima stands out among typical humdrum midsized sedans with a well-tailored coupe-like silhouette. It also comes with a generous helping of standard equipment for the price. But look past these initial draws and the Optima proves quite ordin...


  • Sleek styling looks more expensive than it is
  • Generous list of optional upmarket features


  • Fuel economy could be better
  • Uplevel turbocharged models have stiffer ride and so-so engine refinement

Best Version to Get

We'd try to find an Optima LX with the Convenience Plus package in order to get the power driver's seat and rear camera. Our other favorite combination is the Optima EX with the Premium and Technology (navigation and blind spot monitoring) packages. This version includes all of the goodies, but...


2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (274 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 hybrid (206 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (200 hp)