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$7,769 - $10,241
$19,500 - $26,500

Pros & Cons

  • Top-notch interior materials
  • Excellent safety score
  • Small trunk opening




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Kia Optima Overview

The 2012 Kia Optima’s base engine offers more horsepower than many rivals, and most reviewers said the Optima has impressive acceleration. Critics wrote that the available turbocharged four-cylinder model’s acceleration is similar to the acceleration of the Optima’s V6-powered competitors. The Optima is available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder 2012 Optima gets an EPA-estimated 24/35 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. At 22/34 mpg city/highway, the turbocharged four-cylinder Optima exceeds the fuel economy of similarly-powered V6 models. As with most affordable midsize cars, test drivers felt that the Kia Optima has a comfortable ride. They said the Optima has nimble handling on twisty roads, nicely weighted steering and powerful brakes.

Critics said the 2012 Kia Optima has an attractive interior design and high-quality interior materials. Automotive journalists noted that head- and legroom in the front and rear seats should be adequate for most adults, although they mentioned that ordering the sunroof could limit headroom for taller occupants. At 15.4 cubic feet, the Optima’s trunk size is average for an affordable midsize car, though some critics said the trunk opening is small. The Optima comes standard with Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port and a cooled glove box. Available features include a panoramic moonroof, a rearview camera, Kia's UVO infotainment system, navigation and leather upholstery. The 2012 Kia Optima has an excellent safety score for the class.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Ford Fusion is another car that critics said has high-quality interior materials. It also has one of the largest trunks in the class. Test drivers said the Fusion has agile handling for a midsize car, and they appreciated the power provided by the available V6 engine. The 2012 Fusion won both our 2012 Best Affordable Midsize Car for Families award and our 2012 Best Affordable Midsize Car for the Money award.

Reviewers said the 2012 Hyundai Sonata has a comfortable ride, an attractive, modern interior design and comfortable front and rear seats. Like the Optima, the Sonata comes standard with Bluetooth, a USB port and satellite radio.

Compare the Optima, Fusion and Sonata »

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