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2012 Kia Optima Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Kia Optima was new.


Interior: 8.3

Automotive writers are impressed with the 2012 Kia Optima’s interior. They like its roomy trunk, spacious seating and high-quality materials. Most of all, they gush over the number of standard features that come in the base Optima, including things like Bluetooth, a USB iPod jack and a cooled glove box. The only complaints are about the seats. Some reviewers want more padding and note a lack of headroom in the back seat.

  • "Materials appear high-quality throughout, and controls move with precision." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Now competing grille-to-grille with the big Japanese and U.S. manufacturers, Kia can’t skimp on presentation or features, a fact immediately apparent after our first look in the well-coordinated Optima interior." -- Road and Track
  • “The interior design is fresh, appointed with top-level materials - and not at all reminiscent of the less-inspired Sonata's. In fact, we doubt most people would know by looking at the Kia and Hyundai that the two are related." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "This is one good-looking sedan, and it is matched by an equally good-looking and easy-to-use interior.” -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2012 Kia Optima features a spacious cabin, with plenty of room for adult passengers. While reviewers commend the space in the Optima’s interior, a few wish the front seats were more supportive. Others point out a lack of headroom in the back seat. Although cloth seats are standard, buyers can option their seats with leather, as well as cooling and heating functions for the front seats. Even heated rear seats are available.

  • "The seating is firmly supportive and the cockpit styling lends a sporting feel." -- Road and Track
  • "Most adults should have adequate headroom and legroom, although the available panoramic sunroof's housing cuts into headroom slightly for tall drivers. Seats are comfortable and supportive." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The front seats have ample adjustment range, but after a few hours' driving I could feel harder pieces of the seat underneath the cushioning." -- Cars.com
  • "The Kia Optima is a five-seat mid-size segment passenger car that has an interior that the EPA will probably consider a full size interior." -- Left Lane News 

Interior Features

The 2012 Kia Optima has enough standard features to make you forget you’re in an affordable midsize car. The base model comes with satellite radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth, a cooling glove box and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

Overall, reviewers are pleased with the interior features in the Optima, noting that the cabin is well laid-out and that the tech features are easy to use.

  • "Standard air-conditioned glovebox is a nice touch that helps keep water bottles cool." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Options like a panoramic roof, heated steering wheel and heated and cooled front seats (including rear bun warmers!) are unheard of in this segment, and sitting in a fully-loaded SX for a few minutes is enough to make one wonder if Kia won't lure more than a few premium-badge buyers for their troubles." -- Autoblog
  • "We're talking about niceties like heated steering wheel, heated-and-ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats (the center of the bench isn't heated), panoramic sunroof and a glovebox that offers a cooling function. Stuff you can brag to your neighbors about." -- Kelley Blue Book


Reviewers are impressed with the 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the 2012 Kia Optima, which is more than what most competitors offer. The Mazda6 and Ford Fusion have more trunk room though. One test driver notes that the opening is somewhat small, which makes it difficult to load larger items.

  • "Trunk space is ample, but a fairly small opening and sickle-shaped hinges limit usefulness somewhat. The 60/40 split rear seat backs fold forward to increase cargo room, but the pass-through opening is rather small, and the resulting load floor isn't flat. Interior small-item storage is good." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Trunk volume, however, is impressive: At 15.4 cubic feet, the Optima beats most of the class." -- Cars.com

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