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2013 Kia Optima Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Kia Optima was new.


Interior: 7.8

Auto critics like the 2013 Kia Optima’s large trunk and roomy cabin, though a few say that rear headroom is tight due to the Optima’s sloped roofline. Reviewers are most impressed with the wealth of tech and comfort features that are available in the Optima, noting that they are well above-average for the class. In terms of design and materials quality, most test drivers say the cabin’s styling stands out in the class due to its European look, which is a big compliment. One reviewer thinks there are a few cheap-looking plastic parts, but overall, critics think the Optima’s interior is upscale and attractive.

  • "First impressions of the 2013 Kia Optima's interior are exceptionally favorable. Where most other family sedans in this segment fall somewhere between sedate and bland, the Optima has a distinct European flair." -- Edmunds
  • "While we love the look of the 2013 Kia Optima sedan's interior, some of the plastic on the dash and steering wheel still lack the quality look and feel found in Honda, Mazda and even some GM and Ford products." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Materials appear high-quality throughout, and controls move with precision." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "If the Optima were a farmer, its standard-equipment crop would be bountiful." -- Car and Driver (2011)


Most reviewers think the 2013 Kia Optima has plenty of room for adult passengers, but they note that the sloping roofline decreases back-seat headroom. One test driver wishes the front seats were more supportive for longer road trips. The Optima has more upscale seating options than most cars in this class. Buyers can add leather seats, cooled and heated front seats and heated rear seat bottoms, and all trims come standard with at least a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat.

  • "The front seats are pretty comfortable for tall folks, but the Optima's sharply-raked rear roofline may cause some headroom issues for the rear-seat passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Optima has a fairly spacious cabin, with comfortable seats and a useful amount of legroom front and rear. Headroom (particularly in back) is a bit tight due to the car's rakish, coupelike roof line." -- Edmunds
  • "The available leather upholstery makes the cabin feel classy. The ability to get heated and cooled front seats, a heated rear seat, and a heated steering wheel in a car in this price class is practically unheard of." -- 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 (2011)

Interior Features

Standard features on the 2013 Kia Optima are above-average for the class and include satellite radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth, a cooling glove box and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The Optima can be equipped with an eight-speaker Infinity surround-sound audio system, HD Radio, navigation, a rearview camera, Kia’s Uvo infotainment system, push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control with back-seat vents.

Overall, reviewers are happy with the interior features in the 2013 Optima, saying that the cabin is well-laid-out and that the tech features are easy to use. Many are also impressed that so many upscale features are available on a midsize car from Kia.

See 2013 Kia Optima specs »

  • "In our limited testing of Uvo, we found it to work quite well. For those cars with navigation, you get a touchscreen interface that's easy to use for both navigation and operating the stereo alike." -- Edmunds
  • "Backlit, inset gauges are easy to see in most any lighting condition. This is in direct contrast to the steering-wheel buttons, which are not well-lit at all." -- 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 (2011)
  • "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 (2011)


Reviewers are impressed with the 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space in the 2013 Kia Optima, which is more than what many competitors offer. One test driver says that the trunk 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 (2011)

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