TEST DRIVES

2013 Kia Optima SX Limited: Upscale Motoring

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Michelin

Okay folks, brace yourself. Think about a Kia Optima with a price tag just north of $35,000. Are you still laughing? If you are I encourage you to visit your local Kia dealership and see firsthand how the upstart cousin of Korean brand Hyundai is moving the scale upwards towards full luxury. By the way, while you are there also check out the new Cadenza which AWG will review in the near future. It’s larger with even more luxury than the Optima, and it’s drop dead gorgeous. But for that matter, so was my test Optima SX Limited.

Finished with a gorgeous Pearl White exterior, and dark tinted full panoramic sunroof, the Kia screams Italian design, with a high beltline and curves in all the right places.

My test SX Limited was outfitted with the optional SX Premium Touring Package that includes the aforementioned panoramic sunroof, power folding outside mirrors, impressive Infinity audio system, rear camera, heated and cooled front seats, and heated outboard rear seats and more.

The optional SX Technology package adds a navigation system with Sirius traffic, while the optional Limited Package adds red brake calipers, LED Daytime Running Lights, 18″chrome wheels, Nappa Leather seats and interior trim, electronic parking brake, chrome accent rear spoiler and more.

All of this is in addition to what Kia makes standard on the base Optima SX Limited, which includes Electric Power Steering, a 2.0-liter Direct Injection turbocharged engine, six speed automatic transmission, HID headlights and LED Tail Lights, heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, push button start, metal pedals and door sill plates, trip computer and much, much more.

And let’s not forget a full suite of safety gear, including six airbags, Hill Assist Control, Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brakes, and Vehicle Stability Management. Toss in Kia’s remarkable 10 year/100,000 powertrain warranty and justifying the $35,275 as tested price ($26,800 before options) is no longer needed.

On the road, the Optima has presence. With stunning looks and great ride quality, you get to where you need to go in style and without fuss. The turbocharged engine provides plenty of power, and when the roads get curvy, the suspension is up to the task of putting a smile on your face.

Kia pegs the Optima as “Not Your Average Midsize Sedan.” We agree, and think that in the price range, it’s a car you should strongly consider.

– Article by Brian Armstead

Michelin

Founder, Owner & CEO

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