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Kia Optima (2012)


  • A very nice car, with a great interior that includes everything you’d want: dual climate control, full steering-wheel controls, heated and cooled seats, and more.
  • A 2.4-liter gas-direct-injection four-cylinder engine is as powerful as anyone would need in a mid-sized car.
  • Nice legroom in the back.
  • Very smooth six-speed transmission.
  • $27,400 loaded, including navigation and backup camera.
  • Exterior is much more attractive than the Camry and Accord.


  • Power steering is operated by an electric motor, so the Optima’s computer decides how much power assistance you’ll get. This results in a very strong “on-center” feeling, is a little less smooth than we’d like, and requires a bit of a push to get it off-center.
  • Backup camera is an absolute essential, because it’s impossible to see out the back or rear side of the car, due to the high beltline. Without the backup camera, you’ll find it very hard to parallel park this car.

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