2012 Kia Optima

The 2012 Kia Optima has a lot of new features that come standard. From the engine to the exterior, this car has been getting a lot of good reviews from car experts and drivers.


The estimated miles per gallon for the city is 24 on the LX model, 24 with the EX model and 22 with both the SX and SXL models. The tank capacity for all is 18.5 gallons.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $19,500.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons (70 liters) MPG: 24 city / 35 hwy
Length: 190.7 in. (484.3 cm) Wheel Base: 110.4 in. (280.4 cm)
Height: 57.3 in. (145.5 cm) Width: 72.1 in. (183.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 3223 lbs (1462 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.3 in. (13.4 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 15.4 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 2.4L Inline 4 DOHC Compression Ratio: 11.3: 1
Horsepower: 200 HP Max RPM: 6300 RPM
Torque: 186 lbft @ 4250 rpm Transmission: 6Speed Automatic
Available Trims & Engine
Option:EX 2.4L MSRP: $23,200; MPG: 24 city / 35 hwy
Option:EX Turbo 2.0L MSRP: $25,100; MPG: 22 city / 34 hwy
Option:Hybrid MSRP: $25,700; MPG: 35 city / 40 hwy
Option:SX 2.0L MSRP: $26,500; MPG: 22 city / 34 hwy


The engine is a standard 16 valve 2.4L. Horsepower can reach 200 at 6,300 rpm. The torque is 186lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. The system runs on fuel and the transmission is a 6-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic overdrive.


16″ tires with alloy wheels come standard with the basic LX version of the Optima. Performance dampers make the car more responsive and come included on all models. This car also comes standard with a chrome front grille; chrome door handles and chrome door molding. Front fog lights are installed for safer driving during low visibility.

Keeping with the chrome theme, the exhaust tip is chrome and the outside mirrors are on some of the models. The side mirrors are heated to make driving in all conditions safe and they have LED turn signals on them. Solar glass is on the Optima to reduce heat and glare inside the cab.


Eight Infinity speakers are installed throughout this car. These will play Sirius XM Satellite Radio as well as MP3s and the regular radio. The car comes with a smart key and push button start in all models, except for the LX.

The audio controls are mounted on the wheel next to the cruise control button to make adjusting songs easier. The active eco system indicator inside the Optima lets drivers know when they are reaching the best fuel economy possible. Air conditioning and a cooled glove box are standard for keeping the interior comfortable. This also comes with keyless entry, panic alarms, trip computer and overhead sunglass holder.

Safety & Reliability

The 2012 Optima comes with dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In addition to this, there are seat belts for all seats that have pre-tensioners on them.

The brakes are ABS with 4-wheel discs and electronic stability control comes standard. The brake-assist system allows sufficient force during emergency situations. The traction control system senses when wheels are spinning and will transfer power to them to provide more traction during those situations.


  • The engine is powerful and comes with an optional turbocharged enhancement.
  • Bluetooth and USB ports also come standard to make it easier to use all types of technology.
  • The safety scores on this vehicle are extremely high and have won it awards.
  • The interior is more spacious than other similar vehicles.
  • Sporty drivers like the way it handles on windy roads.


  • Some drivers say handling can be a little stiff.
  • The trunk doesn’t have that much space inside of it.
  • Bold styling isn’t right for some drivers.


Most drivers like this car because it is small, compact but still spacious inside. It’s also extremely powerful and affordable, which is something that is hard to find with other makes and models.

There are several alternatives to look at in addition to the Optima, these include the Honda Accord (MSRP $22,280; 23 city / 34 hwy), Ford Fusion (MSRP $22,975; 23 city / 33 hwy), and the Toyota Camry (MSRP $22,600; 25 city / 35 hwy).

Overall Rating
85 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Kia Optima has strong yet economical powertrains and confident handling—although the Hybrid could use some smoothing-over.”Car Connection

“The Optima is Kia’s version of the Hyundai Sonata, and falls short of its corporate cousin in ride comfort, braking, and fuel economy. It has responsive and very secure handling, but the ride is borderline stiff and road noise is noticeable.”MSN AutoConsumerReports

“The 2012 Kia Optima sedan is one of the sportiest, most stylish midsize sedans out there. We’d even put it up against the styling of some $40,000 European luxury brands.”KBB

“Powerful and fuel-efficient engines; good ride/handling balance; handsome cabin; copious features; top crash scores; impressive value; lengthy warranty. Can be tight on headroom; disappointing real-world fuel economy and driving experience for hybrid; numb steering.”Edmunds