2013 Kia Optima SXL Review

Kia has truly come along way — first being known as the economy car, now to being known as a top-of-the-line luxury car. The 2013 Kia Optima was everything we thought it was going to be, plus so much more. The SXL we had from Tenafly Kia was the best model you could get and it had everything in it but the kitchen sink.

Our test vehicle was equipped with unique design 18″ chrome wheels, panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, LED tail lights, LED daytime running lights and the UVO eServices Infotainment System with Voice-Command Navigation mated to an 8″ display with Sirius radio. It also had a push-button start with a smart key, Infinity Surround Sound Audio System with 8 speakers, amplifier and subwoofer. It also has heated and ventilated front leather seats. All of these top-notch features gave the car a luxury feel and we feel that there was nothing Kia left out of this car.

The Optima SXL has a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, producing 274 horsepower & 269 ft-lb of torque, hooked up to a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with tiptronic and paddle shifters. Weighing in at 3,385 lbs, the turbocharged 4-cylinder pushed the car to 60 from 0 in just over 6 seconds, which we thought was pretty quick. The Optima also features an ECO-mode which helps the car achieve a fuel economy of 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

Pros: A luxurious sports sedan, we thought the Optima SXL was very stylish. The features were a lot better than expected. The amount of technology in the car, from a touch screen voice command navigation, Bluetooth and AUX & USB iPod hookup, was very impressive. When at a rolling start, the pick-up of the turbocharged 4-cylinder was noteworth–we both thought it felt like a high-performance V6. The car values for about 35grand which is no doubt a big bang for your buck.

Cons: Because it’s front-wheel-drive, under normal acceleration patterns, the Optima sometimes struggled to gain traction.


Base Price: $26,800 || Price as Tested: $35,570

Vehicle Layout: Front-engine, FWD, 5-passenger, 4-door Sport Sedan

Engine: 2.0L, 274-hp, 269-lb-ft. turbocharged 4-cylinder || Transmission: 6-speed electronically-controlled Sportmatic

Curb Weight: 3,385 lbs || Length/Width/Height: 190.7/72/57.3 inches

0-60: 6.6 seconds || EPA City/Highway Fuel Economy: 22/34 mpg

RATING: 8.8/10

Exterior: 9

Interior: 9

Acceleration: 8

Braking: 8

Ride: 8

Handling: 9

Gearbox: 9

Audio: 9

Tech: 9

Value: 9

A big thank you goes to Tenafly Kia — ranked in the top 3 Kia dealerships nationwide for Customer Sales Satisfaction. For all of your Kia needs, speak to Keith Yasso at Tenafly Kia and tell them Greg and Dave sent you. Check them out at www.tenaflykia.com.

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