Jump to content
Get the Cheers & Gears App! ×
Create New...
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2012 Kia Optima EX

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    July 5, 2012

    This week in the Cheers and Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Kia Optima EX. This Optima is equipped with the base 2.4L DI inline-four delivering 200 HP and 186 lb-ft torque, and is equipped with a six-speed automatic.

    First Impressions so far:

    • Love the exterior and interior design
    • Headroom in the backseat is a bit tight
    • The amount of equipment for the price is very impressive
    • Average fuel economy so far: 27.2 MPG

    I will be updating with more thoughts about the Optima throughout its stay. Send in your questions in the meantime.

    Update #1: So far the Optima has been really impressing me. The 2.4L DI four is very smooth and has quite the punch. Average fuel economy has dropped to 25.3 MPG, but that's in line with the EPA rating for the city. I'm expecting that number rise over the weekend.

    As for complaints, I have one dealing with the back window. you can barely see anything out the back window due to the rakish design and large C-Pillars. Thankfully, the Optima has a rear view camera thanks to the optional Premium package.

    I'll another update coming either tomorrow or Monday with highway fuel economy numbers.

    Update #2: My time with the Optima is coming to close, as it will be heading back tomorrow. And, I'm sad to see it go.

    The Optima has really impressed my as a package. The powertrain, design, and features makes for a very formidable player in the midsize sedan market. It does have some problems, some I have talked about here and some that I will talk about in the review. But most are minor, maybe for the back window and not seeing out of it.

    As for highway fuel economy, the EPA rates the Optima 2.4L at 35 MPG. I got close to it, getting 33.5 MPG on my run. If I had gone further, I'm willing to bet I would have matched or even surpassed 35.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I drove a Sonata and it was pretty quiet, pretty good for a low $20s midsizer. Never drove an Optima, but I agree with mudmonster about the styling, I like it. I like how the center console angles toward the drive also, give the interior more of a sporty feel, compared with the Sonata that has a generic layout.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I'm interested in noise. How loud/quiet is it on the highway. Tire hum, tire slap, engine buzz.... and the like.

    Its pretty quiet. There isn't really a hum from the engine and tire noise was at a minimum

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    How Sporty is the overall feel of the car when you drive it?

    Somewhat sporty. The suspension does a good job of keeping car stable when you're having a bit of fun. I'm finding the steering to provide good feel, but its somewhat too heavy. If this was a sports car, I wouldn't mind it at all. This being a family sedan, I think Kia might want to dial it back some.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hyundai/Kia styling has come ahead lightyears since the beginning here in the US. They have some good looking products. They seem to have hired some good people in key positions. But I still feel concerned that something might be missing in some areas of engineering. Perhaps it is brand snobbery, but some of the other reviews I've read seem to bear this out. Product development has moved along at a fast clip, but some important details are lacking. It's like uneven but rapid evolution. imo.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    What do you think of this Vs. the Sonata

    i much prefer the styling on this car.

    I prefer the Optima with Exterior and Interior styling. I can't say which I like better for driving (haven't driven a Sonata), but from a few people I have talked to who have driven both, the Sonata is softer, luxury model. The Optima takes the sporty role.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    What do you think of this Vs. the Sonata

    i much prefer the styling on this car.

    I prefer the Optima with Exterior and Interior styling. I can't say which I like better for driving (haven't driven a Sonata), but from a few people I have talked to who have driven both, the Sonata is softer, luxury model. The Optima takes the sporty role.

    What I;ve heard too...and agree.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • The Jeep Gladitator gets a gentle refresh for 2024

    Jeep is understandably reluctant to mess with success, and the Jeep Gladiator has been one of the brand's greatest success stories in the last decade.  So when it came time to give the Gladiator a nip-tuck, Jeep went in with the gentlest of hands. The biggest visual update is a refresh of Jeep's iconic 7-slot grille, windshield-integrated trail-ready stealth antenna, and seven all-new wheel designs. Inside is a redefined interior with more technology and amenities, including available 12-wa


    GMC Upsizes the Acadia for 2024; New 2.5L Turbo-4

    GMC caused a stir in 2016 when it downsized the Acadia in 2017 from its previous near-Yukon length. That downsize brought the Acadia down to be inline in size with the contemporary Jeep Grand Cherokee.  In the years since, the Grand Cherokee has grown and GMC is matching that with the 2024 GMC Acadia. Inches matter in this class and in that the Acadia gains (back) 10.6 inches in length and 3.2 inches in height. That equates to 80% more space behind the third row and 36% more space behind th


    Cadillac Refreshes the CT5 with an Updated Look for 2025

    Today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Cadillac unveiled the refreshed Cadillac CT5 sedan.  CT5 retail sales have been on an upswing of late, increasing over 35%.  In a time when sedan sales are stagnating or disappearing entirely, Cadillac's positive numbers have given hope that the luxury sedan market isn't quite dead yet. The refresh of the CT5 begins with the exterior. A new larger, bolder grille is flanked by new vertically stacked headlamps and Cadillac's sign


  • Community Hive Community Hive

    Community Hive allows you to follow your favorite communities all in one place.

    Follow on Community Hive
  • Subscribe to Cheers & Gears

    Cheers and Gears Logo

    Since 2001 we've brought you real content and honest opinions, not AI-generated stuff with no feeling or opinions influenced by the manufacturers.

    Please consider subscribing. Subscriptions can be as little as $1.75 a month, and a paid subscription drops most ads.*

    You can view subscription options here.

    *a very limited number of ads contain special coupon deals for our members and will show

  • Posts

    • What Mark says about wanting to buy a product JUST to see that company succeed JUST to see what they could do next is how I felt about Tesla.   I had much much faith in Elon Musk about 8-9 years ago.  That faith lasted for about 2-3 years.  Today I just wish he go away.  I still like Tesla cars.  The engineering and manufacturing is just held back by Elon Musk in my opnion.   Its too bad.   I now have faith in Lucid and in General Motors and possibly Rivian and Ford for advancing American EVs and to be global leaders.  Tesla at the hands of Musk is a dead duck. 
    • The way the Lucid engineers explain the Air and the Sapphire trim. The way the talk about the engineering, it seems that Tesla is the one that is behind in EV tech. The Geese guys ironically talk about how some 1st gen EV vehicles from legacy OEMs engineered compliance cars, they didnt talk about Tesla and how Tesla had a decade advance in engineering thought and tech.  They just wax poetic about Lucid.  But truth be told that when Lucid was just a seed in the dirt, and some of the engineers were still employed by Tesla, Tesla was not JUST a decade in front of everybody, but 2 decades and had the WHOLE EV market to themselves.   Tesla did NOT advance the tech in that timeframe.  Ive said that plenty of times.  Elon Musk ALLOWED every OEM to catch up to Tesla in LESS than a decade and in some instances such as Lucid, it seems, to have surpassed Tesla and it seems that Tesla is playing catch-up.  Maybe not in sales...but THAT scenario will surely change.   Tesla better have secrets in their 2nd gen Model S and Model 3/Y to unveil because if Tesla's tech hasnt advanced with those 2nd gens, it will seem like they have stagnated and THAT will spell disaster for their EV manufacturing.   They will survive with supplying electricity via recharging everybody else's EVs and perhaps sell EV motors to others, but as far as the S-3-X-Y vehicles they offer today, will not make it to see a 3rd gen...  
    • They need to do something, I feel like Nissan has basically been dead in the water since Carlos Ghosn screwed them over.  Problem is the Ariya seems allergic to sales, despite them advertising for it all the time.  Right idea to go all EV in a hurry, but I am skeptical that they actually build EV's that people want.
    • @oldshurst442 Yes, I also wonder why on the Olds-Buick decision?  Olds was righting the ship with the Aurora, the Intrigue, and even the Alero.  It could have been an issue with the name and long-term associations.  Marketing research was also scratching their heads in the background. I'll say here that, of their offerings, I only like the Envision, and I'm talking about the last model and not the current one.  I was driving down the interstate for a fairly long time and had all of the Buick trio come up alongside me.  Enclave?  The current one has nicer sheet metal, with the last one being too bulbous. Still, I would not own one.  Encore?  I've never warmed up to it, even the slightly larger one.  Envision?  The last-gen drove alongside me and I looked and looked and thought it has the most "reasonable" lines.  I am not a big fan of the current one. Then, it goes without saying that some Buick owners are not happy that there are no sedan offerings, let alone coupe offerings.  The Chinese appear to be getting some, which wax and wane in how good they look.  I don't know where the disgruntled long-term Buick owner is going if they're not buying. For now, Buick needs to stay and it probably will for a while.  But I'm not the one doing the penciling.
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • My Clubs

  • Create New...

Hey there, we notice you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.


Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search