Saturday, November 12, 2011

My review of the Kia Optima SX Turbo

"Sir, what kind of car are you driving?" says the guy filling up gas next to me.

"A Kia!" I shout back!

He looks at the Euro-styling of the car that makes it look like a Lexus and he can't believe it!

I tell him he should drive one!

This scene played out everyday that I had the car. People could not believe that the sleek vehicle in front of them was a Kia. They couldn't get over how much it looked like a BMW or a Lexus.

If Kia is ever going to make a vehicle that will change people's minds about it's all about, then the Optima SX is the vehicle to do it! Exclusive to the SX are HID headlights, LED tail lamps, paddle shifters and alloy pedals. The 18-inch brushed-aluminum wheels, the side skirts, spoiler and lower front and rear bumpers help round out the sleek look to the Optima SX! Smooth European styling brings this car closer to a BMW 7 series. The front is very Audi meets Mercedes! The designer was one of Audi's top designers! Peter Schreyer is the Chief Design Officer at Kia Motors!
The gas direct injection (GDI) turbo four which is also available on the EX, gets 274 horsepower out of an engine that still promises 34 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.

Clearly the extra horsepower makes the Optima feel like it's powered by a V6 engine but it's not! This is Kia's first attempt at a turbo charged car! After driving it, you would think they have been building turbo charged cars for years! The Optima accelerates easily and effortlessly. It makes for an easy time getting onto the freeway or driving through the Grapevine! Also, the cabin was quiet no matter what speed you were traveling at.

I had a lot of fun driving the Optima SX over 1,000 miles from Southern California to Northern California and back again!
 I couldn't believe that on this trip I averaged 31.3 mpg!
 Now it is time to enter the car! There are no keys, just the key fob shown below!
The key fob just needs to be close to the car to allow one to get in. I simply place the keys in the enter console here, put my foot on the brake pedal and push, that's right push the engine start button! The engine comes to life but it is so quiet you may not even be sure that its started. The screen in the center of the dashboard welcomes me!

The interior is smartly laid out! All of the controls are easily within reach! I had no problems using the radio controls on the steering wheel. There is so much to talk about inside the car so let me discuss my favorite features in no particular order. The first thing I love is this center dashboard screen! Not only does it welcome me and tells me to come again when I leave the car but check out the screen below! This is my favorite thing!
Here is another view.
I also love the addition of the navigation system with back-up camera. I found it so much easier to help me parallel park!
Here is a look at the navigation screen. I have a really good sense of direction but it was nice to punch in my course and use the POI (Points Of Interest) button to find gas stations and such on my travel route.
Here is a look at the Sirius Satellite Radio screen. I really fell in love with this on my trip. It was great to have all of the music options I could ever want even though I pretty much listened to Radio Classics for most of my trip. Sorry, I know it says hip-hop on here and while I do enjoy that genre of music, I did listen to Radio Classics for 90% of my trip!
If you would rather listen to your own music, there is an iPod/iPhone adapter to connect either device to the car. This is the connection below. I used this to connect my iPhone to the car. The car also has bluetooth wireless technology so I can make hands free calls. I made several calls and the voice quality was very clear on both ends of the conversation. This really came in handy calling my parents as I drove closer to their house in Northern California.
There is not one but two sunroofs, or a panoramic sunroof as Kia calls it. Just a thing of beauty to watch the two sunroofs reveal themselves!
There is plenty of leg room in the back for the rear passengers! The seats are comfy as tested by my mom and my friend Jessica who recently had back surgery. Jessica loved the seat and support is provided for her back. The suspension system was smooth and not stiff as Jessica usually needs her friends in other cars to not only take turns slow, but take it slow over rough roads and of course speed bumps.
There is a ton of cargo room in the trunk! You can easily fit in golf clubs or luggage!
Here it is loaded up after a quick trip to a local warehouse store!
An Optima SX Turbo has a base price of $25,995 USD. You get dual-zone auto climate control, Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth, leather/woven seats, power driver’s seat, HID headlights and LED taillights. My test car also added the Technology Package, with Navigation, back-up camera, Sirius Traffic, and upgraded Infinity stereo. The SX Premium Package added a panoramic sunroof, power passenger seat, driver seat memory, heated/vented front seats, and heated rear seats. As delivered, my Optima came in at $30,840. That is one heck of a bargain, considering its competition from Honda and Toyota don’t even offer some of the features the Optima has.

The Kia Optima SX reminded me of what driving is all about, freedom and of course just plain fun! So, take a serious look at this car! It has impressive performance and great fuel economy from the turbo four-cylinder engine. It earned perfect scores in crash-test safety. It is quiet and comfortable on the inside and streamlined on the outside! This is one Kia that no one will soon forget!


  1. Great car...Love how comfortable it was to ride in!!!

  2. Im thinking about getting this as a first car. I really like the styling and its not too expensive. Nice buy.

  3. There are many different cars available, but the Countach is truly an amazing car. Though not the latest, and not in production any more. Miami luxury car rental