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Review: Kia Optima SX

When it comes to cars, it’s the little details that stick with me. Take the 2013 Kia Optima SX: sure, it looks good, has tons of features, and is a well-priced sedan. But what really got me? The heated and cooled seats. Not just seat warmers, but seat coolers. 

During my week-long test drive, I would turn the heat warmers up on my way to my morning run, then I’d turn the seat cooler up on my sweaty way home. Ahhh…so cozy & comfy, this car.

Like I said, it’s the little details. That’s one that stuck with me.

There is, of course, more to the 2013 Kia Optima SX than just the seat heater/cooler option.


Starting at $21,350, the 2013 Kia Optima is a very well-priced sedan for families on a budget. Compared to other sedans on the market, you get a ton of features for the price.


When people found out I was test driving the Kia Optima SX, I heard the body being compared to that of a BMW or Audi. I wouldn’t go that far, folks. I wasn’t that impressed with the looks of this new bad boy on the market, but it is sleek compared to models of Kia past.

I did like the in-dash driver display, mainly because I like how it prominently displays how many more miles you have until you run out of gas.

Kia Optima SX - display

Speaking of gas…

Fuel Economy

The reported gas mileage on the 2013 Kia Optima SX: 22 in the city  and 34 with highway driving. Because I live just outside of the city but constantly have several meetings and events that I have to go into the city several times a week, I was surprised that I did not once have to fill the gas tank during the entire week of my test drive. Not once! Amazing.


With two kids and three businesses (I think…I don’t even keep count anymore),  my Urban Bliss Life requires a vehicle with a decent amount of space.

The backseat is roomy enough for the kids (ages 6 and 9) to sit in comfortably in their car seats. They reported having enough legroom, although considerably less than what they are used to (we currently have a Honda Pilot).

Kia Optima SX Car Review


The trunk was probably the most impressive part of the Kia Optima SX in terms of space. The trunk was HUGE! That said,  as a mom, I would have almost preferred they use some of that trunk space to expand the backseat space.

Kid Fun Features

We don’t have a dashboard rearview camera so my kids are always enamored by that feature in other cars. Yet the one feature they loved the most and still talk about? The little direction light in the rearview mirror. Everywhere we’d drive, they would watch that direction marker and take guesses at which direction we were going to go next. Who needs an in-car DVD player when you’ve got the direction light? :)

Kia Optima SX - direction marker


I have to admit that the one thing that drove me nuts about this car was the blind spots. The blind spots are considerable on this one. For a family sedan, I expected there to be fewer blind spots than our current SUV, but it was very much the opposite. I had to crane my neck like crazy and I never quite felt secure anytime I would change lanes, especially on the freeway.


Overall, the 2013 Kia Optima SX is a great family sedan. It’s well-priced, has great fuel economy, a huge trunk, and some fun little features. Would we consider this for our family car? In all honesty, probably not. However, before this test drive, I would have written it off without a thought for everybody. Kia has come a long way the past few years, and I would definitely recommend test driving this sedan if you are test driving similar vehicles. It may be the car for you. And if you do give it a test drive, don’t forget to try out the heating & cooling seats. I really miss that feature… *le sigh*

Kia Optima SX

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Food + Drink + Travel writer. Adventurer, mom, biz owner ( In constant pursuit of all that is creative & fun. Email: info (at) urbanblisslife (dot) com.

  • pech Jun 18, 2013 Reply

    Seat cooler and heater? And a rear camera? A driver display with how many more miles to full up, and built in compass too? I love little luxuries and attention to detail like that in a care, though the blind spots make me nervous. Thanks for the post!
    pech recently posted..Portland Beer & Cheese Fest, 2012My Profile

  • Pech – it is a good car! Definitely worth at least a test drive. I totally miss those heated/cooled seats… :)

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  • […] this year, I had the pleasure of test driving the Kia Optima SX. Recently, I was able to test drive and compare the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid EX. It’s just as […]

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