This is a guest review by my husband, Will.
My daily driver is a 2005 Kia Optima LX so it will be impossible for me to review this car without it being a direct comparison. And to be honest, I love that 2005 so the cards are stacked against the 2013 from the get go.
Here’s my review of the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid.
Kia has apparently either hired or kidnapped the design team from Audi because the new look seriously turns some heads; whereas whoever designed the 2005 has most likely been shot on site because that thing is hideous. Some strangers in the parking lot at Albertsons gawked and congratulated me on the 2013, “Nice car.” This will not do. I can’t be driving a rolling theft-magnet like that.
I was sure that my 2005 had far more power due to the fact that it constantly spins out, and the stupid traction control on the 2013 prevents (almost) any such muscle flexing. However, upon further investigation, the fact that I’m always burning rubber in my 2005 could be attributed to the fact that I’m running “emergency use only, not for daily driving” tires (not joking). While the acceleration through freeway speeds in the 2013 is impressive, I must have my spin-out capability so my boys continue to think I’m rad.
The handling in my 2005 can best be compared to an old, metal canoe captained by two 8th grade boys – an almost uncontrollable body roll forcing you to corner at the
speed of my 93-year-old Grandmother. Driving the 2013 brought me back to the days of being a valet – racing NBA players’ high-end sport sedans around the block, cornering on rails and perfectly balanced over/under steering. This kind of superior handling does nothing but encourage me to drive too fast – way too fast, and I can’t get any more tickets or they will suspend my license (again). I’ll keep the 2005.
The worst part about the 2013 is the high-powered, Infiniti eight-speaker stereo system. What I mean is that one of the eight live-quality speakers is placed exactly where my left knee rests, and I always wear shorts. After not-too-long the speaker cover feels like a cheese grater on my tender knee flesh… ouch!
I have no complaints about the futuristic console that controls everything including GPS, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and back-up camera. My 2005 has cigarette burns in the cloth interior which makes it easy for me to tote kids without worrying about keeping it nice.
That’s a lot of paint.
Well, it’s a hybrid, so you’d expect to save money on gas. I had the car for two weeks. It came with a full tank of gas and I, after driving that thing as much as I could, only had to put an additional $20 in the tank during the second week of driving. The excellent gas mileage did not allow me to go into AM/PM or ARCO nearly enough to get a 99 cent coffee refill. I was forced to drink water to quench my thirst.
I just looked up the price of the 2013 Optima on Edmunds.com – unbelievable. I was expecting twice the price. But if you thought $23,000 was cheap (like I did), you’ll love paying only $3,000 for a seven-year-old 2005. The 2005 wins again!
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