A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Kia Optima

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Kia hasn’t always had the best reputation. In fact, for years the Korean automaker was known for making cheap vehicles that didn’t last. Today, though, that reputation has drastically changed, thanks in large part to the 2012 Kia Optima. This family sedan is a quality automobile with a lot of great features at a price that puts it in direct competition with the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.

Key Features

Of all of its features, the 2.0-liter turbo-charged engine is one of our very favorites. With 274 horsepower and 34 MPG on the highway, this inline 4-cylinder engine is more than powerful enough without losing fuel efficiency.

In addition to its impressive engine, the styling of the 2012 Kia Optima is sleek and modern, with lines that can compete with much more expensive European brands.

Changes for 2012

The 2012 Kia Optima received a number of new standard and optional features, including heated side mirrors and fog lights, as well as automatic headlights on the LX trim models. Included in the premium package, you can now also get an Infinity audio system with eight speakers and a voice-activated infotainment system.

What We Like

You shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get an attractive mid-size family sedan with the features you want. With the 2012 Kia Optima, you can spend far less than you would with other brands and get the same luxuries, along with an engine with plenty of power and great fuel economy.

What Concerns Us

We hate to admit it, but Kia’s former reputation for making poor-quality, cheap vehicles is still fresh in our minds. Though the Optima and other vehicles seem to be standing up to the test of time, many people will still not trust the brand due to past performance. This could hurt your car’s resale value.

Available Models

The 2012 Kia Optima has a few different trim packages, but they all fall into two engine options – a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque at 4250 RPM and a turbo-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 274 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque at 1750-4500 RPM. The naturally aspirated engine has slightly better gas mileage at 35 MPG on the highway, whereas the turbo-charged engine gets 34 MPG.

Major Recalls

There have been no major recalls on the 2012 Kia Optima.

Common Issues

There have been very few issues with the 2012 Optima, but the most common complaints involve a loss of engine power or loose steering.

kia optima 2012 interior


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Richard

15 years of experience
60 reviews
Richard
15 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Fremont, California
Excellent communicator, walked me through the fixes and even gave me an idea of what might be next on the fix list.
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Union City, California
quickly diagnosed the problem but knew it would take longer than appt time to fix. since we had appt the next day for brakes he rearranged his schedule to do it all together the next day. very knowledgeable, friendly, and professional.

Tung

14 years of experience
285 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Mableton, Georgia
Very detailed and customer service oriented. Did an amazing job fixing my back brakes and even set-up a schedule of future appointments for my car!
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Horus

9 years of experience
103 reviews
Horus
9 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Antonio, Texas
Horace worked on my Land Rover today. Showed up on time and was professional and courteous. Replaced front and rear break pads. Great job!

Juan

11 years of experience
37 reviews
Juan
11 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Mountain House, California
Was very thorough in explaining the condition of the car and how the repairs will impact it’s service.

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