With its last redesign for 2011, the Kia Optima graduated from a high-value but unexciting choice to one that's top-notch, sophisticated, and full-featured.
The latest Optima takes on the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord--all of which have been redesigned for 2013.
Versus the new versions of these cars, the Optima most directly faces the Accord, with its roomier interior and good compromise between ride comfort and handling.
The most recent Mazda6 wasn't a sales hit, but the new one could do better: its slightly offbeat styling is appealing, and so is its crisp steering and roomy back seat.
The Hyundai Sonata remains a close competitor as well, even if Kia doesn't want you to see it that way; between the two we've come to like the Optima a bit better for its somewhat better handling and simpler, more elegant styling.
|2013 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings||2013 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings||2013 Honda Accord SedanBrowse Used Listings||2013 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings||2013 Mazda MAZDA6Browse Used Listings||2013 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|Midsize Cars||Mid-Size Sedan||Midsize Cars||Large Cars||Midsize||Midsize|
|4-Door Sedan LX||4-Door Sedan S FWD||4-Door I4 Manual LX||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||4-Door Sedan I4 2.5|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||Sedan|
|Automatic w/manual shift||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Manual||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Manual||Continuously Variable Ratio|