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STYLING | 8 out of 10
The dashboard has Audi-like wraparound contours
this is a seriously attractive automobile
looks taut, purposeful and ready to go
intentionally conservative but handsome and well proportioned
Kelley Blue Book
The more we walked around the perimeter of the Optima, the more we liked its Euro design.
The 2012 Kia Optima is squarely in the same class with the likes of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and a host of other family four-doors, but there's very little square in the Optima's arresting profile.
Kia's distinct styling direction is a polar opposite of the exuberant, sculptural look that's all over the Hyundai lineup and the Optima's fraternal twin, the Sonata sedan. The Optima contrasts with a sporty, European-tinged look with a lower roofline, stretched headlamps, and a nifty upkick in its rear quarters. It's exciting--focused, clean, laid-back, with an athletic stance and flashy chrome wheels.About the only exterior detail we haven't warmed up to is the side 'vents' at the back of the fender. They're cosmetic only, and even at ten or fifteen feet away you can tell they're just plastic inserts, finished with bright accents.
The interior's a fine match, with a big set of gauges and a wide rectangular bank of controls canted toward the driver, ersatz Audi with almost all of the sophistication and less clutter. Our only cautionary note is that materials and interior themes tend toward the drab side.
The 2012 Kia Optima has a focused, clean design--with Euro influences inside and out.