Comfort and Quality » 8
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
leather felt high quality, but Kia could stand to crank up the padding
The center stack is discreetly angled towards the driver, delivering a cozy feel without hindering passenger access.
.Material choices are unlikely to have the Germans seeking therapy, but they're wholly class-appropriate.
Sitting upright, my head mashed into the ceiling
The 2013 Kia Optima has somewhat larger dimensions than most other mid-size sedans, and it's one of the roomier picks inside, especially if you're planning to use all its seating capacity.
There's actually enough width in back for three across, provided your passengers aren't too tall or wide, and there's plenty of legroom as well as just enough headroom for taller adults. The only caution we've noted is that you might need to duck your head around the doorline's cut for the long-sloping roofline. If you're mainly only going to be using the front seats, think about them; we've found those front perches to be a little bit short and flat, and disappointing for longer hauls as they simply lack enough contouring. In EX versions you do get power controls and greater adjustability, but even with that you can't adjust for height or tilt on the passenger side.
On the bright side, heated and cooled front seats—as well as heated back seats—are available on EX and SX models, and we've appreciated this feature in the hot sun.
We like the way the Optima rides, in a way that's just comfortable enough for most surfaces, yet firm enough handling and damped effectively enough to filter out coarse road surfaces.
Materials in the 2013 Optima tend to be a little drab in some of the combinations, but the matte-black surfaces feel sporty, and the soft-touch leather-like material covering the dash adds an element of sophistication. But there's a lot to like in the layout; audio and climate controls are clearly distinguished with their own knobs and buttons, and even though the instrument panel is canted slightly toward the driver, it's all in easy reach of the passenger.
Uncomfortable front seats are the only drawback of a quiet, composed, and roomy interior.