Safety » 9
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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Five stars, overall; five stars, frontal and side impact
'Good,' frontal, side, rear, and roof strength; 'acceptable,' small overlap frontal; Top Safety Pick+
If crash-test ratings are what count--and they should--it's hard to do any better than the 2013 Kia Optima. With top ratings in every test from the federal government as well as the insurance-funded IIHS, the Optima has an excellent record that's hard to beat.
In all fairness, those are 2012 results and hadn't been extended to 2013 yet at the time of posting; but with the Optima essentially carryover for 2013 it's likely it will retain these top-notch ratings will carry over. That includes 'good' ratings in every test category from the IIHS (except an 'acceptable' small overlap frontal score), making it a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle overall. It also earns five-star scores in all tests--including the side pole test--from the federal government. While the Optima is structurally similar to the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia has a number of different details--which, apparently, make a difference here, as the Sonata only manages a four-star frontal score while the Optima achieves five stars.
Front active headrests are standard in the 2013 Optima, along with front seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain bags. So is Brake Assist, and Hill Assist Control, which helps avoid rolling back when starting uphill, and electronic stability control.
Mostly top crash-test scores highlight the 2013 Kia Optima as one of the safest sedan picks.