• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Review

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid: Emily's Kia

RELATED READING
See all Kia Optima articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2012 Kia Optima

author photo by Ryan Dickerson June 2012

I've never been a believer that everything happens for a reason, but in the case of my wife's most recent vehicle purchase, this turned out to be absolutely the case. You see, a few weeks back, my wife and I made the decision to sell her older Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Emily's beloved Mercedes had accumulated a lot of miles, and it was starting to cost more to own than we'd like.

Now, when Emily told me she was thinking about getting rid of her car, I met her with mixed feelings. Car shopping isn't something I look forward to or enjoy. Don't get me wrong: I love cars, and I really love the industry, but shopping for them is nowhere on my fun list.

Okay, so we decided to sell her car. Obviously, my love of cars and the fact that I work at AutoTrader.com made the research fairly simple. The only problem was, this wasn't going to be my car. Emily had to love this car, and she had to be the one to lead the charge. Here's where I inject that I'm a very lucky guy, because Emily doesn't just buy things for no reason. She loves to research, explore her options and make an educated purchase. It's great, but it also means that I had some serious dealership time ahead of me.

After three weeks of research, we narrowed the choices down to a short list of her top four contenders and set out on our mission to find Emily's next car. The four choices were the Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry, the Ford Fusion and the the Hyundai Sonata. She told me her choices were based on the considerations of styling, safety, fuel economy and standard features. Knowing a fair amount about all of these great vehicles, I was okay about having any of the four parked in my garage for years to come. The test drives came and went, and initially the clear winner was a very nice Hyundai Sonata from a dealership a few miles from our house.

Here's where a little bit of fate and superstition kick in. I mentioned that I work for AutoTrader.com, where we occasionally get long-term editorial vehicles to review. It just so happened that on a random Friday afternoon, I was asked if I wanted to take the new Kia Optima Hybrid home for the weekend to evaluate. The car had showed up in the company garage just hours before this conversation took place, so I didn't even know we had one. I had seen the new Optima, thought it was a nice car, and know a fair amount about them-but not enough to form a personal opinion. Knowing that a new car would be fun for the weekend, I took the editors up on their offer.

I called Emily as always at the end of the work day to see what she wanted to do for the evening, and I was met with a flustered voice on the other end of the line. Her car had just broken down, and she was waiting for a tow truck to arrive. The problem turned out to be a fuel pump, which is pretty typical for a vehicle that age, but it didn't matter to her. She was over it. I told her that we were in luck: we had a 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid to drive for the weekend.

During our time with the Kia, Emily and I were shocked to find a vehicle that was loaded beyond anything we'd owned for quite some time. We were met with a huge panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled seats, and some very nice options you wouldn't typically think of when you think Kia. At least, I didn't think of a car like this when I thought about Kia. We had a very busy weekend planned, and the Kia kept up with us extremely well.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Kia Optima LX
Used 2012 Kia Optima
$9,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Kia Optima SX
Used 2011 Kia Optima
$16,000
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Kia Optima LX
Used 2012 Kia Optima
$20,987
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid
Used 2013 Kia Optima
$Unlisted

I think our Kia moment came when we and two friends were headed to a birthday party that Sunday afternoon. We were driving along, talking about how much we loved the car and enjoyed driving it, and commenting on how well built it was ,when my friend asked me, "So when do you want to go pick up your new Kia?" We chuckled, but only for a moment.

The following week, we brought the Optima Hybrid back, but Kia was now in our sights. Within three days of driving the new Optima, we'd both said goodbye to the other vehicles we were considering and said hello to our very own Kia Optima.

Now, if you told me five years ago I'd be buying a Kia Optima for my wife, I would have laughed and called you funny names. We're now some of the largest Kia brand advocates you'll ever meet, and it's all because we spent a weekend with a car we weren't even considering.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
2012 Kia Optima Hybrid: Emily's Kia - Autotrader