Car review of the 2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo, 2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo photos and pics
2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo

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What’s great about today’s automobile market is that you don’t have to spend crazy money anymore for stunning good looks, and the 2012 Kia Optima SX is proof. The recently redesigned Optima is the total package and is sure to send rivals heading for cover!


Certain cars blend in well and some are meant to stand out. Guess where the 2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo falls into place? This is what happens when an already good looking vehicle gets 18 inch luxury designed alloy wheels, HID headlights and LED taillights, front fog lights, heating outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, dual exhaust with chrome tips and power folding outside mirrors in addition to other standard features. The Optima SX Turbo has very clean lines with an aggressive front fascia with a deck lid lip spoiler in the rear to let you know that this car not only looks the part but has some attitude under the hood. The spicy red paint looked very upscale and fits right in with Kia’s motto of a "design-led transformation."


Our test model was loaded with a panoramic sun roof, navigation system with SIRIUS traffic, 8 speaker Infinity audio system, UVO in-vehicle infotainment system, HD radio technology, rear camera display, power front passenger seat, driver’s seat memory, heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard rear seats, dual zone automatic temperature control with rear vents, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, push button start with smart key, MP3 audio system, USB and auxiliary input jacks, black leather seat trim, power adjustable driver seat with lumbar support, cruise control, Bluetooth wireless technology, leather wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, metal pedals and door sill plates. There is plenty of room in the cabin for five adults and trunk space was a layup. Kia has really stepped it up with their interiors and the Optima just might be the best one yet with an upscale feel, from the sporty dashboard to the very comfortable and sporty seating.

2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo


This is where the SX Turbo separates itself from the other trim level Optimas and, quite frankly, most of the competition in the field. Our loaner came equipped with a 2.0 liter turbo gas direct injection 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed sportmatic transmission, electric power steering and 18 inch tires. Let me tell you right now that this car can straight up get it! The power and handling combine for one of the best rides in the class, if not the overall best. Sometimes the ride and handling just come together for that perfect balance and with the SX Turbo, we were right on target.  The 2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo also boasted an ABS anti-lock brake system, traction control, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management and hill assist control. Fuel economy was solid at 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway driving, so the Optima SX was in the pack, especially considering the powerful turbo with 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 pound feet of torque. This car is front-wheel drive (hey, don’t get greedy) and the steering wheel paddle shifters were a blast; quite frankly, I’m getting better with these new age shifters with every car I test drive.


How far Kia has come in such a short time period is nothing less than amazing, and at a price point of $31,745, the 2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo is quite an accomplishment itself. The midsize sedan segment is very crowded, but with the SX Turbo, I see leadership, and that’s what consumers want rather than copycat versions of the leader. Whatever Kia is doing behind the curtains, they need to keep it up, because more cars like the Optima SX Turbo will give Kia plenty of fuel to keep designing and building great cars!

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