2013 Kia Optima SXL Long-Term Update 2
Connectivity Not Worth Singing About
I'm not thrilled with the Optima's entertainment system setup when it comes to listening to my own music. There's a USB input that says iPod, but I don't have an iPod -- I keep all my music on my iPhone. When I plug in my iPhone I get a "Media Connection Failed!" prompt. That's because the Apple iPhone cable doesn't sync with the system. The Quick Reference Guide says a Kia power cable "maybe [sic] purchased through your Kia dealership." The Kia website says it's $30. Also, without that cord, the USB port won't charge my phone. I have to use one of those little chargers that plugs into the 12-volt outlet.
I can listen to my iPhone music via Bluetooth, but that's assuming I'm at a stop or there's someone in the passenger seat to enter the security code on my phone, tap the Music icon, and find the song or playlist I want to hear. The entertainment screen display doesn't tell me what's playing, and I can only toggle to the next song or previous songs in the playlist via the stereo buttons or the steering wheel controls. I can't search for and choose another artist or playlist without touching my phone. That's not smart or safe while I'm driving. Once the music is playing, it sounds great on the Optima's standard six-speaker stereo system, and the steering wheel buttons make it easy to increase or decrease the volume.
I do like the Sirius satellite radio information display. It shows the name of the artist and the song, as well as what station is playing, in type that's big enough to easily read at a glance, which is how it should be when you're on the move. The touch screen is quick to respond when tapped lightly, and so far the navigation and map have never steered me wrong, and there's no glare when the panoramic sunroof is open. I don't like that the clock is at the top of the satellite radio display screen, in not-very-big numerals. I wish it were on the center tach, instead of the large an unflattering flattering rear ¾ view rendition of the Optima that's there now. I know what the car looks like -- I'm driving it. I'd rather have that space occupied by something more useful, like the time of day.
I wish Kia would sell its USB cord online, or better yet, include it as standard equipment. There's not a Kia dealership near me, and the Optima isn't due for service for a couple thousand miles. The next time I'm there I'll shell out the $30, or go rogue and see if Amazon offers a non-branded option.