2013 Kia Optima SXL Long-Term Update 5
An Oil Change, and a Guest Driver
As the Optima topped 16,000 miles, it was time for its second service. There's no Kia dealership near my apartment, so I made an online appointment for the dealership closest to work for the requisite oil and filter change, tire rotation, and inspection. I had shopping to do while I waited, so I requested a loaner car, but when I got there, there wasn't one available. The dealership did have a van take me to the nearby mall.
The service was quick, with nothing amiss, but they changed the windshield wipers without asking me, for $15 apiece. The wipers were far from worn out -- it hasn't rained more than three or four times in the past six months, and usually it rains at night, when my car is parked in an underground garage. Even if they had needed to be replaced, while I'm far from a gearhead, I can change my own wipers. Still, the bill came to $205.35, just $5 more than the same service on last year's long-term Optima.
I have noticed that the two Kia service waiting rooms I've visited were outdated and far from upscale, with little by the way of reading material or refreshments. Kia might want to give them a refresh before 2015 K900 buyers start bringing in their $60,000-plus cars in for service.
Allyson Harwood stepped behind the wheel over an extended break, and had these notes:
"I was truly impressed with the amount of features and equipment on this car -- although I will admit I didn't look at the price as tested. And I really like the styling, which grew on me over time. It reminds me of Saab. And the most pleasant surprise: The trunk is massive.
"However, if I were going to buy this car, I would not get the SX (SXL?) trim level. While I like the engine's power, the suspension is too firm and jarring, which is especially noticeable over uneven road surfaces and grates and on the freeway. I was disappointed with the steering feel, too. It feels like this trim level checks the appropriate boxes for the definition of what is considered sporty, yet the elements of it don't feel like they are cohesive. I could see driving this car with a different options package and I would be fine with a smaller engine.
"Some minor complaints: I wish the clock were bigger and not sandwiched in the left side of the nav screen. I don't like the constant reminders that there is traffic ahead, and the irritating requests to re-route around it. And I was disappointed with the aux/iPod connector. It didn't work with my iPhone 5, and the aux jack didn't work on its own either. Bluetooth worked fine."
More on our long-term 2013 Kia Optima SXL:
|Service life||12 mo/19,453 mi|
|CO2 emissions||0.85 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||22/34/26 mpg|
|Energy consumption||148 kW-hrs/100mi|
|Maintenance cost||$228.90 (2-oil change, inspection; 1-tire rotation, cabin-air filter, engine-air filter, tire rotation)|