I bought this car mainly because of the cheap price $7,995, low mileage-26,000 and remainder of the 5 year/60,000 bumper to bumper warranty. I've only owned the car for 6 weeks.
The overall look of the car is quite pleasing. The front grill/light design reminds me of a more "upscale" car.. Kinda cadillacish. Certainly more attractive than virtually any midsize American car.
I'm also pleased with the interior. The quality is better than I expected with pretty darn good attention to detail and better than expected materials. Everything is logically located and easy to reach. The interior has a nice look to it as well as a solid feel.
The seats are on the firm side. The back support seems to push you forward a bit, Regardless of the position, which I do not like. My 87 Camry seems to fit me like an old pair of sneakers.. Perhaps with time I'll break the optima's seats in.
Handling seems confident, capable and secure.
The ride, over smooth pavement, is like butter. I've heard professional reviewers comment on how well the Optima handles bad pavement, but I'll have to disagree. It seems like every little bump, on bad roads, is transfered right to the cabin. No worse than my old Camry, but not really any better either which is a bit of a disappointment.
The V6 has decent power and is very quite.
The transmission seems to lag slightly between the lower gears which seemed odd to me at first, but the over all impression is of a very refined engine/transmission. Much more refined than I expected.
Although a number of annoying problems have creeped up, All are covered under warranty and none of them are serious or have effected my positive feelings about the car. Even with locks that don't lock, struts that don't absorb bumps as well as I think they should and annoying interior noises that alert you to the fact that this is not a lexus... I am still very impressed at what $8000 can get you... and the fact that any problems with the car shouldn't cost me a dime to fix, for at least the next three years, is icing on the cake.
I'm a happy camper.