There is no doubt about it: the Kia Optima is a looker. The Optima comes in several flavors, including a Hybrid version, but if you want a bit of brawn with your beauty, you should opt for the SX Turbo, which gets you a 2.0 liter turbo pushing 274 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Read on for more about this exciting and stylish family hauler from Kia.
The Optima looks good from every angle and many people associate it with European sedans costings tens of thousands of dollars more. It is 190.7 inches long and rides on a 110 inch wheelbase. That Optima comes in five trims: the LX, EX, SX, SX Turbo and Limited (we reviewed the Optima Hybrid in February). Our test car was an SX Turbo.
The LX comes standard with chrome door handles and front grille, body colored heated power mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and 16″ alloy wheels. The EX bumps you up to 17″ alloy wheels. The SX comes with sculpted front and rear valence side sills, a black gloss and chrome front grille and 18″ alloy wheels with a machined finish. The SX Turbo adds HID headlights and the Limited adds chrome accent side sills and rear spoiler, LED fog lights, red brake calipers and 18″ alloy wheels with a chrome finish.
The Optima comes in six colors, each with a choice of two interior colors. Our test car was painted Satin Metal and came with the black leather interior.
The Optima has a very roomy and stylish interior with excellent outward visibility. Seats are comfortable front and rear and ergonomics are first rate. You will find plenty of legroom front and rear and 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space.
The LX comes standard with a 6 speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel controls for cruise, audio and phone, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cooling glove box, cloth seats, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat. The EX adds leather, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a heated leather wrapped steering wheel, a push button start, dual zone temp control, glove box illumination and carpeted floor mats. The SX adds steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, a 4.3 inch TFT display and carbon fiber film accents. The SX Turbo adds Drive Mode Select and the Limited adds an electronic parking brake, first aid kit and Nappa leather trim.
We already mentioned the awesome power available with the SX Turbo. But the LX, EX and SX models have a perfectly respectable 2.4 liter inline four cylinder producing 192 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Of course that is well shy of the 274 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque provided by the turbo 2.0 liter inline four found in the SX Turbo and Limited models. On the whole the Optima is great to drive, with predictable and consistent handling and a comfortable ride. And the turbo models have plenty of get-up-and-go for passing and merging on the freeway.
The 2.4 liter Optimas are rated at 23 city and 34 highway mpg while the turbo Optimas are rated at 20 city and 31 highway mpg.
The Optima is equipped with dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In addition the Optima comes standard with vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control system, electronic brake-force distribution, a brake assist system, hill start assist control and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The Optima was awarded a five-star rating in government crash tests. Furthermore, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls the Optima a “Top Safety Pick” and gave it a “Good” overall rating.
Our Kia Optima SX Turbo had a sticker price of $33,900. That includes the Turbo SX base price of $27,500, plus the $3,300 Premium Package (which includes a sunroof, rear camera and heated seats), plus the $2,300 Technology Package (which includes navigation and blind spot detection) plus $800 for destination. Keep in mind that the base LX starts at just $21,500 and includes a lot of standard equipment. All in all this is a great option if you are looking for solid, stylish family sedan.