I was very impressed with the Kia Sorento SUV which I recently reviewed, so I was looking forward to the Optima which is Kia’s flagship sedan. The Optima competes in a very crowded and competitive class of cars, so will it prove to be the optimal sedan? Let’s find out!
If you think it looks similar to the Hyundai Sonata you are right. They are actually built on same platform. This is the 3rd generation Optima and it is all new.
The shape defies the fact that it is a very large and roomy car. The interior is very nice and features a great layout. It seems like they have paid attention to their competition and taken the best features of each and combined it all for the Optima.
It features lots of leather, dual zone ventilation and a large screen which houses the audio, navigation, information and backup screens The power front seats are heated and cooled and it even features a heated steering wheel.
Back seat occupants get heated seats too! Two people will be very comfortable in back, and it will also fit three if the need arises. The rear seats do not fold down, but the trunk is very large.
Powering the Optima is a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder gas direct injection engine which makes 200 hp and186 lb. ft. of torque. Zero to sixty takes 8 seconds. There is also a Turbo which will get you to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds.
Expect fuel economy to average 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with 27 mpg overall. Nice figures for such a large car.
I took the Optima for a quick road trip and I found it to be a very comfortable driving companion. It’s hard for me to think of any other car that I’d rather be in than the Optima.
Every once in a while there’s something intangible that you feel when driving a car that makes you really like it. Perhaps it’s the way that the switches and controls feel when you are tuning into your favorite station, or maybe it’s the way the navigation system works. Of course it could also be the feel of the seats and drive train or just look of the interior.
Whatever it may be, the Optima definitely has it. And it also comes at a very fair price considering all of the luxury that it provides. The Optima starts at $22,495. Add the $2000 navigation package and the $2250 EX Premium Package which includes the heated and cooled leather seats and sunroof and you are out the door at $27,440.
I have previously driven many of the Optima’s main competitors like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry and I prefer the overall feel of the Kia. It might not be the fastest car in the group, but if it is speed you are craving in your sedan, than of course you can opt for the turbo.
Complaints are few with the Optima. The steering wheel has a bit of a dead on center feel but the steering effort is not too high. Of course the Optima is not a sport sedan, so just don’t expect to be blown away by the handling. It was built with safety in mind so it comes with traction control and front wheel drive
Hyundai, the other Korean car manufacturer has had a head start in the US market, but they have become a bit more mainstream lately and therefore a bit pricier too. Kudos to Kia for following the tried and true Korean car maker’s philosophy of taking the best of the other marques and making it their own all at a very fair price.
It’s pretty easy for me to sum up the Optima. It is one of those rare cars that I test, and I don’t want to give back. The last one was the Cadillac CTS-V wagon and that is in an entirely different category. The Kia Optima offers stupendous luxury, great fuel economy, and tons of safety features and space as well. What more could you ask for?