Kia's entrant in the hotly-contested midsize sedan segment, the Optima has been known for adventurous Euro-styling as well as value and features. Though redesigned for 2016, the fourth-generation Optima hasn’t changed dramatically in appearance. Like many rivals, the Optima can be equipped to push toward near-luxury territory.
What's New for 2016
Kia has redesigned its most popular model for 2016, adding a new LX 1.6T trim level with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and dual-clutch transmission. Ride and handling have improved, helped by increased torsional rigidity, and the 2016 Optima is slightly longer, taller, and wider. New bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights can be fitted with dynamic bending lamps, to illuminate the view around corners.
Choosing Your Kia Optima
The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 185 horsepower. SX and SXL versions get a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder that achieves 245 horsepower. Both of those engines use a six-speed automatic transmission.
A new 1.6-liter turbo, rated at 178 horsepower, goes into the LX 1.6T, mating with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The LX 1.6T gets a fuel-economy estimate of 28/39 mpg (city/highway), versus 24/35 mpg for 2.4-liter models and 22/32 mpg for the 2-liter turbo.
The Optima now is available in five trim levels:
Only option groups and port-installed accessories are available; there are no individual factory options. Selecting one of the five trim levels dictates everything from engine to minor conveniences, so choose carefully. Remember, too, that those option groups aren’t cheap.