Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - September 19, 2018

2019 Kia Optima OVERVIEW

Ever since Kia rolled out with the fourth-generation Optima for the 2016 model year, the mid-size sedan has further built upon the South Korean brand's transition to building value-packed machine with handsome styling. Changes have been made to give the 2019 Kia Optima a corporate look that's inspired by the Kia Stinger and to make the sedan safer than before with even more high-tech safety features. With even more value than before, the Optima is a stronger contender in the mid-size segment than ever before.

What's New for 2019

Kia has given the Optima a redesign for 2019. The sedan gets an exterior design that's inspired by the sporty Stinger thanks to new front and rear fascias, updated front fog lights, and sportier wheels. In addition to the new exterior look, the Optima benefits from more standard safety features. Blind-spot monitoring, rear parking detection warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and a driver attention warning system are standard. Changes have also been made to the Optima's UVO infotainment system to make it easier to use.

Kia Optima

Choosing Your Kia Optima

Just like last year, the Optima continues to have three engines to explore. The base motor is a 2.4-liter inline-four that produces 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for the base engine. The LX trim continues to be the fuel-efficient choice thanks to its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated to make 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The motor is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder returns and, once again, brings a sporty character to the Optima. It generates 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and is paired to the six-sped automatic gearbox. Front-wheel drive is standard across the lineup. When properly equipped, the Optima is an efficient sedan, capable of getting up to 27 miles per gallon city, 37 mpg highway, and 31 combined, according to the EPA.

The 2019 Kia Optima is offered in four trims:


The most-affordable Optima LX starts at $23,820 (all prices include the $920 destination fee). The trim comes with 16-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, and power-adjustable heated exterior mirrors as standard exterior features. On the inside, the LX features cloth seats, six-way adjustable front seats, air conditioning, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 3.5-inch LCD display, and a six-speaker audio system are standard.

The LX Premium Package ($2,000) is the only major option for the LX trim. It adds a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic temperature control, 17-inch wheels, UVO link, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED interior lighting, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.


The S trim carries a starting price tag of $25,820 and comes with 18-inch wheels, a 10-way power adjustable-driver's seat, sport black cloth seats, fog lights, LED combination lights, smart key with push-button start, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio as standard. The only available package for the S trim is the S Panoramic Sunroof Package ($1,000) that brings a panoramic sunroof and LED interior lighting.


Moving up to the EX brings the 178-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and the seven-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the EX starts at $27,720 and adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go, an electronic parking brake, power front windows with one-touch auto up/down, leather seats, and heated front seats.

The EX trim can be fitted with the EX Premium Package ($3,100) that includes a panoramic sunroof, a voice-command navigation system, UVO link, a Harman/Kardon premium surround sound system, 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat, a memory system for the driver's seat, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, and LED interior lighting.


The range-topping SX trim starts at $32,820 and adds some luxury features as standard, including the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, LED headlights with dynamic bending light, a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and a Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system.

The only available package for the SX trim is the SX Limited Package ($3,800) that adds quilted Nappa leather seats, a surround-view monitor, 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding exterior mirrors, heated rear seats, rear side-window sunshades, as well as a leatherette instrument panel and door trim.

CarsDirect Tip

With the extra punch from the larger, turbocharged engine, the 2019 Kia Optima SX is the one we enjoyed the most. The SX trim brings nearly premium touches, but comes at a nearly-premium price. For consumers on a budget, the entry-level LX trim is an attractive choice, especially since it comes with all of the latest safety features as standard at an affordable price. The EX trim, though, is the obvious choice if you want a well equipped mid-size sedan with good fuel economy figures.

Get your price on a Kia Optima »

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