Matthew Keegan
Contributing Editor - November 19, 2019

2020 Kia Optima OVERVIEW

What's New

The 2020 Kia Optima is back with no major changes. The forward collision avoidance assist system has been upgraded to include pedestrian detection across the lineup, while the EX Premium is now marketed as a separate trim instead of an optional package on the EX trim.

Choosing Your Kia Optima

Kia offers the Optima in five trims: LX, S, EX, EX Premium, and SX. Prices start at $24,115 including destination for the LX and reach $32,915 for the SX.

Engine Choices

Three engine choices accompany the Kia Optima. The LX and S get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, both EX trims come with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor, and the SX is served by a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (Combined)
2.4L 4-Cylinder185 hp178 lb-ft27 mpg
1.6L Turbo 4-Cylinder178 hp195 lb-ft31 mpg
2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder245 hp260 lb-ft24 mpg

Power is sent to the front wheels by means of a six-speed automatic transmission on the base engine and with the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. The 1.6-liter turbo works with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Optima supplies room for five passengers and feels like a large car inside, although it's only a mid-size sedan. The front seats are supportive and offer enhanced bolstering on the top trims.

Cargo space measures 15.9 cubic feet, which is about average for the segment. The split-folding rear bench seat extends storage capacity.

Safety Features

Even base models come equipped with a generous roster of active safety features. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and rear parking sensors. Adaptive cruise control with full stop and go is included beginning with the EX.


Kia equips the Optima with an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility, one USB port, and a six-speaker audio system.

Starting on the EX, wireless charging and satellite radio become standard. The EX Premium and SX also get navigation and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

LX - From $24,115

Kia equips the standard LX model with projector headlights, LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, and power-adjustable heated side mirrors. Inside, the seats are covered in cloth. Other features include a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, air conditioning, and six-way manual front seats.

Remote start is a $425 option.

S - From $25,615

For just $1,500 more, Kia adds plenty of upgrades to the S trim. This model has fog lights,18-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, and a rear spoiler. Kia dresses the cloth seats in imitation leather trim, while the steering wheel is also wrapped in leather. A 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support and push-button start are also included.

A sunroof is a $1,00 standalone option.

EX - From $27,915

The EX trim has leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and upgraded wood interior trim.

EX Premium - From $30,915

A panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade is standard on the EX Premium. A heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, ambient lighting, a 12-way power driver’s seat, a 10-way power front passenger’s seat, and memory functionality for the driver's seat and mirrors are also included.

SX - From $32,915

The range-topping SX model comes with automatic-leveling LED headlights, LED fog lights, 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels, red brake calipers, a sport-tuned suspension, and a black gloss rear spoiler. Chrome accents, a 4.3-inch driver information display, and leather seating with red stitching enhance the cabin.

Compare Optima Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

Start your 2020 Kia Optima shopping with the S trim and you’ll have a well-equipped model for the taking. Consider the EX for a slightly more powerful and efficient option. With Kia’s usual discounting, you may be able to cover the cost of the upgrade.

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