2020 Kia Optima To Gain Special Edition Trim

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Automotive Analyst

Kelly Campbell is a SoCal native with a background in marketing, communications, and technical writing. Having spent her entire career in the automotive industry, Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for cars to her role as an Automotive Analyst at CarsDirect.

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, Automotive Analyst - December 11, 2019

When the 2020 Optima was announced, Kia announced that the EX Premium would become a separate trim rather than an option package. And now we think we may know why. Based on an early order guide and confirmation from Kia, the model will gain a value-oriented Special Edition trim with production slated to begin this month. Meanwhile, production of the regular Optima EX has ended.

The Optima Special Edition takes sport styling cues from the nearly $33,000 SX trim, receiving black exterior body accents such as sport-black outside mirror caps and a black roof, as well as 18-inch gloss-black wheels. It will also be receiving a panoramic sunroof and a special Sparkling Silver paint option only available with the Special Edition.

On the inside, the Special Edition will be fitted with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, and Smart Key with Push Button Start. All of these features and more will be offered in addition to what comes standard on the LX trim. Pricing for the Special Edition will start at $27,115, slotting it $1,500 above the S and just $800 less than EX Premium, after destination fees.

Kia Optima

According to Kia, the goal is to remain competitive within the mid-size sedan segment and offer consumers more value. “Mid-size sedan competitors from Toyota, Honda and Nissan with leather seating, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof are at least $4,000 more expensive than the Optima Special Edition,” says Kia spokesperson James Hope.

Although it will receive major upgrades in the styling department, the Special Edition will come equipped with the standard 2.4L 4-cylinder engine which puts out 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft torque. The more fuel-efficient 1.6L turbo requires stepping up to the EX Premium, while the range-topping SX remains the only way to get the 2.0L, 245 horsepower turbo.

The introduction of the Special Edition seems like a smart move, giving consumers a sportier option along with a laundry list of great interior features. However, with just an $800 difference in price from the EX Premium, the question is if consumers will be willing to see its value. That said, shoppers should be aware that the 2021 Optima is expected to be a redesign based on sleek Kia K5 sold overseas.

Learn more about the current Optima on sale now »

Pictured: 2020 Optima SX

, Automotive Analyst

Kelly Campbell is a SoCal native with a background in marketing, communications, and technical writing. Having spent her entire career in the automotive industry, Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for cars to her role as an Automotive Analyst at CarsDirect.

Follow On: Twitter

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