LX 4dr Sedan
2016 Kia Optima

MSRP ?

$22,140
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Smart Buy Avg. Savings ?

$5,615
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EngineEngine 2.4LI-4
MPGMPG 24 City / 35 Hwy
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2016 Optima Overview

There are some questions that aren't easily answered. Is it possible to only eat one Pringle potato chip? Who decided the band Creed was a good idea? And why the heck isn't the Kia Optima more popular? That last one that floated through our heads as we tested the refreshed 2016 Optima. Kia sold just under 160,000 Optimas in 2015, while Ford sold 300,000 Fusions, Honda shipped 355,000 Accords, and Toyota moved 429,000 Camrys. The Optima's low numbers didn't make sense then, and they certainly won't make sense when sales figures for the refreshed 2016 model roll in. For the third-generation Optima, Kia applied its trademark exterior design to a segment-leading interior and one of the most comfortable driving experiences in the segment. The result is a damn fine family sedan that really ought to help Kia find its way into a lot more driveways. Driving Notes We can debate the value of top-trim family sedans until we're blue in the face, but in the case of the Optima, you want the SX Limited that we tested. It's one of the only ways to score Hyundai/Kia's stout 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine (the other is the $30,515 SX). At 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, it's down on output for model year 2016 – the 2015 model had an extra 27 hp and 9 lb-ft of torque – but gains two miles per gallon in the city and one on the highway, for a total of 22 and 32 mpg, respectively. Should we lament the loss of power? That's what we did when Kia first showed the 2016 Optima at the 2015 New York Auto Show. On the road, though, it's tough to pick out the drop in output. Nine pound-feet is negligible, and unless you're regularly playing in the high part of the rev range, you won't miss the extra power. The Optima pulls hard from a standstill, developing peak torque between 1,350 and 4,000 rpm. It'll get to 60 in what we guesstimate is the high six-second range. Yes, that is slower than both the six-cylinder Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, two sedans that are also lighter than the 3,600-pound Kia. Let's remember that these are family sedans, though, and the broad torque peak (and improved fuel economy) will be more important to your average consumer than the stopwatch figures. The Optima is more fuel efficient than the Japanese V6-powered competitors. Barely. And only in the city. That means the 2.0-liter's fuel economy has improved incrementally, not massively. It beats the Camry by one mpg in both environments, and it's up a single digit on the Accord in the city. The Honda, though, destroys the Kia on the highway, returning 34 mpg. And as we know, nailing EPA estimates with turbocharged engines is notoriously difficult. That, and our heavy foot, might explain the 18-mpg average we returned while testing the Optima. The only transmission choice for the SX Limited is a six-speed automatic. Not exactly cutting edge – …
Full Review

2016 Optima Overview

There are some questions that aren't easily answered. Is it possible to only eat one Pringle potato chip? Who decided the band Creed was a good idea? And why the heck isn't the Kia Optima more popular? That last one that floated through our heads as we tested the refreshed 2016 Optima. Kia sold just under 160,000 Optimas in 2015, while Ford sold 300,000 Fusions, Honda shipped 355,000 Accords, and Toyota moved 429,000 Camrys. The Optima's low numbers didn't make sense then, and they certainly won't make sense when sales figures for the refreshed 2016 model roll in. For the third-generation Optima, Kia applied its trademark exterior design to a segment-leading interior and one of the most comfortable driving experiences in the segment. The result is a damn fine family sedan that really ought to help Kia find its way into a lot more driveways. Driving Notes We can debate the value of top-trim family sedans until we're blue in the face, but in the case of the Optima, you want the SX Limited that we tested. It's one of the only ways to score Hyundai/Kia's stout 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine (the other is the $30,515 SX). At 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, it's down on output for model year 2016 – the 2015 model had an extra 27 hp and 9 lb-ft of torque – but gains two miles per gallon in the city and one on the highway, for a total of 22 and 32 mpg, respectively. Should we lament the loss of power? That's what we did when Kia first showed the 2016 Optima at the 2015 New York Auto Show. On the road, though, it's tough to pick out the drop in output. Nine pound-feet is negligible, and unless you're regularly playing in the high part of the rev range, you won't miss the extra power. The Optima pulls hard from a standstill, developing peak torque between 1,350 and 4,000 rpm. It'll get to 60 in what we guesstimate is the high six-second range. Yes, that is slower than both the six-cylinder Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, two sedans that are also lighter than the 3,600-pound Kia. Let's remember that these are family sedans, though, and the broad torque peak (and improved fuel economy) will be more important to your average consumer than the stopwatch figures. The Optima is more fuel efficient than the Japanese V6-powered competitors. Barely. And only in the city. That means the 2.0-liter's fuel economy has improved incrementally, not massively. It beats the Camry by one mpg in both environments, and it's up a single digit on the Accord in the city. The Honda, though, destroys the Kia on the highway, returning 34 mpg. And as we know, nailing EPA estimates with turbocharged engines is notoriously difficult. That, and our heavy foot, might explain the 18-mpg average we returned while testing the Optima. The only transmission choice for the SX Limited is a six-speed automatic. Not exactly cutting edge – …Hide Full Review