What Is It?
2016 Kia Optima
What's New About This Model?
The 2016 Kia Optima is fully redesigned for 2016. The new Optima is slightly larger than the car it replaces, which translates to more interior and cargo space. Not only is the interior larger, but it's nicer than it's ever been, with a wide center console, more comfortable seats and more sound-dampening. Advanced driver-assist safety features are optional.
Kia's newest midsize sedan features one of three engines: a 2.4-liter, 185-horsepower four-cylinder, a 247-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (both are carry-overs) or a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This engine produces 178 hp, is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and will be focused on fuel economy.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Kia said that the 2016 Optima will go on sale in the winter of 2015.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been announced, but expect the 2016 Optima to follow the pattern set by the current Optima, with a starting price in the low $20,000s range up to $35,000 for a fully loaded SXL.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The Kia Optima is available as a four-door, five-passenger sedan in one of five trim levels. Base Optimas feature standard cruise control, a rearview camera, USB input, Bluetooth and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
Exclusively for the U.S. market is the SXL trim level, which features a special grille (shared with the SX trim), 18-inch wheels, a 360-degree parking camera, paddle shifters, a retuned power steering system, sport suspension, HID headlights, a sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and more.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
- 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder: 185 hp, 178 pound-feet of torque
- 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder: 178 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque
- 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder: 247 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque
- Six-speed automatic transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
All engines operate on regular 87 octane fuel.
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
All 2016 Kia Optimas come with driver and passenger airbags, side airbags, side curtain airbags for the front and rear, and antilock braking. Advanced safety features like a back-up warning system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, smart cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning are optional.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Ford Fusion: The Ford Fusion revitalized a visually stagnant segment and just happened to back up those good looks with superior driving dynamics and a tech-laden interior with every toy you didn't know you wanted in a family sedan.
Honda Accord: The segment leader, fresh off of a refresh, the Accord is tough to beat. It's not as stylish as the Optima, but comes with Honda's decades-long reputation for getting it right.
Toyota Camry: Another giant in the segment hot off of some significant updates. For 2015 the Camry got a new look, revised suspension and upgraded interior.
Should You Wait for It?
The 2016 Kia Optima may be all new, yet all of the changes feel like enhancements rather than revolutionary changes. This iterative approach to sedan building is smart, but doesn't make you want to wait in line for one. If you need a new midsize sedan before winter, there are plenty of good options on the market, including the current Kia Optima.