Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
November started quietly enough. Our 2016 Kia Optima passed from editor to editor, connecting the dots in a series of around-town errands, until BAM! In the middle of the month, Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr and the Optima were en route to Edmunds HQ when the Kia was rear-ended.
More on that below.
by Dan Frio, Vehicle Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
In October, we mostly drove our 2016 Kia Optima around town and on our daily commutes, with one significant exception — a round trip from California to Colorado that added more than 2,500 miles to the odometer. On that trip, Vehicle Testing Assistant Mike Massey got a good sense of what the Optima's all about. It's a car with great long-haul manners that, distilled into our typical short hauls, make the Optima a strong value and a smart daily driver.
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant on August 4, 2016
When fleetmaster Mike Schmidt handed me the key to the 2016 Kia Optima, I didn't expect much. As the new Vehicle Testing Assistant, I was excited to drive my first car, but I've personally never been a fan of the brand based on friends who experienced multiple mechanical problems with their Kias years ago. But a night in the Optima made it clear that my head had been stuck in the sand.
Let me explain.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 30, 2016
This past week I took our long-term 2016 Kia Optima home for the first time since driving for its initial photo shoot. There were other cars available, but I was set to leave work right as traffic was hitting its fever pitch and I wanted something quiet, comfortable and easy to drive. If I'd remembered how touchy the brakes were I might have gone with another car.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 21, 2016
For the Edmunds.com long-term fleet, we usually end up testing fully-loaded vehicles so we can report how well, or poorly, most of the available features perform. The downside to this approach, however, is that we drive vehicles in trim levels that are on the narrow end of a sales bell curve.
Well, welcome to the thick part of the bell curve. Our 2016 Kia Optima is an LX Turbo. The LX is the Optima's entry-level trim, and getting the optional turbo 1.6-liter engine represents a half-step up from there. Our car also has just one option package, the Technology package. Final MSRP on our car is a budget-friendly $27,545.
Here are three reasons why the LX Turbo is a great way to go if you're shopping for an Optima.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on February 11, 2016
It's quiet, smooth and glides over bumps. That's my subjective review of our long-term 2016 Kia Optima's suspension so far.
After a few days around the city in the Optima, I'm really pleased with how comfortable it is. Our long-term Kia K900 had some issues once it had a full load of passengers, so I'm hoping the Optima doesn't fall victim to the same pitalls. For the time being, it seems really comfortable.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 10, 2016
When the Kia Optima was redesigned in 2011 it was groundbreaking. It had a design so striking that it reinvented the brand overnight. Sedan shoppers who never thought twice about Kia suddenly considered the idea of putting an Optima in their driveway.
We drove one for a year and liked much of what it offered. It wasn't perfect, though, so it didn't knock the class leaders off their perch.
For 2016, the Kia Optima has been redesigned again. This time around, Kia knows it has a good-looking car on its hands, so it didn't change much on the outside. It even made a Super Bowl commercial mocking the blandness of its competitors.
Most of the changes were made to the underlying chassis, suspension tuning and interior. Kia also added an interesting new turbocharged engine option that delivers strong performance and even more miles per gallon than the base engine. It's once again an intriguing option that we wanted to know more about, so we decided to give it another try and add one to the fleet.