by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on January 30, 2017
With a one-month absence as the result of a debilitating accident, it's amazing the 2016 Kia Optima was close to the 20,000-mile mark less than a week before it was set to return to Kia. Before I signed it out, Mike Schmidt, our test fleet manager, asked me to knock out a few hundred miles to tip it past the 20K goal we set for all long-term cars. "No sweat," I said.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on September 9, 2016
We've cleared the 10,000-mile mark in our long-term 2016 Kia Optima. We're close to being seven months into our year-long test, which means we've got a bit of catching up to do to reach our goal of 20,000 miles before we're done. A road trip or two would get us back on schedule. Thankfully, our Optima is certainly up to the task.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 25, 2016
I was looking over our recent updates on our 2016 Kia Optima. There hasn't much much excitement going on. We've posted some fuel updates and written some further commentary about the powertrain. Cameron noted how he loses our car in parking lots. In other words, boring. But maybe "boring" is actually good news. If you want your midsize sedan to get you through your day with a minimum of fuss, our Optima is rocking it.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on July 27, 2016
It's safe to say that the 2011 Kia Optima helped transform Kia's image from a me-too automaker to a company that produces vehicles Americans want to own. This was largely due to sharp bodywork shaped by ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer. But despite Kia's supposed anti-beige philosophy, I think the redesigned 2016 Kia Optima takes a step backward to safer territory. At least in our tester's featureless LX trim and nondescript Sparkling Silver paint.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on July 19, 2016
Our 2016 Kia Optima may just be the ultimate family sedan. It has a roomy cabin, a sizable trunk and plenty of storage space for small items. Further adding to the passenger-friendly atmosphere is the abundance of power ports smattered throughout the cabin. You'll never again have friends fighting over whose phone to charge first.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 7, 2016
For people shopping for a new 2016 midsize sedan, I could imagine the experience isn't too far removed from heading down a grocery store's cereal aisle. You thought you were going to get Cheerios, but then you notice that Raisin Bran is on sale. And didn't your friend say that she really likes Chocolate Chex? Mmm ... chocolatey. Meanwhile, at your local dealership strip: Should I get an Accord? Camry? Fusion? Malibu? Altima? Mazda 6? Sonata? Optima? Argh, paralytic indecision!
Well, based on my experience with our long-term 2016 Kia Optima, I've got five reasons why I think a potential shopper will like the Optima best.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 3, 2016
Back in March, Ed Hellwig wrote an update noting how the beeping of the blind-spot monitoring system in our 2016 Kia Optima could be viewed as annoying. It's a legitimate gripe, even though Ed also said he'd ultimately choose leaving the system on just for the enhanced safety. Less controversial in my mind is our car's rear cross-traffic alert system. For helping you out in crowded parking lots, it's great.
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 Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on May 26, 2016
This falls under "once seen, can't be unseen." Overly critical perhaps, but an automaker needs to conceal the magic a little better than this. I'm talking about these vinyl-wrapped chunks of sound deadening material wedged between the body panels of our 2016 Kia Optima.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on May 16, 2015
It's not a new party trick, but our 2016 Kia Optima has the same nifty hands-free trunk as our former Hyundai Sonata. I forgot all about that feature from the Sonata, let alone that it existed on the Optima, until talking to a neighbor while standing around near the back of the car.
I walked out to my driveway, key in pocket, as my neighbor passed by. He said he liked the Optima's styling, which I've found is one of the first things most people say about this car. It's fun to watch their reactions when you tell them the Optima was styled by a guy who was Audi and Volkswagen's former design boss (Peter Schreyer). There's always an "a-ha" moment, as if now it all makes sense.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on March 31, 2016
It's capable of impressive range and fuel efficiency, produces plenty of power for its mass, and has a pretty large back seat. Now we also know that our 2016 Kia Optima is also one of the safest midsize sedans available, having just earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ rating.
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 Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 29, 2016
Likewise, the Optima's fuel economy tally for January got a late start. It consists of only two fills, whereupon the silver sedan covered 617 miles and used just under 24 gallons of fuel.
Considering that its EPA combined rating is 32 mpg, is our 26.1 mpg January result a harbinger of things to come? We shall see. It's way too soon to start drawing conclusions.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 24, 2016
I spent a lot of time in the driver seat of our former long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Its roomy back seat, agreeable ride and quality interior made it an easy car to keep for the weekend. Another of its highlights was the design of its clean center stack, which I always found extremely easy to use.
I'm happy to see that the multi-tiered center stack has been incorporated into the 2016 Kia Optima as well.
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.