2017 Kia Optima Review
Which Optima does Edmunds recommend?
Although the Optima comes in many variations, three truly stand out. The LX with the Convenience Plus package is inexpensive and gets you pretty much everything you want in a modern sedan such as blind-spot monitoring and an intuitive touchscreen. The middle-ground EX is also desirable. It comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats but is still reasonably priced. But if you find those Optimas too bland, go with the SX with Sport Value package. It is only marginally more expensive than the EX and includes most of its features plus a powerful turbocharged engine.
Edmunds' Expert Review
- More features for the money than most rivals provide
- Fairly customizable, with several features packages available per trim
- Plenty of small-item and cargo storage
- Infotainment system is easy to use
- Optional 1.6T powertrain's sleepy responsiveness can get annoying
- Sloping roofline cuts into rear headroom
- Hard to see out the back without a camera
|Overall||3.5 / 5|
Unlike the 2.0 turbo, the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and its unconventional seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission suffer from a disappointing lack of responsiveness when accelerating and driving at low speeds. The brakes can be a bit touchy, but handling is decent for the class.
In humble base LX trim, the Optima provides a good amount of comfort, and midlevel trims further benefit from features such as heated and ventilated seats. Long-distance road trips shouldn't be a problem for a variety of body types thanks to the roomy seats and smooth ride quality.
There isn't a lot of visual excitement inside the Optima, but it is smartly designed for function. The quality of materials and available features make you feel like you're getting just a bit more for your money. The only major drawback is the compromised rear visibility.
The Optima's carrying capacity is about as good as it gets in this class. The trunk is expansive, with a low load height, tall roof and wide opening. It also opens automatically after a few seconds if you have the key in your pocket. There's ample interior storage as well.
Our tester's 8-inch touchscreen is bright and attractive, with a legible font and redundant physical buttons that make it easy to find what you need. The only exception is the smartphone interface menu, which is tough to find. The navigation system is slow and can't be programmed while traveling.
Most helpful consumer reviews
EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Kia was offering thousands of $$ in customer cash, plus a military veteran's bonus, for leasing. Then I went to work on the dealer, and got the lowest possible money factor (interest rate) and highest residual value. After some haggling, I got the dealer down on their sale price. The point of all this explanation is to say I got a great deal on a really well-built car. I think the Kias are a great value for the money, are well-built, and have a solid warranty.
EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I brought this car around Aug in 2017. I got the EX trim. I was a previous owner of a 2012 and a 2015. (all the base line of the Ex Trim.) This is a very nice car but I lost a few things from the previous 2. I lost fog lights, engine power, dual exhaust in my opinion better sounding speakers. you also loose the lit up cup holders and holders in the door. At first when I got the car I was un happy with it. But as an owner in the last few weeks I'm really beginning to like it. In my EX base I have very comfortable seats with memory placement for 2 people, a newer dash, a improved Air conditioner, it's quiet and smooth (as far as wind noise) With this car you do still hear road noise, ( just like the old one) Very much improved gas mileage, Satellite radio is much easier to navigate, Bigger glove department. This car can drive in 3 modes economy, Standard and sports mode. As time went on I realised there is a big difference in power driving in sports mode than in Economy mode. In sports mode and normal mode you get much more power than in economy mode but in my opinion not as much as in the older models. but it's enough. The older model had 195 horse power vs this model has 185. One thing thats great the oil changes are done at 7500 miles vs 5000. Also the side view mirrors fold and there are lights where the door handles are on the outside, not necessary but it's cool. Over all this is a nice car I loved what i gained but I hurt in what i lost.
EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I keep telling myself I will stop making decisions based on esthetics....... The Optima is nice looking but noisy in every way. Wind noise over 60, engine noise at all speeds (and on acceleration an annoying 'sewing machine' sound), and tire noise on all but the smoothest, newest asphalt. My main criticism though is the handling. The car wanders and demands constant attention to hold a straight line. At highway speeds it feels as if it is buffeting even when there is no wind. There is also a pronounced vibration felt ,alternating, through the steering wheel and through the seat. The headlights retain moisture. All in all I regret making the purchase.
SXL Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I replaced my 2015 Kia optima sx turbo, with a 2017 Optima sxl.My 2015 sx was a very good overall car.The 2017 sxl has improvements in better quieter ride, better steering and more comfortable seats front and rear.The 2017 sxl also comes with michelin tires that are quiet and have better control and handling in very wet road conditions.The radio performance has also improved, although the 2015 was still very good.Heat lights and other safety features are improved as well.Overall I am again very happy with the 2017 Kia optima sxl, and recommend this car for at least a test ride.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Optima models:
- Dynamic Bending Light
- Swivels the headlights to provide illumination around a corner while turning. Also adjusts the tilt to account for passenger weight.
- Autonomous Emergency Braking System
- Automatically applies the brakes if various advanced safety systems determine a forward collision is imminent.
- Sounds an alert if a vehicle is passing or about to pass behind you as you back up.