Skip to main content

Used 2017 Kia Optima SXL Turbo Sedan Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Kia Optima SXL Turbo Sedan.

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
the optimal automobile by kia
alan,09/03/2017
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.
5 out of 5 stars
WOW KIA DOSE IT AGAIN GREAT JOB!
Naser popal,06/01/2017
SXL Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I just upgraded from my 2014 Kia Optima SX / tech package. To the new 2017 Kia Optima SXL I must say Wow what a big Difference. 2014 Optima was not bad for its age but this new one beats it in every way possible. Yes it has less HP but it seems quicker you get 260 hp tourq at very low 1350 rpm compare to previous which came in about 1650rpm . The New sport,eco,normal modes compared to to previous gen are realy,realy good and noticeable. Steering is better interior cabin is much much quieter plus more roomy . Technology in this new Optima is outstanding I love the smart cruise control , Auto hold and atnomuse breaking all these safety tech features have been engaged at some point of my driving since I owned it . Thank god nothing has happen to me or the car . Only thing I don't like about the car very small and very hardly noticeable if you are a picky person like me . That are the Kia kick plates or cup holder they no longer illuminate , the instrument cluster gadeged no longer go all the way to max RPM upon start of the car. Last but not least thier is a bit of engine noise in the cabin when flooring the the car at low rpms not a bad thing sometimes it's kinda annoys me . Other then those little inprofections the car is great!
4 out of 5 stars
Homerun for the money.
Jc,09/05/2018
SXL Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
My 3rd optima keep stepping up. Now at the sxl. They are just good cars. No they aren’t Audi’s or the like but what do you expect. Mine listed for 37. Got it for 29 and change admittedly 37 is just to much. 29 however is a steal. I will have had it 2 yrs November and I have that itch. Want a new car for wants sake. Then I get in my car and drive it. It’s great truly. Nice styling. White with Crome package good stereo and all the creature comforts. Is it a sports car. No! But ample power. Even the paddle shifters are a hoot. The trans could be quicker. But it’s a sedan so that’s what you get. Honestly they made this car , for the money; to good. And to step up cost. 40-50. And do I really get that much more ? As of right now. I will say if u do go for an optima make sure you get the 18 inch wheels. Not the 17’s the make a huge difference
5 out of 5 stars
Great car!
Liz P,03/12/2022
SXL Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This vehicle gives you luxury at a reasonable price.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2017 Kia Optima SXL Turbo Sedan

Pros & Cons

  • 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


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.

Full Edmunds Review: 2017 Kia Optima Sedan

What’s new

Changes to the 2017 Optima are few after its full redesign last year. Upgraded headlights on the SX and SXL are now LEDs rather than xenon, and there are new packages for most trims, such as the LX's Driver Convenience and the EX's Premium Plus packages.

Vehicle overview

Spacious sedans are continually losing market share to crossovers, but family-friendly four-doors such as the 2017 Kia Optima prove the segment still has plenty of life. The list of improvements to the 2017 version is mild in light of the full redesign it received last year, but the Optima line continues to grow with several new packages that allow shoppers to mix and match to find the right car. Add that to the Optima's existing strengths — a compelling value proposition, roomy seating and a big trunk — and you've got a sedan that can stand toe to toe with all-stars such as the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

Like its sister car, the Hyundai Sonata, the Optima scores high marks in the value category without feeling cheap inside. And with the top-trim SXL, you won't find a more deluxe cabin without upgrading to a true luxury sedan. There are shortcomings, to be sure. Tall rear passengers will brush their heads on the sloped roof and buyers looking for excitement should look elsewhere. But we think these are relatively minor knocks that shouldn't deter you from considering the 2017 Kia Optima for your next sedan.

What's it like to live with?

To learn more about the Kia Optima of this generation, read about our experiences from a full year of living with a 2016 Kia Optima. We cover all the aspects of Optima ownership, from seat comfort and cargo space to real-world fuel economy and in-car tech. The 2017 model gets a few small updates to available option packages, but it's in the same generation as the model we tested, so most of our observations apply.

2017 Kia Optima models

Although Kia does not offer much in the way of standalone options, there are a dizzying number of Optima permutations available to buyers. The base LX is fairly light on features, but it also doesn't cost much. The LX 1.6T adds a bit more, but its unique engine-transmission combo is tough to live with. The EX sticks with the LX powertrain and comes with a substantial number of luxury features for a moderate uptick in price. The SX includes a powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine among its upgrades, but if you want your Optima to feel like a luxury car, the top-trim SXL does the trick.

Under the hood of the front-wheel-drive Optima in its base LX form is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower, 178 pound-feet) matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, remote locking and unlocking, a rearview camera, cruise control, a driver information display, selectable driving modes, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats (with two-way lumbar adjustment for the driver), a 60/40-split rear seat, Bluetooth, a 5-inch central display, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB port.

Three packages are available for the Optima LX. The Driver Convenience package adds heated and power-folding mirrors, laminated (i.e. quieter) front window glass, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way lumbar adjustment) and driver-seat memory settings. The Convenience Plus package requires the Driver Convenience package and adds rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a 7-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Kia's Uvo infotainment system. As an alternative, you can also just get the Convenience package, which costs slightly less and includes everything above minus the touchscreen, but we think getting the touchscreen is a good idea.

Stepping up to the LX 1.6T adds a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (178 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque) paired to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. This powertrain is unique to the LX 1.6T. Additional features include a hands-free trunk, illuminated door handles, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the laminated windows and mirrors from the Convenience package.

Two packages are available for the LX 1.6T. The Value package adds upgraded headlights, LED daytime running lights, the power driver seat, driver-seat memory settings, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and the 7-inch touchscreen. The Technology package includes the blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors plus LED taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, two charge-only rear USB ports, an 8-inch touchscreen and navigation.

The EX sticks with the powertrain from the LX and adds 17-inch wheels, LED taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, the additional USB ports, leather upholstery and the contents of the Value package.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that there are two packages for the EX. The Premium package includes all of the upgrades in the Technology package, plus a panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power-adjustable passenger seat (with two-way lumbar), ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. Opt for the Premium Plus package and you'll get those and forward collision warning with emergency braking, lane departure warning, an electronic parking brake, rear window sunshades and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

For a sportier Optima, Kia offers the SX. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (245 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque). It is equipped similarly to the EX, with upgrades that include 18-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, a rear spoiler, dual exhaust tips, a sport-tuned suspension, a flat-bottom steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, a larger driver information display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear window sunshades and the 8-inch screen with navigation.

If you want the performance of the SX but don't necessarily need the extra luxury features, you can order it with the new Sport Value package. It's priced lower, but Kia deletes the LED headlights, hands-free trunk, keyless entry and ignition, and an auto-dimming mirror. Additionally, the 7-inch touchscreen is used instead of the 8-inch system. On the other hand, if you'd like more features you can add the Launch Edition package. It adds the contents of the Premium package and the 10-speaker audio system. Then there's the Technology package for the SX that includes everything else from the Premium Plus package, alongside automatic high-beam control and adaptive cruise control.

At the top of the Optima lineup is the SX Limited. It includes everything listed above and a 360-degree parking camera, wireless smartphone charging and upgraded leather upholstery.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6T (1.6L 4-cyl. turbo; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic).

Driving

3.0
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.

Comfort

3.0
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.

Interior

3.5
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.

Utility

4.5
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.

Technology

4.5
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.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2017 Kia Optima in Virginia is:

$73.25 per month*
Legal