2018 Kia Optima
- New, simplified trim level breakdown
- Introduction of sport-themed S trim level
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard
- Part of the fourth Optima generation introduced for 2016
- More features for the money than most rivals provide
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors
- Classy interior with 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
2018 Kia Optima pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Optima does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating3.5 / 5
The Kia Optima has always offered a strong value proposition, but the current-generation model takes it a step further with a upscale cabin and all the latest driver aids and luxury features a buyer can expect from a midsize sedan. Competitive pricing, a host of newly standard features and a robust warranty keep the Optima in the running for top-of-class honors even as Honda and Toyota are coming out with redesigned models of the Accord and Camry this year.
Navigating last year's numerous trim levels and packages required a sextant and star chart, though Kia has wisely consolidated selections for this year. Pricing on the base LX model has barely changed, but a touchscreen, rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring have all been added to the standard features list. In fact, most trims received an additional feature or two for 2018. There are even enhancements for the top-trim SX model; it now counts a panoramic sunroof and ventilated seats among the included upgrades.
As value-rich as the Optima is, there are a few drawbacks. Headroom is tight all the way around because of the car's sleekly styled roofline, and passengers will feel the pinch even more with the sunroof specified. Visibility out the back is compromised by the roof, and non-SX models aren't much fun to drive. That said, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 2018 Kia Optima to anyone looking for an affordable, roomy family sedan with eye-catching good looks and a ton of features.
Trim levels & features
Kia has simplified the trims and features list for 2018, making it easier for buyers to find the right model. The base LX is loaded with goodies such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which were optional on last year's Optima. Even better, the price increase is negligible. The LX 1.6T adds a bit more, but its unique powertrain combination is tough to live with. The S is a sport-themed version of the LX, while the EX doubles down on luxury items. These models are all relatively close in price. The SX is more expensive, but its powerful turbocharged engine and additional features are enticing.
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 of torque) matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, remote locking and unlocking, cruise control, a driver information display, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats (with two-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver) and a 60/40-split rear seat.
Also standard for the LX are Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and HD and satellite radio. Standard advanced safety equipment includes a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The optional Convenience package adds noise-reducing front window glass and a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat (with two-way power lumbar).
Stepping up to the LX 1.6T adds a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (178 hp, 195 lb-ft) paired to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. This powertrain is unique to the LX 1.6T. Additional features include unique wheels, the contents of the Convenience package, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The S combines the features of the LX 1.6T with the engine and transmission of the LX. You also get 17-inch wheels, foglights, LED taillights, a rear spoiler, and cloth and leather upholstery. The optional Panoramic Sunroof package includes a panoramic sunroof and gloss black exterior accents, with the Panoramic Sport package consisting of these features, plus 18-inch wheels and larger front brakes.
The EX does without the foglights and spoiler, but it adds LED daytime running lights, power-folding mirrors, illuminated door handles, keyless entry and ignition, a hands-free unlocking trunk, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, heated front seats, four-way power lumbar for the driver, driver-seat memory settings, interior chrome accents, leather upholstery and two charge-only rear USB ports.
Two packages are available on the EX. The Premium package adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 10-way passenger seat (with two-way power lumbar), ventilated front seats and the panoramic sunroof. The Technology package builds on top of the Premium pack with a sport body kit, LED foglights, larger front brakes, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. A lane departure warning system and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are also included.
The range-topping SX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (245 hp, 260 lb-ft). It is equipped similarly to the EX with Premium package, with upgrades that include 18-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, LED foglights, a rear spoiler, dual exhaust tips, a sport-tuned suspension, a flat-bottom steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, and a larger driver information display. It also adds a temporary spare tire compared to the tire repair kit on other trims.
The SX is available with a Technology package that closely mirrors the EX's Technology package, but it also includes automatic high-beam control. Selecting this package opens the door to the Limited package, which adds chrome wheels and exterior trim, a premium headliner, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, upgraded leather upholstery, rear window sunshades and a 360-degree parking camera system.
Noise & vibration3.5
Ease of use4
Getting in/getting out3
Child safety seat accommodation4
Audio & navigation4
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Optima safety features:
- 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 advanced safety systems determine a front collision is imminent.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Sounds an alert if a vehicle is passing or about to pass behind you as you back up.
Kia Optima vs. the competition
2018 Kia Optima
2018 Honda Accord
Kia Optima vs. Honda Accord
The redesigned 2018 Honda Accord is the current leader in the midsize sedan segment. The Accord is sleek and fun to drive, and it can easily match the Optima in availability of features. The Accord's two available engines offer a balance of efficiency and power, and its wide variety of trim levels stack up competitively against the Optima's offerings. Don't miss the chance to test-drive an Accord before making your buying decision.
Kia Optima vs. Ford Fusion
Another example of a content-packed, classy midsize sedan is the Ford Fusion. Much like the Optima, the Fusion offers a combination of competitive pricing and impressive available equipment. The Fusion also has a comfortable ride, a well-trimmed cabin, and engines that add a bit of flair to the everyday commute.
Kia Optima vs. Toyota Camry
The 2018 Toyota Camry is one of the most popular midsize sedans on the road today. It gets the fundamentals right: It's easy to drive, it gets praiseworthy fuel-economy numbers, and it has a spacious interior. The Camry infotainment technology isn't class-leading, but that's about the only knock on it. It's worth considering if you want a highly practical midsize sedan.
2018 Kia Optima for Sale
The 2018 Kia Optima is a midsize sedan that offers a slightly better value proposition than many of its competitors. Typical of most Kia vehicles, the Optima is available in several trim levels, beginning with a feature-heavy base model at a very reasonable price. This value-rich trim structure is something we'll see repeated as we go through the Optima variants as each adds a considerable number of features in exchange for a modest price increase.
The 2018 Kia Optima comes in LX, LX 1.6T, S, EX and SX trim levels. Powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the entry-level LX is equipped with a ton of features, including automatic headlights, a rearview camera, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring. The only options package adds noise-reducing front windows and a power driver seat.
The LX 1.6T is a modestly priced upgrade that includes that extra package plus a fuel-efficient turbocharged engine unique to this trim. The S slots between the LX and LX 1.6T in terms of price, and it adds larger wheels, cloth-and-leather upholstery and a rear spoiler for a sportier feel. The EX is a luxury-oriented trim with upgrades that include leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats. Two available packages load the Optima to the hilt with features. Overall, we think the EX is the best value if you don't need the performance-minded SX.
Speaking of which, the SX is driven by a powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 245 horsepower on tap. A few performance and creature-comfort upgrades are also included, which amounts to a significant price jump over the EX. However, if you're looking at an EX with the Premium package, the SX is pretty close in price. And the SX is the only choice if you want a fully loaded Optima. Its Limited package gives the Optima an elegant cabin that feels more premium than those of top-trim competitors.
The Optima's base price is in line with most of its rivals. You'll find the Optima is less expensive than others as you start moving up the trim ladder and comparing features for the price. Even at the SX level (which can cost more than upper-echelon competitors if you tick the right boxes), the Optima gets the win for its greater feature content and show-stopping cabin trim. When you're ready, use Edmunds' robust shopping tools to find the perfect Optima for you.
2018 Kia Optima Overview
The 2018 Kia Optima is offered in the following submodels: Optima Sedan. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), S 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM).
What do people think of the 2018 Kia Optima?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Kia Optima and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Optima 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Optima.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Kia Optima and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Optima featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2018 Kia Optima?
2018 Kia Optima SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2018 Kia Optima SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $36,820. The average price paid for a new 2018 Kia Optima SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $6,966 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $6,966 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$29,855.
The average savings for the 2018 Kia Optima SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is18.9% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 3 2018 Kia Optima SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
The 2018 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,755. The average price paid for a new 2018 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) is trending $6,168 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $6,168 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$20,587.
The average savings for the 2018 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) is23.1% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 6 2018 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Kia Optima LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
The 2018 Kia Optima LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $23,630. The average price paid for a new 2018 Kia Optima LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) is trending $5,687 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $5,687 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$17,943.
The average savings for the 2018 Kia Optima LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) is24.1% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 22 2018 Kia Optima LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Kia Optima LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
The 2018 Kia Optima LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,430. The average price paid for a new 2018 Kia Optima LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $5,958 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $5,958 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$19,472.
The average savings for the 2018 Kia Optima LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is23.4% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 3 2018 Kia Optima LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2018 Kia Optimas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Kia Optima for sale near. There are currently 113 new 2018 Optimas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,630 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Kia Optima. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $7,006 on a used or CPO 2018 Optima available from a dealership near you.
Can't find a new 2018 Kia Optimas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Kia Optima for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $8,750.
Find a new Kia for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $11,757.
Compare prices on the New Kia Optima for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 Kia Optima?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.