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Base model shown as 2020 LX Auto
2020 Kia Optima LX Auto

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Available as a gas-only model, plug-in hybrid, and conventional hybrid
  • Comfortable handling
  • Upmarket cabin
  • Generous assortment of standard driver-assist features
Pro Review

Kia Optima: Everything You Need to Know

About the Optima:

The 2019 Kia Optima, with its affordable price, high-quality cabin, and extensive range of standard features, delivers the value for which the brand is known. The Optima also provides the smooth handling and comfortable ride that are desirable in a family sedan.

The Kia Optima is a midsize sedan that’s built to meet the needs of busy families. Its roomy cabin seats up to five passengers, and all models come with front-wheel drive. The Optima is offered as a gas-only model, conventional hybrid (Optima Hybrid) and plug-in hybrid (Optima PHEV).

Gas-only models are sold in four trim levels:

  • LX
  • S
  • EX
  • SX

The Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV come solely in the EX trim.

Shoppers looking for a midsize sedan have some outstanding candidates to consider. But with its attractive amenities and premium cabin, the Optima is a compelling pick in an accomplished class.

What’s New in the 2019 Kia Optima?

Kia has refreshed the Optima for the 2019 model year, and the sedan benefits from the following upgrades:

  • Exterior and interior styling enhancements, including new wheel and grille designs
  • All models now come with an expanded range of driver-assist features
  • Updated infotainment systems
  • Kia’s Optima Hybrid adds standard features such as heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control

What Does the 2019 Kia Optima Compete With?

The Kia Optima competes with such midsize sedans as:

Kia’s Optima distinguishes itself by being among the most affordable choices in its segment while still providing a host of upscale features.

Exterior Design of the 2019 Kia Optima

The 2019 Kia Optima’s tasteful exterior design makes it stand out as one of the most elegant family sedans in its class. The front fascia is home to a slim grille that flows seamlessly into winged headlights. In profile, the Optima showcases a sloping, coupe-like roof and sculpted side panels. It all comes together to give this sedan a look that’s both athletic and refined.

Base-model Optima sedans come with a generous list of standard exterior features, including:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic projector-beam headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Heated power-adjustable exterior mirrors
  • Gray mesh grille

You can upgrade your Optima with exterior options such as:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Rear spoiler
  • Black honeycomb grille
  • Extra chrome trim
  • LED headlights

Interior Style in the 2019 Kia Optima

The 2019 Kia Optima’s cabin design stands out as one of the its most appealing aspects. The sedan’s interior is home to premium materials and solid construction. From its sleek V-shaped center stack to its curvy dash, the Optima’s cabin has an upscale look.

The wide front seats provide spacious comfort. The rear seats offer good legroom, but the curved roofline may compromise headroom for tall second-row passengers. When it comes to car-seat installation, the sedan’s LATCH attachments are nestled deep in the rear seats, but other than that, they’re easy to access and use.

The Optima’s trunk provides 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the gas-only powertrain. The Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV are less spacious, due to intrusion from the battery pack. These models deliver just 13.4 and 9.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity, respectively.

Base Optima models come standard with such features as black cloth upholstery, air conditioning, height-adjustable front seats, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. All models come with split-folding rear seats that allow the trunk to accommodate outsize items.

The Optima’s list of optional interior equipment includes:

  • Wood-grain accents
  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

What Technology Comes in the 2019 Kia Optima?

The 2019 Optima comes with an impressive range of tech features. Base models are equipped with a six-speaker stereo, as well as an eight-inch touchscreen that controls the infotainment system. Standard Bluetooth connectivity allows the driver to make hands-free phone calls. All models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring that facilitates straightforward integration of your devices.

Numerous tech upgrades are offered. The list of optional equipment includes:

  • Satellite radio
  • Ten-speaker Harman Kardon audio system
  • Rapid-charge USB ports
  • Integrated navigation system
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 Kia Optima?

The 2019 Kia Optima comes standard with a host of driver-assist features that use cutting-edge technology to help prevent collisions. These include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring: This technology helps the driver make safe lane changes by issuing an alert if there’s a vehicle in the Optima’s blind spot.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert: This amenity will alert you if its sensors detect that you’re reversing the Optima into a stationary object or oncoming vehicle.
  • Forward collision mitigation system: If there’s an object in the Optima’s path and a collision is imminent, this technology will deploy the brakes to prevent impact.
  • Drowsy-driver monitoring: If its sensors detect that you’re driving while distracted or tired, this system will issue a warning.
  • Lane-keeping assist: If the Optima veers out of its lane, this system will help steer the car back on its correct path.

Optional adaptive cruise control helps the Optima maintain a set speed behind the vehicle in front of it on the freeway. The list of optional equipment also includes a surround-view camera, which uses a series of cameras to provide the driver with a 360-degree view of the Optima’s surroundings.

What Is the 2019 Kia Optima Like to Drive?

The 2019 Optima is a thoroughly pleasant car to drive. It remains composed when faced with rough road surfaces, and its steering is predictable and precise. The optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine delivers eager acceleration that can brighten your commute. Keep in mind, though, that other picks in this class provide handling that’s more athletic.

The Optima gives buyers a choice of five powertrains:

  • Naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 185 horsepower
  • Turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 178 horsepower
  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 245 horsepower
  • The Optima Hybrid pairs a four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a net output of 192 horsepower
  • The Optima PHEV matches a four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a net output of 202 horsepower

Both a six-speed automatic transmission and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic are offered. Power is sent to the front wheels.

The Optima PHEV can travel for up to 29 miles solely on electric power. This model’s mileage comes in at 103 MPGe (miles-per-gallon gasoline equivalent) combined city/highway with the electric motor in play and 40 mpg combined with just the gas engine, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

With the Optima Hybrid, mileage is EPA-rated at 41 mpg combined, while the gas-only Optima achieves fuel economy of up to 31 mpg combined. Note that gas-only midsize sedans from rival brands like Honda and Toyota are more fuel-efficient.

Should I Buy a New Kia Optima?

The 2019 Kia Optima offers premium style and an extensive range of standard equipment. It also costs less than many rivals, which gives it an edge for outstanding value. The Optima can be a good choice young families, singles, older drivers, or anyone looking for a well-appointed sedan at an affordable price.

Should I Buy a Used Kia Optima? Are There Any I Should Avoid?

Major redesigns in 2011 and 2016 significantly improved the Optima’s quality, both inside and out. An optional blind-spot monitoring system was added in 2014, so choose a 2014 or newer model if you want access to this amenity.

How Much Does the New Kia Optima Cost?

Pricing for the Kia Optima kicks off at $23,915, including destination charge. The Optima has a lower base price than many rivals, such as the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Kia Optima


  • Pleasant ride and handling
  • Upscale cabin
  • Stylish exterior design
  • Costs less than some rivals
  • Long list of standard features


  • Sloping roof compromises rear-seat headroom
  • Not as sporty as some rivals
  • Tight cargo capacity in Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV
  • Mediocre mileage from gas-only models
Model History

The Kia Optima made its debut with the 2001 model year and was notable as the Korean automaker’s first midsize sedan. Initially, it was a rebadged and barely restyled version of the Hyundai Sonata, a model produced by Kia’s sister company. But as brand identity ramped up, the Optima gained its own unique design with a 2003 update.

The Optima underwent significant restyling in 2006, 2011, and 2016. The 2011 overhaul represented a big jump up in quality for this Kia sedan, and the 2016 update brought further improvements in design, powertrains, and technology. The Optima PHEV debuted in the 2017 model year, and the Optima Hybrid was introduced with the 2011 model.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Kia Optima


Body Style
185 hp
6-Speed Automatic w/Sportmatic
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Blind Spot Sensor
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Bluetooth
  • Cruise Control
  • LCD Monitor
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Monitors
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.4L DOHC I4 GDI
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic w/Sportmatic -inc: drive mode select system (comfort, eco, sport)
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 2.88 Axle Ratio
  • 80-Amp/Hr 800CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • 150 Amp Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 18.5 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
  • Wheels: 6.5J x 16" Silver Alloy
  • Tires: P205/65R16
  • Spare Tire Mobility Kit
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Chrome Bumper Insert
  • Chrome Side Windows Trim, Black Front Windshield Trim and Chrome Rear Window Trim
  • Chrome Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Variable Intermittent Wipers
  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • Gray Grille
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Auto High-Beam Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • Laminated Glass
  • Radio: AM/FM/MP3 Audio System -inc: 6 speakers, 8" display screen, auxiliary and USB input jacks and Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls, Voice Activation and Radio Data System
  • Streaming Audio
  • Fixed Antenna
  • 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
  • Turn-By-Turn Navigation Directions
  • Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way adjustable driver w/driver power lumbar and 6-way adjustable passenger seat w/manual height adjuster
  • Driver Seat
  • Passenger Seat
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access and Power Fuel
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
  • Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Leatherette Door Trim Insert
  • Urethane Gear Shift Knob
  • Cloth Seat Trim -inc: anti-soiling fabric,
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination, Driver And Passenger Auxiliary Mirror
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering
  • Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
  • Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
  • Smart Device Integration
  • Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Systems Monitor
  • Redundant Digital Speedometer
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Manual Anti-Whiplash Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
  • Perimeter Alarm
  • 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Parking Distance Warning Rear Parking Sensors
  • Blind-Spot Collision Warning Blind Spot Sensor
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assist-Line (LKA-L) Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist-Line (LKA-L) Lane Departure Warning
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2020 Kia Optima (4)










Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2020 Kia Optima (5)

LX Auto
MSRP Starting at
S Auto
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
EX Premium DCT
MSRP Starting at
SX Auto
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2020 Kia Optima

2020 Kia Optima LX Auto

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Kia Optima LX Auto:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating