2018 Kia Optima

Pros: Quiet cabin; well-designed infotainment features; good mix of fuel economy and power from 1.6-liter turbo engine; stiffer body structure makes for improved ride and handling over previous Optima; competitive pricing

Cons: Numb steering feel, even in “Sport” setting; 1.6-liter engine exhibits some low-speed turbo lag; some lackluster interior materials in lower-end models; sloping roofline compromises rear-seat headroom

CG Says: All 2018 Kia Optimas now have standard blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. The topline SXL model has been dropped, but with options, the SX has similar equipment. There is also a new S model that slots between LX and EX. Kia’s popular midsize sedan was redesigned for 2016, on a platform that was slightly longer, taller, and wider than its predecessor. Three conventional and two hybrid powerplants are offered. The base engine is a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four cylinder. Also available are a 178-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 245-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four. The Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid pair a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor. The combined horsepower for the Hybrid is 192, while the Plug-In Hybrid develops 202. The Plug-In Hybrid can travel 29 miles on electric power alone. All engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission—except the 1.6-liter turbo which is mated to a seven-speed automated-manual transmission. All Optimas are front-wheel drive. Available safety features include a 360-degree around view monitor, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and an autonomous emergency braking system. The Kia UVO infotainment system includes enhanced smartphone connectivity and new eServices features aimed at teen drivers: GeoFencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, and Driving Score. The Kia Optima has handsome styling, while offering several performance, technology, and safety features that make it competitive with midsize-sedan class leaders.

The Facts
Class Midsize Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Kia
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices LX: $23,495
S: $24,495
EX: $26,595
LX 1.6T: $25,295
SX: $31,495
Hybrid Premium: $26,890
Hybrid EX: $31,885
Plug-in Hybrid EX: $36,105

Base Engine
2.4-liter 4-cylinder (LX, S, EX)
Horsepower
185
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
23-25
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
32-36

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder (LX 1.6T)
Horsepower
178
Std. Transmission
7-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
37

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (SX)
Horsepower
245
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
21
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
31

Optional Engine
2.0-liter 4-cylinder/electric (Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid)
Horsepower
192 (202 Plug-in Hybrid)
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
39 (103 MPGe Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid)
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
46 (40 combined city/highway Plug-in Hybrid)

2017 Optima Plug-In Hybrid
2018 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 5
100%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 5
100%
Side Crash - 5
100%
Rollover - 5
100%

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