2016 Kia Optima SX

Pros: Quiet cabin; well-designed infotainment features; good mix of fuel economy and power from new 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: Kia’s popular midsize sedan is redesigned for 2016, on a platform that is slightly longer, taller, and wider than its predecessor. Despite numerous under-the-skin structural improvements, exterior styling changes only slightly… it’s hard to tell a 2016 Optima from a previous-gen model at a glance. A new turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine joins the carryover 2.4-liter four and turbocharged 2.0-liter four. 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 new Kia Optima maintains the handsome styling of the previous model, while offering several performance, technology, and safety upgrades that keep it competitive with midsize-sedan class leaders. Note that hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the new Optima are set to go on sale as 2017 models by the end of the 2016 calendar year.

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: $21,990
LX Turbo: $23,990
EX: $24,990
SX Turbo: $29,790
SXL Turbo: $35,890

Base Engine
2.4-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
185
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
24
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
35

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
178
Std. Transmission
7-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
39

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
245
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
22
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
32

2016 Optima SXL 2.0 turbo
2016 Kia Optima SXL