2014 Kia Optima Reviews and Ratings

Sedan 4D SX Limited I4 Turbo

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2014 Kia Optima
NADAguides Test Drive Review
Overall Score



Attractive styling inside and out, feature rich, and competent acceleration and handling.


Rear seating is a bit tight, the quality of some of the interior materials/switchgear could be improved, and at over $36,000, pricing is on the high side, in comparison with its competition.

What's new for 2014

For 2014, the Kia Optima SX Limited's exterior has received a minor restyling at the front and rear, and on the interior, there are several new comfort and convenience features. These include a more comfortable steering wheel and front seats, an improved infotainment screen, keyless entry and engine start, a blind spot monitoring system and rear parking sensors.

Exterior Impressions

The 2014 Kia Optima SX Limited is attractively styled, and its appearance suggests that of a European sport sedan costing thousands more. The Optima's profile is smooth and aerodynamic, overhangs are relatively short, and wheelwells are nicely filled by its chromed 18" alloy wheels. Fit and finish appear to be good, as do the quality of materials used; it would be nice, however, if the doors closed with a more refined, reassuring sound.

Exterior Features

Standard exterior features for the 2014 Kia Optima SX Limited include a 2.0 liter, turbocharged, 274 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission (with Sportmatic), 4-wheel disc brakes, and power steering (electrically assisted). The Optima rides on a fully-independent suspension, and in SX Limited trim, chromed 18" alloy wheels that are fitted with 225/45 R18 tires. There are HID headlights and LED taillights, fog lights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, heated side mirrors with power folding and built-in LED turn indicators, and various chrome trim items (door handles, grille surround, side sills, exhaust finishers, etc.). The door handles have buttons that activate the Optima's keyless entry system.

Exterior Summary
Interior Impressions

For the most part, the design of the Optima's interior is pleasing and well thought out. Up front, the seating is comfortable and attractive, and during warm weather, their cooling feature provides welcome relief. Ergonomics are very good, and with the exception of its voice recognition, which was inaccurate most of the time, the infotainment functions are mostly intuitive. And speaking of infotainment, sound quality from its audio system is very good; we only wish there were more sources of content available, such as Pandora and Stitcher Internet Radio, etc. Areas where the Optima could be improved include rear seat width and legroom, the size of the trunk pass through, and the quality of some of the interior materials (turn signal/wiper stalks, overhead light switches, the plastic on the gear lever, etc.). Also, the panoramic moonroof would be even more fantastic if it had a venting position while the sunshade is closed.

Interior Features

The 2014 Kia Optima SX Limited has power-adjustable front seats (with memory on the driver's seat), a 60/40 split folding rear seat, power windows and door locks, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (with compass and HomeLink), adjustable sun visors with integrated lighted mirrors, keyless entry, push button engine start, and a panoramic moonroof. The front seats have heating and cooling, the rear outboard seats have heating, and all seating surfaces are trimmed with Nappa leather. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes, is leather wrapped, has heating, and integrated infotainment, phone system and cruise control buttons. Infotainment consists of an 8-speaker Infinity audio system with AM/FM/HD radio bands, CD and MP3 play ability, a SiriusXM tuner, and Kia's UVO eServices. A dashboard-mounted 8" touchscreen controls and displays the infotainment content, as well as information from the standard GPS navigation system and rearview backup camera. Connectivity options include Bluetooth and both USB and auxiliary input jacks.

Interior Summary
Technology Effectiveness
Comfort and Romminess
Driving Impressions

With its 274 horsepower turbocharged engine and sport-tuned suspension, during typical driving, the 2014 Kia Optima SX Limited provides average to above average (for its automotive segment) acceleration, handling, braking distances, and fuel economy. At the same time it also produces a refined, composed, and compliant ride. More spirited driving revealed significantly reduced fuel economy, as well as moderate amounts of turbo lag, torque steer and brake fade, but overall, we were pleased with how our test Optima performed on the city streets, and on the highway.

MPG Experienced

20.5 MPG (mostly city driving conditions)

Driving Impressions Summary
Overall Score

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