2016 Kia Optima Reviews and Ratings

Sedan 4D LX I4

Best Performance and Design
J.D. Power Award

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (5)
Overall Rating
  4.6 / 5
Reliability
  4.6 / 5
Interior
  4.7 / 5
Exterior
  4.6 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.4 / 5

By Anonymous 8/23/2017 6:05:15 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  5 / 5
I wasn't really looking to buy a car, after looking at so many to choose from, I'm very glad I choose my KIA Optima EX. Its small looking, a gas saver but the inside is a whole different world, the space, comfort, and technology along with the view. It has everything I was looking for and more. I'm a truck guy at heart. So for me to talk about a car is something else. I want explain all the features I like you need to check the KIA they have some hidden jewels you may not know.
Reliability
  3.5 / 5
Interior
  3.5 / 5
Exterior
  3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  3.5 / 5

By Candis 8/23/2017 4:01:10 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
I love my Kia. Sometimes I have worried about how it will perform long term just because of its past and that fact that you don't see many older models still on the road as compared with Honda and Toyota, but I needed a new vehicle and it hit many of my check points. It's great on gas, a comfortable ride (since I have the EX), and accommodates our family of 4. I would have purchased the Sorento if it was more in my price range loaded.
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Richard 8/22/2017 9:34:12 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
You can't go wrong with a Kia of any model. This is our 5th Kia purchased back to back over the years and we've never experienced any problems.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By JB 8/19/2017 8:06:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Comfortable ride, great mileage. Best Features - Stylish, comfortable, great mileage. Worst Features - Hesitates a bit at times when hitting the accelerator
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Dave 8/11/2017 8:37:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
We replaced a 12 year old Camry with 160,000 with a 2016 Kia Optima after seeing the outstanding rating in Consumer Reports. The car is great. Interior styling is very good; controls and gauges are convenient and easy to see and use. Optima is very quiet and when operated in eco mode gives excellent mileage (over 40 on the highway and over 30 in the city), and still has plenty of pickup for interstate driving. Car is simply a great value. Second outstanding factor to mention is the dealership...Top of the line from the showroom to the service department. If this is an example of the dealer culture Kia is seeking, then they are on the right track there too.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2016 Kia Optima
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Kia Optima is all-new for the 2016 model year. Road and engine noise have been quelled and the 2016 Optima boasts one of the most refined interiors in the midsize sedan class.

Though improved by nearly any measure, the 2016 Kia Optima is not distinctive in appearance. Its styling has evolved only mildly from the previous generation, so its form seems stuck in the past. While fine-tuning every detail of the sedan, Kia evidently preferred not to risk deviating too much from a car that had achieved impressive success. Underneath, however, the 2016 Optima qualifies as all-new.

Buyers can expect a quiet, nicely composed ride and a compelling value argument.

The 2016 Kia Optima offers a choice of three engines: a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder along with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder carried over from the previous model. All are front-wheel drive.

The 2.4-liter engine, available in Optima LX and Optima EX models, produces 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter turbo generates 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet. Both engines are slightly reduced in power, but retuned for better drivability for 2016. Each comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. A powertrain switch has Eco, Normal, and Sport settings.

The 1.6-liter turbo, available for Optima LX, makes 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, and comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that works like an automatic. Kia claims greater fuel-efficiency and a sportier feel, but we recommend 2.4-liter models for most buyers. Of course, we prefer the most expensive engine, the 2.0-liter turbo, which we found especially strong and smooth.

Optima is among the first models to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The UVO system now includes Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, and Driving Score.

Building upon its superior safety reputation, the Optima has a huskier structure and way more high-strength steel, and may be equipped with new active-safety features.

Model Lineup

Optima LX 2.4 ($21,840) comes with the 2.4-liter engine, a rearview camera, air conditioning, six-speaker audio, Bluetooth, and satellite radio compatibility, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels. Optima LX 1.6T ($23,990) upgrades to the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and dual-clutch automatic transmission. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

Optima EX 2.4 ($24,890) comes with the 2.4-liter engine, leather upholstery, heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillamps, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, rapid-charge USB ports, heated steering wheel, woodgrain trim, and an illuminated glove box.

Optima SX 2.0T ($29,690) brings the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, gloss black and hairline metal interior trims, metal pedals, and 18-inch wheels. Optima SXL 2.0T ($35,790) upgrades with Nappa leather upholstery, 12-way driver’s and 10-way passenger’s power seats, ventilated front seats, 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound, advanced cruise control, stitched upper door trim, and active-safety features.

(The Optima Hybrid has been dropped, but it’s expected to return as an all-new 2017 model.)

Safety features on all models include seat-mounted airbags, driver’s knee airbag, rearview camera. Rear parking sensors, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert are optional. An option package includes autonomous emergency braking, front collision and lane departure warnings, and surround-view monitor.

Walkaround

While most midsize sedans have grown more interesting visually, the 2016 Optima stands out less sharply. For its fourth generation, designers appear to have followed a careful, mildly evolutionary path.

Despite modest visual change for its 2016 redesign, Optima continues many design themes that were formerly forbidden in sedans. Consider the curvaceously swoopy, coupe-like roofline, the rear-tapering greenhouse, and proportions that echo a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan.

Front/rear styling touches and softer-looking sheetmetal result in a design that’s matured. Modestly longer, taller and wider, the 2016 Optima is slightly more spacious and comfortable than before. Long rear doors make entry/exit easier than in most midsize sedans.

Interior

Evidence of the 2016 redesign is more noticeable inside. The front seats have improved, due to better use of space. Seating comfort is quite nice, courtesy of a new seat design with longer lower cushions and greater side support.

The rear seats aren’t the most comfortable. Cushions are a tad short and flat, as well as low, leading to knees-up posture and taller folks’ heads hitting the headliner.

Trim pieces, buttons, and switchgear are markedly improved. Less segmented than before, the instrument panel isn’t as slanted toward the driver.

In addition to abundant space, Kia offers one of the quietest and most refined interiors in the midsize sedan class. That’s quite a change, as the prior generation’s cabin was among the noisiest.

Rotary knobs are used for audio volume and tuning, as well as temperature settings. Gauges are legible, and touchscreens are comparatively intuitive.

Driving Impressions

Compared to rival sedans, the 2016 Optima feels responsive and nimble. Ride quality has been improved by moving suspension mounting points outward, on the stiffer body. Therefore, the 2016 Optima feels more compliant over mild bumps, as well as less bouncy over potholes and train tracks. Though not sporty, the Optima boasts an appealing ride/handling compromise.

Most enjoyable of the three powertrains is the 2.0-liter turbo, in Optima SX and Optima SXL trim. Its 6-speed automatic upshifts smoothly and downshifts promptly, with paddles to change gears manually.

Turbocharged performance mixes with thriftier fuel economy in the Optima LX 1.6T, but hesitation in the dual-clutch transmission interferes with drivability. On curves and hills, that version tends to struggle. Parking is clumsy and frustrating.

Optima LX and Optima EX models get the 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic. Most buyers should welcome this team’s smooth responsiveness, though the transmission will tend to downshift more often than with either turbo.

A Driver Mode Select system provides three modes, changing shift points and throttle sensitivity accordingly. Eco Mode resulted in hesitant shifting.

The base 2.4-liter engine is EPA-rated at 24/35 mpg (City/Highway), versus 22/32 mpg for the 2.0-liter turbo. The 1.6-liter turbo is EPA-rated at 28/39 mpg (City/Highway).

Summary

Value is a strong point. Each Optima contains more standard features than some prime rivals.

Driving impressions by Bengt Halvorson, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.


J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality 3 / 5
Overall Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
2 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
5 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
2 / 5
Overall Quality - Design
4 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Design
3 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Design
5 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
5 / 5

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.

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