2016 Kia Optima Sedan Review

The mid-sized sedan segment is full of sedans so renowned, they don’t need an introduction. Accord. Camry. Fusion. Although the Optima has been on sale within the U.S. since 2001 at our NJ Kia Dealers, it just recently elevated itself from a bargain basement car to be a serious contender. Kicking off this new generation, the 2016 Optima raises the bar established by its esteemed predecessor, an automobile which helped to change the perception of Kia over the past five years.

The redesigned Kia Optima for 2016 maintains the prior generation’s stylish appearance, with only a couple of updates to the rear and front.

One thing which has not changed much for the year 2016 is the Optima’s styling on its exterior. Somewhat longer, taller, and wider than the vehicle it replaces, the Kia still is a head-turner; however, you will have to take a hard glance to see its subtle differences. Beneath the skin is another story. A high strength steel is extensively used in the chassis, which the brand claims makes for better structural rigidity, high-speed stability and handling. Additionally to the carryover 2.4 L base engine, a turbocharged 1.6 L engine now is available which promises better fuel economy and performance. Its optional 2.0 L turbo really gets less torque and power this time around; however, it still is the sporty option in the lineup.

Even as it moves toward the standard bearers within this segment as far as price is concerned, the Optima still is an excellent selection for value. Its base Optima LX already is available with an excellent choice of convenience items, whereas fancier configurations provide features which are uncommon at this level, which include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, quilted leather upholstery, and 360° parking camera. This type of premium content might be more expected within the Optima’s sibling, the Cadenza, yet it is a concise differentiator within the context of additional family sedans.

The Kia Optima for 2016 blends sporty styling with a solid value proposition which is difficult to beat inside the mid-sized sedan segment.


An abundance of luxury features and convenience for the money; quiet cabin; outstanding combination of performance and fuel efficiency with turbocharged 1.6 L engine.


Numb steering; the sloping roofline will make for restricted rear headroom.

What is New for 2016?

The Kia Optima for 2016 is completely redesigned.