2016 Kia Optima Review

This year’s version of Kia Optima is longer, taller and wider than ever.


The manufacturer says that the new design was inspired by contemporary architecture. Headlamps are swept back and reach deeply into the fenders. As for the grille on the Optima SX and Optima SXL, it is hot-stamped and composed into a pinpoint design, reminiscent of the Kia K900 luxury sedan. This is considered to be quite an improvement, since the grille on the previous model seemed to be a low-quality one.

HID headlights are bi-functional, and alloy wheels range from 16” and 18” in diameter.

Kia also revealed 3 new paint shades to be added to the 2016 Optima color palette.

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Interior of 2016 Kia Optima

New Kia Optima 2016 interior has undergone many changes. The wheelbase has been extended for half an inch, which provides more space in the cabin – more headroom, shoulder room, rear seat leg room and trunk space. In the passenger compartment, soft-touch materials have been used, accompanied by stitching along the dashboard and doors adorned with metallic accents.  Front seats are heated and ventilated, with power-adjustable driver as well as front-passenger seats.

The cabin has been simplified with a clean and unified design, and received a wider center console which additionally creates a greater sense of space. Ergonomics have been enhanced by reducing the number of functional keys and buttons.

The UVO system comes standard with 4 new services – Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Other available services are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 2016 Optima is also equipped with a fast-charge USB port and the 8” touchscreen.

There is an optional Infinity audio system includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier.

The new Optima also comes with a rearview camera with an available 360° monitor. Rest of the features available are Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

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Engine and Specs

The 2016 Kia Optima will be available in 5 trim levels—LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo, SXL—corresponding to several different powertrains.

The three engine choices will be offered: a new 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and two engines from previous models – a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine models.

First option for Optima LX is expected to deliver 178 hp, 5,500 and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s supposed to be mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission acting like an automatic. According to the manufacturer, the 7-speed DCT provides a sporty feel without sacrificing fuel economy.

The 2.4-liter GDI engine is available on LX and EX models and is estimated to put out 185 hp at 6,000 rpm and 178 pound-feet of torque, whereas the 2.0-liter turbo is expected to produce 247 hp at 6,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 1,350 rpm.

Both engines are paired up with a 6-speed automatic transmission. SX and SXL trims received paddle shifters.

Price and release date

Pricing has not yet been announced, but it will be soon, prior to the Optima’s on-sale date, which is set for the last quarter of this year. The base price is expected to range from $22,000 to $28,000.

Just like its predecessor, 2016 Kia Optima will also be manufactured at the automaker’s plant in West Point, Georgia.

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