Today the market of mid-size sedans if crowded with best-sellers, fan favorites and ground-breakers. Toyota’s Camry, Honda’s Accord, Subaru’s Legacy – they don’t even need an introduction, because everybody knows about them. And what about the Kia Optima? The fun fact is, it’s been available here in the United States since 2001 (yes, that’s about 15 years now, 1.5 decades), however, the company only managed to propel it to the next level just recently. These days it’s one of the most competitive offers in the segment, and, kicking off the new gen, the Kia Optima 2016 is more than capable to stand its own and fight the rivals.
So, the one and only thing that hasn’t gone through changes is the exterior design. True, it’s a bit longer, wider and even taller than the predecessor, but you’ll still need those night gaggles to notice all the tiny differences between the two models. Despite the fact, the new Optima is still an eye-catching princess on the road, so, if styling is important to you, check this one out and maybe even take it for a test-drive at your local Kia dealership.
A New Chassis And 3 Engines To Choose From
The biggest changes, though, are underneath the skin. The chassis boasts high-strength steel, which allows for better handling, stability on high speeds and overall structural rigidity. Furthermore, in addition to the good-old 2.4-lit standard-level engine you’ve got a 1.6-lit turbocharger available and it provides improved fuel-efficiency and performance. The third engine is a 2.0-lit 4-cylinder that is the sporty sibling of the two.
The Kia Optima 2016 is mated to FWD (front-wheel drive) and a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The LX and EX trim levels come with the entry-level 2.4-lit 4-cyl engine that’s good for 185HP and 178 lb-ft of torque.
The SX and SXL trims come with the mighty turbocharged 2.0-lit 4-cylinder that’s capable of 245 Horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With this setup the latest Optima goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds, which is a below-average result for a mid-size sedan with a turbocharged engine under the hood.
The final unit – the 1.6-lit T – is as strong as 178 Horses and is good for 195 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it’s paired to a 7-speed automatic clutch transmission, which, essentially, is an automatic one.
Tons Of Entry-Level And Optional Equipment
The 2.4-lit 4-cylinder engine returns 35 miles per gallon on the highway and 24MPG in the city (28MPG combined), which is almost a class-leading result. The turbocharged 2.0-lit unit returns 25MPG combined (32MPG hwy/22MPG city), while the 1.6-lit engine (also turbocharged) is good for 32MPG combined (39MPG hwy/28MPG city). As you can see, when it comes to fuel economy, the latest Kia Optima 2016 is a pretty great pick. And it’s a solid choice for the value, as well.
The standard-level Optima offers a nice collection of convenience features, while the upper trims come with equipment that’s not so common at this level, such as leather upholstery, a 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control, (automatic) emergency braking and even a panoramic sunroof. So, if you’re a fan of high-tech stuff and top-notch safety equipment, the Korean beauty should also be your first pick.
Alright, summing up I gotta say that the brand-new Kia Optima is a pretty strong competitor on the market of mid-size sedans. You’ve got a rich blend of style, performance and value, and that’s what makes this car a serious rival for the class-leading Camry and Accord.
With a choice between 4 trim levels and 3 engines you’re got a pretty flexible model, with lots of combinations and pricings. On the road the Kia Optima 2016 feels great, with solid handling, a refined ride quality and quite a noise-free interior. The 2.0-lit 4-cyl might not be as snappy as the high-end Camry/Accord, but it’s still one of the mightiest powertrains on the market.
View the video Just Arrived: 2016 Kia Optima on Everyman Driver in Aspen: