2018 Kia Optima Sedan

#90
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

$22,500 - $30,500

7.2

Overall Rating

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Overview

After receiving a fresh tweak in 2016, the Kia Optima arrived in 2017 with mild updates and some extra add-ons. For 2018, the Optima remains unchanged. The 2018 Kia Optima lies above the compact Forte and below the larger Cadenza. A new S trim has also been added alongside the LX 1.6T and the LX 2.4 with the Convenience package.

The LX 1.6T and the LX 2.4 trims get laminated front windows, auto up/down front windows, and a 10-way power driver's seat as standard. The SX Turbo model now comes with standard features like a panoramic sunroof, LED fog lights, UVO3 infotainment system, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 10-way power front passenger seat. The carmaker has discontinued the SX Limited trim and the optional package is introduced with the Optima SX trim.

The three engine options available for Kia Optima include: a 2.4-liter I-4 with 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, a 1.6-liter turbo-four with 178 hp and 195 lb-ft, and a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 245 hp and 260 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic transmission is mated to the base 2.4-liter I-4 and 2.0-liter turbo-four, while the 1.6-liter turbo-four cylinder powertrain is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission

See detailed review »

Pros

Standard tech and safety features

User-friendly infotainment system

Spacious interior

Multiple engine options based on preference

Excellent safety rating

Cons

Average driving dynamics

Inconsistent material quality

Slow acceleration

What's New?

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto 7-inch touchscreen display

Blind spot monitoring Rear cross traffic alert Rear parking sensors


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22500

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

123 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

144 cu. in.

horsepower

185 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

178 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.2 in. ventilated front disc/12 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

191.1 in.

width

73.2 in.

height

57.7 in.

curb weight

3219 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

104.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

9400 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.8 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

185 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/29/36 mpg

highway range

666 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 years/60000 miles

drivetrain warranty

10 years/100000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/100000 miles

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Titanium Silver color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Sparkling Silver color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Snow White Pearl color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Silky Silver color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Sangria color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Remington Red color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Platinum Graphite color  2018 Kia Optima Sedan in Horizon Blue color
Titanium Silver

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.6

Engine

6.1

Fuel Economy

7.9

Interior

6.8

Exterior

6.1

Safety

8.9

Driving

7.3

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Kia Optima Sedan LX

LX

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$22,500

Configurations
LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/29/36)
Torque: 178 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Kia Optima Sedan S

S

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$23,500

Configurations
S 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (24/28/34)
Torque: 178 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Kia Optima Sedan LX Turbo

LX Turbo

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$24,300

Configurations
LX Turbo 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 7AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (28/31/37)
Torque: 195 lbs.-ft. @ 1,500 rpm

 2018 Kia Optima Sedan EX

EX

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$25,600

Configurations
EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (24/28/34)
Torque: 178 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Kia Optima Sedan SX Turbo

SX Turbo

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$30,500

Configurations
SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (22/25/31)
Torque: 260 lbs.-ft. @ 1,350 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 16, 2018

7.2

Overall Rating


7.6/10
Features

 

6.1/10
Engine

 

7.9/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.8/10
Interior

 

6.1/10
Exterior

 

8.9/10
Safety

 
 
 

The three engine options available for Kia Optima include a 2.4-liter I-4 with 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, a 1.6-liter turbo-four with 178 hp and 195 lb-ft, and a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 245 hp and 260 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic transmission is mated to the base 2.4-liter I-4 and 2.0-liter turbo-four, while the 1.6-liter turbo-four cylinder powertrain is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Features

7.6/10

The 2018 Optima price starts at $22,500, which is exactly what you will pay for the majority of the mid-size sedans available in this segment. In addition to the base model, LX2.4, there are four upgraded trims: S 2.4 (priced at $23,500), EX 2.4 (priced at $25,600), LX 1.6T (priced at $24,300), and the top SX 2.0T (priced at $30,500). All the trims are relatively close to pricing. The SX trim is costliest because of the turbocharged engine and additional premium features.

Trims LX S LX 1.6T EX SX
MSRP $ 22,500 $ 23,500 $ 24,300 $ 25,600 $ 30,500
Features
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Blind spot detection (BSD).
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert(RCTA)
  • UVO with 7” touch screen display W/android auto and apple car play.
  • 17” alloy wheels
  • 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat W/sport black cloth
  • LED front fog lights and LED sport rear combination lamps.
  • 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT)
  • 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat W/2 way power lumbar support.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob.
  • 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat w/integrated memory system(IMS)
  • Leather seat trim with heated front seats
  • Smart key w/push- button start and immobilizer.
  • LED head lights w/dynamic bending lights(DBL)
  • Panoramic sunroof w/power sunshade and LED interior lighting
  • 10-way power- adjustable passenger’s seat and ventilated front seats.

We Recommend-

We would recommend you to buy the SX trim because of its potent engine and reasonable price. You get all the top of the line features offered on each trim. 

Engine

6.1/10

“On the road, our Optima was exceptionally quiet, though the ride was somewhat firm. If you’re looking for comfort over performance, the smaller wheel/tire packages and more compliant suspension settings of the LX and EX trims might make a better choice.” — Autotrader (2017)

Engine and Transmission 

The 2018 Kia Optima comes powered by a 2.4-liter engine that is optimized for perfect everyday driving. There are also two turbocharged options available for buyers looking for more performance. The 1.6-liter engine, on the other hand, offers exceptional fuel economy.

Moreover, the turbo 2.0-liter is best for enthusiasts looking for a top-level engine that can deliver superior power delivery via an automatic transmission. Only the 1.6-liter engine comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter Optima models come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Models Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu Honda Accord Hyundai Sonata
MSRP $22,500 $ 22,555 $ 23,345 $ 22,485
Engine 2.4lInline 4 1.5LInline 4 1.5LInline 4 2.0L Inline 4
Fuel type Gas Gas Gas Gas
Transmission Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Power 185 hp @ 6,000 rpm 160 hp @ 5700 rpm 192 hp @ 5500 rpm 245 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 178 Ib.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 184 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm 192 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm 260 ft-lbs. @ 1350 rpm

The base Optima 2018 model LX, S, EX all comes powered with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is capable of propelling 185 horsepower. The LX trim is available with a low-end engine, a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.

For power lovers, the carmaker has introduced Optima SX 2.0L Turbo with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine which is paired with a 6-speed automatic. This engine offers a maximum power output of 245 horsepower.

On the other hand, the Optima hybrid trim combines a 2.0-liter I-4, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a six-speed automatic to churn out a combined output of 192 hp and 271 lb-ft. The Optima Plug-in delivers a maximum power of 202 hp and 276 lb-ft peak torque. The hybrid powertrain allows to cut cargo space down to 13.4 cubic feet.

Acceleration

On the acceleration front, the Kia Optima manages to do 0-60 MPH in 6.8 seconds, which is similar to the Hyundai Sonata. Rest of the rivals are slower comparatively. Chevy Malibu takes around 8.5 seconds to sprint 0-60 MPH.

Models Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu Honda accord Hyundai sonata
0-60 MPH 6.8 sec 8.5 sec 7.3 sec 6.8 sec
Quarter mile 15.2 sec 16.0 sec 15.6 sec 15.8 sec
Engine 2.4L 1.5 L 1.5L 2.0 L
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr 6.1 5.9 5.3 6.8

Braking and Handling

The brake pedal is soft which can make deceleration a bit harder at times. A panic stop from 60-0 MPH is 124 feet, which is longer than the average sedans in this segment. The Optima SX with wider tires manages to get a braking distance of 112 feet. Optima comes with different drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco.

Model Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu Honda Accord Hyundai Sonata
Brake pads-front(in) 12 11.6 11.5 12.6
Brake pads Rear(in) 11.2 10.8 11.1 11.2
Curb weight(lbs) 3219 3086 3131 3589
60-0 MPH (ft.) 124 117 123 113

The driving dynamics of this sedan is not subpar and it may disappoint. The narrow tires make it harder to corner smoothly. The front-wheel-drive sedan misses the athletic composition.

Fuel Economy

7.9/10

Almost all trims of the 2018 Kia Optima that comes with a 2.4-liter engine offer decent fuel economy than the majority of mid-size sedans in the segment. The base model delivers 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Moreover, the LX 1.6T models, deliver 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Model Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu Honda Accord Hyundai Sonata
Mpg city 25 27 30 23
Mpg highway 36 36 38 32
Mpg combined 29 30 33 26

Interior

6.8/10

“There is plenty of plastic used inside the Optima, but it’s sturdy and attractively grained. Creaks and squeaks are nonexistent, and the car feels as solid as any other sedan in the class.” – Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

There is a space for five passengers inside Kia Optima and you will find a comfortable seating. The front area of the cabin is roomy and you’ll get several updates including heated and ventilated seats, and 10-way power adjustments. The rear seat legroom is, however, shorter than the Toyota Camry, which offers generous space for tall occupants.

The 2018 Optima comes with plentiful storage spaces to store small items. Each door has got cupholder and a small tray. There’s also a concealed bin under the center stack. You’ll get three tether anchors- for each rear seat. The hardware is easy to access and locate.

Model Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu Honda accord Hyundai sonata
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   39.8/56.0/58.1/45.5 39.1/54.1/58.5/42.0 39.5/55.3/58.3/42.3 40.4/55.3/57.9/45.5
Second (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   37.8/56.0/56.4/35.6 37.5/53.4/57.1/38.1 37.3/55/56.5/40.4 38/56.1/56.5/35.6

The mounted seat cushions are also comfortable and easy to use. The cabin is airy and roomy. The design too feels clean and offers plenty of space for storing small items. The premium material used in the top trims will offer a luxurious feel.

Infotainment System

The Kia Optima infotainment is easy to understand and learn. It is integrated with plenty of features. In order to add more convenience, Kia has already included advanced smartphone integration into every Optima model.

With the presence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can easily connect your smartphone and access your favorite apps on the 7-inch touchscreen. Satellite radio and Bluetooth Kardon surround sound audio system is available with EX and SX trims.

Cargo Space

The cargo space offered by 2018 Optima is close to the competitors. With the 15.9 cubic feet trunk, the Optima can easily manage to store the grocery stuff and household equipment you shop every weekend.

Model Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu honda accord hyundai sonata
Trunk volume (ft.cube) 15.9 15.8 16.7 16.3

Exterior

6.1/10

The Optima is handsome and understated, but it’s overshadowed in the showroom by the sexy and sporty Kia Stinger. -Car and Driver

Dimensions and Weight 

Undoubtedly, 2018 Kia Optima is a sharply styled sedan. The design language, however, is based on the last generation. The front fascia gets a “tiger-nose” grille that makes it aggressive and bold. The skin didn’t change and remain similar to the outgoing model.

The 2018 Kia Optima adapts the latest and next generation exterior style with more sharp and curvy design lines. It has got a coupe-like roofline that goes down toward the rear end, offering good head room to the rear seat occupants. The overall dimension of Optima seems elongated that gives the sedan a sportier stance.

Model Optima LX Chevrolet Malibu Honda Accord Hyundai Sonata
curb weight(lbs) 3219 3086  3131 3589 
Length(in) 191.1 193.8 192.2 191.1
Width(in) 73.2 73.0 73.3 73.4
Height(in) 57.7 57.6 57.1 58.1
Ground clearance(in) 5.3     5.3
Wheel base(in) 110.4 111.4 111.4 110.4
Track width(in) F/R 63.5/63.8 62.6/62.5 63/63.4 62.9/63.1

The competitors to have similar dimensions, which means that Optima doesn’t stand out in this regard. The Kia Optima is available in eight exterior colors. There is a wide range of colors to choose from.

Safety

8.9/10

“The Kia Optima has always offered a strong value proposition, but the current-generation model takes it a step further with an upscale cabin and all the latest driver aids and luxury features a buyer can expect from a midsize sedan. Competitive pricing, a host of new standard features and a robust warranty keep the Optima in the running for top-of-class honors.” — Edmunds

The 2018 Optima has received five stars safety rating overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The last year model received top safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It also comes with a superior front crash prevention and offers amazing autonomous emergency braking system.

On the warranty front, the 2018 Optima comes with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile limited engine warranty.

NHTSA Crash test results

Overall Rating 5*
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 5*
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 5*
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 4*
Overall Side Crash Rating 5*
Side Barrier Rating 5*
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5*
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5*
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5*
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5*
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat 5*
Rollover Rating 5*

IIHS Reports

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front Good
Small overlap front passenger side NA
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Impact Test Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

 

Crash Prevention and Mitigation 
Front crash prevention Superior
Headlights Good
Child seat anchors (LATCH) ease of use Acceptable

 

Safety Features

The 2018 Optima comes loaded with hefty of standard safety features than before. Every Optima trims now gets a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. Other top trims get advanced driver assistance technologies via add-on packages. The package includes autonomous emergency braking, a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a surround-view camera. 

  • Dual Front Advanced Airbags
  • Dual Front Seat Mounted Side Airbags
  • Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags
  • Driver’s Side Knee Airbag
  • Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)

 

Competition

Kia Optima vs Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevrolet Malibu is stylish and sturdy. It provides a luxurious ride in all seasons. The hybrid version of the sedan offers better mileage, like 49 MPG city. It has got plenty of standard safety features. If you are considering a good mileage offering sedan then Malibu can be a good pick.

Kia Optima vs Honda Accord

Honda Accord has a good reputation under Honda leadership. The mid-sized sedan is a true family sedan with solid build quality but it failed to match Optima’s standard technology checklist. Accord has successfully managed to offer more safety tech and driver assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control and active lane assist in each model.

Kia Optima vs Hyundai Sonata

Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata have many similarities. They share similar standard features, warranty, and comfort level. A low starting price gives Sonata an edge over Optima. Otherwise, both of these sedans are a good pick.

Final Verdict

If you are seeking a comfortable and solid midsize sedan, you may consider buying Kia Optima. Families and commuters will love to find pleasure in the ride and above-average fuel economy. The spacious cabin is already a heartthrob. You get standard amenities across all trim level, which is rare to find across prominent rivals.

The 2018 Kia Optima has been ranked at sixth position among the midsize sedan cars in the U.S. It is a civilized sedan that offers appealing tech features (including user-friendly infotainment) and best-in-class gas mileage.

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