2019 Kia Optima

#9
in Sedans
2019 MODEL
$22,990 - $31,990

8.2

Overall Rating

INDIGO

2019 Kia Optima Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Anuron Deka's image

Anuron Deka Content Writer Updated on: November 12, 2019


It's hard to make a car under 25 grand, load it with features, back it with enough power and deliver efficiency at the same time and then convince the pedantic buyers to actually buy your car. However, Kia seems to have a cheat code for everything. The fourth generation of Optima is amongst the highest selling midsize sedans. It has power, technology, and efficiency in its back pocket and with that, Kia plans to retain and ascend from its current position in the sedan market.

With a price of $22,900, Kia backs the Optima with a 2.4 L Inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain pumps out 185 horsepower and 178-pound-feet of torque. However, it's not the only engine option on the Optima. Different trims have their own unique powertrain and styling options.

See detailed review »

Pros

Decent driving dynamics

Every trim has unique styling

Functional interior

Cons

Chunky 7-speed automatics

AWD is not available

Front seats lack lateral support

What's New?

Minor tweaks to the exterior

More driver assist and safety features

Revised Infotainment


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22990

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

144 cu.in.

horsepower

185 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

178 lbs.-ft @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

63.5/63.8

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

191.1 in.

width

73.2 in.

height

57.7 in.

curb weight

3230 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

38.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

38.3 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.3 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

24/27/33 mpg

highway range

610.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr. / 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

120 months. / 100000

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

5 yr. / 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Kia Optima in Ebony Black color  2019 Kia Optima in Horizon Blue color  2019 Kia Optima in Platinum Graphite color  2019 Kia Optima in Sangria color  2019 Kia Optima in Snow White Pearl color  2019 Kia Optima in Sparkling Silver color  2019 Kia Optima in Titanium Silver color
Ebony Black

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

7.5

Engine And Performance

8.2

Interior

8.0

Safety

9.9

8.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Kia Optima LX

LX

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
27 combined

$22,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $22,990 MSRP (24/27/33) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5   Snow White Pearl
  Sparkling Silver
  Horizon Blue
  Platinum Graphite
  Ebony Black

 2019 Kia Optima S

S

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
27 combined

$24,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $24,990 MSRP (24/27/33) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5   Passion Red
  Snow White Pearl
  Horizon Blue
  Platinum Graphite

 2019 Kia Optima EX

EX

power
178 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
31 combined

$26,890


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $26,890 MSRP (27/31/37) 178 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.6 L, I-4, regular unleaded
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive 5   Snow White Pearl
  Sparkling Silver
  Horizon Blue
  Platinum Graphite
  Titanium Silver
  Ebony Black

 2019 Kia Optima SX

SX

power
245 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$31,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $31,990 MSRP (21/24/30) 245 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5   Snow White Pearl
  Sparkling Silver
  Horizon Blue
  Passion Red

Expert Review

8.2

Overall Rating


The 2019 Kia Optima Sedan is a well-rounded car, but Kia does not have the patent rights to the winning formula for the mid-size sedans. Other brands are all set to retain their piece of the pie by matching Kia's deliverables on the Optima. Sedans like Ford Fusion, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Accord, and Toyota Corolla are ready for the race.

2019 Kia Optima Front View
2019 Kia Optima Front View
2019 Kia Optima Rear View
2019 Kia Optima Rear View

7.5/10
Features

 

8.2/10
Engine and Performance

 
 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 

9.9/10
Safety

 
 
 

2019 Kia Optima Features

7.5/10

Offered at the price tag of $22,900, the 2019 Kia Optima is available in four trims, LX, S, EX, and the SX. The base LX trim offers a basic 2.0 L Inline-4 cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The S trim shares the same engine except loaded with more tech-savvy features. Then comes the EX trim which chose a slightly diverted path with its 1.6L Turbo Inline-4, it delivers a tad more torque than the standard powertrain. The SX model sits at the pinnacle of the Optima Lineup. You will get a 2.0L Inline-4 engine with the added might of a turbocharger.

Trim

LX

S

EX

SX

MSRP

$22,900

$24,900

$26,800

$31,900

Key Features

16-inch alloy wheels

18-inch wheels

Power-folding mirrors illuminated door handles

18-inch wheels

 

Cruise control

Foglights and LED taillights

Adaptive cruise control

Adaptive LED headlights

 

Height-adjustable front seats (with two-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver)

Rear spoiler

Keyless entry and ignition

LED foglights

 

Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

Cloth and faux leather

Hands-free unlocking trunk

Flat-bottom steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles

 

Remote locking and unlocking

Push-button start

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Rear spoiler

 

Heated mirrors

Panoramic sunroof

Rear air vents

Dual exhaust tips

 

Automatic headlights

Gloss-black exterior accents

Heated front seats

Ambient interior lighting

   60/40-split rear seat

 

Driver-seat memory settings

Larger driver information display

   7-inch touchscreen

 

Interior wood accents

Metal interior trim

   Apple CarPlay

 

Electronic parking brake

Sport-tuned suspension

   Android Auto

 

Leather upholstery

Red brake calipers

   Six-speaker audio system with a USB port  

 

 

We Recommend

Kia made all the entire Optima safety suit standard for all trims and the luxury quotient is well mated for the price. Still, the SX trim’s unique styling is something you would love to have.

2019 Kia Optima Engine and Performance

8.2/10

“Unlike the 2.0T, the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and its unconventional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission suffer from a disappointing lack of responsiveness when accelerating and driving at low speeds. The brakes can be a bit touchy, but handling is decent for the class”- Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

Pop up the hood and you will find a 2.4 L Inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The powerplant cranks out a 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque though that’s the base trim cosmetics. The EX trim trades the standard engine for a Turbocharged 1.6L Inline-4 engine paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission. Being the higher-end trim it was supposed to be more powerful but it's slightly underpowered than the standard powertrain, however, the engine makes amends with its superior torque output. Horsepower and torque figures for the EX trims are rated at 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

MSRP

$22,900

$22,840

$18,100

$18,700

$20,250

$20,240

$18,870

Engine

2.4L I-4

2.5L I-4

2.0 L inline-four

1.8 L inline-four

2.0 L inline-four

2.0 L inline-four

1.4L Turbo Inline 4

Transmission

6-speed automatic

6-Speed Automatic

6-speed Automatic

CVT

CVT

6-speed Auto

6 Speed Automatic

Horsepower

185 hp @ 6000

175  hp @ 6000

147hp @ 6200 rpm

132hp @ 6000 rpm

158hp @ 6500 rpm

155hp @ 6000 rpm

153hp @5600rpm

Torque

178 lb.-ft @ 4000

175 lb.-ft @ 4500

132 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

128 lb-ft @4400 rpm

138 lb.-ft @ 4200 rpm

150 lb.-ft. @4000 rpm

177 lb.-ft. @4000 rpm

The SX trim gets a turbocharged 2.0L Inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Turbocharger spices up the engine to deliver power worth 245 horsepower and 260-pound feet of torque. All trims are competitively priced and catered to different needs in the mid-size sedan segment.

Acceleration

There is a lot of power on the Optima regardless of your choice of trim. The peppy base engine feels ready to take on the road and the transmission backs the engine while does that. However, things are not that smooth for the EX trim. There might be a lot of power but the chunky 7-speed automatic may disturb your acceleration. SX, on the other hand, is flawless with its 6.8-second acceleration. As you drive further, the Optima took 15.2 seconds to hit the quarter-mile light.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

0-60 MPH(sec)

6.8*

8.5*

8.3

9.4

8.2

8.0

7.7

Quarter mile(sec)

15.2*

16.3*

16.4

17.2

16.3

16.2

16.3

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

6.1*

7.1*

10.2

9.8

8.4

11.2

5.6

Curb Weight (lb..)

3411*

3431*

2767

2840

2742

2899

2870

* 2018 figures used for reference purposes

Possibly one of the quickest, Kia Optima zoom in with its 6.8-second acceleration. Other sedans like the Ford Fusion and Hyundai Elantra are way too slow for the Optima. Even on the quarter-mile run, the Ford Fusion is a full second behind the Optima.

Ride and Handling

Behind the wheel, Kia Optima inspires confidence with its predictable flat-bottom steering. However, the lack of road communication may dwindle your confidence. The engine dynamics of the car puts no limits on its ability to maneuver, the Optima’s power is satisfying both on the highway and city. Handling might not feel razor-sharp as the Stinger but it's entertaining nevertheless. Optima’s mid-size dimensions give you a hassle-free ride, cutting traffic is a light day for the Optima. The rather thin tires are silent in the city though on the highway they are a real screamer.

There is no concrete problem with Kia’s ride quality but the 7-speed automatic transmission on the EX trim has a mind of its own. The shifts are not smooth and it feels like the car always wants to enter the next gear. Also, the EX takes a lot of motivation and push to gain any momentum. The LX, S, and SX trims have a 6-speed automatic and are not bothered by these delicacies. 

Braking

The braking dynamics seem fair on paper but in the rear world braking is not this Kia’s strong suit. Both the front and rear brake rotors are rated at 12 inches and 11.2 inches, quite reasonable for the industry standards. However, the pedal feels soft and pose a spontaneous vibe. Nail down the brake pedal and this sedan deaccelerates down to a standstill in 124 feet for the 60 to 0 panic brake test.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

Brake Front (in.)

12

11.8

10.3

10.8

10.2

10.7

10.8

Brake Rear (in.)

11.2

11.9

9.7

9.1

9.8

9.5

10.4

70-0 MPH (ft.)

124(60-0)

122(60-0)

182

183

180

179

110 (60-0MPH)

Not that competitive as cars like Chevrolet Cruz the Optima is below average. The Ford Fusion is a tad early than the Optima with its 122 feet performance.

2019 Kia Optima Fuel Economy

No buyer will compromise the economy over anything else in the mid-size sedan segment. Though Kia’s rivals are more giving when it comes it mileage the Optima is not far behind. In the city, you can expect a 24 mpg mileage and 33 mpg while cruising on the highway. Its 18.5-gallon tank is relatively larger than its rivals. The fact that the Optima can survive on the regular unleaded engine might save you some money in the long run.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

MPG (city)

24

21

28

28

32

27

30

MPG (highway)

33

32

37

35

42

36

39

MPG (combined)

27

25

32

31

36

30

33

Fuel Tank Capacity(Gal.)

18.5

16.5

14

13.2

12.39

13.2

13.7

Though the Kia Optima is efficient it’s average when you compare with its direct adversaries. Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic are the most fuel-efficient sedan with its 32 mpg and 36 mpg of combined mileage.

2019 Kia Optima Interior

8.0/10

“There isn't a lot of visual excitement inside the Optima, but it is smartly designed for function. The quality of materials and available features make you feel as if you're getting just a bit more for your money. The only major drawback is the compromised rear visibility”- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

Functionality over funk and quality over junk- The Optima’s interior may not be the most stylish or loaded with upmarket quality but it's smart and practical. All the knobs and buttons feel premium and meet their function, you don’t need to improvise fall into the conundrum of ambiguous menus to get what you intended. The cabin is roomy and can fairy hold 5 seaters, you get an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat with 2-way power lumbar support. As you climb the trim ladder your Optima will be bequeathed to 10-way power adjustment with heated and ventilated seats.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.8/58.1/45.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

38.8/56.2/42.3

38.3/54.8/42.3

39.3/57.0/37.1

38.3/54.8/42.3

38.9/54.8/42

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.8/56.4/35.6

37.8/56.9/38.3

37.3/55.0/35.7

37.1/55.0/37.4

37.1/55.0/37.4

37.6/54.4/35.8

37.3/53.7/36.1

The cabin is fairly roomy and offers generous seating for five. The front seats offer a lot of legroom and headroom space, 45.3 inches and 39.8 inches to be precise. The second-row seats are not that bad either, 6 feet might have to adjust a little to get more legroom as its limited to 35 inches. The rear headroom and shoulder room are not infected with such a problem.

Cargo Capacity

Though there are a lot of good-sized sedans in the mid-size market the Optima surpasses

them all through its sense of practicality in the market today. The tailgate shares a nice and wide opening with its standard 15.9 cubic feet of the cargo bay. The rear seat features a 60/40 split to open up more cargo space. The cabin utility is top-notch with a lot of door pockets, cubby holes, and a concealed bin under the armrest.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

Cargo Capacity (lb.)

15.9

16

14.4

13.0

15.2

12.4

14.8

Infotainment

The tech front on the Optima is led by an 8-inch touch screen infotainment. The infotainment is bright, every feature could be easily located except for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which are there but locating them can be a little problematic. Kia backed the touch screen with its Uvo system and used a 10-speaker Harman Kardon music system. The voice controls work really well and the availability of Siri and Google voice assistance makes it even better.

Interior Features

  • Audio And Cruise Controls On Steering Wheel
  • Overhead Console With Storage
  • Front Seatback Storage
  • Cruise Control
  • Turn Signal In Mirrors
  • Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors
  • Front And Rear Cupholders
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Electric Power Steering
  • Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Keyless Ignition
  • Climate Control
  • Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

2019 Kia Optima Exterior

“A sporty profile and a handsome cabin lift the 2019 Kia Optima above the family-sedan pack. Now in its second generation, with a handsome shape that emerged in the 2016 model year, the Kia Optima has an attractive look that’s worked well enough to loan out to Kia’s new sport hatchback, the Stinger”- The Connection

Design and Dimension

Though the Kia Optima is largely unchanged for 2019, it still goes in strong this year. The new Stinger inspired front fascia imbibes a rebellious vibe to this mid-size. The styling is more curvaceous and strikingly similar to the 2016 model when it first came out. Considering its distant cousin Hyundai Sonata, Kia has crafted a better-looking car.

The Kia Optima is 191.1 inches long better than the usual mid-size sedan segment. The width and height are similar to other sends at 73.2 inches and 57.7 inches. You get a 5.3-inch ground clearance and a tad longer wheelbase of 110.4 inches.

Models

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Hyundai Elantra Sedan SE

Toyota Corolla L Sedan

Honda Civic LX Sedan

Mazda 3 Sport Sedan

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan L

Curb weight (lb..)

3219

3411

2844

2840

2724

2899

2870

Length(in)

191.1

191.7

181.9

183.1

182.3

180.3

183.7

Width(in)

73.2

75.6

70.9

69.9

70.8

70.7

70.5

Height(in)

57.7

58.1

56.5

57.3

55.7

57.3

57.4

Ground clearance (in)

5.3

 

5.3

6.7

6.3

6.1

6.4

Wheelbase (in)

110.4

112.1

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

Ford Fusion is the bigger car compared to the Optima though it’s also the heaviest too. Other cars like the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, and the Civic revolve around 180 inches of total height. The short length equals results in a shorter wheelbase as well. While the Optima sakes up all the bumps from the ride with its 110 inches long wheelbase.

Exterior Features

  • Puddle Lamps
  • Rear Bumper Applique
  • Mud Guards
  • Wheel Locks
  • Paint Protection Package

2019 Kia Optima Safety

9.9/10

It’s not the practicality, power, or performance which attracts the buyer, but the unparallel safety gear offered on the Optima which magnetizes the buyers to Kia’s showroom. NHTSA awarded a stellar 5-star rating to the 2019 Kia Optima. You get a healthy standard feature list inclusive of safety features like Electronic Stability Control, Hill Assist, active lane control. Lean-departure warning and more.

  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Emergency Braking Preparation
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Front And Rear Head Airbags
  • Stability Control
  • Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation
  • Rear Height Adjustable Headrests
  • Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System
  • Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Traction Control
  • Ventilated Front Disc / Solid Rear Disc Brakes
  • Pre-Collision Safety System
  • Engine Immobilizer

2019 Kia Optima Competition

Ford Fusion vs Kia Optima

The Ford Fusion is one of the dominant brands in the mid-size sedan segment. Ford has backed its car with more power and handling prowess which the Optima might not match. Though considering the base trims Optima is a more power dominant car. If you compare the price, both are identical, so this is going to be a tough one. No matter how attached to the Fusion you are, its time has come to an end. The feature list is not that rich and cabin is not user-friendly. Considering you can buy the feature savvy Optima for the same make your choice obvious.

Hyundai Elantra vs Kia Optima

Hyundai Elantra’s geeky feature list will surely attract some customers, but it’s not the most sensible buy. The Elantra is underpowered than the Optima and displays a poor ride quality. Being distant relatives the Elantra suffers from the same menacing 7-speed automatic transmission. Kia’s higher power output comes at the cost of mileage which Hyundai capitalizes on. Otherwise, we would suggest you go with Kia Optima as a well-rounded deal.

Honda Accord vs Kia Optima

No matter how great Optima is doing, it's not the class leader. Honda has a knack for delivering more the commuter market than other brands and the Accord is a live example. It's been 10 generations that the Accord has been dominating this segment and is possibly the best car you can buy at that price. It's more powerful, stylish, and comfortable. However, stacking up the Accord may stretch to 2 to 3 grand. Otherwise, the Accord is the car to go with.

2019 Kia Optima Final Verdict

The 2019 Kia Optima is a lucrative mid-size rending fair price, adequate power, and acceptable fuel economy numbers, and that’s about all a buyer in this segment wants right? The feature list is as geeky as one can get while driving. The ride quality might feel average but its better than most sedans offered in the segment. It’s a long car that’s for sure with a sloping roofline, this may penetrate into the usable headroom space, that’s a backdrop, but overall Kia has done a fine job with the Optima, as always.