2020 Kia Optima

MSRP $24,890 - $32,190

Ranked #6 in Midsize Sedan

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2020 Kia Optima Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


At first glance, the Kia Optima manages to stand out from a sea of regular saloons with its distinctive and handsome design. After a significant overhaul back in 2015, the Optima is still hanging on with subtle annual updates to keep it appealing. But, it is due to be replaced by a completely new model next year dubbed the “K5”. Even so, the current model is still a good option with plenty of engine options and a tech-savvy cabin. 

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2020 Kia Optima Latest Updates

  • Aug' 27, 2021 : 2021 Kia Optima Review: Expected Release Date, Prices, MPG, and Specs Read More »
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Pros

Handsome styling that stands out

Comfortable and balanced ride

Extensive standard feature list

Plenty of powertrain options to suit every driver

Cons

Uninspiring dynamics and handling

Due to be replaced for 2021

Underpowered base engines

Slow and unrefined transmission

What's New?

Minor updates nothing major has been to Optima


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$30190

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

97 cu.in.

horsepower

178 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

195 lbs.-ft. @ 1500 rpm

transmission

7 speed auto shift manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

12/11.2 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

191.1 in.

width

73.2 in.

height

57.7 in.

curb weight

3285 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

120.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.9 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.9 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./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

S$24,890 onwards

Special Edition$26,390 onwards

  • Intelligent high beams

EX$27,190 onwards

EX Premium$30,190 onwards

SX$32,190 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 Kia Optima in Ebony Black 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

Pricing and Features

8.0

Pricing and Feature

8.0

Features

7.6

Engine and Performance

8.2

Fuel Economy

9.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

9.9

Competition

6.0

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.0

Overall Rating


The Kia Optima is based on the Hyundai Sonata sedan architecture and shares a lot of components with it, but Kia has done an excellent job to differentiate the Optima with a lot more features and a new design. The Kia Optima comes with three different CI powertrains, the standard 2.4-L inline-4, 1.6-L I-4 turbo gas, and lastly the 2.0-L I-4 turbo gas. Competing in the mid-size sedan market, the 2020 Kia Optima takes on segment leaders like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima.

2020 Kia Optima Sedan front view
2020 Kia Optima Sedan rear view

7.6/10
Features

8.2/10
Engine and Performance

9.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

9.9/10
Safety

6.0/10
Competition


2020 Kia Optima Features

7.6/10

Kia continues to offer the Optima in four trim levels excluding the EX Premium package, which has now become a separate trim altogether. Starting with the base LX model, Kia doesn’t skimp out on features, and the standard list includes 16-inch alloy wheels, 6-way adjustable front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a whole host of driver assistance features including forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, and more. Next in line is the S model which focuses a lot on looks with bigger 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, rear spoiler, sport side sills, and some convenience features like keyless entry with push-button start, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and more.

Moving on to the sportier trim levels with the 1.6L turbocharged engine, the EX trim gets UVO link connected car tech, electronic parking brake, LED lighting, leather seats with heating, dual-zone climate control, and more. The range-topping SX trim gets an even bigger 2.0L turbocharged engine, dual-projector LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, sport leather seats with heating, ventilation, and power-adjustability for both front passengers, panoramic sunroof, and a lot of sporty design elements are carried over from the S trim.

Trim

LX

S

EX

SX

MSRP (FWD)

$24,355

$25,855

$30,235

$33,155

Key Features

16-inch alloy wheels

In addition to or replaces LX trim features with:

In addition to or replaces S trim features with:

In addition to or replaces EX trim features with:

 

LED daytime running lights

18-inch alloy wheels

1.6-liter turbocharged engine with DCT transmission

2.0-liter turbocharged engine

 

An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system

Dual chrome exhaust tips

17-inch alloy wheels

Paddle shifters

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration

10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

Acoustic front door windows

Sport-tuned suspension

 

Kia Drive Wise driver assistance system

Keyless entry with push-button start

Electronic parking brake

18-inch black alloy wheels

 

3.5-inch digital driver’s display

Body-colored spoiler

Smartphone wireless charging

Automatic LED headlights

 

Six-speaker audio system

Black cloth and leatherette upholstery

Adaptive cruise control

Black leather upholstery

Which trim should you buy?

If you’re looking for a comfortable daily driver that offers good gas mileage and performance, the mid-range EX trim offers the most value. Its turbocharged 1.6L engine returns 31 MPG combined and offers plenty of performance for daily duties. The DCT gearbox is also very responsive and pairs well with the engine. You also get plenty of standard features over the base models like leather seats with heating for the front passengers, adaptive cruise control, wireless charging, keyless entry, and more. For even more luxury, you can opt for the EX Premium model which also adds a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and more.

2020 Kia Optima Engine and Performance

8.2/10

The 2020 Kia Optima is one of the only models in its segment that offers a total of 5 powertrains including the hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Starting with the base trims, the 2.4L naturally aspirated engine produces a modest 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The 1.6L turbocharged inline-4 engine producing 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque is exclusive to the EX and EX Premium trims, and is paired to a DCT automatic transmission. 

2020 Kia Optima Sedan engine bay

Finally, the range-topping SX trim gets a powerful 2.0L turbocharged engine that produces 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque that propels it to 60 MPH in under 7 seconds. Both the 2.4L in the base trims and the 2.0L turbocharged engine are paired to a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. The base model equipped with the 2.4L engine does the 0 - 60 MPH sprint in just 8 seconds and crosses the quarter-mile in 16.2 seconds. 

Models

2020 Kia Optima LX

2020 Honda Accord LX 1.5T

2020 Toyota Camry L

2020 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

MSRP

$24,355

$24,270

$24,425

$24,300

Engine

2.4-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.5-liter Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.5-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic

CVT w/OD

8-speed automatic

CVT w/OD

Power (hp @ rpm)

185 hp @ 6,000 rpm

192 hp @ 5,500 rpm

203 hp @ 6,600 rpm

188 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

192 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

180 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.0

7.3

7.4

7.4

Quarter-Mile (sec)

16.2

15.7

15.8

15.9

Top-Speed (MPH)

130

120

135

135

The Toyota Camry has the most powerful engine under its hood but its torque figure falls in a decent range. The Nissan Altima and Honda Accord may have 12hp & 8hp less power than Toyota respectively but the performance of all three vehicles in 0 to 60mph acceleration is almost similar. The Kia Optima might not be the fastest in the competition but it doesn’t perform much differently than others in the segment, it performs as per expectations. This segment is designed for the daily commute and that is what every vehicle on the list is showing but if one wants high cruising speed on highways then may consider Nissan or Toyota as they can go up to 135 mph.

How well does the 2020 Kia Optima handle?

Handling is par for the course considering a regular mid-size sedan with a comfortable ride. But it does get engaging when pushed hard, especially with the SX model that gets an upgraded suspension setup. But, it’s not as dynamic as segment leaders like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Optima also lacks all-wheel drive even as an option which becomes a disadvantage under cold weather & snowy conditions.

The electric power steering setup is tuned for comfort with light inputs, but there is good feedback when pushed hard. Performance is adequate for the most part but the base models can get sluggish when pushed hard. However, the 1.6L turbo solves most of these issues and is the recommended option of the three, especially with the responsive DCT gearbox. the insulation inside the cabin is also decent but not the best, one can experience some wind and road piercing inside the cabin.

2020 Kia Optima Braking Performance

Surprisingly, Kia has equipped the Optima with bigger brakes than usual that provide plenty of braking torque and quick response, the front wheels get the 12-inch rotors while the rear wheels come with 11.2-inch rotors.

2020 Kia Optima Sedan brake rotor

In fact, Optima offers better braking performance than most of its rivals. For the extra performance on offer, the SX model gets bigger brakes at the front, complementing its sporty image.

Models

2020 Kia Optima LX

2020 Honda Accord LX 1.5T

2020 Toyota Camry L

2020 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Brake Rotors: Front (in)

12

11.5

12

11.7

Brake Rotors: Rear (in)

11.2

11.1

11.1

11.5

Curb Weight (lbs)

3230

3131

3241

3208

60-0 (ft)

120

116

122

120

Like its performance and powerful engine, Honda Accord also offers better braking than its competitors and makes the vehicle stop within 116 feet while cruising at 60mph, as its lighter chassis gives it an upper advantage over others. The Kia Optima takes the second spot with the biggest brakes and similar braking to the Accord. Both the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima also match the Optima with similar braking.

2020 Kia Optima Fuel Economy

9.0/10

With the base engine, the efficiency figures are not that impressive, lagging behind all its rivals with just 24 mpg in the city driving conditions, 32 mpg while cruising on a straight highway, and 27 mpg under the combined situation. However, it does get one of the largest tanks in its segment of 18.5 gallons, giving it a comparable range of 592 miles on the highway, However, the 1.6L turbo is the way to go with 31 MPG combined, making it a lot easier to live with.

Models

2020 Kia Optima LX

2020 Honda Accord LX 1.5T

2020 Toyota Camry L

2020 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

MPG (City)

24

30

29

28

MPG (Highway)

32

38

41

39

MPG (Combined)

27

33

34

32

Fuel Capacity (Gals)

18.5

14.8

14.5

16.2

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

444 / 592 / 500

444 / 562 / 488

420 / 594 / 493

453 / 631 / 518

The Toyota Camry takes the lead with an impressive fuel economy of 34 MPG in the combined condition but it is let down by a small 14.5 gallons fuel tank capacity. Both the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord manage a higher range of 32 mpg & 33 mpg respectively with slightly bigger tank capacities, while the Kia Optima matches the rest thanks to its bigger 18.5-gallon tank despite the low-efficiency ratings.

2020 Kia Optima Interior

8.0/10

Being a Kia, you expect a modern cabin with plenty of techs, and the Optima doesn’t disappoint. But age has caught up with it, and in the face of modern competition, the Optima’s cabin is starting to look outdated. However, it does win back some points with high-quality materials and an ergonomic layout. Depending on the trim level, the 2020 Kia Optima gets unique design elements with an 8-inch central infotainment system integrated well into the dashboard. The rest of the controls are placed neatly below it within reach of the driver.

​  2020 Kia Optima Sedan front seats

Being a mid-size sedan, there is plenty of space in both rows for 5 passengers. The front seats also get heating and ventilation functions on the higher trim levels. Other notable features include power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, and more. Trunk space is also impressive at 15.9 cubic feet, which is among the biggest in its class.

Models

2020 Kia Optima LX

2020 Honda Accord LX 1.5T

2020 Toyota Camry L

2020 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in)

39.8 / 58.1 / 45.5

39.5 / 58.3 / 42.3

38.3 / 57.7 / 42.1

39.2 / 58.2 / 43.8

Rear Row (Head/ Shoulder / Leg) (in)

37.8 / 56.4 / 35.6

37.3 / 56.5 / 40.4

38 / 55.7 / 38

36.9 / 57.1 / 35.2

Trunk Capacity (cu-ft)

15.9

16.7

14.1

15.4

Being mid-size sedans, all four options offer plenty of space for 5 passengers, but in the front row, Kia optima have the best seating space and comfort while others lack legroom by some inches. When it comes to the second row, Kia takes a step down and lets the Honda Accord take first place with the balanced rear row dimensions, and not only that Honda Accord also features the biggest cargo capacity of 16.7 cu-ft followed by the Kia optima with 15.9 cu-ft trunk. Some notable interior features include:

  • Sport leather-trimmed seats (SX)
  • Dual-zone climate control (EX)
  • Heated and ventilated front seats (SX)
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Panoramic sunroof (SX)

What’s there to keep you entertained?

Although the standard 8-inch infotainment system is starting to look small in this day and age, it still offers all the modern functions like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, radio, MP3 player, Bluetooth, and more.

 2020 Kia Optima Sedan infotainment screen

The interface is simple and easy to use with physical controls and knobs for easier access. base models get a standard 6-speaker audio system which is swapped out for a 10-speaker premium Harman Kardon system on the higher trims. You also get convenient features like wireless charging, UVO Link connected features, and built-in navigation on the EX Premium and SX trims. Some notable infotainment features include:

  • 8-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
  • UVO Link connectivity
  • Built-in navigation

2020 Kia Optima Exterior

7.0/10

Despite being on the market for almost 5 years now, the current generation Optima still manages to look fresh and handsome with a fastback-style design similar to the new Accord. From the front, the sleek headlights complement the overall look, and strong body lines are followed through to the rear. The chrome roofline stands out on the darker color palettes, and may or may not be to your taste. 

​  2020 Kia Optima Sedan 

The rear manages to look sporty with chrome exhaust tops and a dark diffuser. Depending on the trim, the 2020 Kia Optima gets several wheel designs starting with 16-inch alloy wheels on the base models to 18 inches on the range-topping SX trim. The sportier trims including the S and SX also get a gloss black rear spoiler, sport side sills, and several sporty styling elements.

Models

2020 Kia Optima LX

2020 Honda Accord LX 1.5T

2020 Toyota Camry L

2020 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Curb Weight (lbs)

3230

3131

3241

3208

Length (in)

191.1

192.2

192.1

192.9

Width (in)

73.2

73.3

72.4

72.9

Height (in)

57.7

57.1

56.9

56.7

Ground Clearance (in)

5.3

N/A

5.7

4.9

Wheelbase (in)

110.4

111.4

111.2

111.2

The Honda Accord is the lightest in the competition with a curb weight of only 3131 pounds whereas the Nissan Altima is not far away, it weighs slightly more than the Accord. Similarly, the weight figures of Kia Optima and Toyota Camry are almost identical but in the end, the slight increment and decrement in the weight of these cars won’t make a big difference. Other vehicles are slightly bigger in length and wheelbase but the somewhat smaller wheelbase and shorter length of Kia Optima give it an upper advantage while taking a sharp turn or in tight city conditions. Some notable exterior features include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual projector LED headlights (SX)
  • Dual exhausts with chrome tips
  • Gloss black rear spoiler (S and SX)
  • LED daytime running lights

2020 Kia Optima Safety

9.9/10

Kia has always stayed ahead of the game with plenty of safety and driver assistance tech, and the trend continues with the updated Optima. For 2020, the base models get a lot more features including advanced collision avoidance with pedestrian detection. Based on the same platform as the Hyundai Sonata, the Optima secured the coveted “Top Safety Pick +” award from the IIHS and also received a full 5-star rating from the NHTSA.

Even on the base model, the Optima is loaded with Kia Drive Wise active safety features including forward-collision warning, forward-collision avoidance assists with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention warning, and more. Higher trims also get adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, and more. UVO link is also included on the EX and higher trims with features like 911 assistance, roadside assistance, and more. Some standard safety features include:

  • Rear-view monitoring with guidance
  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

2020 Kia Optima Competition

6.0/10

2020 Kia Optima vs 2020 Honda Accord

Compared to one of the best-selling sedans in its class, the Kia Optima falls short in terms of performance and space. But, it does manage to offer a lot more value with a long feature list and also manages to match the Honda Accord in terms of active safety tech, right from the base model. While both sedans are handsome to look at and offer plenty of space, the Accord is a more complete package thanks to Honda’s legendary reliability and that sweet 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. But, the Optima is not that far behind and also gets a best-in-class warranty.

2020 Kia Optima vs 2020 Toyota Camry

The Camry has always stuck to its roots of being one of the safest and most reliable options in the segment. The recent updates have also made it fun to drive, and surprisingly, it even handles better than the Optima. Toyota also offers best-in-class safety features but the Optima is not that far behind, as both models received the “Top Safety Pick+” award from the IIHS. This time around, the Kia Optima is more comfortable with a higher-quality cabin and plenty of features. In terms of powertrain and performance, the Camry still pulls ahead with better performance and efficiency even with the base model. Overall, the Camry is still a safer choice, but the optima will appeal to a more modern and tech-savvy crowd.

2020 Kia Optima vs 2020 Nissan Altima

Glossing over similar names, there’s a lot of differences between the Kia Optima and the Nissan Altima. For starters, the Altima is available with all-wheel drive and offers excellent fuel economy figures with its advanced powertrains. The cabin is also fairly equipped with a capable infotainment system and Nissan’s signature zero-gravity seats. But, the Kia Optima offers a lot more for the money with a lot more modern features, a better cabin, and Kia’s excellent warranty packages. Unless you need all-wheel drive, the Kia Optima is the better choice of the two.

2020 Kia Optima Final Verdict

Despite the minimal updates for 2020, the Kia Optima still manages to be appealing in a sea of modern sedans. Kia has played their cards right by offering a lot of features and equipment for the money right from the base LX model. Although the powertrains are not very exciting, the 1.6L turbo still manages to stand out, offering a mix of performance and efficiency. As expected with a modern Kia, the standard 10 years/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is also included in the price. Even with a completely new ‘K5” model on the horizon, the 2020 Kia Optima is still an excellent package, and if you’re looking for a comfortable family sedan that offers a lot of value, the Kia Optima deserves to be on your shortlist.

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