2018 Kia Optima Review and Release Date – The 2018 Kia Optima returns once you get your sportier trim and wide-ranging flexibility to get a compelling price.
The 2018 Kia Optima represents what we love to best in mid-size sedans: good features, handsome styling, admirable safety, and compelling value. Yeah, and we don’t know what’s not to like either.
2018 Kia Optima
This year, Kia added a sportier trim level towards the Optima generating standard some common-sense safety features that boost its already impressive official scores.
The 2018 Kia Optima earns a 7.4 on our overall scale, which reflects our high opinion of that safety performance (it’s among the list of few cars to ace our scale), and it is overall style. Its performance and luxury are a common places for improvement, but most importantly the Optima is above average both in respects.
Take a stroll around a Kia lot and you are clearly likely to find the usual suspects with the Optima—a budget-friendly Optima LX that starts at $23,395, including destination, all the way to the fully loaded Optima SX for $31,395.
Wedged didn’t remember the words for this holiday season is a whole new Optima S trim that includes a sportier look: a whole new front bumper, rear decklid spoiler, 17-inch wheels, along with a dual-pane sunroof for $24,395.
Across all purchases this holiday season, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking assistance are now standard, which shore up a lot of our concerns that active safety features were being kept from all but the priciest models.
A comparatively large number of powertrain options await Optima shoppers, excluding Optima Hybrid models we cover separately.
Down and up the product range, the 2018 Kia Optima is powered by the bevy of inline-4 options, including some turbocharged options. The bottom 2.4-liter inline-4 can be found on Optima LX and the newest S trim level, a 1.4-liter turbo-4 is optional around the LX trim, along with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 can be found on pricier SX trims. All purchases are front-wheel drive and manage combined gas mileage at 25 mpg or higher.
All purchases gain from a very good ride and handling setup, that makes the Optima comfortable, or else particularly sporty.
2018 Kia Optima Styling
Every trim with the 2018 Kia Optima is handsome, this means even base models are value on the subject of looks.
The 2018 Kia Optima hasn’t changed since it was new for 2016, plus the roots for that car go back further to 2011 gets hotter fundamentally shifted how we evaluate mid-size sedans.
On our style-o-meter we allow the 2018 Kia Optima a spot above average for its exterior profile and attractive interior. It earns a 7 out of 10.
On the surface, the Kia Optima embodies the latest and greatest in mid-size moves over the past decade. Its shapelier and curvier body starts at its coupe-like roofline that descends gradually enough to gift rear-seat riders with enough head room. The complete proportions are elongated sufficient to present the front-drive Optima a sportier, rear-drive profile that the newest Kia Stinger (which is definitely rear-drive) earns and improves upon.
Every competitor has adopted similar dimensions, which means the Optima isn’t as revolutionary because it once was.
Inside, the Optima pushes its dash further forward and into your corners, which improves outward visibility.
The cockpit isn’t as driver-focused as last iterations, but the fit and handle accounts for for the people shortcomings. The Optima’s luxury-influenced information and facts is a marked improvement over last-generation sedans, befitting Kia’s rise as a more premium brand. We like the inner look, particularly in top trim levels, such as Optima SX.
One nitpick: We’d probably delete the “Turbo” badges on the front fender portholes near the trunk doors on SX trims. We would like that word revisit its 1985-pinnacle of popularity, fo the time being seems like just a little gratuitous.
2018 Kia Optima Performance
Quiet and composed, the 2018 Kia Optima has good table manners, however it’s less than spicy.
The 2018 Kia Optima’s chief appeal will probably be its ride quality and competent handling—as it must be to get a mid-size sedan.
Balance, neutral ride and crisp turn-in help it earn some time above average, and the remainder of the tale with the tape with the Optima ensure that is stays mid-pack which consists of competitors. It earns a 6 out of 10 due to the trio of inline-4s, some of which are turbocharged, and middle-of-the-road transmissions.
Let’s talk numbers. Base Optima LX, Optima EX, and Optima S sedans and fitted having a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline-4 that utilizes direct injection to maximize fuel economy. That’s suited to a 6-speed automatic that really needs convincing to make very busy 2.4-liter inline-4 into its sweet-spot for passing power. Its peak torque output happens at 4,000 rpm, which can be less than the highest turbocharged offerings, so kicking down a few gears to feed is the particular game on steep mountain inclines. We’ve present in our drives that the camp 2.4-liter inline-4 is smooth and really should be adequate for many of us buyers’needs, provided that want isn’t outright speed.
An optional 1.6-liter turbo-4 is found in LX models that produces 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque as well as mated with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Its trick is efficiency, although it’s almost not a pokey engine. It feels more responsive versus 2.4-liter inline-4, but we’ve found it’s mostly somewhat hamstrung by the indecisive 7-speed dual-clutch that clobbers through gears compared with similar units of Volkswagen or Ford. The 1.6-liter turbo-4 is how the Optima manages combined fuel economy over 30 mpg, although every model is fuel efficient to its class.
The 2.0-liter turbo-4 included in SX models could be the most fun to drive. Mated with a 6-speed automatic, the 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 245 hp and 260 lb-ft and occurs strong lower while in the rev range (just 1,350 rpm). The top-end engine reads your right foot well; downshifts come quickly and paddle-shifters give drivers granular control over what gear to make when to make it. More sound-deadening in SX models quells the 2.0-liter’s harsher vibrations, which we appreciate.
Optima ride and handling
The 2018 Kia Optima is a smooth mover with revised suspension bits from previous generations. The Optima retains a familiar MacPherson front strut and multi-link rear setup, although revised front bushings and cushier springs damps fussy pavement.
The tradeoff is much more body lean, which isn’t uncouth to its class. The Optima irons from the road to acquire a tippier cornering character—we think flat and fast is the upcoming Stinger’s purview anyway.
All purchases incorporate selectable drive modes that toggle the throttle response and transmission behavior among Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. We’ve found the Normal mode to function as a goldilocks zone for much circumstances; Sport are generally too hot, Eco are generally too cold.
This season, all trims in the Optima adopt a steering system which i prefer over a mature setup, owing to its sharper feel as soon as roads get curvy.
2018 Kia Optima Comfort & Quality
The 2018 Kia Optima should be on the shortlist for many folks buyers buying a comfortable mid-sizer.
The 2018 Kia Optima is proof of the automaker’s move upmarket. Its confines are roomy and well-appointed, and also its particular fit and finish is punching above its weight class—even in base trims.
We have a 7 beyond 10 for comfort and quality, with points above average to its quiet ride and front-seat comfort. It narrowly misses another for luxury-like appointments—increased exposure of “narrowly” there.
Top-trim SX models get swathes of sound-deadening material, but all trims in the Kia Optima are quiet inside. Top windows, dash, windshield, and body panels have gotten special attention by sound designers to quell any thrums within the inline-4 engines, obese good effect—the doors close along with a reassuring “thunk” restricted to luxury vehicles.
Up front, the seats are lower and deeply bolstered with good side support and room for long legs. Most models should have power-adjustable front seats, which adapt with a wide-ranging range body types.
Some models will feature diamond-patterned seating that’s normally restricted to a more significant tax bracket, and now we appreciate Kia’s efforts there.
If we’ll knock the Optima, we’ll do it in rear-seat head room. The aggressively sloping roofline an amazing styling promise that rear passengers will must make good on; there’s just enough head room for 6-footers, however is not much more. Wide rear doors make entry and exit easier for many, however.
The trunk swallows 15.9 cubes of cargo, that is certainly on-par to its class, and the rear seats fold down in any 60/40-split when more flexibility is necessary.
Ergonomically, the 2018 Kia Optima cleans up well and features easy-to-understand dials and buttons for much tasks, including a straightforward infotainment interface that we think shall be easy after only our parents. Base LX models don’t feel particularly cheap either, which we know about the various other mid-size competitors.
2018 Kia Optima Safety
The Optima resolves our gripe from last year with wider available safety measures, and also its particular crash-test scores are flawless.
The 2018 Kia Optima is among the most few cars on the road that aces our safety scale owing to the right report card from federal and independent testers in addition to a accessible choice of advanced safety features.
Although it’s prematurily . for 2018 data, dependant upon its similarities to last year’s model we can draw very specific conclusions to the Optima.
The IIHS gave the Kia Optima a “Top Safety Pick+” award owing to its top “Good” scores on all crash tests and to its headlight performance—the few cars to ace it’s tests. And top marks from independent testers, federal regulators gave the Optima across-the-board five-star ratings for crash safety, including a five-star overall rating.
A rearview camera is standard on all models, plus 2018, so might be blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic assist, and rear parking assistance.
Standard equipment on all Optimas includes seat-mounted side airbags, side-curtain airbags, a driver’s knee bag, front active headrests, electronic stability control, and hill-start assist, to keep your vehicle from rolling when starting for the steep uphill grade.
Automatic emergency braking is currently available on more models, that has been our only gripe from last year. Other automakers are making it feel like standard on all models, something we wish Kia would consider, but wider availability is a good first step.
All versions of one’s 2018 Kia Optima include a typical complement of airbags, including seat-mounted side airbags, side-curtain airbags, along with a driver’s knee bag. The Optima also includes stability and traction control systems.
2018 Kia Optima Features
No Kia Optima feels cheap, and top trims are a good value because of its class.
The 2018 Kia Optima is as frugal or as opulent as your budget lets, but no model is bare.
Kia provides Optima in LX, S, EX, and SX trims, starting at $23,395. Base models feature keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, power-adjustable front seats, a rearview camera, 16-inch wheels, along with a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
That’s good base equipment, especially the touchscreen that it earn two points above average on our feature scale. We lend it a 7 beyond 10.
The Kia Optima can climb the ladder of creature comforts quickly, but no models are particularly high-priced.
The ultra-modern S trim, which Kia says is actually a sportier take on the Optima sedan, still retains the beds base 2.4-liter inline-4, but adds 17-inch wheels (18-inchers are available), unique front bumper and rear spoiler, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and optional dual-panel sunroof.
EX models are equipped similarly but add standard leather seats, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, available active precautionary features (which we cover separately) along with a woodgrain trim that’s a tad bit more upmarket as opposed to the base dash.
SX models go the full nine with 18-inch wheels, an upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen, an even better driver information cluster, dual chrome exhaust tips, glossy black trim, air-conditioned front seats, keyless ignition, and adaptive headlights.
More choices restricted to higher trim levels, which we wish Kia would reconsider. Although we’d note that your top trim to your Kia Optima still hovers around $30,000, that’s reasonable for the class and relatively good value.
2018 Kia Optima Fuel Economy
The 2018 Kia Optima just isn’t as fuel efficient as many of its competitors, but 25-mpg combined or better isn’t bad.
Kia was among the first automakers to innovate a lineup at all 4-cylinder engines for mid-size sedan, others are following suit.
The favourite engine often is the 2.4-liter inline-4 associated with base models and the modern S trim, which earns an EPA rating of 24 mpg city, 34 highway, 28 combined. That earns a 7 beyond 10 on our fuel efficiency scale.
Some competitors will manage better gas mileage as opposed to the Kia Optima, although Kia continues to be within arm’s length of people models.
Extremely effective 1.6-liter models will get the cheapest ratings of one’s lineup (without choosing the hybrid versions, which we cover separately) at 28/39/32 mpg.
Top-trim editions of one’s Kia Optima find a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that manages 22/31/25 mpg, depending on the EPA. We think you could be able to get better returns during the real-world by having a light foot.
It’s worth noting that many versions of one’s Optima are rated for normal unleaded, which will save pennies along at the pump. 2018 Kia Optima Review and Release Date