The 2019 Kia Optima ranks 14 out of 21 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Kia Optima, as well as reliability and safety data.
Test drivers think the 2019 Kia Optima is a good value among midsize cars because of its high-end available features, long warranty and strong engines.
The front-wheel drive Optima is available with a four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged four-cylinder engine on higher trims. Reviewers like the base engine’s ample power, and they’re very impressed with the turbocharged engine’s generous power, saying it feels like a V6. Both engines have an automatic transmission that test drivers praise for its fast, smooth shifts. Base Optimas get 23/34 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, which is about average for a four-cylinder car in this class. Turbocharged Optimas are estimated at 27/37 mpg. Test drivers say the Optima is more athletic on a winding road than other midsize cars, and they like that it’s still comfortable enough for daily driving duties. Some reviewers think the Optima has numb steering, while others think it’s well-balanced, but all test drivers agree that the Optima has powerful brakes.
Auto writers like that there is plenty of trunk and passenger space in the 2019 Optima, though they note that the sloping roofline can make taller back-seat riders uncomfortable. Reviewers like the upscale amenities that are available on the Optima, like a heated steering wheel, high-end leather seats, heated front and rear seats and cooled front seats, saying that you can equip the Optima similarly to a more expensive luxury car. They also say the touch-screen interface makes it easy to use the audio and navigation systems. The 2019 Optima comes standard with satellite radio, USB and auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth and a cooling glove box. The Optima can be equipped with power-folding mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, HD Radio, navigation, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot detection with cross traffic alert, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, push-button start, proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control with back-seat vents and an electronic parking brake.
The biggest upgrade for 2019, however, is to the list of standard safety features. A driver assistance package is now included on every Optima, offering a driver attention monitor, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. The lane keep assist sounds fairly basic, so don’t expect it to keep the car centered in its lane on the highway, but for a package of standard safety features, it’s still impressive.