2019 Optima Is A Small Step For Kia – But Is It Enough To Sway You From Its Rivals?

Those in the market for a new mid-size sedan have several great cars to choose from, such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata. The Kia Optima is also on the list, and after having been facelifted last year, it promises to be more competitive than ever.

The usual exterior makeover is joined by the updated UVO infotainment that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and is standard on the entry-level LX. For the navigation function, though, you’ll have to upgrade to the EX with Premium Package, or the top-of-the-line SX.

In terms of pricing, the LX and S will set you back $22,990 and $24,990 (excluding destination), respectively. Both versions are powered by a 185 HP 2.4-liter four that’s paired to a six-speed auto transmission. The EX has a starting price of $26,890 and comes with a 178 HP 1.6-liter turbo, while the SX uses a 245 HP 2.0-liter turbo and has an MSRP of $31,990.

Also Read: Next-Gen Kia Optima To Have A Progressive Design With A Strong Identity

As is often the case, this particular 2019 Optima test car came in the top-spec SX and fitted with a few extras, which raised its price to $33,315. Kelley Blue Book appreciated the well-built interior with a premium feel, comfortable leather seats and soft-touch materials and noted that the infotainment system won’t give anyone a headache either, while interior space is very good all around.

The 2.0-liter mill makes the car feel quick in most scenarios, but the 6-speed automatic gearbox can be sluggish at times. To get past the (inevitable) turbo lag, you’re going to find yourselves driving in Sport mode quite a lot, or in Manual, using the paddle shifters to change gears.

There’s a number of other things about the revised Optima mentioned in KBB’s test drive, and the reviewer has covered them in the video below.


  • Bige Lee

    Still a solid choice but so are the others and it’s showing its age. The next gen should be out within a year.

    • Bash

      I expect something dramatic just like the new sonata we saw recently.

      • charlotteharry57

        You’re going to be disappointed. They’ve already said that the flashy one is the Sonata, NOT the next Optima.

        • bd0007

          Maybe not as “dramatic” as the Sonata, but the new Optima should be more striking than the current model which is a step back from the 3G model.

    • bd0007

      Mind as well wait for the next gen model at this juncture.

      Better sheetmetal and interior to go along w/ a lighter/stronger chassis, more powerful/efficient engines and if the latest reports are accurate, available AWD.

  • charlotteharry57

    The ’19 and ’20 are spectacular deals. If only one didn’t have to deal with the scummy Kia dealers. The next one, like the Sonata, won’t be discounted much for at least 2 years after intro and will come in at a higher price point to begin with. The Optima has stellar safety ratings (better than the Sonata), save for the headlights. If the economy and car sales totally tank, which is now a real possibility, this, the ’19 Sonata (being replaced this fall but leftovers will be around another 6 months or so), the Fusion, and the Malibu will become the go-tos for stealer deals in the midsize sedan class.

  • Jawohl

    As with most Kia’s – it’ll sell on price

    • bd0007

      And yet, the Optima has had a higher ATP than the Camry.

      • Jawohl

        Transaction price is quite different

  • WalthamDan

    The previous Optima was a looker.and really established the name plate as a contender. The designer tossed all the good vibe away with this bland remake. They need to really bring their styling game with the next iteration to win back some marketshare.


    the strangest part of this article is that the Mazda 6 was not mentioned…. as one of the great cars in this segment… or is it that the Mazda 6 is way ahead of these mainstream brands?

  • charlotteharry57

    Well, well, well, lookie here. While most have not yet reported sales for May, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have. Add up the May figures for the Camry, Altima (now #2) and Accord and you get almost 85,000 units. Times 12 equals over a million a year. And sedans are dead. Ummm…GM, Ford and FCA…have anything to say?

  • Jawohl

    Then why to they have to sell at a lower pricepoint than competitors?

    • KidRed

      They have no brand history so their badge doesn’t hold as much weight yet. If reliability and quality continues then they’ll slowly move up in price as the market allows.

    • Nefiu Ci

      means you only buy the most expensive because it is expensive? you truly are a lost victim of capitalism, poor soul lol.

      and to your question : because they can!

      Why don’t the others offer 7 year warranty?
      Becuase they don’t have balls and know their quality isnt for longterm.

      • Jawohl

        *because they have to!

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