Low Rate financing | 2018 Kia Optima
While mid-size sedans are more commonly overlooked in favor of crossovers these days, the family-car segment is nonetheless filled with attractive and affordable options such as the Optima. Its handsome exterior is supplemented by several powertrains including a workaday base engine, two turbocharged versions, and two hybrid options. Every model is available with the latest active-safety and infotainment features. In fact, the Kia suffers few negatives—other than having excellent competitors that have virtually perfected the family-sedan formula. Still, the Optima is an attractive, capable car that will satisfy most everybody looking for a mainstream sedan.
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What’s New for 2018?
Kia sends the Optima into 2018 with minor updates, and several previously optional active-safety features are now standard. A 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also replaces the old 5.0-inch unit, which lacked smartphone integration. The rest of the lineup has reshuffled standard features. The SXL model has been discontinued; its top-of-the-line features are now offered as a Limited package on SX trims. The Optima also adds a new S model, which slots between the LX and LX 1.6T. This version wears sporty exterior bits and is available with a panoramic sunroof. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid only have minor color and trim-combination changes.
What Was New for 2017?
The Optima gained a new plug-in hybrid model for 2017, with 202 horsepower and an EPA-rated 29 miles of electric-only range. The conventional hybrid model received a fresh powertrain, too, with a 2.0-liter engine replacing the outgoing 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Nonhybrid Optimas saw scant changes for 2017, with a mostly carryover year following the car’s total redesign in 2016. The minor tweaks included the availability of the Driver Convenience and Convenience Plus packages in the LX trim, which can add a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors to the Optima’s entry-level trim. A Premium Plus package for EX models brought heated rear seats, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Adaptive headlights became standard on SX models for 2017, as did 18-inch wheels.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
The Optima is available in five distinct trims that range from the base LX ($23,495) to the top-tier SX ($31,495). In the middle is our choice, the LX 1.6T, which offers a 178-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It offers a good mix of performance, efficiency, and affordability. That trim costs $25,295 and includes the following standard features:
• 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
• Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
• Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
• Power-adjustable front seats
While the LX trim is a good value, there are virtually no options to improve its active-safety tech or interior features. More amenities become available on the next-level EX model. However, a fully loaded EX costs $31,895—too rich for our tastes.
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