2016 Kia Optima SX Turbo new car reviews

The Kia Optima is one of the sleepers out there in our world, although the brand is quietly attracting fans. Like the rest of the Kia lineup, the Optima offers tremendous value--without asking its occupants to make many sacrifices.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Yes, I admit, I carry a little torch for Kia. In just a decade or so this company has gone from forgettable to a player. They might not offer an MX-5 or BRZ killer, but for most people Kia has something for their needs. The Optima offers families a solid sedan at a fair price.

Then there's the styling. Who says that budget-priced cars have to look bland? In my opinion, Kia has some of the best styling out there--contemporary without looking like a Transformer or other space alien.

Ed Higginbotham Ed Higginbotham
Associate Editor

I was pleasantly surprised by the Optima. I hadn't driven a Kia in a long time and they never seem to have that "X factor" that makes a car feel right.

This one felt more like a Buick than a Kia. It's big, comfortable and the turbocharged four-cylinder provides a surprising amount of punch for such a big car. That's not to say that this is a particularly fast sedan, but it provides enough pop to feel like you got a bargain at the $30,000 base price.

In the end, the Optima SX Turbo checks a lot of boxes that we like to see in a sedan.

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Comments

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Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
8/12/16 8:39 a.m.

I've been telling you peoples!

trigun7469
trigun7469 Dork
8/12/16 8:48 a.m.

No manual

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
8/12/16 9:15 a.m.

In reply to trigun7469:

I can't speak for the KIA in particular, but I often find that turbo engines and automatic transmissions are like chocolate and peanut butter. If they took the time to tune this AT to accentuate the character of a properly tuned turbo engine, it's a net positive.

Do the Koreans do that? I have no idea.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/12/16 9:33 a.m.
Bobzilla wrote: I've been telling you peoples!

I've been saying the same. Kia has some really good products.

As for a manual, on a car like this--a family car with a nice turbo setup--I'm cool with the auto.

singleslammer
singleslammer UberDork
8/12/16 9:46 a.m.

What is the price as tested? That is some fancy looking leather

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
8/12/16 10:00 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: I've been telling you peoples!

I've been saying the same. Kia has some really good products.

As for a manual, on a car like this--a family car with a nice turbo setup--I'm cool with the auto.

Yep. We checked out hte bottom dollar 1.6T 7-spd Dual clutch and honestly, it's great.

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