Product Reviews

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Kia has been offering buyers competent, stylish cars at prices that undercut rivals. But that low price came at the expense of refinement. As with the Sorento last year, the 2016 Optima shows that Kia has turned a corner. It still looks great, and now it comes with more substance. Why is it that some cars fly under the radar? You think more people would know about a certain vehicle and embrace its goodness.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2009. Side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2007. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2010.
Road Test

Kia has been offering buyers competent, stylish cars at prices that undercut rivals. But that low price came at the expense of refinement. As with the Sorento last year, the 2016 Optima shows that Kia has turned a corner. It still looks great, and now it comes with more substance.

Why is it that some cars fly under the radar? You think more people would know about a certain vehicle and embrace its goodness. And yet, for whatever reason, the model doesn't catch on with the mainstream.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 1.6-liter 4 turbo (178 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (245 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (185 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 hybrid (199 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Kia Optima owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“making noise when hitting brake going to dealership soon”

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“There is a rattle in the sunroof”

Anonymous, ON (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Since purchase, I have had popping noises in the rear seat area that are not on a consistent basis. It usually occurs when driving over uneven pavement. Dealer has not been able to determine cause”

Anonymous, VA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

“very quiet on many roads. A high degree of road noise from rough black top highways”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Recall from Kia Motors re: right front axle. Replaced by dealer. There were no problems with the axle before receiving recall notice”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Driveline vibration

“car vibrates at 60 mph”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Traction control

“was not working very well in snow and had to turn it off”

Richard H., NY (2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Has had to go in to dealership twice to be reset”

Ryan T., CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

“Giving a voice command in a clear and strong voice doesn't always connect for the phone call. It may take several times or will not connect at all. Local dealer has acknowledge problem but unable to fix it”

Anonymous, VA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

“There is a rattle in the sunroof”

Anonymous, ON (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Brand new car and sunroof would not close once opened. Took to Car Pros Kia in Carson, California 3 times (total of 17 days). They could not fix it. Then took to Kia of downtown Los Angeles and they told me track was bent so first open / close of sunroof burnt out the motor. They had my car for 23 days and finally fixed the sunroof by replacing it”

Kenneth C., CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

“Engine hesitates up to 6 or 7 seconds, then shifts roughly. They cant find the problem”

Anonymous, PA (2016 Kia Optima Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

“sensor needed to be replaced as the transmission was slipping”

Richard H., NY (2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“chips and scratches”

Chuck M., NV (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Parking brake

“The second day i parked on a hill and set the parking brake. When we ttied to leabe it woul s not release. We called a service gruck and they were a b le to het it to release. I took it in to the dealer for service and set the brake on a hill in feont of the dealership. The service manager could not hey it to release and after she exited the car the emergency brake released on it's own and the car lurched back. The car went in for service and the result was that i was told not to push the e”

Michael B., PA (2016 Kia Optima EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“engine smoothness connected with vibration”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Left headlight assembly did not work at purchase. Was replaced within first week”

Anonymous, IN (2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“The technicians' could not fix the rough shifting problem, so the transmission was replaced. That did not work and the 'Lemon Law' option was successfully invoked”

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

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