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, the 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.
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Kia Optima 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, the 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.

Such is the case with the Kia Optima. It's more eye-catching than other family sedans, but Kia sells half as many Optimas as the safe-bet Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. A redesign for 2016 brings a new air of mainstream opulence to the Optima. It has improved ride comfort, better handling and braking, and a roomier interior. But it's also so loaded with standard and smartly priced optional features that you feel like you got more than you paid for.

Best Version to Get
We think the sweet spot is the EX trim; it gives you upscale features like leather seats, heated front seats and steering wheel, driver's seat memory, and dual automatic climate control. However, we're frustrated that you can't get advanced safety equipment, like forward-collision warning with aut...
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