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Kia Optima 2018 sedan
Kia's midsized sedan packs a lot of substance and value. It drives nicely, with a firm yet absorbent ride and responsive, secure handling. The mainstream 2.4-liter four-cylinder is pleasant and unobtrusive, and returned 28 mpg overall in our tests, and the uplevel 2.0-liter turbo four packs more punch. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is new. The EX trim features comfortable leather seats, automatic climate control, a roomy rear seat, and heating for the seats and steering wheel. The controls are very intuitive to use. Low-positioned dash vents are our only gripe. The latest version of Kia's UVO touch-screen infotainment system works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions are also available. New for 2018, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all models. However, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are optional only on top trims.

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...


  • Lots of equipment for the money
  • Straightforward and easy-to-understand controls


  • Fuel-economy falls short of the best in the class
  • Ride is a touch firm

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 a...


2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
  • Basic: 5 year/60,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 10 year/100,000 miles
  • Rust through: 5 year/100,000 miles
  • Roadside aid: 5 year/60,000 miles
Body Styles
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 1.6-liter 4 turbo (178 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 hybrid (193 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (245 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 electric (202 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (185 hp)


Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results