Review and Test Drive: 2019 Kia Optima SX Turbo

By Jonathan Spira on 23 May 2019
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First introduced in 2000, the Kia Optima is now in its fourth generation, which went on sale in late 2015. It was designed by Kia Chief of Design Peter Schreyer, who cut his teeth at Audi.  Schreyer also designed the game-changing previous generation of Optima. A facelifted design was introduced at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and

The new Optima shares a platform with the Hyundai Sonata and, for its midlife refresh, received redesigned front and rear bumpers, updated headlights with Stinger-inspired LED daytime running lights, and updated taillights with LED accents. The SX model adds 18” multispoke alloy wheels with good-looking black accents and the option of the elegant two-tone red-and-black interior with embroidered sport seats, which is how we would specify the vehicle when ordering.


In SX guise with the two-tone interior, the Optima looks a step or two above its class.  One editor described it as “classy” and if you overlook a few areas of the interior with cheap-looking hard plastics, it does convey that feel.


The Kia infotainment system works quite well, with an excellent design and placement of knobs and switches. Kia’s integration of Apple CarPlay is superb and colleagues reported that the Android Auto integration is equally as good.  Both are standard on all trim levels of the Optima.

Going between the two (Kia radio with Apple Maps) works quite well, something that seems to be a challenge in certain other vehicles.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the Kia Optima SX Turbo

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