2018 Kia Optima Release Date Price
The 2018 Kia Optima represents what we like most about the midsize sedan: good features, handsome style, awesome security, and exciting value. Yes, we do not know what we do not like either.
Take a walk around Kia’s place and you’ll probably find the usual suspects for the budget-friendly Optima – Optima LX starting at $ 23,395, including the destination, down to the fully charged Optima SX for $ 31,395.
The key in the middle for this year is the new Optima S trim that adds a sporty look: new front bumper, rear deco rear spoiler, 17 inch wheels, and dual-pane sunroof for $ 24,395.
Throughout this year’s model, blind spot monitors with rear traffic warnings and back parking assistance are now standard, which underpins some of our concerns that active safety features are stored from all but the most expensive models.
A relatively large powertrain option awaits Optima buyers, excluding the Hybrid Optima model we discuss separately.
Up and down the range, the 2018 Kia Optima is supported by an inline-4 bid option, including several turbocharged options. The inline-4’s 2.4-liter base is found on Optima LX and the new S trim levels, an optional 1.4-liter turbo-4 on LX trim, and a 2.0-liter turbo-4 found on lighter SX trims. All models are front wheel drive and manage combined fuel economy with a speed of 25 mpg or higher.
All models benefit from the driving arrangements and good handling, which makes Optima comfortable, if not too sporty.
2018 Kia Optima Styling
Each trim from 2018 Kia Optima is handsome, which means even the basic model is a good value when it comes to looks.
The 2018 Kia Optima has not changed since new for 2016, and the roots for that car go back to 2011 when basically shifted how we see midsize sedans.
From the outside, Kia Optima manifests the latest and greatest movements of today in the past decade. The shapelier and curvier bodies start like a coupe-like roofline that goes down fast enough to reward the rider with enough headroom. The overall proportion extends enough to give the Optima front-drive sporty rear sporty profile the new Kia Stinger (which is actually a rear driver) and improved.
Each competitor has adopted a similar dimension, which means Optima is not revolutionary as it once was.
Inside, Optima pushes her dash farther forward and into the corners, which increases visibility outward.
The cockpit is not as a driver focused as the last iteration, but its compatibility and completion match those shortcomings. The luxury-influenced Optima details are a noticeable improvement from the latest generation sedans, in keeping with Kia’s rise as a more premium brand. We love the inner look, especially on the top trims, like the Optima SX.
One nitpick: We might remove the “Turbo” badge on the front fender’s placenta near the rear door with SX trim. We want that word back to its peak of popularity in 1985, but for now it seems a bit strange.
2018 Kia Optima Performance
2018 Kia Optima appeal will be the driving quality and competent handling – as with medium-sized sedans.
Balance, neutral hikes and sharp turn-in can yield a point above the average, and the remaining tape recordings for Optima remain with their rivals. This produces 6 out of 10 for inline-4s trios, some of which are turbocharged, and mid-way transmission.
Let’s talk numbers. Base Optima LX, Optima EX, and Optima S sedan and will be equipped with 185 horsepower, 2.4 liter inline-4 that uses direct injection to maximize fuel savings. It is mounted on a 6 speed automatic that needs convincing to carry a busy 4-liter inline to a sweet spot for passing power. Its peak torque output occurs at 4,000 rpm, which is lower than the top turbocharged offer, so kicking down some gears to pass is a game name on a steep mountain slope. We have found in our drives that the inline-4 2.4 liter base is seamless and should be adequate for most buyers’ needs, provided that their needs are not immediate.
The optional 1.6-liter turbo-4 is found on the LX model that produces 178 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 7-speed automatic clutch. The trick is efficiency, although the engine is not like a pokey machine. It feels more responsive than the 2.4-liter inline-4, but we found that this is somewhat shackled by a doubly 7-speed dual clutch made through gears compared to similar units made by Volkswagen or Ford. The 1.6-liter Turbo-4 is how Optima manages a combined fuel economy of more than 30 mpg, although every fuel-efficient model for its class.
The 2.0 liter turbo-4 found on the SX model is the most fun to drive. Mated to 6 speed automatic, the 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 245 hp and 260 lb-ft and performs lower in the rev range (only 1350 rpm). The top-end machine reads your right foot well; downshifts come quickly and paddle-shifters provide detailed control on what drivers to use and when to use them. More sound in the SX model beats the louder 2.0-liter vibration, which we value.
2018 Kia Optima ride and handling
The 2018 Kia Optima is a smooth mover with revised suspension pieces from the previous generation. Optima retains familiar MacPherson front struts and multi-link rear setups, although the revised front pad and cushier springs foul the sidewalks.
The tradeoff is a slightly leaner body, which is unusual for its class. Optima Iron out of the way in return for a tippier cornering character – we think flat and fast will become the next Stinger collection.
All models are equipped with a selectable drive mode that activates throttle response and transmission behavior between Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. We have found Normal mode to be the goldilocks zone for most circumstances; Exercise can be too hot, Eco can be too cold.
This year, all the trims from Optima adopt a steering system that we prefer from the older configuration, thanks to sharper shades as the road curves.
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