The 2016 Kia Optima is the fourth generation of Kia’s best selling model. First introduced in 2011 it was the Optima that really made the Kia Brand stand out and as a result Kia sales skyrocketed – a trend they keep improving on every year. With a fresh new look and loaded with standard equipment, performance and technology features the 2016 Kia Optima is one of the best values in the mid-size sedan category and makes the trend of record sales every year a pretty much a guarantee.
There are 5 trim levels for the 2016 Kia Optima – the SX, SXL, EX and LX all return from last year while the LX 1.6T makes its debut featuring the new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Thanks to the new design of the Kia Optima the interior is also larger. The seating also got an overhaul this year and features a stiffer seat frame designed to reduce vibrations coupled with a combination of soft foam in the upper back, headrest areas and more supportive denser foam in the lower seat area – the seating is the most comfortable to date.
The dashboard is nicely laid out and the center console is slightly angled towards the driver making viewing and access to the controls a little bit easier. The crown jewel of the center console is the eight-inch touchscreen display – use it to access many features such as UVO a free service that offers various functions such premium navigation, emergency assistance, maintenance diagnostics and new Eservices Driving Score, Speed Alert, Geo-fencing and Curfew alerts – they are excellent tools that allow you to track the habits of the driver making it perfect to keep tabs on younger drivers.
Smartphone owners will love Android Auto and Apple Carplay – they allow you to connect and access core functions of your android or apple based smartphone including navigation, voice calls and messaging which can be accessed from controls found on the steering wheel, the view screen or by voice control.
Also available for the display touchscreen is a rear view camera with a 360-degree Surround-View Monitor available on the SXL and SX models.
For the music lovers the 2016 Kia Optima comes with a great six-speaker system but for those who demand absolute perfection from their music there is an available ten speakers Harman/Kardon QuantumLogic™7 Premium Surround Audio System complete with a 630-watt digital amplifier and featuring Clari-Fi™7 technology.
See more interior specifications.
The 2016 Kia Optima exterior has a new bold, sporty yet classy look this year – while the look may be new it is also very similar to the last generation Optima. The body is slightly larger in all aspects it’s a bit taller, 1.2 inches wider and a bit longer – with the bigger dimensions comes a larger trunk with cargo space of 15.9 cubic feet that’s up 0.5 cu.-ft. from last year.
New Bi-Xenon HID headlights light the way with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist.
The LX and LX 1.6 turbo come with 16-inch alloy wheels (silver painted on the LX and a unique light gray finish on the turbo) and 205/65R1695H tires (17 inch rims and tires are optional on the LX; The EX comes equipped with 17 inch silver painted alloy wheels and 215/551794V tires; the SX and SXL trims come with 18 inch machine finished (chrome finish optional on SXL) alloy wheels and 235/45R1894V tires.
The SX and SXL differ from the other trims in appearance with highlights such as chrome tipped dual exhaust, red rear and front brake calipers, sport front and rear bumpers, rear spoiler and sport LED rear taillights. The SXL gets a little bit more chrome love with chrome accent rear and front bumpers, accent side sills.
More 2016 Kia Optima Exterior specs.
Kia has made a lot of changes to the 2016 Kia Optima to give it better handling and performance. The chassis is stiffer engineered from high-tensile strength steel alloys – it has 58 percent more torsional rigidity than last years model, it is also lighter this creates more high-speed stability and handling as well as an improved steering response.
Depending on the trim level you will get one of three engines – on the LX and EX trim it is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 178 lb. ft. torque @ 4,000 rpm. New for 2016 is the 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 178 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm and 195 lb.ft torque @ 1,500 – 4,500 rpm that can be found on the LX 1.6T. The SX and SXL are powered by a 2.0-liter four cylinder turbocharged engine with a torque rating of 260 lb.ft. @ 1350-4,000 rpm and horsepower rating of 245 hp @ 6,000. All of the engines have a 6-speed automatic transmission except for the LX 1.6T which comes with a 7-speed Dry Type Dual Clutch transmission.
All three engines have good estimated fuel economy ratings. The best is the is the 1.6-liter turbo I-4 with a combined 32 mpg (28 city / 39 highway) – second up is the 2.4-liter I-4 with a combined mpg rating of 30 (25 city / 37 highway) and finally the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 with 26 mpg combined (22 city / 32 highway) rating.
Safety and Security
The list of standard safety equipment on the 2016 Kia Optima is long and impressive. You’ll find a lot of airbags from driver and passenger advanced front airbags, side curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag and front seat mounted side airbags.
4-wheel antilock brakes system (ABS) , Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Traction Control System (TCS) and a Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) are standard on all Optima’s.
Several technologies are available including Advanced Smart Cruise Control as well as several detection assists such as Front Collision Warning System (FCWS), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Parking Assist System (RPAS).
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