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2016 Kia Optima Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2016 Kia Optima?
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Are You Considering a 2016 Kia Optima? Here are the Pros and Cons

When it comes to midsize sedans, it’s tough to beat the 2016 Kia Optima. This year’s model combines a sporty exterior with a spacious interior. The car company is presenting the 2016 model as fully redesigned. However, other than a few minor tweaks, the exterior looks a lot like last year’s model. Below the surface is another matter as Kia made modifications to almost every other part of the car. For instance, the automaker updated the chassis and added a new engine to its lineup. The following ten reasons will surely encourage car buyers to consider bringing home the 2016 Kia Optima.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2016 Kia Optima – The Pros

1) Perky Performance

With plenty of power under the hood, drivers will appreciate the Optima’s perky performance. The vehicle’s seven-speed transmission shifts smoothly from one gear to the next while the acceleration is responsive.

2) Legroom Galore

In the 2016 Optima, headroom in the rear may be a little tight for adults, but the area does offer an abundance of legroom. The front is spacious, and it includes comfortably wide seats. When comparing the 2016 model to its predecessor, the new Optima is definitely larger.

3) Plenty of Trims

To provide options, the 2016 Optima comes in four different trims. They are the LX, EX, SX and SXL. When car buyers select the LX trim, they’ll receive features like cruise control and a rearview camera. The EX comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and leather upholstery while the SX features a sport-tuned suspension and adaptive xenon headlights. With the SXL, Kia decided to offer premium leather upholstery and exterior chrome enhancements.

4) Tech Features

Kia equipped the Optima with an 8-inch touchscreen that features a sharp picture and large buttons. The inclusion of physical buttons increases the vehicle’s safety since they require less focus when using them on the road. Smartphone integration is also available as is satellite radio.

5) Power Combined with Fuel Economy

The 2016 Kia Optima is available with three different engines. The regular LX and EX trims feature a 2.4-liter four-cylinder motor that delivers 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. With the LX 1.6T, car buyers will receive a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The car company decided to equip the SX and SXL trims with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that supplies 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

When rated for fuel economy, the midsize sedan came in at 24 miles per gallon for city driving and 35 miles per gallon at highway speeds. The turbocharged engine offers better fuel economy ratings as it registered at 28 miles per gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon on the highway.

6) An Appealing Interior

Inside the 2016 Kia Optima, luxurious materials and soft finishes await car buyers. In the upper trims, a panoramic sunroof is available. The carmaker also included a height adjusting passenger seat and plenty of cargo space. In the 2016 Optima, the trunk measures 15.9 cubic feet.

7) A Stylish Exterior

While Kia made few changes to the exterior of the vehicle, car buyers will appreciate the sedan’s sporty appearance. The grille delivers an aggressive look while the long hood and sloped body give the car a high-end feel.

8) Exceptional Safety Features

When developing the 2016 Kia Optima, the automaker added a number of standard safety features. These include:

• Stability control
• Anti-lock disc brakes
• Side-curtain airbags
• Front-seat side airbags

Optional safety features are state-of-the-art, and they consist of:

• A 360-degree surround view camera system
• Rear parking sensors
• A blind-spot monitoring system
• A crash intervention system with automatic braking

9) Expansive Warranty

The Kia Optima comes with a five-year or 60,000-mile warranty that covers the car bumper-to-bumper. To back the vehicle model, even more, Kia includes a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In reliability ratings, the vehicle earned a high score.

10) An Enhanced Ride

In developing the 2016 Kia Optima, the car company improved the vehicle’s ride quality. To do this, Kia modified the suspension mounting points. The automaker also made the body stiffer. The tuning changes created a car that handles bumps more smoothly to give car buyers an enhanced riding experience. 

Reasons You May Not Like the 2016 Kia Optima – The Cons

The 2016 Kia Optima comes with many features to tempt car buyers. However, there are several reasons to rethink bringing it home. Trouble spots include the steering and the dash design.

1) Dash Design

The car company developed the dashboard in a horizontal line that is highlighted by a single trim piece. While this setup is ideal for the driver, passengers will be looking at an empty and expansive dashboard.

2) Excessively Sensitive Steering

One problem with the 2016 Optima is that its steering is overly sensitive. When the car is set to the normal driving mode, it will feel a little light and withdrawn. In the sport mode, the steering is better, but it still fails to provide complete confidence.

3) Button Choice

Most drivers will probably fail to notice the materials used for the buttons, but one reviewer noted that the horn button felt cheap. However, the same tester also pointed out that the vehicle offers an abundance of storage areas.

4) Visibility Problems

The 2016 Kia Optima offers better visibility than the 2015 model, but the carmaker could make improvements. Because of this, car buyers may want to rethink the addition of window tint.

Making Comparisons

In some ways, Kia seems unsure about the direction that it wants to take with the Optima. The midsize sedan is comfortable, but the Chrysler 200 and the Toyota Camry are cushier to ride in than the Optima. In addition, the Kia handles well. However, it doesn’t offer the precision handling that vehicles like the Honda Accord, Volkswagen Passat and Nissan Altima provide. While the Optima’s exterior is sporty, the carmaker did not focus on this aspect as Ford did when it developed the Fusion. Instead, the Optima walks the line by offering a bit of each element.


For years, Kia has been outshining other carmakers when it comes to features and overall value. It continues this trend with the 2016 Optima. Once car buyers settle behind the wheel of a new Kia Optima, the vehicle will sell itself by offering a pleasurable ride and high-end accessories. 

2018 Kia Optima Trim Level Configurations:

2018 Kia Optima trim levels. What you get with each trim configuration.