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2018 Kia Optima Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2018 Kia Optima?

Are You Considering a 2018 Kia Optima? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The 2018 Kia Optima is a sleek, sophisticated midsize car that stands out among the competition for its roomy interior, generous tech features, and outstanding safety scores and technologies. If you're shopping for a sedan in 2018, here's what you need to know about this impressive offering from Kia.

What's New for 2018?

Kia has added several new standard features to the Optima for 2018. All trims now come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, as well as driver assistance features including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2018 Kia Optima – The Pros

1. Impressive Standard Features

With the newly added standard features for 2018, the Kia Optima has one of the most well-appointed base models in its class. Many comparable vehicles require an upgrade to higher trims to access new driver assistance mechanisms and safety features. The inclusion of these in the Optima makes it one of the best values among midsize sedans.

2. Comfortable Cabin

Drivers and passengers of the 2018 Kia Optima will enjoy a spacious, airy cabin; plush, comfortable seats; and soft-touch materials with a luxurious feel. Reviewers laud the clean, cockpit-style design that prizes driver comfort and refined ergonomics. Noise-reduction measures have been taken to create a hushed, soothing ride.

3. Generous Cargo Space

While you don't necessarily buy a midsize sedan for its capacity to haul, the Optima boasts more room for groceries than most. You'll find 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which have a 60/40 folding split for added versatility. Drivers who upgrade to the proximity key will enjoy the convenience of an automatic liftgate open when you're standing within range.

4. Intuitive Infotainment System

Kia's proprietary UVO infotainment system is among the industry's best, and has been upgraded in the Optima for 2018 with comprehensive smartphone integration at all trim levels. This allows for seamless use of apps through safe, effective voice controls. The system is easy to learn and features a 7" touchscreen along with both Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

5. Turbocharged Engine Options

While the standard 2.4-liter engine will be fine for most drivers, those who'd rather upgrade for more power have two options to choose from: a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, or the top-level 2.0-liter turbo paired with a six-speed automatic.

6. Excellent Fuel Economy

Drivers who want to save money at the pump have few better choices in the midsize class than the 2018 Kia Optima. The base engine gets an EPA-estimated 25 city/36 highway miles per gallon, while the 1.6-liter turbo does even better with a rating of 28 city/37 highway mpg.

7. Composed, Customizable Handling

Another cool standard feature of the 2018 Kia Optima is the ability to toggle between three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport. Reviewers praise the car's steady handling and strong brakes.

8. Class-Leading Warranty

The 2018 Kia Optima has one of the best warranties in the midsize segment. Buyers of a new Optima receive a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

9. Outstanding Crash Test Scores

The 2018 Kia Optima is one of the safest vehicles in this class, earning a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. The use of advanced high-strength steel improves the car's performance in a crash, protecting the vehicle's occupants. Drivers who value safety will also be impressed with the array of available safety features in addition to the standard offerings, including autonomous emergency braking, forward collision and lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a surround-view camera.

10. Staggering Sound System

Music lovers, rejoice. Your favorite playlists will sound incredible when you upgrade to the available 10-speaker surround sound Harman/Kardon® QuantumLogic™ stereo. Industry experts note that this is one of the finest sound systems available among cars in the midsize class.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2018 Kia Optima – The Cons

1. Not So Fun to Drive

While the 2018 Kia Optima is a pleasant ride, some industry experts note that the sedan lacks pizzazz under the hood. Drivers will find the car comfortable, but some may seek a more dynamic experience. The seven-speed automatic transmission has a noticeable lag that may be aggravating for some.

2. Plenty of Plastic

Although the interior of the Optima is generally well-designed and attractive, some drivers may be turned off by the use of hard plastics instead of soft-touch materials in the cabin. As a brand, Kia aims for luxury at an affordable price point, and only slightly misses the mark here with the 2018 Optima.

3. Outdated Styling

With its latest refresh in 2016, some drivers who may have otherwise chosen the 2018 Kia Optima might be swayed by more modern competitors with recent revamps. The Kia is still in the generation that started with its 2011 redesign, so buyers who want the latest and greatest might want to wait on the Optima until the next update.

4. Limited Rear Seat Headroom

If you have tall adolescents or frequently travel with other adults, you may be better off choosing a midsize sedan with more generous headroom in the back seat.

How it Stacks Up to the Competition

The 2018 Kia Optima holds its own in a class that includes sales giants like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Its array of family-friendly features help make the Optima a winner for parents who don't necessarily want to go the SUV route. While the Accord has more driver assistance features, it falls short of the Optima when it comes to overall technology. The similarly equipped Hyundai Sonata is the closest competitor to the Optima at around the same price point.


Although the 2018 Kia Optima isn't necessarily the most thrilling car to drive, midsize sedan shoppers who want a great all-around package at an excellent value will find a lot to love in this updated model. The budget-friendly car comes in six separate trims, so there's truly an Optima to fit every lifestyle.

Previous Kia Optima Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2017 Kia Optima? w/ pros vs cons