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For drivers in the market for a new family sedan, the midsize Kia Optima remains a great option. A 100,000-mile powertrain warranty helps you to get the most value for your money. Seductive exterior styling is another one of the Optima’s biggest attractions. New headlights and striking wheel designs help it to look more like the stunning Kia Stinger sports sedan. Platinum Graphite, Passion Red, and Horizon Blue are just a few of the available paint colors.
You’ll find the 2019 Kia Optima to be more than just eye candy. Your family will especially enjoy the Stinger’s comfy interior. A lot of modern technology is available for the 2019 Kia Optima. This year, even the base model comes standard with a good number of advanced safety technologies. An improved Uvo infotainment system gives you another reason to consider buying a new Optima.
Kia gives you four Optima trims to pick from: LX, S, EX, and SX. Let’s find out which trim best suits your budget and lifestyle.
Compare the 2019 Kia Optima LX vs S - What is the difference?
Don’t simply pass over the base Optima LX. A competitive MSRP of $22,990 makes it perfect for drivers looking to cut their expenses. Luckily, Kia stocked the interior with popular features. The new 8.0-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will get the most attention. Some of the other highlights include remote locking/unlocking, a six-speaker sound system, and Bluetooth.
Kia does offer a Premium package for the LX trim. While a set of 17-inch machined alloy wheels and gloss-black exterior treatments elevate the sedan’s styling, a 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar enables you to experience greater comfort. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and LED interior lightning are included as well.
With the arrival of more safety technologies, the base Optima LX has become even more appealing to families. Blind-spot monitoring, forward collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, and driver drowsiness detection all come standard. Available as an option, automatic high beams make driving a night a bit more secure.
The Optima LX comes equipped with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. It keeps the sedan motivated by developing a total of 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission shifts the power to the front wheels. Drive Mode Select is also found on the base Optima LX, which enables you to adjust the steering feel and engine responsiveness.
Under the hood of the Optima S sits the same engine. However, the S trim has a sportier look. It comes outfitted with a hotter set of 18-inch wheels and a rear spoiler. LED taillights are also added to the S trim.
Just a few more upgrades are found on the inside of the Optima S. Black cloth upholstery with leatherette seat bolsters help give the cabin a more showy appearance. Push-button start enables you to quickly crank up the engine. A panoramic sunroof is optional.
Compare the 2019 Optima S vs EX Trims. What is the difference?
The Optima EX is the most efficient trim. It comes equipped with a smaller turbocharged engine, which produces 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is further enhanced by a specially tuned, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Although the Optima EX is a good-looking ride, it’s not as sporty as the Optima LX. Aside from deleting the spoiler, the Optima EX replaces the S trim’s 18-inch wheels with a smaller set of 17-inch wheels. However, illuminated door handles do come equipped on the EX trim.
From a standpoint of luxuriousness, the Optima EX ranks above the Optima S. Wood interior accents and leather upholstery help give it a more upscale feel. When traffic starts to slow, adaptive cruise control will automatically adjust your speed. Meanwhile, extra USB ports enable you to recharge phones and laptops. Some of the EX trim’s other niceties include heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a hands-free smart trunk.
Some notable upgrades come in the optional Premium package. The more powerful Harman Kardon audio system promises to make your music sound better. Ventilated front seats bring more comfort. Navigation, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof are some of the Premium package’s other goodies.
Compare the Optima EX vs SX - What is the difference?
If you desire the handling characteristics and power of a sports sedan, be sure to take the range-topping Optima SX for a test drive. It’s motivated by a 245-horsepower turbocharged engine. While a sports-tuned suspension tightens up the Optima SX’s handling, shift paddles enable you to manually sort through the gears.
Sporty styling treatments also help the Optima SX to make its presence felt. Dual exhaust tips and red brake calipers give it a race-inspired appearance. You’ll also enjoy the Optima SX’s rear spoiler and sharp-looking 18-inch wheels. Unlike the lower trims, the Optima SX comes equipped with adaptive LED headlights for improved nighttime visibility.
The Optima SX’s interior matches its stronger performance and sportier exterior styling. A flat-bottom steering wheel makes drivers feel more in control. A larger driver display gives you easier access to certain information. Metal interior accents and ambient interior lightning also help the Optima SX to stand out. You'll get the EX trim's optional premium sound system as a standard feature.
To give the Optima SX a more special character, you can outfit it with Nappa leather upholstery. An available 360-degree parking camera enables you to better see obstacles. Meanwhile, optional black wheels give the sedan a custom look. Some of the other SX options include heated rear seats, rear window sunshades, and a black headliner.
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Which One Should You Choose?
All four of the available Optima trims deserve some thought. The base 2019 Kia Optima LX is definitely not a big downgrade. Like every other trim, it benefits from Kia’s great warranty package. A smartphone-friendly infotainment system and several driver-assist safety features also help make the Optima LX a strong value.
If you simply desire a sportier look, go for the Optima S. Although the Optima S may not have more power under the hood, it does look sleek and stylish.
The EX trim’s smaller turbocharged engine boosts fuel economy while also improving acceleration. While the Optima EX’s transmission can be shaky at times, most drivers won’t complain. There’s also some nice upgrades on the Optima EX, including rapid-charging USB ports and adaptive cruise control.
Priced at $31,900, the Optima SX is the most expensive trim. However, it’s also the most fun. Its stronger turbocharged engine enables you to really pick up the pace. Meanwhile, sports-tuned shocks help with handling. There’s also some race-inspired styling tweaks on the Optima SX. By spending more money, you can get the Optima SX with luxuries like a surround-view parking camera and heated rear seats.
2019 Kia Optima Key Features
When shopping for a new 2019 Kia Optima, you’ll have access to three different engines. Most people will choose the standard four-cylinder, which delivers an adequate performance while returning up to 33 mpg. While the Optima EX can save you more fuel at the pump, its dual-clutch automatic transmission can be sluggish at low speeds. To experience more power and quicker acceleration, go for the Optima SX’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It matches the output of a traditional V6 engine.
Kia’s latest Uvo infotainment system has garnered solid reviews. The combination of easy-to-reach buttons and a quick-reacting touch screen make it a breeze to use. All versions of Uvo provide Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Because the graphics are so crisp, drivers will have no troubling seeing the menu screen. Voice-activated navigation is offered on the EX and SXT trims. You can also get an Uvo feature that enables you to remotely start the engine and adjust the cabin’s temperature.
The biggest change for 2019 is the inclusion of more standard safety features. When moving through highway traffic, you’ll find the standard blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist systems will prove to be especially helpful. By analyzing signs of drowsiness, driver attention warning keeps track of your alertness. Smart cruise control is offered starting on the EX trim.
Don’t expect the base six-speaker stereo system to wow you with its sound quality. If you are an avid music listener, consider getting the Harman Kardon surround-sound system. Its 630-watt amplifier drives a total of 10 speakers. Clari-Fi restoration technology helps the system to sound as clear as possible. Whether you’re out running errands or taking a long road trip, expect the Harman Kardon unit to make your journey more eventful.
Kia gives you different types of upholstery to pick from. The standard seats are covered in cloth upholstery with CleanTex, which is great for the parents who have young children. They’ll be able to easily clean up spills. While all of the available interior fabrics have a high-quality feel, sport leather with red stitching truly separates the Optima SX from the other trims.
• Compare the 2018 Kia Optima Trim Levels