2018 Kia Optima: Stylish, Powerful, Well-Equipped Mid-Size Sedan

The 2018 Kia Optima is the latest version of the mid-size four-door sedan that has been manufactured since 2000. The original Optima was a rebadged Hyundai Sonata. Since then, the Optima’s path has diverged from that of its Hyundai cousin. While they continue to share mechanical components, each has gone its own way in terms of design, content, and marketing.

Today’s 2018 Kia Optima is the third model year of the fourth-generation car. The latest Optima, as well as the one that came before it, has been designed by Kia’s Chief of Design, Peter Schreyer, a German who moved to Kia from Volkswagen and Audi. The Optima shows design influences from Europe, as well as its home country of South Korea.

2018 Kia Optima Trim Levels And Pricing

The 2018 Optima is available in the following trim levels: LX 2.4, S 2.4, LX 1.6T, EX 2.4, and SX 2.0T. Pricing starts at $22,500 for the Optima LX 2.4 and tops out at $30,500 for the Optima SX 2.0T.

What’s New On The 2018 Kia Optima

All 2018 Kia Optima trims get a standard 7” touchscreen UVO eServices system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also standard are blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking assist system.

The S 2.4 trim level is new for 2018. New standard equipment on the SX 2.0T includes LED fog lights, panoramic sunroof, 10-way power front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and UVO3 infotainment system.

Three Powerful Optima Engines For 2018

The standard engine on the LX 2.4, S 2.4, and EX 2.4 is a 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder with 185 horsepower. The LX 1.6T comes with a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 178 horsepower. The top-of-the-line SX 2.0T is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an output of 245 horsepower.

Transmission options are a six-speed automatic for all trims except the LX 1.6T, which is mated to a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2018 Kia Optima is 22 to 28 MPG City, and 31 to 37 MPG Highway, depending on the engine selected.

Safety Systems Aplenty On The 2018 Kia Optima

There is an exceptional assortment of standard safety equipment that comes on every 2018 Kia Optima. It starts with seven airbags throughout the passenger compartment, front active headrests, impact-sensing door unlock function, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, and many more features.

Advanced driver assistance technologies are also found on the 2018 Optima. Blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, and a rear parking assist system are all standard across the board. Other systems are either available as options packages or standard on higher trim levels. These include autonomous emergency braking, front collision warning, lane departure warning, advanced smart cruise control, surround view monitor, dynamic bending headlights, and high beam assist.

The 2018 Kia Optima Is A Great Alternative To The Usual Mid-Size Suspects

If you have not yet succumbed to the lure of the SUV, and you are considering a state-of-the-art mid-size sedan, take a closer look at the 2018 Kia Optima. It’s not nearly as common as a Honda Accord, a Toyota Camry, or a Nissan Altima, but it has lots of style and flair, along with excellent equipment levels and advanced safety systems. Drive a 2018 Kia Optima and see what you think!

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.