The Optima is a large car with five seats, making it great for families. There’s room for four adults to be comfortable on a long journey and three children will fit across the back seat. The estate has more back-seat headroom, so is better for taller passengers. Both the saloon and estate have huge boots that fit four large suitcases. The PHEV models have a smaller boot to make room for their batteries.
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Thinking of buying a used Kia Optima?
Why buy the Kia Optima?
The Optima is a large family car that gives you and your passengers lots of space and a very smooth ride. All models come well equipped and are excellent value. It’s a particularly good option if you do lots of long journeys because it has a large fuel tank that can give a range of over 800 miles.
Kia Optima range and updates
The Optima was sold new from 2016 to 2019. You can have it as a saloon or as the Sportwagon estate. Most models have a diesel engine (badged CRDi) but there’s also a high-performance petrol model (badged T-GDi) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. Some models have an automatic gearbox.
In 2018, the original 1.7-litre diesel engine was replaced with a less polluting 1.6-litre version. A few small styling details changed in 2018, including new-look bumpers.
The Optima is available in trim levels named 2, 3 and 4 – the higher the number, the more equipment you get as standard. The top-of-the-range diesel model is called GT-Line S and there’s also a sporty, high-spec petrol model called GT.
Kia Optima tech and features
Even the entry-level Optima 2 comes loaded with tech – smartphone connectivity, sat nav, climate control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are all standard. High-spec models have features such as heated leather seats, adaptive cruise control and a sunroof. GT-Line S models have more equipment than a lot of much more expensive cars.
Kia Optima running costs and value
According to official figures, the petrol model gives average fuel economy of 34mpg, while the 1.7-litre diesel Optima saloon gives 67.3mpg. On paper, the 1.6-litre diesel isn’t as efficient, giving 54.3mpg, although that number is the result of a different method being used to calculate fuel economy when the 1.6-litre car was launched. Estate and automatic models are a few mpg behind the saloon and manual equivalents.
Official average fuel economy for the plug-in hybrid models is more than 170mpg, but to achieve that you’ll need to keep the battery charged. The official maximum electric-only battery range is 33 miles for the saloon and 38 miles for the Sportwagon estate (which has a larger battery).
Kia Optima vs rivals
Optima rivals include the Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508, Skoda Superb and Vauxhall Insignia. Within that group, the Optima is a good-looking, good-value option that stands out for its long warranty and high level of standard equipment.
Kia Optima common questions
The Optima is Kia’s largest model that isn’t an SUV. In terms of size, below the Optima in the Kia range are the mid-size Ceed hatchback/estate, the Rio supermini and the Picanto city car.
Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded the Optima a full five-star safety rating. However, it’s worth noting that driver safety systems like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist aren’t fitted as standard to the Optima 2 model, though you can find those features in the higher-spec models.
The Optima is available with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) power. You can buy the PHEV as a saloon or as an estate, which has a larger battery that gives a longer range. The saloon can go 33 miles on battery power alone, while the estate can go 38 miles. Official fuel economy for the saloon is 176.6mpg with a fully charged battery, with an equivalent of 201.8mpg for the estate. Real-world fuel economy will depend on your driving and charging habits, however.