Though Kia might be best known for their hamster car these days, it was the Optima that truly put this car manufacturer on the map.
Thanks to innovation and evolution over the years, it has become one of the best consumer mid-size sedans on the market.
A Mid-Size History of the Kia Optima
The Kia Optima originally came around as a different variant of the Hyundai Sonata, a very popular mid-size car at the time. Kia changed some small exterior details and features on the inside before officially releasing the vehicle in 2000. In Europe and Canada, the car was known as the Kia Magentis, and in South Korea, the car was known as the Kia Lotze.
Technology and Innovations of the Kia Optima
The 2019 Kia Optima comes complete with a 2.4L DOHC 16-valve inline-four engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. There are also hybrid and plug-in hybrid models to choose from. Some of the top features include the modern infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, remote climate control, and a full-leather interior.
The Generations of the Kia Optima
- First Generation Kia Optima (2000-2005)
The first-generation Kia Optima featured two different trim levels with choices between four and six-cylinder engines. By 2002, the Optima had an updated V-6 engine with 178 horsepower and keyless entry.
- Second Generation Kia Optima (2006-2009)
The second-generation Kia Optima was released with an improved four-cylinder engine, anti-lock brakes, and stability control. By 2009, the safety features were updated with a redesigned exterior.
- Third Generation Kia Optima (2010-2014)
The third-generation Optima featured a complete redesign with a UVO voice command system and other technology upgrades, including rear parking sensors and a brand new touchscreen.
- Fourth Generation Kia Optima (2015-Present)
The fourth-generation Kia Optima shares a platform with the Hyundai Sonata and is available in both four-door sedan and five-door wagon options. The plug-in hybrid debuted in 2016, and the car received a sleeker facelift in 2018.
The Kia Optima in the News
In recent Optima news, the company has just recalled 11,000 Optima sedans thanks to dysfunctional autobrakes. These vehicles were issued between May 21, 2018, and May 29, 2019.
Celebrity Endorsements of the Kia Optima
Though Kia isn’t exactly the vehicle of the celebrity world, they have been slowly creeping into a more luxurious market after the Optima upgrades in 2016. One of the biggest Kia commercials of the 2016 Super Bowl was made with the great Christopher Walken.
Check it out below!
Best Kia Optima Groups
If you’re looking for a Kia club to talk with other Kia owners and share your enthusiasm for being on the road, we highly recommend checking out the Kia Owners Club. The Kia Optima Forum is another great online community that is more specific to the Kia Optima.
The Kia Optima – a Pursuit in Value
From a consumer-style mid-size sedan to a sleek, modern, high-tech vehicle that is changing the Kia brand, the Kia Optima is one of the top midsize sedans on the market today. We can only predict that Kia will continue to update and innovate as time moves forward.