The new Kia Optima for 2018 combines a strong value proposition and sporty styling that’s hard to beat in the midsize sedan segment. Some of its premium features include an excellent blend of performance and fuel efficiency with a turbocharged 1.6L engine, plenty of luxury and convenience features for the money, and a serene cabin. Its release date should be expected during the second half of this year.
It is no-brainer that the mid-size sedan segment is chock full of vehicles from well-established brands such as Accord, Camry, and Fusion. And despite the Kia Optima being on sale in U.S for the past fifteen years, it only became a serious contender in the segment just recently.
Now, the Optima as set the bar high and has aided the Kia brand shift upwards in the competition paradigm. One notable thing that hasn’t evolved for the 2018 Optima though is the exterior design. It still retains a slightly wider, longer, and taller dimensions than its predecessor. But don’t get me wrong, the vehicle is still a head turner.
However, much can be said beneath its skin, the chassis makes use of high-strength steel extensively during its construction. According to Kia’s own words, this has made it achieve better handling, structural rigidity, and stability even at top speeds. Also, a first for the Optima is a 1.6L turbocharged engine that now promises better fuel economy and performance.
Interior wise regardless of the rock-bottom price it comes with, the Optima still manages to offer a fairly cozy and upscale cabin than some of its competitors. For instance, the base LX trim offers fancier configurations, a nice selection of convenience features. Some of them include automatic emergency braking, quilted leather upholstery, a 360-degree parking camera, a panoramic sunroof, and adaptive cruise control.
For those who might first want to look around to see what the segment offers, these are some of the alternatives you will most probably stumble upon; the 2018 Mazda 6, the 2018 Toyota Camry, the 2018 Honda Accord, and the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.
Available Trims – Kia Optima
The Kia Optima for 2018 is available in four trims: base LX, EX, SX, and the plush SXL trim levels. The 2018 Optima Hybrid is reviewed separately.
Interior Review & Exterior Changes – 2018 Kia Optima
The entry-level 2018 Kia Optima LX comes equipped with a 60/40-split rear seatback, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a six-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, a six-way power driver seat, full power accessories, 16” alloy wheels, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, a 5” touchscreen display, cruise control, and a USB port.
The Convenience package available optionally adds laminated front door windows, rear-cross traffic alert, power-folding heated mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a blind-spot monitor, and driver memory settings.
Opting for the LX 1.6T gets you keyless entry and ignition, power folding mirrors, a 1.6L turbocharged engine, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated exterior mirrors. The optional Technology package available for the trim comes equipped with an 8” touchscreen display, Uvo infotainment system, rear air conditioning, climate control (dual-zone), LED taillights, and HD radio.
Going for the EX trim gets you an 8” touchscreen bundle, a heated steering wheel, 17” alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, rear parking sensors, rear-cross traffic alert/blind-spot monitoring, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and LED running lights.
The SX trim comes bundled with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 18” alloy wheels, rear side window sunshades, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, unique exterior styling details, adaptive xenon headlights, upgraded gauges, a rear spoiler, LED taillights, dual-exhaust tips, interior ambient lighting, and a sport-tuned suspension system.
The top-of-the-range SXL trim comes fitted with premium leather upholstery, exterior chrome accents, and unique interior trim.
2018 Kia Optima Engine Specs
Both the LX and EX come fitted with a four-cylinder 2.4L engine rated at 185 hp and 178 pounds of torque. The front wheel drive is standard, as is the six-speed automatic transmission system.
A 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 245 horsepower and 260 pounds of torque is available as the default powertrain for the SXL and SX trims. Here, a six-speed is the default transmission system.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the base 2.4L engine are 24/35/28 mpg in the city/highway/combined, and 28/39/32 mpg for the SX turbo engine.
Price & 2018 Kia Optima Release Date
We should expect to see the fresh 2018 Kia Optima sometime during the second half of this year if the online rumors are anything to go by. As for the price, expect the sedan to cost you an MSRP starting from $21,840.