Updated front and rear styling with several interior and technology upgrades headline the improvements for the 2014 Kia Optima.
The 2014 Kia Optima is a top competitor in the midsize sedan market with its refined interior, powerful and efficient engines and generous warranty. Overall, it is a solid pick for buyers in this segment.
The Kia Optima comes in LX, EX, SX and Limited trims. The Kia Optima Hybrid is also available, which comes in LX and EX trims.
The base Optima comes with a six-speaker sound system and a slew of technology offerings like Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port. Optional features on the 2014 Optima include a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start and proximity key, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, a touch-screen navigation system, blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors.
When the redesigned Kia Optima came a few years ago, its styling upset the bland status quo of the segment. With its curved lines and more radical front and rear, the Kia Optima stylishly stood out against its rivals. Nowadays, this look is turning into the new status quo. With this in mind, Kia slightly changed the front and rear to stand out better.
For the front, Kia engineers have repositioned LED lighting above the headlamp units and added a few new quad-LED fogs in the slightly changed bumper. On the rear, Kia reworked the taillights a bit and added some LED lights there as well.
These slight changes keep the design modern and sleek. It is also pretty to luxury car designs.
Overall, the exterior looks stylish and has a premium car feel to it.
On the inside, the 2014 Optima has a new 4.3-inch TFT display in the gauge cluster and a larger, 8-inch high-resolution screen which shows the navigation and infotainment data.
The new seats are more comfortable and the material integration in higher trim levels is well done. It is a spacious cabin with plenty of room for hauling around the family.Plus, the steering wheel has been restyled.
The 2014 Kia Optima comes with 2 engine choices: a 2.4L four-cylinder gasoline and a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. The gasoline engine is offered in the LX, EX and SX models produces 192 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque. For the turbocharged engine, it is offered as an optional choice for the SX and standard in the limited. The turbocharged engine produces 274 HP and 269 lb-ft of torque.
All Kia Optima models are front-wheel drive and come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated MPG for the 2.4L is 23/34/27 city/highway/combined. The turbocharger gets much better MPGs with an EPA-estimated 35/39/37 city/highway/combined. Both engines provide ample horsepower for the Optima, however, neither should be considered quick.
Kia’s Uvo leads off its technology offerings. The Uvo is an interface system similar to the different sync systems. It provides voice control of cell phones, MP3 systems and other systems like navigation. The system works fairly well and is straightforward to use.
The Optima comes standard with Bluetooth support throughout its lineup and steering wheel controls. There is support for iPod/USB and other auxiliary devices to be connected. The only downside is the new safety/technology offerings like rear-camera display, back-up warning system, blind-spot monitoring are all optional.
Like technology offerings, the Kia Optima comes with the segment standard assortment of safety features like four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control and side curtain airbags. As we mentioned above though, the rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are all optional.
In government crash tests, the Optima earned the top five-star rating for overall performance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a top score of “Good” in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. It received an “Acceptable” rating (second highest) in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test and a “Good” for its head restraints/seat whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2014 Kia Optima should be a top pick for those looking at cost-effectiveness. Why? It provides really good fuel economy, has a low MSRP of $21,650 and a long warranty. For those looking for a used Kia Optima, the warranty and low price point with good fuel economy are definitely strong points.
The midsize sedan segment is extremely competitive and there are lots of rivals to this Kia Optima. While those rivals have pros and cons, like the Optima, we like the styling and what Kia has done with the car. It is a solid offering and midsize sedan new and used buyers should take a second look at the 2014 Kia Optima.