2019 Kia Optima Review

We love cars at The Coolector, and while we’re fans of unique custom creations, there’s also room for modern consumer vehicles, too. One automaker that has made serious strides in recent years in terms of quality and design is Kia. Recently we had the chance to drive the latest iteration of the Kia Optima. It’s clear how far the company has come as an automaker.

Under the direction of Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW’s M Division, Hyundai Motor Company, which owns Kia, has made dramatic strides. While the talk of the brand is mostly centered on the Kia Stinger, the Optima shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s a sedan that has continually improved over the last several years, and 2019 is no exception.

Sophisticated Exterior, Upscale Interior

While Kia has been putting out excellent cars for longer than a decade, the company continues to improve its designs. One look at the Optima and it’s clear that this is a modern and sophisticated machine. The exterior features striking lines and Kia’s tiger nose grille. The sedan is well-proportioned and the wheels darn nice to look at.

The interior is right on the same level, with leather seats and high-quality materials throughout. There’s little to dislike about the car. We’re used to Kia’s interior’s being nice, but the SX Turbo version of the Optima that we drove surprised us. It felt like a much higher-class vehicle.

The technology in the car is well-laid-out. Kia is one of the best in the business in terms of ergonomics and the vehicle’s UVO infotainment system, equipped with features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity is fast, sleek and easy to use.

Punchy Engine and Quality Handling Capabilities

There are four trim levels of the Optima, and we drove the top one with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. That engine makes 245 hp and the power hits predictably. It feels strong, and we expect it’s quite a bit more engaging than the 185 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the base car.

What surprised us about the sedan was its handling capabilities. The car is a good-sized machine, with plenty of interior space, but the way it handles you’d think it was a more compact, sporty machine. It’s certainly no sports car, but we found it to be a more enjoyable car to drive than we expected.

The Kia Optima is certainly no Stinger. It’s a practical machine, and well-suited for commuting and the rigors of everyday life, but in SX Turbo trim, it’s an enjoyable machine. One that you’d do well not to overlook if you were in the market for a mid-size sedan, and with its affordable price tag, you’ll be able to enjoy more of the finer things in life, too.

Wade writes car reviews, car supplies and gear articles, news articles, and other automotive-related pieces. He is also a motorcycle enthusiast and a lover of gear, style, cool tech and gadgets.