The 2014 Kia Optima is an impressive entry in the mid-sized sedan market
If you’re looking for a reliable family sedan with attention to safety and a bit of flair, you night want to give the Kia Optima a closer look. The Optima has caught on in recent years with American families in part due to improvements in performance and an impressive warranty program. Keeping the model in a reasonable and competitive price range doesn’t hurt either.
Here’s an updated, 2014 look at the Kia Optima.
Trim and option packages for 2014
The 2014 Kia Optima is available in gas or Hybrid (gas-electric) version and within each of these general categories, there are several trim/option packages available. The gasoline-powered Optima comes in these standard trim/option offerings:
- Optima LX
- Optima EX
- Optima SX
- Optima SX Turbo
- Optima Limited
Within the hybrid world of Kia, the Optima is available in two trim/option packages:
- Optima Hybrid LX
- Optima Hybrid EX
In the gas-powered trim variations, the LX models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated exterior mirrors, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
With the EX, you get eight-way driver seat, laminated windows and auto-dimming rearview mirror come standard. You also get 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air-conditioning vents and leather upholstery.
The Optima's SX adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, LED taillights, upgraded gauges with an integrated display screen and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The SX Turbo comes with xenon headlights and a sport steering wheel.
The Optima Limited gets all of the standard equipment from the SX plus a panoramic sunroof, power-folding rearview mirrors, a rearview camera, Kia’s Uvo voice command telematics system, a four-way power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, driver memory settings and an eight-speaker Infinity sound system with HD radio. The Optima Limited also features unique 18-inch wheels, unique interior and exterior trim, LED foglights, an electronic parking brake and premium leather upholstery.
The Optima Hybrid LX is equipped similarly to the regular LX, but comes standard with automatic dual-zone climate control.
The Optima Hybrid EX comes with the panoramic sunroof, power-folding rearview mirrors, a rearview camera, Uvo, a four-way power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, driver memory settings and an eight-speaker Infinity sound system with HD radio.
Some upgrades you’ll find with the 2014 models include improvements to the front and rear styling. Inside, improved front seats for greater comfort, and a restyled steering wheel. There are also new blind-spot monitoring systems, rear parking sensors and display screens for 2014.
Impressive power and economy
The 2014 Kia Optima (both gas and hybrid versions) is a front-wheel drive. The gas-powered LX, EX and SX options come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a very peppy 192-hp and 181 pound-feet of torque. The SX Turbo and the Limited editions feature a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pours out 274-hp and 269 pound-feet of torque.
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrids come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. The combined power output is just a shade under 200-hp, delivering 235 pound-feet of torque.
All 2014 Kia Optima models come with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2014 Kia Optimas with the 2.4L engines have an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency rating of 23-mpg in the city and 34-mpg highway. The 2.0L turbocharged Optimas have an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 20-mpg city and 31-mpg on the highway.
The Hybrid EX receives an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency rating of 35-mpg in the city and 39-mpg highway while the Hybrid LX model delivers 36-mpg in city driving and 40-mpg on the highway.
Focusing on safety
One of the many areas where Kia has improved its production and performance is in the area of safety. The 2014 Optima continues in this vein. Each 2014 Kia Optima has, as standard equipment, he following safety features:
- Four-wheel antilock disc brakes
- Traction and stability control
- Side airbags
- Side curtain airbags
The two trim options that feature the Uvo telematics system get you roadside assistance and collision notification. A rearview camera, rear-parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring systems are safety options that can (for a fee) be added to any Optima.
In crash tests conducted by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Optima earned a top five-star rating for overall safety performance, with five stars awarded for overall frontal- and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Optima a top score of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests and along the way also tagged the 2014 Optima with its Top Safety Performer designation for cars in its class.
Prices and warranties
While what you pay for any specific car will depend on factors such as where you live, the dealership you’re dealing with, the time of year you buy and your trade-in and financing options, we can give you a general sense of what you can expect to pay for a 2014 Kia Optima. We’re entering a great time of year for dealers to offer incentives for you to get a 2014 model off the lot before the trucks arrive with the 2015 models. Taking all that into consideration, here’s a nice starting point illustrating what the starting MSRPs are for each available 2014 Kia Optima option:
- Optima LX -- $21,500
- Optima EX -- $23,950
- Optima SX -- $25,500
- Optima SX Turbo -- $27,500
- Optima Limited -- $35,300
- Optima Hybrid LX -- $25,995
- Optima Hybrid EX -- $31,995
Kia made waves in the industry when it upgraded the standard warranty covering all of its models. It’s had an impact. Select any 2014 Kia Optima and it will be covered with:
- 5-year/60,000 mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranty
- 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty
- 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation/corrosion warranty
- 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance coverage
Some final thoughts
With its 2014 Optima, Kia is taking aim at the mid-sized sedan buyers who may be attracted to the design traits of a European sedan, but can’t afford the price of one. The Optima offers a relatively spacious cabin, with comfortable seats and a fairly generous amount of legroom front and rear. Headroom (particularly in back) is a bit tight due, in part to that nod to European flair and the car’s roofline. Taller drivers and passengers should think seriously before opting on any panoramic sunroof since that roofline chops off even more headroom. The Optima has 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about on par for other cars in this class. Be aware that should you opt for either of the Optima Hybrids, the trunks offer considerably less space (10.8 cubic feet) due to the space needed for the hybrid battery pack.
Numerous reviews and consumers suggest some unreliability early on with the Kia Uvo electronics interface system. Uvo provides voice control of cell phones and MP3 players as well as turn-by-turn navigation. As the year went on, updated reviews suggest that the system had the kinks worked out of it.
If your family could use a reliable, affordable mid-sized sedan that doesn’t skimp on style or amenities, that ranks well for safety, and offers good power and fuel economy, the 2014 Kia Optima should be one model under serious consideration. You’ll also have the added protection of one of the best warranties available for any new car. Now is an excellent time to take one for a test drive and Reply! can help by connecting you with Kia dealers in your area.