A Crucial Combination of Value and Performance

The 2016 Kia Optima continues the tradition of a sporty sedan but with some serious updates that make it a much more competitive offering compared to other cars in its class. So what sets the newest Optima apart from the pack? A redesign, four great trim levels, a fair amount of horsepower, and a consumer-friendly price point.

Powertrains and Performance

Every trim level for the 2016 Kia Optima comes with front-wheel drive and a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Both the LX and EX trim levels come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. With 185 horsepower and 178 pound-foot of torque, these family-sized sedans produce an impressive amount of power.

The LX trim level also has a 1.6T engine, which is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder option that produces 178 horsepower and a jumped-up 195 pound-feet of torque. Kia engineers paired this turbocharged version with a seven-speed automated clutch transmission, which offers the control of a manual with the ease of use associated with an automatic.

Upper trim levels SX and SXL come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that revs up at 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This engine always comes with the six-speed automatic transmission. Performance for these engines turns in a respectable acceleration, going from zero to 60 miles per hour in approximately 6.7 seconds, making highway merging a smooth and easy process.

Estimated fuel economy is another reason the 2016 Kia Optima takes a place at the head of the pack. The 2.4-liter engine has an EPA-estimated 28 miles mpg combined fuel economy.* The turbocharged engine turns in even better fuel economy estimates with 32 miles mpg combined, while the upgraded engines offer a respectable 25 mpg combined fuel economy.*

Features and Trims

With a starting MSRP of $22,140, the 2016 Kia Optima offers more customization than ever at a price point designed to be affordable.** This five-passenger midsize sedan offers a roomy interior and luxury styling that makes it highly competitive with other options in the class, such as the Toyota Camry or sister car, the Hyundai Sonata.

Available in four different trims — the LX, EX, SX and SXL levels — and three engine styles, the 2016 Kia Optima offers drivers a lot of options to choose from.

Standard options in the base LX model include 16-inch alloy wheels, power accessories, cruise control, six-way power-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split rear seatback, rearview camera, 5-inch display screen, USB port, auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio and a six-speaker sound system.

Add the Convenience package and get an eight-way power adjustable driver seat, power-folding heated mirrors, blind-spot monitor, rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and more.

Going for the LX with the turbocharged engine (LX 1.6T) gets buyers better estimated gas mileage and laminated front door windows, heated and power folding mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and keyless ignition.

The optional Technology package comes with everything from the Convenience package plus LED taillights, two charge-only USB ports, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen console, an HD radio, navigation and the Kia UVO® infotainment system.

The EX trim includes almost everything packaged with the LX 1.6T. The base engine sits atop 17-inch alloy wheels and has almost everything from the upgraded Technology package.

Optional upgrades include the Premium and Premium Audio packages, which provide a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, heated front and rear seats, rear side window sunshades and a 10-speaker harman/kardon® audio system.

The SX comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust, sport-tuned suspension, adaptive xenon headlights, LED taillights, a rear spoiler, upgraded gauges, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an 8-inch touchscreen and more.

Add the Premium Technology package to get everything from the Premium and Premium Audio options. This upgrade also includes automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree parking camera system and additional safety features.

At the top end of the 2016 Optima model range is the SXL. It comes with all the optional features as standard and includes premium leather upholstery and exterior chrome accents.


The newly redesigned interior of the 2016 Kia Optima prioritizes functionality and accessibility. Extensive legroom allows passengers in the front and rear to ride in comfort, and the optional panoramic sunroof makes a long drive a fun adventure.

With 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space, the new Optima has plenty of storage and hauling capacity.

An upgrade to the 8-inch touchscreen package comes with the Kia UVO® system to streamline entertainment and navigation. Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ will be available, as well.


Safety is a priority in this segment, and the Optima lines up well with antilock brakes, both traction and stability control, standard airbags and a driver knee airbag. The standard rearview camera adds safety to reverse maneuvers, and options like the 360-degree surround-view camera, blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking sensors, lane departure and forward collision warning and intervention system with emergency automatic braking make driving as safe as possible

Bottom Line

The 2016 Kia Optima is an upgrade on previous models in virtually every way. It delivers solid performance and exceptional comfort, all at an affordable price point.

To learn more about the Optima or any of our other outstanding Kia vehicles, contact us online or visit Kia of South Austin at 5306 IH 35 South, Austin, TX 78745.

*Based on EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition.

**Other options available for other trim levels. Some color package and option selections may include, exclude or require the purchase of additional options and packages. All exterior and interior images and specifications contained on this website are based on latest product information available at the time of posting and may vary slightly from actual product. See retailer for details.

Image: Kia