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2010 Kia Optima

Overview
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2010 Kia Optima Review

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The 2010 Kia Optima continues to offer buyers a well-built, well-equipped family sedan for less money than the competition. Over the last few years Kia has made impressive strides in both quality and content and, while not yet on par with such giants as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Optima comes very close. The Optima provides a roomy, comfortable interior, a large trunk and a choice between a fuel-efficient four-cylinder or a powerful V6 engine. Even the most basic models include such standard safety features as side-curtain airbags and front-seat active head restraints.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a four-door sedan with responsive driving characteristics, a lot of features and an attractive price, the 2010 Kia Optima should be on your shopping list. It's handsome, offers impressive safety features and represents a good value for the money.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you absolutely crave attention, the Optima's exterior, which some may describe as subtle, still may not grab your eyes – or anyone else's. And, despite generous interior volume for the category, this midsize package won't be big enough for larger families.

What's New for 2010

Changes for 2010 are limited to a new blacked-out lower rear bumper on V6 models and the addition of push-button start to all SX trims.

Driving the Optima

Driving Impressions The Kia team has made a commitment to blending the Optima's features into a nice combination of driving capabilities. In what might be considered as unexpected for a Korean brand,...

the Optima is actually fun to drive. Movements of the steering wheel are rewarded with crisp reactions into corners, body roll is minimal and the Optima enjoys a balanced feel, particularly when you consider it's a modestly-priced front-wheel-drive sedan. We found it completely engaging and enjoyable.

2.4-liter Four-Cylinder Engine
Although its specifications aren't too dissimilar from others in the midsize segment, the Optima's all-aluminum 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers a pleasant character that is involving for the driver. It offers crisp response and decent power, and is so good that, on balance, there seems little justification for either the additional expense or the greater fuel consumption of the V6.

Navigation
Usually an option available only on top-of-the-line trims, Kia offers its navigation unit on all but the entry level LX.

2010 Kia Optima Details
Interior

Kia continues to offer increasingly worthwhile upgrades in interior design, materials and safety. Even in base LX form, the Optima's interior materials rate well above merely acceptable. On those cars with leather we were impressed by the hide's tone and its perforated texture. However, the front seat cushions, though comfortable, could still do with a bit more upward angle. The "barrel-type" instrument cluster imparts a racy feel, as does new red backlighting. As the Optima is intended to appeal to young families, safety receives an appropriate emphasis. Its standard airbag arrangement includes advanced dual front airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags, along with full-length side-curtain airbags.

Exterior

While unobtrusively styled, the 2010 Kia Optima is still modern and attractive. The profile is fronted by an attractive yet vaguely Accord-like grille flanked by cat-eye halogen headlights. The passenger cabin provides a nice balance between outward visibility and efficient aerodynamics. Front and rear overhangs are fairly short, while the fenderwells are nicely filled with either the standard 16-inch or the available 17-inch tires. The overall effect is that the Optima looks balanced and secure, in a way that is modern and even slightly sporty.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Optima continues Kia's tradition of providing a generous level of standard equipment for an attractive price. Our test LX model, with the four-cylinder engine, included power heated exterior mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, four-wheel disc brakes, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, a split folding rear seat and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 compatible audio system with auxiliary and USB input jacks. Beyond that, it offered gas shock absorbers and front and rear anti-roll bars, features often available only as parts of "sport" or "handling" packages with other cars. Standard safety equipment includes front side airbags, side curtain airbags, traction and stability control and anti-lock brakes.

Optional Equipment

For those wanting a higher level of comfort, convenience and functionality, there is available leather seat trim, power and heated front seats, a manually-operated rear-window shade, power-adjustable pedals, automatic climate control, alloy wheels, power moonroof, Infinity sound system and subwoofer (part of the Premium Package) and other features and options. An in-dash navigation unit is offered on all but the LX trim.

Under the Hood

Our driving experience was limited to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with either the five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. In both instances we were pleased by the new engine's responsiveness, and the transmission gearing was well matched to the engine's characteristics. The addition of variable valve timing helps bump output to a respectable 175 horsepower. Other than its superior passing and uphill acceleration advantages, we see little benefit in opting for the V6, given the balance, efficiency and entirely acceptable performance of the in-line four.

2.4-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @6000 rpm
169 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32

2.7-liter V6
194 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
184 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28

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2010 Kia Optima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 264 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great car for the price I paid!

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great price, held up well with 100k in 5 years"

Cons: "interior is a little cheap in some spots"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has outlasted my expectations - at purchase, we were able to talk the dealer down to 13,900. It is the base model, but I was not looking for fancy. The 100,000 mile warranty was the biggest selling point, as my daily commute is rather long. At 5 years and 100,000 miles, I really cannot complain. The transmission didn't die, but was slipping a bit - so the dealer replaced it under warranty at 80K+/- miles. I gave it a 7 for quality because for a few different reasons: the original brakes had to be replaced at 30K and the rotors near after. The visor vinyl is cracking and pulling away from the mirrors, and the latch on the front armrest compartment is broken. The seat coverings seem durable and the interior does easily clean up. The car has always driven well in terms of comfort and road handling. The exterior design is nothing fancy, but seems pretty modern alongside parked BMW's. There is LOTS of trunk room, and the back seats both fold down. I had to use the free roadside assistance a few times - once for a lockout and once for a flat tire - that was helpful."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Never had a problem. Great pickup for 4 cyl.

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Only problem with car is middle passenger in rear seat is uncomfortable due to drop down arm rest (causes bulge in seat) Only an occasional problem, as usually there is only my wife and I in the car."

ran really well

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "low maintenance"

Cons: "uncomfortable seating"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"rode smooth. very uncomfortable seats. interior made of low quality. road noise. steering a little rough to handle, especially with passengers."

Nearly excellant condition.

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very well taken care of by a female driver."

Cons: "Service history is not 100% complete."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Super used vehicle, well taken care of.

"Four new tires and brake job within last 2 months. Excellent appearance. Well taken care of, inside and out. Averages over 25 mpg in city driving. Drives and steers very nicely. Nice radio and CD player. Lower than average mileage. Exterior is grey with chrome trim and door handles. Steering wheel is fixed. Power driver's seat adjustment. Power windows, door locks and side view mirrors. Trunk and gas cover releases on driver door."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Super used vehicle, well taken care of.

Best factory built car I ever owned.

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling, build quality"

Cons: "Voice activated nav is a litttle flaky"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have the SX model, which for years prior to 2011 is VERY rare, and my dealer says he has never seen another 4-cyl SX like mine. The 4-cyl is a better balanced car than the V6, while giving up little in terms of power. The car is surprisingly quick, due to excellent gear ratios in the automatic. On the highway, it can get from point to point much faster than the speed limits will allow, topping out around 130 mph. I once made a cannonball run from Memphis to San Antonio averaging over 80 mph, and the car never seemed pressed at all. The SX suspension is a lot better than the other models and corners more like a sports car. Its handling capabilities are far outside most passengers' comfort zone. All of that said, this is also the first car I ever bought new that had no adjustments needed at the first service, and over 4 years of (very) enthusiastic driving, nothing has ever broken. The Michelin performance tires that came on it are only half worn. It gets over 30 mpg on the highway at 80 mph on cruise and gets around 21 mpg in town with my heavy foot."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Affordable Luxury to Drive and Maintain

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, style, and excellent gas mileage"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this 2009 Kia Optima after researching other vehicles of the same class (Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Nissan Altima and others). After the technical and price comparisons, the verdict was KIA Optima hands down. I have been enjoying the quiet, comfortable, and peppy ride without any mechanical problem. The car has 80K and still drives like new. I just put a new set of tires and all around brakes, and ready to hit the road for another 80K."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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