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2010 Kia Optima

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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 278 Ratings for the 2007 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Would buy it again!

By on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 144,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Dependable, great gas milage"

Cons: "Seats a bit uncomfortable, styling very boring"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car has been amazing! Only a few minor issues happened while it was still under 100,000 warranty, and Kia quickly fixed those things at no charge. Since the warranty has ended, we have only had usual maintenance. Nothing has gone wrong with this car! 8 years, and still running strong!"

My second best car ever.

By on Monday, October 5, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "2008 was a good model year"

Cons: "Headlamp replacement a huge problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this car new, and while not a luxury car, for the price I paid it's been a fantastic deal. I guess certain model years have some problems, but the 2008 has been fine. I've read that same elsewhere. The only complaint I have is the headlamp bulbs burning out often and being a huge problem to replace. I'm keeping my car for now - just came here to get an idea of it's value. In case you're wondering which car was my favorite, it was a Nissan Sentra (I think it was a 1980). That car had all kinds of miles on it and never broke down. It got 36 miles to the gallon, way back when. They don't make cars like that one any more."

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

As much fun as my Mercedes SLK

By on Friday, October 2, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,755

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: "Super handeling, great milage, Fun Car"

Cons: "Can't think of a one after 6 years!"

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

"I bought this car for my wife. She loves it and wouldn't let me trade it in for a new one for her two years ago. It has been a great car. It is fully loaded with every option both factory and dealer add on's! We live on the coast and drive the windy hilly roads of the coast all the time and honestly this handles as nice as my little Mercedes SLK sports car. But why shouldn't it? Both have electronic stability control, Antilock brakes, tuned suspensions, etc. I have a cornering G force meter in my SLK stereo, wish I had one in the Optima to compare because I think it would match. I have a hunch she will keep this one for a long while. Her Idea, Not Mine! Though I have to agree it is a great car to drive."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Fantastic and fun

By on Monday, April 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,142

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "quick smooth responsive comfortable"

Cons: "some road noise but better tires would help"

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

"Have had this car for 5 years and it performs excellent. Just put in a new battery and new tires. Installed 16 inch (factory spec) new rims by Platinum Sabre. Is in near pristine conditon I detail it monthly and wash it weekly. I only drive 10 miles round trip to work. Have been to Fort Leavenworth KS in it and got 36 mpg. For a 2.4 4cyl it is very quick and responds easily. has two very minor dings about the size oa=f a nickel one on the rear left door panel and one on the rear left upper quarter panel down from the roof. These I will have pops a dent fix. I would like to trade it for a 2016 Optima but retiring soon and may not want the bill."

14 people out of 30 found this review helpful

one of the best running cars I have ever owned

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "easy to drive"

Cons: "honestly I cannot think of any"

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

"This Kia has provided my wife and I with reliability, comfort, gas economy, and overall satisfaction. We are both disabled, and it so nice to have a car we can always count on. The only repairs we have had to make are the rear calipers went out, but our warranty, which we purchased at the time of sale, covered the repairs. I would not hesitate to recommend this model/year car to anyone!"

9 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever owned.

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliability, quality, value, cost of ownership."

Cons: "No lumbar support for the drivers seat."

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

"I have had my Optima V6 EX for 7 years and 132,000 miles. This car is still running the original battery and spark plugs and has worked flawlessly so far. Very smooth motor. I upgraded the rims and tires and put slightly shorter springs on it to make ride and handle a bit more sporty. This car is perfect now. I often rent cars for work and even though they are 7 years newer I still would rather have my Optima. This car has held up very well and still looks new. The quality of paint and components is very good. Very likely to buy a KIA again."

17 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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