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2014 Kia Optima

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2014 Kia Optima Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

Kia employed German designer Peter Schreyer (best known for the Audi TT) to oversee all of its designs. In the 2014 Optima, Mr. Schreyer has penned one of the most dynamic midsize sedans on the planet. Wisely, Kia backs the Optima’s good looks with a choice of cutting-edge engine technologies, including a hybrid model, and has given its interior a thorough makeover. Costing no more than the average family sedan, the Optima outshines the competition both visually and in terms of optional equipment. Beyond its great fuel economy and unbeatable warranty, Kia offers such luxuries as a panoramic moonroof and heated and cooling front seats. Whether you seek the most basic LX or the top-of-the-line SX Limited, the Optima always delivers more than what its asking price suggests.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a roomy family sedan but you refuse to drive a boring car, take a look at the 2014 Kia Optima. Fuel-efficient, powerful and fun to drive, the Optima’s stunning good looks are mirrored inside its well-appointed cabin.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some of the Optima’s interior plastic parts still feel a bit hard to the touch, and its rear-seat headroom is somewhat curtailed by the car’s sloping roofline. Front-passenger seating sits low and the passenger seat gets few adjustable positions even on the top trims.

What's New for 2014

For 2014, Kia has revised the Optima’s styling, accentuating its dramatic front and rear end. Interior upgrades include the addition of 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display screen, new seat designs and an available Blind Spot Detection System (BSD) with rear cross traffic alert. A new Driver Mode Select option adjusts shift points and steering weight.

Driving the Optima
Driving Impressions

It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel of the 2014 Kia Optima to get a favorable impression of this car. The 192-horsepower 2.4-liter engine is smooth and powerful, yet...

... delivers amazingly good fuel economy. We found the Optima’s suspension dialed more for comfort than performance, at least in the LX and EX trims, and we surmise that’s exactly the formula preferred by most sedan buyers. The Optima’s steering feel is a bit on the heavy side, but it’s nice at cruising speeds requiring minimal input to make course corrections. This same engine is used on the hybrid model, but gets an extra boost from the electric motor making it surprisingly quick. While no V6 is offered, the SX trim can be equipped with a 274-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter. Robust, responsive and never slow to answer the call, the turbo turns the Optima into one mean street machine.

EXTERIOR STYLING
The 2014 Kia Optima sedan is one of the sportiest, most stylish mid-size sedans out there. We’d even put it up against the styling of some $40,000 European luxury brands.

TURBOCHARGED 2.0-LITER ENGINE
Who needs a V6 anyway? This 4-cylinder engine has 274 horsepower and an EPA highway estimate of 31 mpg.

2014 Kia Optima Details
Interior

On upper-end EX and SX trims, customers can opt for such extravagant features as a dual-panel moonroof, heated and cooling front seats, heated rear seats and a voice-activated navigation and infotainment system similar to Ford’s SYNC. While we love the look of the 2014 Kia Optima sedan’s interior, some of the plastic on the dash and steering wheel still lack the quality look and feel found in Honda, Mazda and even some GM and Ford products. The front seats are pretty comfortable for tall folks, but the Optima’s sharply raked rear roofline may cause some headroom issues for the rear-seat passengers.

Exterior
2014 Kia Optima photo

Looking a bit like something from the sci-fi movie Tron, Kia’s 2014 Optima is a bold and original piece of work from the ground up. From its cross-hatch front grille and long sweptback headlight housing, to the red brake calipers on the SX-T trim, the Optima looks likes it’s going fast even when it’s parked. There is a duality about the Optima sedan for 2014, speaking to both luxury and performance all while masking its true nature to serve duty as a humble family sedan. Even base trims offer such nice features as heated side mirrors, chrome door-handle inserts and 16-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2014 Kia Optima family sedan offers Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod/USB audio connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, heated side mirrors, fog lights, tilt/telescopic steering column, 6-way power driver’s seat and a cooling glove box that keeps drinks chilled. As for safety, the Optima has an impressive array of features including six airbags and electronic stability control. Like other base-priced models in its class, the entry-level Optima includes 16-inch steel wheels and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment includes a panoramic moonroof, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, Nappa leather seating, 8-speaker Infinity sound system, HID headlights, LED fog lights, touch-screen navigation system, push-button start with Smart Key, UVO infotainment voice-active system, Blind Spot Detection and rearview camera. In addition to a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the top SX and SX Limited models offer a lightly sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive styling cues. The 2014 Optima Hybrid features lightweight wheels in standard 16-inch or sporty 17-inch size, as well as the EcoMinder LCD panel with graphics that show when the car is achieving maximum fuel economy.

Under the Hood

The 2014 Kia Optima sedan doesn’t offer the option of a V6, and why should it? The standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is nearly as powerful as some V6 engines and gets far better fuel economy. In fact, it has more power and better fuel economy than some 4-cylinder cars in the category, as well. Those wanting more power can opt for the turbocharged 2.0 liter (SX trims only). Only one transmission is offered: a 6-speed Sportronic automatic with manual-shift mode. However, on SX trims a Drive Mode Select option adjusts the transmission’s shift points and the power steering input to better suit the driver’s needs. The Optima Hybrid uses the 2.4-liter engine mated to a 40-horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 206 horsepower.

2.4-liter inline-4
200 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
192 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle)
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/34 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
274 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/31 mpg

2.4-liter hybrid inline-4 + electric motor/generator
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
40 horsepower @ 1,400-6,000 rpm (electric motor)
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
152 lb-ft of torque @ 0-1,400 rpm (electric motor)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 36/40 mpg

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2014 Kia Optima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 357 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

I Love my Kia Optima

By on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

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

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

"This is my second Kia Optima and I love this car. The car runs great and is fast. My son always says 'mom your car is fast' I love to hear that. :) And I am not even going that fast, it just feels like it (this car is like my family sports car). Plus, it has a lot of room and all the features are great. I especially like the back camera and hands free phone use. My kids love the cup holders in the back. I also love the phone holder by the dash area. Not to mention, the trunk is big enough fit lots of groceries and some."

Sharp KIA, chrome wheels, options, gr8 mileage

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Fantastic mileage, fun to drive, sporty/ luxury"

Cons: "None"

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

"Very sharp, Nappa leather seat trim, beautiful KIA Optima SXL, 19K miles, adult driven,automatic panoramic sunroof w/power shade, heated/cooled bucket seats, power everything 18" Chrome Alloy Wheels, keyless entry, push button start and remote start, backup camera. Memory seat settings, back seat access to trunk. Black with sharp black interior. Infinity Audio System 8 speakers. Heated outside mirrors, Blind spot detection System. Must see this beauty."

FAVORITE VEHICLE I'VE OWNED

By on Friday, May 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "GREAT ACCELERATION, SPORTY HANDLING, A FUN RIDE!"

Cons: "ROAD NOISE COULD BE LESS"

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

"I BOUGHT THIS KIA SX USED, (1 YEAR OLD, 10K MI) & HAVE BEEN VERY HAPPY WITH THIS CAR OVERALL. AMAZING POWER FOR A 4-CYL, ALTHOUGH MPG IS LESS THAN CLAIMED, BUT I RARELY USE THE OPTIONAL "ECO" SETTING. MANY OPTIONS COME STANDARD WITH THIS MODEL, INTERIOR IS ROOMY & TRUNK CAPACITY SEEMS HUGE! IF I COULD THINK OF A COMPLAINT (WHICH I REALLY DON'T HAVE ANY) WOULD PROBABLY BE THE ROAD NOISE COMING UP FROM UNDER THE CAR-IT COULD BE LESS, BUT IT'S NOT SEVERE. FWD MAKES IT A SPORTY HANDLER & FUN TO DRIVE. NO PROBLEMS WITH THE CAR, JUST ROUTINE SERVICE DURING THE 2 YEARS I'VE OWNED IT."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car for the price

By on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "over all great car for its value"

Cons: "ROADNOISE"

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

"This car is great if u want to compare head to head with other cars in its class. Now i do note that quality is a bit unrefined or under par when compared to other cars in class that I have owned ( 2010 TSX, audi a4 2007, cadillac ats 2013). My biggest dislike has to be road noise worst of all the cars i have driven. ROAD NOISE is bad maybe its the panaramic sunroof, if so got live with it just because i love the glass roof, but yes very loud. Coming up on first oil change tomorrow after owing for 9 months 3800 miles. Must say really happy with car over all. Gas milage is ok power is nice but unrefined it like a burst not smooth acceleration like cadillac. RWD vs FWD may have to be taken into account. Love my lights rear and head lights. Heated and cooled front seats Great. Great rear leg room! Also panoramic sunroof cause some chassis noise especially when turnng, feel chassis could be stiffer but have read similer concerns other cars with panoramic glass options .Brake could be better but aren't horrible."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best car I have owned

By on Monday, April 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "econimc, luxury comparable car"

Cons: "steering wheel"

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

"We thought we would trade our vehicle in for a good model year end deal. The car was much more than we thought it would be. Its roomy and comfortable on the inside. Wish we had opted for power seat and a sun roof. One complaint may seem odd--the steering wheel didnt seem very ergonomic. It was awkward holding hands at certain angles for extended time."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Big disapointment

By on Monday, March 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
3/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought this car after trading in a VW Passat. Needless to say I feel very let down. The car is a big disappointment. Very cheaply made. The seats are uncomfortable and the passenger seat sits so low and is not adjustable. It is very awkward. I don't even know what else to say, I do not like this car at all. I am a previous Camry and Passat owner."

9 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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