Fresh off a categorical victory in this year’s Best Buy Awards, the new-for-2016 Kia Optima can now add “exemplary family car” to its growing list of accolades. Refined, advanced, and rewarding to drive, Kia’s fourth-generation midsize sedan also caters to families on multiple fronts.

Saves Fuel, and Potentially Lives

Safety and efficiency play a pivotal role in any family car purchase, and the Optima is a standout in both arenas. Three 4-cylinder engines are available, returning up to 39 mpg on the highway without sacrificing passing power on the highway.

On the safety side of the ledger, every Optima comes standard with seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, as well as a backup camera and hill start assist. Optional safety tech consists of forward collision alert with automatic braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and, our personal favorite, a 360-degree surround view camera system. Another handy feature is Kia’s UVO eServices, a subscription-free telematics service that allows you to call for roadside assistance, check vehicle status, or locate your parking spot all from your smartphone.

Functional and Futuristic

It may be categorized as a midsize sedan, but the Optima’s rear quarters actually feel more akin to that of a full-size. Wide aperture rear doors help facilitate the installation of car seats, while a usable center seat affords true 5-passenger versatility. Boasting nearly 16 cubic feet of space, the Optima’s trunk is easily one of the largest in its class.

Housed within this versatile interior is a slew of standard and optional comfort and convenience features, such as a 10-speaker premium audio system by harman/kardon, a 4.3-inch driver information display, rear window sunshades, a 12-way power passenger seat (most competitors top out at 8), and an 8-inch high-resolution display with navigation, advanced voice recognition and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Better yet, you can drive home in a 2016 Kia Optima fitted with every aforementioned feature for less than $33,000. If that’s a bit rich for your blood, the well-equipped base LX model starts just shy of $23,000.

More Kia Optima

Build and price your own Kia Optima, read our full review or visit our Midsize Sedan Buyer’s Guide to view all your midsize sedan options.

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