The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

It is undoubtedly one of the boldest-appearing midsize sedans today. Sharing its basic design with the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Optima has undergone a major transformation for 2016.
The sporty SX gets a 2.0-liter turbo gas inline-4 cylinder engine developing 245 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm. It is coupled to a seamless 6-speed auto. An independent MacPherson front and a multilink rear suspension handles the bumps of irregular surfaces with little sacrifice. The electric rack-and-pinion steering is perfectly weighted and provides decent feedback.
Sitting on the steel-unibody based car is a tiger-nose grille surrounded by swept-back xenon HID headlights, along with rear LED tail lamps, spoiler and dual chrome tips, side sills with black accents, and unmistakable red brake calipers. The Optima receives a boost of .4 inches in wheelbase, ½ inch in length and 1.2 inches in width. Cargo capacity is up by .5 to 15.9 cubic feet. The cabin offers such helpful amenities as a 12-way power driver and 6-way front-passenger seats, 60/40 rear seat, tilt/telescopic steering column, metal pedals, dual-zone auto a/c with rear vents, push-button start, 4.2-inch instrument cluster, power windows, door locks and outside mirrors, and a navigation system with 8-inch display screen.
Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability and traction control systems, hill assist control, front and rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, three-point front seatbelts with pretensioners, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system.
EPA estimates on our SX trim, which is rated at 22 city/32 highway, came in around 26 mpg in city for out test and peaked 35 on highway. The easy-on-the-pocket Optima is not your typical sedan. A lively, fun-to-drive attitude, coupled with a muscular stance and gas-sipping abilities, make this Kia a true best buy in our eyes.

Tires: 236/45R18
Wheelbase: 110.4 inches
Length: 191.1 inches
Weight: 3,385 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
Base price: $29,690
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