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2019 Kia Optima

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Sedans aren’t the hottest thing on the national market, but the four-door 2019 Kia Optima is the automaker’s second best-selling vehicle behind its crossover SUV Soul. You could get considerable bang for your buck with the Optima, one reason it made our list of the best cars for teens. Don’t worry though, it’s perfectly suited for adults as well. The 2019 Kia Optima offers some luxurious features for a non-luxury price. 

2019 Kia Optima pricing and trims

While Kia offers a hybrid and plug-in version of the Optima, we focus here on the lower-priced all gasoline-powered version. The lowest manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) for the 2019 Kia Optima is $22,990 but that can go up to $31,990 for the top SX trim, as of the date of publishing. The higher the price means more upgraded amenities.

2019 Kia Optima Pricing and Trims
MSRP $22,990 $24,990 $26,890 $31,990
Standard Features 8” Touch Screen, Android Auto/Apple Car Play, 16″ Wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights, 3 Drive Modes Fog Lights, LED Tail Lights, Smart Key with Push-Button Start, 18″ Wheels Turbo-Charged Engine, Leather Seat Trim, Heated Front Seats, 17″ Wheels LED Headlights, Premium Audio, Panoramic Roof with Power Sunshade, Heated Steering Wheel, Navigation

What about sales pricing? You do not necessarily have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Depending on where and when you shop, you may be able to find a 2019 Kia Optima for less than MSRP due to dealership sales or manufacturer rebates. Shop around and use industry guides such as NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book to see what the fair market price is in your area.

Remember that the sticker price on a car isn’t the whole price you’ll pay — destination charges hover around $1,000 and then there are taxes, title and registration costs, depending on your state. Check out our auto calculators if you’re not sure what your budget is.

Engine types. The base Optima comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine but you have additional options as you scale the trim ladder including a unique powertrain on the EX and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine on the top-of-the-line SX. The EX has a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Kia made several tweaks for the 2019 model year, including a new “infotainment” system and more safety features, which we’ll discuss later.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is next. Potential lenders include Kia financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree to receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Kia Optima safety

The Optima earned a five-star crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also named it a Top Safety Pick+, the highest designation available. Kia offers several advanced driver safety features that it made available across more trim levels for 2019. Here are safety features broken down by trim.

On the LX trim and above

  • Blind Spot and Rear Cross Collision Warning. The vehicle can alert the driver visually and audibly when it senses another car in one of its blind spots.
  • Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist. The car can warn the driver of a potential collision with another car and apply the brakes if the driver does not.
  • Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist. The car can alert the driver if it senses it is drifting out of the lane and make minor steering adjustments to help it stay in the lane.
  • Parking Detection Warning-Reverse. At low speeds, the car can alert you that it is getting too close to an object behind it.

On the S trim and above

  • Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror. The internal rear view mirror can detect bright light and automatically dim accordingly to prevent glare. This feature is optional on the LX.

On the EX trim and above

  • Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Warns the driver of a potential collision with another car or a pedestrian and applies the brakes if the driver does not.
  • Smart Cruise Control. With cruise control on, the car can adjust its speed to match and follow a car in front of it. The car can also automatically come to a complete stop and start again, up to the preset speed, if the stop time is less than three seconds.

Be aware that no matter how many safety features the vehicle has, you should still practice safe driving methods. If one of your concerns is potential bad weather, look at our best cars for snow.

2019 Kia Optima competitor comparison

There are plenty of midsize sedans on the market, so if you’re not loyal to the Kia brand, take a peek at some of the Optima’s competitors. The Optima has one of the lowest prices, but also received the lowest average expert scores. While the base trim of the Optima does have driver assistance features, the base Honda Accord offers its full driver’s assistance package, Honda Sensing, for only $730 more. Kia, however, does offer a longer warranty than most competitors.

2019 Kia Optima vs. Competitors
Vehicle Kia Optima Honda Accord Chevrolet Cruze Toyota Camry
MSRP $22,990 $23,720 $17,995 $23,845
Expert Scores 4.1 4.4 4.3 4.2
Standard Features 8″ Touch Screen, Android Auto/Apple Car Play, 16″ Wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights Honda Sensing, Bluetooth, Push-Button Start, Dual-Zone Climate Control Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 7″ Touch Screen, Expert-Noted Great Ride Quality Toyota Safety Sense-P, Apple CarPlay, Bi-LED Combination Headlights
Fuel Economy Combined/City/Hwy 27/24/33 MPG 30/26/35 MPG 32/28/38 MPG 34/29/41 MPG
Available Body Styles Sedan Sedan Sedan, Hatchback Sedan
Available Energy Sources Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid Hybrid Diesel Hybrid

*Chart data is for 2019 base gasoline-powered sedan models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings as available. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is as defined by the EPA for the least-expensive base model trims.

Interested in more luxury? If you’re considering maybe a more luxurious car, here are the best luxury cars for under $50,000.

What about the warranty? All new Kias come with a five-year, 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.  Most competitors, including the specific ones above, have a three-year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

The bottom line on the 2019 Kia Optima

You might like the Optima if you’re looking for a low-priced midsize sedan with a long warranty. You might not like it if you’re looking for something that offers even more luxury or sportiness. If you’re still not decided on your next car and budget is a strong consideration, take a look at some of the best commuter cars for the money.


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