For the 2009 model year, the Kia Optima was redesigned and updated. The interior and exterior were refreshed, the overall length was increased, and this four-door sedan was fitted with a new engine. A third trim level was also added for a sportier look to the Kia Optima.
The 2009 Kia Optima’s restyled exterior produces a midsize sedan with a more aggressive and dynamic look compared to earlier models.
Body Styles: Midsize sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Optima LX, Optima EX, Optima SX
The 2009 Kia Optima is longer, more aggressive looking, and more powerful than it was in previous years. The new four-cylinder engine and the tuned V-6 engine both improve the power and torque of this midsize sedan. The new SX trim line means that the Kia Optima takes on a sportier look and feel than earlier models. Upgrades included in the SX trim line are a sport-tuned suspension, foglights, 17-inch wheels, LED mirror turning signals, and a new front grille and headlamps. Inside, the SX is equipped with sports pedals and aluminum accents. Finally, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and a stability control system are now standard features for all three trim levels of the 2009 Kia Optima.
The front end is completely restyled, and new tail lights are added at the rear. The interior benefits from expanded electronics, a new base audio system with USB port and satellite radio capability, and new color schemes. For the first time, an in-dash navigation system is available as an optional extra.
To make the 2009 Kia Optima look more dynamic, the whole car is redesigned. The lower front grille and fog lamps are enlarged, while the headlamps are narrowed and elongated to give a sharper look to it from the front. Wider lines along the side continue from the front to the back to add a sportiness and flow to the sedan. The rear of the car sports an edged trunk lid, narrowed rear lights, and a new rear fascia.
The interior of the 2009 Kia Optima continues to have only two seat trim color scheme choices of grey or beige. Seating is fabric in the base model and leather in both the EX and SX versions. A new audio system is MP3 compatible due to the addition of a USB port and auxiliary jack. Air-conditioning, power windows, locks, and front seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat, and a six-speaker audio system are all included as standard features. Upgrades include a leather interior, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt and telescopic functions, power sunroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Kia Optima is a front-wheel drive sedan that is fitted with independent front and rear suspensions. The tightly-tuned suspension and responsive steering provide a ride that is comfortable and smooth, even when the road isn’t. Performance is good at lower speeds, but can feel a bit less responsive when cornering at higher speeds. The increase in power has improved acceleration from a stop or low speed, but this improvement decreases at higher speeds and rpm. The four-cylinder engine provides a bit more of a burst when it comes to passing in comparison to the V-6.
The new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine increases the power of the 2009 Kia Optima to 175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 engine is the same as used previously, although it was retuned with 194 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder engine is fitted with dual continuously variable valve timing and a variable intake system that not only improved the power, but does not sacrifice gas mileage in the process. A manual five-speed transmission is standard for the base trim level, with a five-speed automatic transmission available as an option. The V-6 engine is coupled with the five-speed automatic as standard.
Safety is a key feature in all Kia vehicles, including the 2009 Optima. Standard safety features include ABS, traction control, an anti-skid system, front side airbags, and full-length side-curtain airbags. The 2009 Kia Optima has top scores for both front and side impact crash testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
Optima four-cylinder: 22/32 mpg city/highway
Optima V-6: 20/28 mpg city/highway
- Spacious front and back seat with plenty of legroom
- Excellent crash test scores
- Low price with many standard features
You Won't Like
- V-6 engine not as responsive as four-cylinder
- Decreased acceleration at higher rpm
This is a car to change how you think about midsize sedans.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Hyundai Sonata
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry