Intro: The 2010 Kia Optima slots above the Forte and Rio as Kia's largest 4-door, 5-passenger sedan. Though mid-size, its cabin is spacious, and the choice of two fuel efficient engines means the Optima will get good gas mileage no matter which engine you select.
The Optima is available in three trims, base LX, midrange EX, and the rang-topping SX model, which we drove. It featured fog lights, dual exhaust, 17-inch alloy wheels, and side mirror corner signals.
Performance: Base power for the Optima comes from a 2.4-liter inline-4, sending 175 horsepower and 169 pound feet of torque to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. Our test model came equipped with the available 2.7-liter V6, sending 194 horsepower and 184 pound feet of torque to the front wheels through a 5-speed automatic operated via paddle shifters.
Fuel Economy: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
Features: Our SX test model's cabin came very well equipped for a mid-size sedan, with leather-trimmed seating, push button start, alloy pedals, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, and heated front seats.
The base stereo on every trim of the Optima is a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 unit with door-mounted tweeters and standard auxiliary iPod/USB inputs. An Infinity 6-disc stereo with subwoofer and amplifier is available for audiophiles in need of more punch in their music.
Safety: Standard safety features include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic stability control with traction control, side impact door beams, front and rear crumple zones, dual frontal airbags, front seat airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags.
Pricing/Warranty: Base MSRP for the 2010 Kia Optima is $17,995. A range-topping SX V6 model starts at $22,795. The Optima is backed by Kia's impressive 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Summary: With sharp, sporty styling, backed up by a refined and well appointed interior, the 2010 Kia Optima brings a lot of class to the mid-size sedan market, while holding the line as an economical 5-passenger sedan.