2014 Kia Optima

LX FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 auto trans

2014 kia optima Reviews and News

2014 Kia Optima In Motion Three Quarters
Las Vegas -- We've always found that the Kia Optima excelled more in the looks department than in terms of driving dynamics, so it's a shame that the refresh for the 2014 model year focuses almost exclusively on design. Nonetheless, the updated Optima remains an appealing midsize sedan that's high on both style and -- when fitted with the turbo engine -- power.
The key changes are all visual, but you'd need to be a Kia Optima aficionado to spot them. The plastic front and rear fascias are new, as are the fender badges, the rear diffuser panel, the LED running lights and taillights, and the seats. A newly optional blind-spot monitoring system worked flawlessly during our test, illuminating an orange warning in the side-view mirrors. Another change for the SX trim level is that there's now an Optima SX available with the base 192-hp, 2.4-liter engine, whereas before all Optima SXs had a turbocharged engine.
That 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, available on the SX Turbo and SX Limited models, remains the highlight of the Optima lineup. With 269 lb-ft of torque available from 1650 rpm, the engine pulls steadfastly from any speed toward its 274-hp power peak. The automatic transmission promptly shuffles between the six forward ratios and responds gamely to inputs from the wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Put your foot down, and this midsize sedan flies.
It's in corners where we're less impressed, even though the 2014 Kia Optima SX gains a Drive Mode Select function meant to sharpen its reflexes. The button switches between Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes for the transmission and electric power steering. We found it best to leave DMS in Normal, as the steering becomes cumbersome in Sport and lifeless in Comfort. Even so, the Optima doesn't tackle curves as well as do rivals like the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and Ford Fusion. With less precision and feedback from the suspension than those sedans, the Kia doesn't allow us to pick and hold lines as precisely on winding mountain roads. The upshot is a smooth ride that remains settled over rough roads.
Still A Looker
Even though the visual changes are mild, the 2014 Kia Optima remains one of the most stylish midsize sedans. The SX trim level is even more distinctive than before; on wide-open Nevada freeways, the new LEDs that are exclusive to SX models help our testers stand out from the flat desert. Its 18-inch wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and sloping rear windshield all contribute to an appearance that is more upscale and elegant than plainer three-box sedans.
Compared to other versions of the 2014 Kia Optima, the SX adds a 4.3-inch screen in the instrument cluster. It allows drivers to toggle between trip information and other data that's displayed in clear, legible bright fonts. The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the center stack, meanwhile, is one of the most straightforward and intuitive infotainment systems in the marketplace. A row of redundant physical buttons below the screen allows for adjusting the volume or tuning radio stations by feel, but the touchscreen itself is easy to use for navigation, Bluetooth phone pairing, playing music, or using the Kia UVO telematics functions.
The Kia's interior is also notable for what it lacks: noise. The cabin is so well insulated that almost no wind noise makes its way to occupants' ears, even at highway speeds. That, coupled with the reasonably plush suspension, resulting in a more upmarket ride than the Optima's S28,000 price tag might suggest.
The facelift hasn't completely transformed the 2014 Kia Optima -- it still probably wouldn't have won our Midsize Madness sedan tournament -- but it does keep an interesting midsizer looking contemporary in the face of fresh competition. Though less exciting to drive than a Mazda 6 or Honda Accord, the Kia Optima brings strong curb appeal and a punchy turbocharged engine to an otherwise staid car segment.

2014 Kia Optima SX

On Sale: Now
Base Price: $28,000
Engine: 2.0L turbo I-4, 274 hp and 269 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Cargo Capacity: 15.4 cubic feet
Fuel Economy: 20/31 mpg (city/highway)
2014 Kia Optima
2014 Kia Optima

New For 2014

The 2014 Kia Optima receives a mild refresh that includes redesigned front and rear ends. The instrument cluster and the aluminum wheels are redesigned, too.

Vehicle Summary

The Optima is Kia's best-selling vehicle, but it doesn't sell nearly as well as its competition. That's because it competes with cars like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry. Rivalries among mid-size sedans are fierce, and well-established family sedans edge out newcomers like the Optima. Kia's not very worried, though. There will always be buyers in the market for a mid-size sedan, and the automaker has one of the most attractive mid-sizers available. It's even prettier for 2014, thanks to redesigned front and rear fascias. It's a bold and stylish sedan in a segment full of milquetoast four-doors, but it stands out only because of its styling. The well-established family sedans are polished, and the 2014 Kia Optima needs a bit more of that before it can nip at the heels of Honda's and Toyota's cars.


With bold, sharp lines, the 2014 Kia Optima looks almost as sporty as the Mazda 6. Unfortunately for Kia, the Mazda 6 is actually sporty. To squeeze any sportiness from the 2014 Kia Optima, you need to opt for an SX or SX-T model, which get turbocharged engines. If fuel economy matters more to you than sportiness does, opt for the hybrid, which is rated at 36 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. If you want the most basic powertrain possible, that's the 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine in the Optima LX and EX. The LX starts at about $22,000, but Kia's volume leader is the Optima EX, which starts around $25,000. The EX comes well equipped at that price, with standard features including seventeen-inch aluminum wheels, push-button ignition, Bluetooth, illuminated front cupholders, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-speaker audio system, and leather-trimmed seats.

Except for the hybrid, all Optimas benefit from a mild update for the 2014 model year. Most of the changes are visual: redesigned LED positioning lights, redone aluminum wheels, new seat designs, and reworked front and rear fascias. There's now a 4.3-inch thin-film-transistor LCD instrument cluster that comes standard. Some Optimas can be optioned with a navigation system, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a new blind-spot monitoring system, which includes rear cross-path detection and rear parking sensors.

With this year's update, the Kia Optima is more stylish than ever and continues to be one of the best-looking mid-size sedans on the market.

You'll like:

  • Sexier exterior
  • Hybrid engine option, turbocharged engine option
  • Aggressively priced

You won't like:

  • So-so dynamics don't match sporty looks
  • Interior feels cramped
  • Big pool of rivals

Key Competitors

  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Altima
  • Toyota Camry
2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Front Three Quarters 02
Following the arrival of the sportier, restyled 2014 Kia Optima late last fall, the Korean automaker revealed its refreshed 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid at the 2014 Chicago auto show. The mid-size hybrid gets its own updated appearance package for 2014, with a focus on improved aerodynamics and lighting features.
2014 Kia Optima Front Three Quarters
The Kia Optima was already one of the more stylish midsize sedans, but for 2014 the car gets a slight refresh to keep up with the rapidly evolving family sedan class. The 2014 Kia Optima now carries a base price of $22,300 (including destination) for the LX model with a six-speed automatic transmission, $150 more than the 2013 model, according to a statement from Kia.

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2014 Kia Optima
2014 Kia Optima
LX FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
23 MPG City | 34 MPG Hwy
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2014 Kia Optima
2014 Kia Optima
LX FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
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2014 Kia Optima
2014 Kia Optima
LX FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
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2014 Kia Optima Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.4L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
23 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
34 MPG
192 hp @ 6300rpm
181 ft lb of torque @ 4250rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
60,000 miles / 60 months
100,000 miles / 120 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Front Small Overlap

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $27,101 What's This?
Value Rating: Average