2019 Optima debuts Kia's updated infotainment packaging

A few styling tweaks and new interior materials round out the Optima's 2019 model year enhancements.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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midsize Optima sedan largely stays the course for 2019, with a little more standard equipment, some new colors and a front fascia nip/tuck. But the big story here is Kia's revised packaging for its UVO infotainment system, which launches with the 2019 Kia Optima and will soon spread to the company's other models.

Basically, available UVO equipment is now broken up into three tiers: UVO Play, UVO Link and UVO Link with Navigation.

In the case of the Optima, the base LX model comes with UVO Play, which really just serves as a platform for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto . Buyers can control all of the smartphone-mirroring software via standard voice controls.

2019 Kia Optima
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2019 Kia Optima

Red and black leather are now available on the high-end SX model.


On the Optima S and EX models, UVO Link again features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but adds in a number of features like vehicle diagnostics, maintenance alerts and more. The UVO Link app allows owners to remote start the car, as well as lock and unlock the doors and even activate the horn and lights.

Finally, UVO Link with Navigation is, well, just that. It's everything we've already told you, plus built-in nav. It's optional on the Optima EX with the Premium Package and standard on SX and SXL models.

Otherwise, the Optima is largely the same for 2019. A slightly redesigned front fascia has new LED running lights, and the top-tier SXL gets red-and-black two-tone leather seats. A 2.4-liter engine with 185 horsepower is standard on the LX and S, while the EX gets a 1.6-liter turbo I4 with 178 horsepower, and the SX and SXL get a 2.0-liter turbo I4 with 245 horsepower.

The updated 2019 Optima will hit Kia showrooms later this year.

2019 Kia Optima brings a fresh face and revised tech to New York

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