Performance, look, and tech.
Those are the three metrics I use when I'm evaluating a car.
Now, the Kia Optima has always been a strong choice in the mid price sedan segment, but for 2019, they've kicked it up just a notch.
So, let's get behind the wheel and see what this refreshed Kia's got in store for me.
Alright, so lets start with [UNKNOWN]
Charlie and actually there is not any improvement for 2019.
The Base LX and the S are still rocking 82.4 leader engine good for 885 horsepower.
But the 1.6 liter turmo that has moved up into the higher level EX trim and is getting.
And that's getting 878 horsepower.
But this one that I'm in here, my tester, I'm in the top of the line SX, yeah baby.
Two liter turbo with 245 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque.
That's made it to a six speed automatic transmission and this power pod is actually really great.
The acceleration is strong, the transmission shifts quickly, it kind of does it's own thing in the background but if I want a little bit more control I can use the paddle shifters.
And you know, if I were shopping around on this car, I'd go for either one of those turbo engines.
Sure the 1.6 liter is down a little bit in horse power, but it is up in torque, 195 foot pounds of it, and that, my friends, is what you need for off the line acceleration.
Moving on to looks.
When my producer and I first saw this car from a distance, we both thought, wait why are they giving us a Stinger?
Now if you know, that's Kia's more pricy, more aggressive sport sedan.
I mean this car looks really good.
The whole exterior has just been tightened up just a little bit.
You can see that in the front [UNKNOWN] with LED daytime running lights.
It's got a new grill, some new wheel options.
Around back I've got LED tail lights and dual exhaust standard.
And inside I'm totally digging on the contrast red and black.
Plus you get a bit of a bigger screen, standard 8 inches all the way across the board instead of just optional like it was last year.
But where the Optima has seen the biggest strides is in technology.
I mean sure Kia has always had a pretty good suite of drivers aids but they've been optional only on the upper trim lines.
Now we've got lane departure warning, that is standard.
Forward collision warning, that's standard.
There's a new lane-keeping assist that will provide a little bit of steering input if you should drift out of the lane.
And that's in addition to blind spot monitoring that was already standard on 2018.
In fact, the only technology that's not standard is adaptive cruise control.
But it is included on the top two trims, which funnily enough are the trims that get the turbo engine.
So, that's just a little bit more fodder for ya.
So looks and tech get a plus with performance getting a check mark for an already strong power plant.
And what that adds up to is value.
Now Kia hasn't told me the pricing and availability for the 2019 Optima but it did say that it shouldn't be far from the 2018 prices.
And in case you're curious.
Starts at $22,600 for a base model.
And you can add on 8 grand for the top of the line SX.
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