Advertisement
Go
2014 Kia Optima Photo
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

?
Reviewed by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$20,579
BASE MSRP
$21,500
Quick Take
The 2014 Kia Optima is a sensible and spacious four-door sedan, but it moonlights as something a little more stylish and adventuresome. Read more »
Compare Dealer Prices
2014 Kia Optima
Why get price quotes?
  1. Compare multiple prices from home
  2. Dealers compete for your business
  3. Easier and faster than negotiating in person
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

The dashboard has Audi-like wraparound contours

Cars.com »

this is a seriously attractive automobile

Autoblog »

looks taut, purposeful and ready to go

Inside Line »

intentionally conservative but handsome and well proportioned

Kelley Blue Book »

The more we walked around the perimeter of the Optima, the more we liked its Euro design.

Popular Mechanics »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$21,500 $35,300
MSRP $21,500
INVOICE $20,579
Get Price Quote
4-Door Sedan LX
Gas Mileage 23 mpg City/34 mpg Hwy
Engine Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
EPA Class Mid-Size Cars
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.4 out of 10
Shopping for a new Kia Optima?

GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE
Sign Up

Save this car now, and view it in your Showroom!

Save to My Showroom
Choose a Style Below for Colors and Options
STYLE INVOICE MSRP
2014 Kia Optima 4-Door Sedan LX
4-Door Sedan LX
Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 20,579 $ 21,500
2014 Kia Optima 4-Door Sedan EX
4-Door Sedan EX
Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 22,429 $ 23,950
2014 Kia Optima 4-Door Sedan SX
4-Door Sedan SX
Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 23,877 $ 25,500
2014 Kia Optima 4-Door Sedan SX Turbo
4-Door Sedan SX Turbo
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.0 L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 25,763 $ 27,500
More Styles »

The Basics:

The 2014 Kia Optima is updated for the new model year with a mild revamp that, well, optimizes things. The attractive exterior thankfully doesn’t change much, keeping it at the head of an attractive class of cars that include the Ford Fusion and Mazda6.

The current generation of the Optima was a turning point for Kia several years ago when it went on sale, replacing a homely, anonymous sedan with a bodacious new look. The look of the 2014 Kia Optima still fits right in, so changes are largely limited to a sharper front-end appearance, revised tail, and some new trims, with LED lighting and new LED fog lamps to be had on some of the model line. As well, there's a new EX-L (Limited) model with a plush Nappa leather interior. Overall, from the outside, the front airdam is just a little more pinched, and avoids the full-width 'grin' of the previous version--making the front end appear a little taller, in our opinion. Some versions also get a chrome strip along the side rocker-panel area.

What doesn't change is that the Optima has one of the most pert silhouettes and an athletic stance, along with flashy wheel designs. Inside, the Optima doesn't make waves in the same way, but it's a classy, minimalist cockpit look, reminding us of Audi's interiors of a few years ago, with a wide rectangular bank of controls canted toward the driver. New TFT instrument-panel displays and a much-needed premium infotainment display occupy some new space, surrounded by some upgraded trims.

As with most mid-size four-door sedans on the market, the 2014 Kia Optima is offered in several different performance flavors--all including a four-cylinder engine under the hood. A 200-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection is standard on all but the SX model. It's a little coarse when you need to access its full potential, but it's plenty perky in the mid revs and works very well with the six-speed automatic transmission. Those with more of a penchant for performance--yes, those who would have chosen the V-6 in the past--will find plenty of satisfaction in the sporty SX model and its 274-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine--along with paddle-shifters for the automatic. Here the Optima feels a step more aggressive than V-6 models of the Camry or Accord, in light-footedness if not brute-force acceleration. With a rather firmly tuned suspension and reasonably good body control, the Optima has a lean, confident feel on a curvy road. And with the new Drive Select system that's included in the SC model, you get several modes that command different transmission shift points and steering weighting. We'll update this with driving impressions as soon as we can test the system.

The Optima Hybrid, with its electric-motor system and lithium-polymer battery pack that pair with a four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission (not a CVT), has been retuned for better drivability. It now has a higher-capacity lithium-ion battery, with the powertrain providing 199 hp of combined power and 235 lb-ft of combined torque, to yield acceleration that feels about on par with the base four but with better mileage (36 mpg city, 40 highway).

New seat contouring addresses one of the Optima's shortcomings to date. The other is that getting in and out of the backseat can be a little tough due to the roofline. But once in, it's wide enough to fit three, with just enough headroom. Heated and cooled front seats available--heated back seats, too--the Optima and the back seats can be heated, too. Ride quality is on the firm side, but comfortable enough, and a new EX-L (Limited) model includes soft Nappa leather seating.

A Blind Spot Detection System and rear parking sensors have been added to the options list, and they're available on all but the base LX model. The Optima earns five-star scores in all tests--including the side pole test--from the federal government. And it gets 'good' ratings in every test category from the IIHS (except an 'acceptable'  in the new small overlap frontal test). That altogether still qualifies it for a Top Safety Pick+ rating, however.

The Kia Optima has always offered a high level of features for the money--especially at the base level. But in recent years, the Optima has added sporty SX models and now the SX-L (Limited) model--both of which could be seen as luxury models if you go only by their features lists. For 2014 there's a new eight-inch navigation and telematics system, including a UVO eServices suite (driven off the driver's paired smartphone) plus eight-speaker Infinity sound, HD Radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, and SiriusXM Traffic.key system, with options for leather trim, a panoramic sunroof and Infinity audio.

 

Likes:

  • Handsome exterior, made even sharper
  • Simple dash layout
  • Improved seats
  • Plush interior (Limited)
  • Good value for the money

Dislikes:

  • Tough getting in and out of back seats
  • A little noisier inside than top rivals
Next: Interior / Exterior »

Would You Prefer a Free Dealer Price Quote?

With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
There are no dealers in our network that are located near the ZIP code. Please change your ZIP code or see cars for sale near you.
Update ZIP Code
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself
Palo Alto, CA 94301 Change ZIP Code
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
9.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.