2009 Kia Optima Photo
/ 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.

$4,943 - $12,998
Quick Take
The 2009 Kia Optima is a thoroughly competent, comfortable mid-size sedan that’s sorely lacking in personality and excitement—even with a modest spice-up for this year. Read more »
6.4 out of 10
Browse Kia Optima inventory in your area.

The experts at TheCarConnection.com consulted a number of professional review sources in compiling this extensive review on the 2009 Kia Optima. TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the Optima and bring their experience to this review.


  • Spacious cabin
  • Large trunk
  • Easy maneuverability


  • Conservative, anonymous styling
  • Dull interior materials
  • Anti-lock brakes not available on the base model
  • No satellite radio or Bluetooth interface

The 2009 Kia Optima is the Korean automaker's mid-size sedan. Although the Optima continues, as in previous model years, to favor comfort and frugality over style and trend-setting options, the Optima has been made a little more appealing for 2009 with a styling makeover and new engine options.

Both of the Kia Optima's engines receive power boosts for 2009, with the four-cylinder now producing 175 horsepower and the six-cylinder offering 194 hp. Five-speed transmissions are the norm on the front-wheel-drive Kia Optima lineup, with a manual coming standard on the four-cylinder and an automatic option; the V-6 comes exclusively with a five-speed automatic.

With the automatic transmission, there's not really much of a difference in performance between the two models, except the four-cylinder engine can coarsen under hard acceleration. At 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, its fuel economy is also slightly better than with the V-6.

The 2009 Kia Optima boasts a relatively pleasant ride, although running over larger bumps can be jarring. The Optima is clearly more comfortable on city streets than rural roads, where its crisp, responsive steering feel shines through, but it can't maintain its poise when navigating curvy back roads.

Last year's Kia Optima featured one of the roomiest cabins in its segment, and the addition of 3 more inches to the overall length for 2009 only helps in that regard. The Optima boasts good backseat legroom and headroom, and the big 14.8-cubic-foot trunk will swallow more gear than most of the Optima's competitors.

Next: Interior / Exterior »
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Read Our Cookie Policy.