2009 Kia Optima Photo
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On Quality
The 2009 Kia Optima excels in terms of materials and utility but loses points for its noisy, unrefined engines.
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

Optima LX comes with gray or beige cloth upholstery
J.D. Power

Posteriors in front sink into buckets with a cushy top layer
Car and Driver

Decent-size trunk has hinges that don't intrude into cargo space

The addition of three inches to the 2009 Kia Optima's overall length brings it more in line with the mid-size sedan segment and adds to its already impressive interior room.

The Kia Optima offers seating for five within its comfortable interior, which is highlighted by a pair of well-executed front seats. Car and Driver says that "posteriors in front sink into buckets with a cushy top layer akin to a pillow-top mattress," although they add that "side support is wanting." ConsumerGuide agrees, finding that the seats "offer little lateral support in turns," but there is "sufficient legroom and adequate headroom for tall drivers" in the twin bucket seats up front.

The backseat isn't quite up to par with the front seats, but it's far from the worst in the mid-size segment, based on reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. ConsumerGuide points out that "knee space grows tight if the front seats are far back," while taller passengers will be disappointed to learn that the "mediocre headroom is diminished further by the sunroof housing." Edmunds simply states that, while the "Kia Optima's cabin is spacious," the rear "seat bottoms are a little short, offering less support for long-limbed occupants than many rivals' accommodations."

The practical 2009 Kia Optima excels in terms of storage space, both inside the cabin and the trunk. ConsumerGuide finds that the Kia Optima offers a "decent-size trunk [that] has hinges that don't intrude into cargo space," while Edmunds says that "trunk capacity is 14.8 cubic feet, and all Kia Optimas have a 60/40-split-folding rear seat." Moving inside the 2009 Kia Optima, ConsumerGuide notes "sufficient cabin storage with an ample glovebox, door map pockets, and an armrest console."

Interior materials are a pleasant surprise on the Kia Optima, with many reviewers raving about the quality of the pieces. Edmunds says that the 2009 Kia Optima's "interior materials as a whole give an impression of quality," while Cars.com mentions that the Kia Optima SX gets "electroluminescent gauges, custom leather seats and metallic trim." Kelley Blue Book also reports that "even in base LX form, the Optima's interior materials rate well above merely acceptable," and on "those cars with leather we were impressed by the leather's tone and its perforated texture."

While materials are a definite plus for the 2009 Kia Optima, noise levels are once again more in line with the class average. Although Car and Driver claims that the "2.4-liter GEMA engine...mostly hums quietly to itself and winds to high revs without major vibes," ConsumerGuide feels that the Optima's "four-cylinder emits a thrashy groan at full throttle...the V-6 is noticeably quieter but is less refined than most rivals V-6s."


The 2009 Kia Optima excels in terms of materials and utility but loses points for its noisy, unrefined engines.

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