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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars, front impact; five stars, side impact
Good," frontal offset impact; "acceptable," side impact
Kia hasn’t forgotten about safety in any respect; the 2010 Optima has all of the features now expected in a mid-size sedan, plus it fares well in official crash tests.
Tests from the federal government yield top five-star results in both frontal and side-impact tests, while the insurance-funded IIHS gives the Optima its top "good" rating in frontal offset protection. An "acceptable" rating in side impact protection from the IIHS is its only significant blemish. The Optima also scores four stars for rollover resistance.
The refreshed Kia Optima offers a good set of safety features as well. Front side airbags are standard, along with side-curtain airbags that cover both rows, and front-seat occupants get active headrests. Kia now makes electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes standard across the model line—ahead of a few models costing more.
The rather conservative proportions of the 2010 Kia Optima aid outward visibility, it seems. ConsumerGuide says that “visibility is fine in all directions,” while Kelley Blue Book feels that the Kia Optima provides a "nice balance between outward visibility and efficient aerodynamics,"
Safety is important to mid-size sedan shoppers, and the 2010 Kia Optima is one of the better bets.