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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
In what has been a Kia home-run feature of late, the steering wheel impresses with its girth, controls layout, and appearance.
very Sync-like navigation and concierge electronics
Road & Track
a feature list that zooms past the competition, stealing the thunder from luxury sedans
Kelley Blue Book
At the top end, the equipment reads like a big luxury sedan
air-conditioned glove box for cooling drinks
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.
And now, for 2014, it's taken care of the one inadequacy in the lineup: infotainment. 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.
The base Optima is still a strong value, with Bluetooth hands-free control, cruise control, a USB port, satellite radio, and power windows, locks, and mirrors all included. Even mid-level EX trims get things like dual-zone climate control, push-button start, and a smart-key system, along with leather trim. A panoramic sunroof and Infinity audio are available as options. A Supervision meter cluster, sport suspension, larger alloy wheels, LED front and rear lamps, steering-wheel paddle-shifters, lighted scuff plates, and leather sport seats are included in the SX. SX-T models include HID headlamps with auto-leveling.
Top SX-L models include LED fog lamps, red brake calipers, a new electronic parking brake, chrome side sills, and new premium Nappa leather upholstery. Separately, heated-and-cooled front seats, and a heated back seat, are available in EX, SX, or SX-T trims.
2014 Hybrid details still hadn't been released at the time of posting; but last year's Hybrid EX sedans got a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and Infinity audio standard.
All-new infotainment systems for 2014 remedy what had previously been an Optima shortcoming; and throughout the lineup, you still get a lot of value for the money.