Kia Optima Review & Ratings
- 26 March 2015
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
The Kia Optima is classified as a mid-size 4-door sedan which has been produced by Kia Motors since 2000 and sold internationally in a number of different countries all over the world. The first generation of these vehicles were marketed primarily at simply the “Optima”, while the name “Magentis” was used in certain other parts of the world, including various European countries along with Canada starting in 2002. For the second generation of the Optima, the name “Kia Lotze” and “Kia K5” were used, but only in South Korea. The Magentis name was used in many different countries all over the world, but not in the United States.
The first generation Optimas were produced from 2000 to 2005 and were rebadged as a variant of the Hyundai Sonata which it shared many design details with, except for certain minor exterior styling features and equipment. The Optima was introduced in May of 2001 in Australia with a 2.5 liter V6Y engine as well as the option of a manual or automatic transmission. This updated version of the Optima came with a new 2.7 liter 4-speed automatic, as the manual was officially dropped by this point. Some of the features of this vehicle include full leather interior as well as allow wheels, which were a standard feature.
In 2002 the Kia Optima received a minor update and there was a more luxurious version of it which was sold strictly in South Korea. The grille of this vehicle was redesigned for the U.S market in 2003 for the 2004 model and it prominently features the Kia badge as well as different headlamps which were also restyled, but for the 2005 model year.
The second generation of the Kia Optima, which spanned from 2005 to 2010, is still built with a 2.4 liter inline-four engine and also comes as a 5-speed Sportmatic automatic and a 5-speed manual transmission. The Optima underwent rigorous crash tests and received a rating of five stars from the NHTSA as well as four stars from EuroNCAP. The overall design of this vehicle was revised as well as updated in 2008 before appearing at the New York International Auto Show as the 2009 model. This new vehicle had updated features which included a new front end styling and tail lamps. The length of this vehicle was also increased by 70 millimeters to 4,800 millimeters, depending on the model.
The addition of the new Theta II 2.4 liter inline-four engine which employs duel continuously variable valve timing as well as a variable intake system was definitely a revolutionary improvement made to this car by Kia. The torque of this engine is rated at 229 Newton meters and there are 2.0 liters available for certain markets throughout the Middle East. Some of the other engine options for this vehicle include a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder with 5 manual or 4 automatic gearbox with a capability of 164 horsepower.
All of the 2010 Kia Optima models use a proximity key with push-button start as well as paddle shifters on all of the SX models. The Magentis was introduced in 2005 in Australia and was responsible for replacing the Optimas. This vehicle was initially made available with a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or 2.7 liter V6 engine. Sales of the Magentis in Australia went very slowly with not much success at all. There were only 741 total units sold for the year of 2007. The third generation of this vehicle, produced from 2011 to present, came with a lot of changes to this vehicle and was available in the same trims lines, including the LX, EX, and the sport SX.