2015 Kia Optima
For pedestrian car brands like Kia and Honda, the midsize car is the flagship. There's no expensive luxury model tucked away in the showroom. So it's up to the family car to show the world what Kia is capable of. And judging by the 2015 Kia Optima, this once-humble South Korean economy car maker is capable of a lot.
Completely redesigned for 2011, the Kia Optima instantly went from wallflower to rockstar. The exterior was given sexy coupe-like lines, and the driver centric cockpit was lifted straight from the Saab playbook (the new interior also won a place on Ward's 2015 10 Best Interior Designs). While other car companies were moving toward an artsy, dramatic look. The Kia Optima was refreshingly sporty. Couple that with a 274-hp turbo-4, and it's easy to see why sales of the Kia Optima jumped 209% in 2011.
Now in its third of production, the Georgia-built 2015 Kia Optima gets a few subtle changes, a new top-shelf model, and two model deletions.
2015 Kia Optima - Changes
- New Kia badges for the decklid, hood and steering wheel
- Standard adjustable headrests
- A new shade of red paint
2015 Kia Optima - Deleted Models
- LX with the 6-speed manual
2015 Kia Optima - New Model
The new 2015 Kia Optima SX Limited (or 2015 Kia Optima SXL) features the sport-themed SX's 274-hp direct injected, turbocharged 2.0L 4 cylinder. Along with the sport-tuned suspension, and paddle-shift 6-speed automatic. What sets it apart is all of the additional luxury features, which turn Kia's top sedan into a luxurious ride, befitting its flagship status.
The 2015 Kia Optima SXL comes with: Super soft hand-stitched Nappa leather seats, door panels, and dash trim. Heated/cooled front seats, and heated rear seats. A full glass roof with power retractable sunshades. Drivers seat memory, a crisp LCD info screen in the gauge cluster. A UVO infotainment system that allows you to upload photos from a thumb drive, right onto the touchscreen display (this will be handy for parents that like to tape a picture of their kids over the tachometer). And of course, there's the obligatory Blinged-out trim kit, which includes: Polished 18" wheels, red brake calipers, additional chrome exterior trim, LED running lights, and wood interior trim.
But you don't have to spend $30k to get a nicely equipped 2015 Kia Optima. For just a shade over $21k, you can get a 2015 Kia Optima LX equipped with a direct injected 2.4 liter 4-pot (200-hp - 24/35/28), power everything, including a standard power drivers seat, heated outside mirrors, and fog lights. For $27k, you can get the uber-thrifty 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid, which comes very well equipped (push-button start, backup camera etc), Its 206-hp hybrid system can achieve 34/39/36, and it can move the car for short distances on electricity alone, at speeds up to 62 mph.
While the 2015 Kia Optima doesn't quite have the buttery-smooth feel of a more expensive Japanese midsizer, it does offer a lot of style and toys for the money. Plus in SX trim, it looks better than any family car has a right to.