2019 Kia Optima Refreshed All Around

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Looking to stay competitive in the crowded midsize sedan segment, Kia has unveiled the refreshed Optima at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Sporting new design cues inside and out, the 2019 Kia Optima also benefits from expanded ADAS technology, a new UVO infotainment system, and available European-inspired red and black two-tone sport leather-trimmed seats. In additional, available enhancements for the sedan include new alloy wheel choices, ambient LED interior lighting, and a new Passion Red exterior paint shade.

Starting with the base LX model, the Optima now comes standard with Stinger-inspired LED daytime running lights, new 16-inch alloy wheels, and a matte gray finished grille. The S model gets numerous new enhancements including projection beam fog lights, LED tail lights, dual exhaust, sport side sills with gloss black trim, gloss black grille, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Also standard on the S trim are push-button start, smart key, smart trunk, and power front windows with auto up/down.

2018 New York Auto Show Coverage

Moving onto the EX model, there’s a turbocharged 178-horsepower engine under the hood paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Kia has added new leather seating surfaces with front seat heaters to the EX, along with new 17-inch wheels and Smart Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go as standard. Available options for the EX include new ambient multicolor interior lighting and a heated steering wheel.

At the top of the range is the 2019 Kia Optima SX and the SX Limited package, which features redesigned 18-inch wheels, new LED fog lights, ambient interior lighting, sport steering wheel, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go functionality. The SX is also the trim that has available European-styled red and black two-tone sport leather-trimmed seats, along with a Harman Kardon premium audio system with UVO link with Navigation, heated steering wheel, gloss black door pillars and side moldings, and a sport bumper with LED fog lights. Meanwhile, the SXL package is available with a new two-tone bronze and black interior with Nappa leather seating surfaces.

The 2019 Kia Optima will go on sale in the U.S. later this year and will be available in four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX. Look for pricing to be announced closer to its sale date.

“The Optima continues to be one of our best-sellers for good reason; its stand-out design sets it apart from other cars in the midsize segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “The 2019 refresh sharpens the overall design inside and out and we are making a number of ADAS technologies standard across the entire Optima line, which underlies the tremendous value Optima offers. A new approach to our award-winning telematics system, UVO, will make it easier for buyers to understand its features and UVO link includes an embedded modem. The new two-tone sport seats are for those looking to differentiate their Optima with unique European-inspired design cues.”

Discuss this story on our Kia Optima Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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