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2016 Kia Optima Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Take the 1.6 LX Turbo by Doc1968



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I needed a fuel sipping midsize sedan or wagon to replace the future VW buyback of my TDI. I evaluated all the current offerings (including some compacts as well as hybrids) through marathon YouTube review viewings, reading tons of online reviews, and extensive test driving.

Although there are many really good cars in this segment (as compared to previous years), I whittled the list down to three cars: 2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6T, 2016 Hyundai Sonato Eco with the same 1.6T, and the 2017 Elantra Limited.

I chose the Optima for its fit and finish, looks, and driving dynamics. This is a wonderful car and if you are considering the Optima line, the 1.6T is a sweet spot for standard features and low cost. Price before tax, license, etc. was $22,250. Finance it even if you want to pay cash because they will probably offer you an additional $750 rebate. Total rebates for this purchase was $1,750.

I cannot seriously say anything bad about this car. Most of the professional reviews only offer nickel and dime downsides. It's as if they have to say something negative to be unbiased. I understand. But all the negative comments are either very minor OR they are dead wrong. I realize that everyone gets something different from the driving experience, but it seems to me that sometimes they are not driving the same car as I am.

Superior handling, luxury like ride, wonderful steering feel (despite what some reviewers note), and upscale quiet comfort inside. Add to it a tiny turbo that gives you 195 lbs of torque and 178 hp with a 7-speed DSG that rivals any Porshe or Audi tranny. All this PLUS unreal MPG (39.9 on my first trip) in the best looking (IMHO) midsize with a 16 cu ft trunk.

Anybody that does not test drive this particular model of the Kia Optima line is making a HUGE mistake. The least expensive option in ALL of the midsize competitors.


Reviewed: 2016 Kia Optima

4dr Sedan turbocharged 178hp 1.6L I4 7-speed automated manual FWD

2016 Kia Optima Love Letter

Great shape, nice lines. Lower, wider, higher, longer than the outgoing generation (2011-2015). Coupe like shape and look for a four-door.


Cons: The Turbo is ONLY offered in the lower trim LX model. If you want the fancy gizmos, you have to add the Tech Package for $2,400. I did not get that cause I don't want it, but some may consider the $2.4k hit for the additional bells and whistles a bit pricey. No sun roof option at all for the LX trim NOR leather if you are so inclined. Personally, I don't like leather. Some consider the 16-inch wheels too small in a modern car, but frankly anyone who says that is full of it.

Pros: Great fuel mileage, smooth shifting 7-speed, quiet interior, quality materials interior, excellent steering, good road manners, intuitve guage panel and infotainment system.

The most unbiased review of the 1.6 Turbo Optima can be had from Alex on Autos (Youtube). His review made me consider the turbo option and I'm sure glad I did. As I mentioned before, all the reviewers were generally hard pressed to say any real bad things about the car. But even when they did, the overall review or recommendation was still positive.

Best warranty in the business: 10 year/100,00 mile. No one can touch that.

Fit and finish was the best of any new car I have purchased in my 50 years of driving experience.

While driving the car on a 215 mile trip, I called my sister (using the Bluetooth voice commands, of course) and told her I had made a mistake in purchasing the car: I should have bought two!

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