The 2010 Kia Optima offers midsize functionality at a compact price point, but it's not fully competitive with the best cars in this segment.
Affordable, excellent warranty, ample standard features.
Weak optional V6, uninspired cabin, flinty ride.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2010
The Kia Optima is largely unchanged, with the exception of standard keyless entry/ignition on SX models. 2010 Kia Optima Vehicle Overview
There are two types of car shoppers in the world: those who tend to follow the crowd and only consider the best-selling models in any given category and those who prefer to take a rational look at all their choices. If you fall into this second group, the 2010 Kia Optima might be worth considering.
Though this midsize sedan lives in the shadows of heavy hitters like the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry, it still has appeal for value-oriented shoppers.
The Optima delivers the roomy interior that midsize buyers expect, and it's available for less money than some well-equipped economy cars. However, the old adage "you get what you pay for" does apply in this case. The Optima doesn't ride as smoothly as most rivals, and its optional V6 doesn't even make 200 horsepower in a segment full of 270-hp bruisers. Its interior is also a notch below the the class standards for quality and visual appeal.
Other than that, the 2010 Kia Optima is generally pretty easy to like. Do your homework and you'll discover you can buy a top-of-the-line Optima for thousands of dollars less than most comparably equipped competitors. If that aspect appeals to you, the Optima could work out well. But in general we recommend checking out better sedans that still offer plenty of value, such as the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Suzuki Kizashi. For Pricing information, see our Pricing page.
BODY STYLES, TRIM LEVELS, AND OPTIONS
The 2010 Kia Optima midsize sedan is offered in base LX, upscale EX and sporty SX trims. The standard features list for the entry-level LX includes 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, air-conditioning, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, full power accessories, a tilt steering column and a CD/MP3 player audio system with satellite radio and a USB/auxiliary audio input.
Models with the automatic transmission add keyless entry, cruise control and a multifunction tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Move up to the EX and you get 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a power driver seat, automatic climate control, a trip computer and an auto-dimming rearvie mirror with a compass.
The SX loses the automatic climate control but adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, exclusive exterior trim, leather and cloth upholstery, unique instrumentation, aluminum interior trim and sport pedals. Options on EX and SX models include Bluetooth, a power sunroof, Infinity audio with a six-disc CD changer, a power front passenger seat, heated front seats, a manual rear-window sunshade and power-adjustable pedals. The EX and SX also offer an optional navigation system. For more Style information, see our Compare Styles page.