Home Blog 2016 Kia Models 2016 Kia Optima Review Series: 1 of 3

May 13, 2016 by Anne Kelley

2016 Kia Optima Review Series: 1 of 3

2016 Kia Optima Review Series: 2 of 3 – Interior Review

If you are a Kia Optima fan and don’t know which trim level to pick. You have come to the right place. This is the first in a series of 3 posts focused on the 2016 Kia Optima features; Exterior (post 1), Interior (post 2), Seating & Trim (post 3). This post is designed to give you all the information you need when deciding on which 2016 Kia Optima to purchase.

The 2016 Kia Optima is one of the most beautiful luxury sedans around. Design guided by Kia’s President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer. Who is Peter Schreyer, he is a cool looking famous German automobile designer best known for designing the Audi TT. He has been working with Hyundai and Kia since 2006.  He not only designs amazing vehicles; he also looks like a creative type.

You will find that the all-new 2016 Kia Optima resembles the brand’s higher-end models; Cadenza and K900 sedans.

It has a wider, longer and stiffer chassis than previous years. This means more room and a more comfortable ride.  Not only has the chassis changed, but almost every part of the vehicles has improved, more room, ergonomic design and more technology. The 2016 Optima looks similar to its predecessors, but the feature enhancements keep the 2016 Kia Optima modern and fresh.

2016 Kia Optima Types

There are 3 types of engines in the 2016 Kia Optima:

  • 1.6-liter GDI Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (LX)
  • 2.4-liter GDI ECVVT 4-cylinder engine (LX, EX)
  • 2.0-liter GDI Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (SX, SXL)

There are 5 trim levels and engine sizes in the 2016 Kia Optima:

  • LX 2.4
  • LX 1.6 TURBO
  • EX 2.4
  • SX 2.0 TURBO
  • SXL 2.0 TURBO Limited

For the 2016 Kia Optima feature list, you can you download those documents here:

2016 Kia Optima Features – Download .PDF

2016 Kia Optima Brochure – Full Color – Download .PDF

Optima Tiger Nose Grille

When Peter Schreyer was designing the Kia grille concept, he was shooting for something grand. Tigers are the perfect place to start when designing a grand grille! The tiger-nose grille is a signature feature for all Kia models. The Kia grilles look intentional, not just placed to support a space on the vehicle. It almost seems like the production of the Kia vehicle starts with the Kia signature grille. It is where Mr. Schreyer started when updating the design of the optima. During the design process he wanted to create a distinct Kia face and through this design process the Tiger grille was born and debuted in 2007.

Kia Tiger Nose Grille

The 2016 Kia Optima has an updated grille with 3D mesh and smoky matte chrome trim. When comparing the 2015 Kia Optima with the 2016 Kia Optima you can see the 2016 grille has a sleeker design.

2015 Kia Optima Grille vs 2016 Kia Optima Grille

Optima Headlights

The 2016 Kia Optima is the introduction of Bi-Xenon HID headlights. Bi-Xenon lights have bulbs that convert both high and low beams into Xenon lighting using the same bulb. Xenon lights use xenon gas to ignite and produce light which is 3x more powerful than a halogen light bulb. These headlights hug the road and illuminate corners using Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) technology. This headlight feature is only available in the SX and SXL Optima.

If you like your headlights to work without you remembering to turn the headlights on or off, then you are going to want the EX, SX or SXL Optima. Daytime running lights are standard in these models and not available in the LX trim levels.

The High-Beam Assist is standard in the SXL and optional in the SX. But why is it so great and a must-have feature? If you have ever been on a long-distance road trip at night, you will most likely see the driver turning the bright lights or high beams on when there are no oncoming cars. When cars arrive and the driver sees headlights from other vehicles, the driver turns the high beams off. Historically this has generally been a manual process for the driver and now with artificial automotive intelligence, High Beam Assist does all the work; recognizing oncoming headlights and automatically switching the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle passes.

The Optima LX comes with a Single Projection Headlight system. Projection is important because it helps make all the available light on the road where you need it instead of into a straight beam all over the place. The LX has a low-beam projector headlight for precision illumination.

Optima EX comes with Dual Projection Headlights. More projection means you see more at night when taking those long summer road trips. Both the high and low beams have their own projector lens adding additional light correctness.

2016 Kia Optima EX Headlights

2016 Kia Optima EX

2016 Kia Optima Wheels

The standard wheelbase across all Kia Optima models is 110.4 inches. But when it comes to wheels there two options when picking which SX or SXL you are wanting to purchase.  The SX and SXL come standard with laser cut 18″ Alloy Wheels, with a Machined Finish and red front & rear brake calipers. Nothing says sporty like red calipers!

A: 2016 Kia Optima Wheel SX and SXL

If you are looking to purchase the Optima SX you have a choice on wheels. The wheels above in A OR 18″ Alloy Wheels “Launch Edition” like below in B.

B: 2016 Kia Optima Wheels Launch Edition

If you are sold on the SXL you have a wheel option as well. If you are a Chrome type of person, then the 18″ 10-Spoke Chrome Alloy Wheels are for you. Again, you have a choice of A or C.

C: 2016 Kia Optima SXL Chrome Wheels

And now for an intermission. It is that time when you may have had enough of my style of writing and you are ready to browse optima inventory! Click the button and start your search or keep reading to learn about the sunroof, rear-view mirrors & taillights.

optima button2

2016 Kia Optima Sunroof

If you like to feel like you are in a convertible without the wind in your hair, then you are a sunroof feature fan.  The 2016 Kia Optima have a Panoramic Sunroof with Power Sunshade available as an option in the EX and SE trim levels. The sunroof is standard in the SXL. Even if you don’t like convertibles or sunroofs, you will love the feeling of driving with a panoramic sunroof! It feels like a spaceship! Technically, the 2016 Kia Optima has a panoramic moonroof because the panels slide between the vehicle roof and headliner.

2016 Kia Optima Panoramic Sunroof

On road trips, the panoramic moonroof makes the trip that much more enjoyable. Now everyone can feel the sun shining through the trees from any seat in the car! The panoramic moonroof has two glass panels that cover both the front-seat passengers and the back-seat passengers. Don’t worry about trying to sleep on long road trips, the 2016 Kia Optima Panoramic Moonroof comes with a Power Sunshade. All you need to do is click a button and the power sunshade will block the sun and help your passengers get some rest.

2016 Kia Optima Rear-view Mirrors

One of the coolest features in the 2016 Kia Optima is the folding outside mirrors with the turn signal embedded inside of the mirrors. If you like automatic folding outside mirrors, then you are looking for the Optima LX 1.6T, EX, SX or SXL. A bonus for the trim levels as well is all of the mirrors are heated!  No more scraping the ice off your outside mirrors in the winter, Hooray!  The base Kia Optima LX comes with manual folding outside mirrors.

2016 Kia Optima Outside Mirrors

2016 Kia Optima Tail Lights

The 2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4L taillights do not use LED’s and they are bigger when comparing to the EX or the SX and SXL trim levels.

2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4L TailLights 2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4L

LED Rear Combination Lamps are optional in the LX 1.6T and Standard in the EX. These LED lights are bright and have the ability to get anyone’s attention even if the person behind you is texting.

2016 Kia Optima EX TailLights 2016 Kia Optima EX

Sport Style LED Rear Combination Lamps are only available in the SX and SXL trim levels.

2016 Kia Optima SXL TailLights 2016 Kia Optima SXL

While it is difficult to really see the difference in the Optima SX/SXL and the EX taillights, there are differences. The SX and SXL taillights have more dimensions using darker shades of red around the taillight rim. This style is considered the sporty LED taillight.

2016 Kia Optima EX vs SX/SXL 2016 Kia Optima EX vs SX/SXL

If you are still having a hard time deciding on which Optima trim level you want, then go to the Build Your Own Kia feature on Kia.com

Click the button below and go find yourself an awesome 2016 Kia Optima.

optima button2

Posted in: 2016 Kia Models, Kia Optima
Tagged: , ,

Do you have a question or idea you would like to be featured in a blog post?
Fill out this simple form.

Are you a car enthusiast or novice and want to feature your car story on our blog?
Fill out this form to be featured on our blog.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments