The Curve Flattens: The 2016 Kia Optima SX Limited

2016 Kia Optima SX Limited front 3/4 view
The 2016 Kia Optima SX Limited.
Here's the trouble with rapid advancement: When you start to level off a bit (as you absolutely will), people will think you're losing it.  Take the 2016 Kia Optima.  Redesigned this year, some say they can't tell the difference between it and the last generation.  Others say they can and that the car has lost its edge.

Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Kia Optima SX Limited
2016 Kia Optima SX Limited.
All I can say is those people should have their eyesight and other senses checked.  The new Optima is a refinement of what made the last Optima a winner for five model years.

Three years ago in a review of the 2013 Optima SX Limited, we wondered if the world was ready for a $35,000 Kia sedan. This time around, Kia has refined the car and made optional packages standard, creating a one-price SX Limited at $35,790 ($36,815 with $825 inland freight and handling).  The styling is sleeker and crisper, the power strong from its 2-liter turbo four, the fuel economy good at 22 city/32 highway.  The biggest improvement is in ride and structural rigidity.  The new Optima simply feels more substantial.

Interior view of 2016 Kia Optima SX
2016 Kia Optima SX Limited interior.
And there's been a huge improvement in the design, layout, materials and quality feeling in the Optima's cabin.  It was by no means inferior to begin with, but this fixes what we couldn't have told you needed fixing.  Kia may no longer be on a rocket ride of rapid innovation, but if this is what we can expect in terms of continual refinement, the Optima is likely to be one of our favorites for a long time to come.