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$3,213 - $4,270 $17,495 - $22,145

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 9.1
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Kia Optima Review

Used car shoppers who want a midsize sedan with respectable performance will like the 2009 Kia Optima, but test drivers agreed that it lacks the personality and upscale interior of many of its rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Large cabin and trunk
  • Strong safety ratings
  • Weak engines and unrefined manual transmission
  • Unsophisticated interior materials

New for 2009

  • Updated interior and exterior styling
  • Updated powertrain: more power and better fuel economy than 2008 model
  • Navigation added as an option

2009 Kia Optima Overview

The 2009 Kia Optima has good interior and cargo space, as well as class-competitive fuel economy ratings of up to 22/32 mpg city/highway, but reviewers agreed that the Optima didn’t really stand out from other 2009 midsize cars. When it was new, auto critics said there were many other midsize cars that offered more refinement and driving excitement than the 2009 Kia Optima. If practicality is your priority, the 2009 Optima is a good no-frills used car to get you from point A to point B. If you prefer a used car that is more fun to drive, you should consider some of the Optima’s rivals, like the 2009 Ford Fusion and 2009 Mazda6. Two engines are available, and despite a bump in power for 2009, test drivers said the Optima’s base four-cylinder engine was slightly underpowered, which is common among 2009 affordable midsize cars. Unfortunately, they were also disappointed with the available V6’s lack of power. The Optima has great safety ratings.

The front-wheel drive 2009 Kia Optima is available with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control are all standard on the 2009 Optima, as well as a USB port and an auxiliary jack. Options when it was new included navigation, satellite radio and Bluetooth.

See the full 2009 Kia Optima specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Hyundai Sonata is a good used midsize car to check out if you’re considering a used Optima because it shares many of the same components. The Sonata was refreshed for 2009, and reviewers were impressed with its upscale interior.

If you’re shopping for a sporty used car, consider the 2009 Mazda6. Test drivers said it was one of the most fun-to-drive midsize cars when it was new, thanks to its nimble handling and strong available V6 engine. Its bold styling helps the Mazda6 stand out from the pack, and its plentiful passenger and cargo space will appeal to families.

Compare the Optima to the Sonata and Mazda6 »

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