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2014 Kia Optima Review

The 2014 Kia Optima has one of the strongest base engines in the class and handles slightly better than most midsize sedans. However, tall riders will find limited back-seat headroom.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines
  • Limited back-seat headroom

New for 2014

  • Updated exterior and interior styling
  • Updated UVO infotainment system
  • Blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors became available




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Kia Optima Overview

Is the 2014 Kia Optima a Good Used Car?

The 2014 Kia Optima is better than your average midsize car, with decent handling, a nice interior, and a stronger base engine than most cars in this class. However, standout competitors surpass it with more-engaging driving dynamics, better fuel economy, and larger, more upscale interiors.

The Kia Optima's base 192-horsepower four-cylinder engine is one of the more powerful standard engines in the class, producing swift acceleration in most situations. An available turbocharged, 274-horsepower four-cylinder generates strong V6-like acceleration. With the base engine, the Optima gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which is typical for the class. Though the Optima has a smooth ride and good driving dynamics, sporty-handling sedans like the Ford Fusion and Mazda6 are more fun to drive.

Read more about Optima performance »

Many midsize cars have bland interiors and low-rent materials, but not the Kia Optima, which has attractive cabin styling and quality materials. A few midsize sedans, however, like the Hyundai Sonata, feel truly upscale inside. The Optima seats five. The front seats are comfortable and have plenty of space, even for tall folks. In the back, there's good legroom but not much headroom. The Kia Optima's 15.4-cubic-foot trunk is comparable to other midsize sedans.

The Kia Optima comes with satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a cooled glove box. It's available with a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, an Infinity audio system, navigation, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Kia’s user-friendly UVO infotainment system.

Read more about Optima interior »

Used 2014 Kia Optima Prices

The average price of a used 2014 Kia Optima ranges from about $12,900 for a base model LX trim to around $22,400 for the SXL Turbo. Prices vary based on demand and depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Kia Optima?

The Kia Optima gets a reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. That’s a better-than-average score compared to all 2014 vehicles but slightly less than average for the midsize class.

How Safe Is the Optima?

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Kia Optima got the top rating of Good in all but the small overlap front crash test, where it received the second-highest score: Acceptable. IIHS also named it a 2014 Top Safety Pick. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the Optima received a perfect overall score of five stars, as well as five stars in the frontal, side, and rollover crash tests. The Chevrolet Malibu and Subaru Legacy also received top safety scores.

A few advanced safety features are available in the Optima: a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Optima safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Optima?

The 2014 Kia Optima is within the car's third generation, which includes the 2011 through 2015 model years. You can save money by purchasing an older model, but you won't get the interior and exterior style changes that Kia made for the 2014 model year. Models prior to 2014 are also lacking many of the available advanced safety features, like blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. The 2015 model doesn’t add any notable features, but you’ll pay more.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Optima »

Which Used Kia Optima Is Right for Me?

The Kia Optima has five trims: LX, EX, SX, SX Turbo, and SXL Turbo. The Optima LX comes with satellite radio and Bluetooth. A powerful four-cylinder engine that will satisfy most drivers is standard. The EX adds push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and leather upholstery. Optima SX trims add a sport-tuned suspension for better handling. However, for more fun behind the wheel look to the SX Turbo or SXL Turbo. Both come with a potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The SXL Turbo trim also adds distinctive interior and exterior styling elements, a panoramic sunroof, a premium Infinity stereo, navigation, and a number of standard active safety features, including a rearview camera. The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid is reviewed separately.

Kia certified pre-owned cars are also worth checking out. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

We Did the Research for You: 44 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We've analyzed 44 pieces of data on the 2014 Kia Optima, including crash test data, total cost of ownership, and reliability ratings. We've done the work for you to simplify your used-car buying experience.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team of writers, researchers, and analysts has a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry, and we've been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade. We provide you with an impartial analysis of the vehicle, and we never accept expensive gifts or trips paid for by automakers.

2014 Kia Optima and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Optima or 2014 Hyundai Sonata?

The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima have a lot in common: They both have strong base engines, good-looking interiors, little back-seat headroom, and similar standard and available features. The Sonata, however, holds the upper hand. It has an extra cubic foot of trunk space, a higher reliability rating, and its total cost of ownership is lower than the Optima's.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Optima or 2014 Honda Accord?

The Honda Accord's base four-cylinder engine generates a good amount of power – it's just 7 horsepower shy of the Optima, but it gets better fuel economy. The two cars also have similar driving dynamics. Look inside, however, and the Accord has the advantage. Its seats are spacious; those in the back are some of the roomiest and most comfortable in the class. Additionally, the Accord comes standard with a rearview camera.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Optima or 2014 Mazda6?

The Mazda6’s base engine is plenty strong, and it earns better fuel economy than the Kia. Most notable, perhaps, is the Mazda's outstanding handling. With sharp steering and composed cornering, it's a blast to drive on curvy roads. The Mazda6 is also better than the Optima inside, offering roomy seats in both rows and top-notch styling and materials. Base models with an automatic transmission come standard with push-button start, a rearview camera, and a touch-screen display. The Mazda6 also won our 2014 Best Midsize Car for Families award.

Compare the Optima, Sonata, and Accord »

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