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2016 Kia Optima Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Kia Optima was new.


Interior: 8.6

While some automotive journalists are impressed with the redesigned 2016 Kia Optima's interior styling, calling it one of the nicest in the class, others say the quality of materials is not particularly impressive. Reviewers say the 2016 Optima has roomy seats for all occupants. Auto writers praise the Optima's user-friendly dashboard controls and infotainment system.

  • "The LX's dashboard layout is just as attractive and easy to use as the SXL's, and it makes us think the 2016 Kia Optima might have the best interior in its class." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Unlike the exterior of the car, Kia decided to significantly alter the interior design of the 2016 Optima. Although the re-do isn't bad, it's kind of a letdown in our eyes." -- Left Lane News
  • "The interior looks good, with a large touch screen and traditional dials and buttons for the functions that demand them: volume, tuning, temperature and fan speed." -- The Detroit Free Press
  • The LX 1.6T trim still seemed like a quiet car. And the cloth seats felt supportive and high quality, but I wasn't as sold on how the cloth looked. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't put it at the top of the segment. The overall look of the interior -- the stitching and horizontal segmentation of the dashboard -- remains and, while it's not as opulent as the SXL version, still looks presentable." -- Cars.com


The 2016 Optima seats five and has standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, a cooled driver seat, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and power-adjustable front seats are available. Test drivers appreciate the redesigned Optima's bigger dimensions, noting that the cabin feels roomy for front- and back-seat occupants and that the front seats offer long-haul comfort.

  • "The 2016 Optima's roomier interior means its got more space than benchmark models like Honda's Accord and Toyota's Camry." -- Forbes
  • "The front buckets of our SXL tester provided all-day comfort, thanks in part to excellent thigh support. We didn't spent (sic) much time in the rear bench, but it seemed roomy enough for those six-foot or slightly taller." -- Left Lane News
  • "The backseat room is competitive with the class. With the driver's seat set where I'd want it, I had plenty of backseat room for my legs. My knees were raised slightly, but I don't think it'd be intolerable for a long-ish drive. It's certainly no worse than other midsize cars I've been in lately. Headroom is also good, even with the panoramic moonroof on the SXL model I drove." -- Cars.com
  • "Ah, but it has changed, and changed for the better in so many ways. It has gained a skosh in every important dimension -- length, height and width. The amalgamation of a half-inch here and there and that 1.2-inch extra width makes the cabin more comfortable for life-size humans." -- Jean Knows Cars

Interior Features

Standard features in the redesigned 2016 Kia Optima include satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth and a cooling glove box. The Optima can be equipped with a panoramic sunroof, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a surround view monitor and Kia’s UVO infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Automotive journalists report that the Optima's dashboard controls and infotainment system are smartly arranged, easy to see and simple to use. Some say the touch screen is a bit far from the driver’s seat.

See 2016 Kia Optima specs »

  • "Inside, the dashboard area is beautifully laid out more thoughtfully than before. It is designed to be more horizontal, and that glorious 8-inch touchscreen has matte glass so it doesn't have that reflectiveness that is so annoying in other cars." -- Jean Knows Cars
  • "Above all, the refreshingly simple array of buttons and knobs is logical to use and requires no learning curve to operate. Kia's Uvo touchscreen interface … is similarly intuitive, though the screen itself is a bit of a reach from the driver's seat." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Kia said the center controls are canted toward the driver, but not so far that I couldn't easily adjust the climate controls or read the navigation from the passenger seat. In fact, if Kia hadn't told me the controls were angled toward the driver, I doubt I would have noticed." -- Cars.com


The 2016 Kia Optima has 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is above average for the class. Test drivers are pleased with the Optima's trunk room.

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