$18,092 - $23,249

2018 Kia Optima Interior Review


Interior: 8.6

The 2018 Kia Optima has a spacious, well-built cabin and one of the largest trunks in the class. The infotainment interface is easy to use and learn, and Kia now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on every Optima. A nice array of advanced safety technology also comes standard.

  • "There is plenty of plastic used inside the Optima, but it's sturdy and attractively grained. Creaks and squeaks are nonexistent, and the car feels as solid as any other sedan in the class." -- Edmunds
  • "It's a clean design, and one that maintains the driver-oriented tilt of the previous car. All of the interior materials felt very high quality, with soft-touch surfaces on the door tops, dash and pretty much everywhere else you'd want them." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • Kia went to great lengths to include honest-to-goodness double stitching on the Optima's dashboard, but that detail is largely lost in an expansive sea of black plastic. Materials are at least soft touch throughout the Optima's cabin." -- Left Lane News (2016)


Cloth upholstery and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat come standard in the 2018 Optima. Available seating upgrades include leather upholstery, sport seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

The cabin of the Optima is roomy enough to accommodate five adults, and seats in both rows are comfortable. For child safety seats, the back seat has two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors. The lower anchors are a bit hidden in the seat cushions, but otherwise, all LATCH hardware is clearly marked and user-friendly.

  • "The front seats have plenty of space for larger passengers, and the range of adjustments will cover short and tall occupants. The rear seats benefit from an abundance of legroom, but headroom is merely adequate for the average adult." -- Edmunds
  • "The seats were plenty comfortable, and the back seat is downright huge, offering ample legroom even for tall passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "Inside the Optima, the small exterior tweaks increased the available space for passengers, resulting in the biggest interior volume in the class. The feeling of space is enhanced by the available panoramic sunroof (optional on EX and SX; standard on SXL). Front legroom for both the driver and passenger is exceptional, and a reasonable compromise can be made between front and rear occupants to allow for comfortable seating for five adults." -- Autotrader (2016)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2018 Optima include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, six speakers, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. Kia also offers dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a panoramic sunroof with a power shade, push-button start, a proximity key, power-folding mirrors, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound audio system. Available active safety features include autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a surround-view camera.

Whether you are using the UVO interface or connecting a smartphone to the system, the Optima's infotainment system is straightforward and easy to use. Drivers who prefer traditional knobs and buttons over touch-screen menus will find a nice array of clearly labeled controls in the center stack.

See 2018 Kia Optima specs »

  • "The Uvo system is a cinch to use, with a logical menu structure and physical volume and tuning knobs. The standard six-speaker audio system won't win any awards, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon system is a worthwhile addition on upper trims." -- Edmunds
  • "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, which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities, is similarly intuitive, though the screen itself is a bit of a reach from the driver's seat." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • "Most of the buttons and switches reside below a horizontal trim line, with the instrument panel and touchscreen display … living above the line. The effect is to reduce visual distraction for the driver while keeping key information within the line of sight. An electric parking brake frees up center-console space, and paddle shifters behind the wheel give direct access to the transmission." -- Autotrader (2016)


The Optima has a 15.9-cubic-foot trunk (one of the largest in the class) and lots of storage nooks within the cabin. A split-folding rear seat creates a wide pass-through to expand cargo space even further. The trunk lid opens automatically when you are standing behind the sedan for a few seconds with the available proximity key in your pocket.

  • "The Optima's carrying capacity is about as good as it gets in this class. The trunk is expansive, with a low load height, tall roof and wide opening. It also opens automatically after a few seconds if you have the key in your pocket. There's ample interior storage as well." -- Edmunds

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