Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
William Maley

Quick Drive: 2016 Kia Optima SXL

Recommended Posts

When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.

  • As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan.
  • You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models. 
  • But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well.
  • The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom.
  • Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined.
  • EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week.
  • One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time.
  • The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.
  •  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more.
  • Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price.

Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

Year: 2016
Make: Kia
Model: Optima
Trim: SXL
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
Base Price: $35,790
As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)

Options:
N/A


View full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Better care exist in this price bracket...most of the cars it will be competing against actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can'r put my finger on it, but there is just something about this design, as similar as it is, I just don't prefer to the previous model.  In any case, if I was looking for top end midsize car with FWD and the top engine I would be hard pressed between the 200C V6, Malibu premier, and Accord EX-L V6. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

I'll  take a Malibu Premier, thanks. 

Absolutely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



  • Social Stream

  • Similar Content

    • By Drew Dowdell
      Kia fully unveiled their all-electric concept car at the Geneva International Auto Show today.  
      Kia's design team exploited the flexibility of an electric chassis architecture to maximize cabin space to create a spacious interior.  They drew together elements of a muscular SUV, a sleek sedan, and a spacious crossover into a single vehicle that purposely does not fit into any one classification. 
      The concept pokes a bit of fun at the industry's current obsession with screens by creating gauge cluster made of 21 individual high-resolution screen curved over the dashboard.

      The Imagine by Kia is not destined for production, however, design elements from the vehicle show the direction Kia may take on its future cars and SUVs.

       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Kia fully unveiled their all-electric concept car at the Geneva International Auto Show today.  
      Kia's design team exploited the flexibility of an electric chassis architecture to maximize cabin space to create a spacious interior.  They drew together elements of a muscular SUV, a sleek sedan, and a spacious crossover into a single vehicle that purposely does not fit into any one classification. 
      The concept pokes a bit of fun at the industry's current obsession with screens by creating gauge cluster made of 21 individual high-resolution screen curved over the dashboard.

      The Imagine by Kia is not destined for production, however, design elements from the vehicle show the direction Kia may take on its future cars and SUVs.

       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      KIA MOTORS AMERICA ANNOUNCES FEBRUARY SALES

      Rio, Soul, Optima and Sportage Post Double-Digit Year-Over-Year Increases
      IRVINE, Calif., March 1, 2019 – Kia Motors America today announced February sales of 43,406 vehicles, up 6.7-percent over the same period last year. The month also saw the first retail deliveries of the all-new 2020 Telluride SUV which was designed in California and is assembled in West Point, Georgia1.

      “Kia continued to gain valuable sales momentum in February as consumers took delivery of the first Telluride models to hit showrooms,” said Bill Peffer, vice president, sales operations, Kia Motors America. “With the all-new Soul expected to join Telluride in dealerships over the next few weeks, we have a tremendous one-two new product punch which will continue driving traffic to Kia dealerships through the first quarter.”
      About Kia Motors America
      Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand.  Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly assembled in West Point, Georgia.*
      For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.  To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
       
      * The Sorento and Optima GDI (S, EX, SX and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

      1Arriving Spring, 2019 with limited availability.Telluride is assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
       
       
      MONTH OF FEBRUARY
      YEAR-TO-DATE
      Model
      2019
      2018
      2019
      2018
      Rio
      1,822
      1,539
      3,430
      2,878
      Forte
      6,953
      7,662
      12,908
      14,350
      Optima
      7,212
      6,402
      13,065
      11,600
      Cadenza
      113
      652
      264
      1,412
      Stinger
      1,034
      1,344
      1,973
      2,365
      K900
      36
      32
      62
      54
      Soul
      8,592
      6,631
      15,693
      12,569
      Niro
      2,031
      2,072
      3,737
      3,857
      Sportage
      6,768
      5,867
      12,731
      11,579
      Sorento
      7,386
      7,236
      14,112
      13,359
      Telluride
      315
      N/A
      315
      N/A
      Sedona
      1,144
      1,235
      2,492
      2,277
      Total
      43,406
      40,672
      80,782
      76,300
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Kia plans to electrify the Geneva Auto Show with a new all-electric concept car.  They released a teaser image today ahead of the show on March 5th.
      The concept is said to be a design to make the heart beat faster. While Kia kept in mind consumer concerns for driving range, they also are focusing on performance and an emotional design. 
      In the teaser image, we see a bold front end design with a sculpted hood and LED headlight surround. Tiny antenna on either side are likely rear facing cameras in place of rear view side mirrors.  Strong wheel arches give the vehicle a sporty stance. 
      We'll have more from Kia when the car debuts on March 5th.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Kia plans to electrify the Geneva Auto Show with a new all-electric concept car.  They released a teaser image today ahead of the show on March 5th.
      The concept is said to be a design to make the heart beat faster. While Kia kept in mind consumer concerns for driving range, they also are focusing on performance and an emotional design. 
      In the teaser image, we see a bold front end design with a sculpted hood and LED headlight surround. Tiny antenna on either side are likely rear facing cameras in place of rear view side mirrors.  Strong wheel arches give the vehicle a sporty stance. 
      We'll have more from Kia when the car debuts on March 5th.
  • My Clubs

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Reader Rides

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...