With its crisp styling, the Kia Optima pretty much redefines the term family car. Looking more like something from one of the European styling salons than something somebody would settle for once they realized they’d be hauling baby seats, the Optima has style in spades. Order one with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine like our test car and you’ll also get pretty admirable performance. The engine is good for 274 horsepower and 269 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission routes its output to the Kia Optima’s front wheels. Happily, there’s even more to this car than good looks and adequate power; the Optima also boasts a pretty strong feature set. Available equipment includes heated and ventilated seats, heated rear seats, voice control for many of the secondary functions, Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, as well as keyless entry and start. There is also a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and of course, leather upholstery. Given the Optima’s role as a family car, its safety kit is pretty tight too. You’ll find rear parking sensors, cross traffic alert, a rear view video monitoring system, and blind spot monitoring. The IIHS says the Optima earned its highest rating (“good”) in all of its crash tests save one—the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test. The Optima scored the Institute’s second highest rating (“acceptable”) in that one.  NHTSA awarded the Optima five stars overall.

 

 



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