2009 Kia Optima

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$17,495-$22,145
$16,510-$20,600
21 CITY / 30 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability

Overview

What Changed for 2009:
  • Minor refresh for 2009
  • Exterior changes to lights, grille and several body panels
  • Overall 3 inches longer, but wheelbase remains the same
  • Six-cylinder engine now rated at 194 hp
  • New standard 4-cylinder powerplant rated at 175 hp
  • ABS and ESC are now standard equipment
  • Sirius satellite radio and USB jacks are now standard equipment
  • Sportier SX trim added
Overview
The midsize Kia Optima received a redesign in 2006 that made it a wider car with a longer wheelbase. The 2009 model, first shown at the 2008 New York International Auto Show and which went on sale in the fall of 2008, gets a modest makeover with new body panels, a new 4-cylinder engine, updated 6-cylinder engine, and a new trim level (SX). Exterior changes include a larger front grille and fog lamps, sharper body creases and crisper tail lights. Interior styling upgrades and added stereo features complete the makeover.

Model Lineup
Joining the base 2009 Kia Optima LX and upscale EX trim levels, the new SX model features sport-tuned suspension; front grille and headlamps with black bezels; turn signals on the exterior mirrors; fog lights; and 17-inch tires with alloy wheels. In the cabin, the new instrument cluster gets red illumination. A 4-door, 5-seat car, the Optima LX comes with gray or beige cloth upholstery. The EX gets the same color choices in leather trim, and the SX gets black leather, metal pedals and aluminum trim.

New for 2009, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) are now standard features across the Optima model line. In addition, Kia has added satellite radio and USB jacks to the list of standard equipment. A navigation system is now optional on EX and the new SX trim levels.

Powertrain
The optional 2.7-liter V-6 engine on the 2009 Kia Optima carries over from the 2008 model, but power gets a slight boost to 194 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The base engine, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit, is new. It makes 175 hp, up 13 from the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that it replaces. Each engine features continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and a variable intake system (VIS), which helps improve fuel economy, Kia says. The LX 4-cylinder Optima receives a 5-speed manual transmission, while other models come equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic capability. All 2009 Kia Optima models are front-wheel drive. The 2009 EPA fuel-economy estimates for the Optima are 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the 4-cylinder model with the automatic transmission, and 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the 6-cylinder with the automatic transmission.

Safety
Standard safety features on the 2009 Kia Optima include six air bags (dual front, side and curtain), front active headrests, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. The optional electronic stability control package includes safety technology that reduces fatalities in single-vehicle accidents (according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety); traction control; and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist.

The 2006-2009 Kia Optima (models manufactured after September 2005) has been crash tested by the IIHS. It received a \"Good\" rating (the agency's highest) in frontal offset testing and an \"Acceptable\" rating in side-impact testing. No roof-strength tests have been conducted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not tested the Kia Optima as of this writing.

Technology
A new audio system available in the 2009 Kia Optima is an Infinity AM/FM/MP3 and Sirius satellite radio head unit. In addition to a 6-changer CD, it features a USB port and an auxiliary jack for consumers to plug in their own MP3 or portable-sourced music. An optional navigation system is also a first for the Optima model.

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