Car Reviews and Facts


2021 Kia Optima – Release Date, Interior, Exterior & Price

4 min read
2021 KIA Optima

2021 KIA Optima


Introducing one of the best four door sedans on the market: the 2021 Kia Optima.
The Kia Optima is a four door sedan model that has been in production since the 2000 model year. The Kia Optima currently sits in its fourth generation where it has been since the 2015 model year. This model has established itself as one of the safest models on the road in the United States. In fact, the 2017 Kia Optima was selected as a Top Safety Pick for that year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of IIHS. Each model year in the fourth generation, including the most recent 2020 model year, has had near perfect safety scores by the most reputable sources such as the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Kia Optima is also highly recognizable as its the official vehicle of the NBA with its tiger nose grille.

What can we expect from the new Optima?

As previously mentioned, the current generation Optima began with the 2015 model year, meaning the model hasn’t been redesigned since then. With that being said, it’s reasonable to suspect that the 2021 Optima will come with an all new design. Since 2015, the Kia Optima has become the indirect twin of the Hyundai Sonata, even being built on the same exterior platform. So, there’s plenty of speculation that the upcoming Kia Optima models will share the same powertrain as the current Hyundai Sonata models. If that was the case,the upcoming Kia Optima models would feature a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine and a 1.6-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine. Again, this is purely speculation since Kia has yet to formally confirm any information about the 2021 Optima.

What users tell us about the Kia Optima

The Kia Optima is known to be one of the safest models of its class and sports one of the nicest, most spacious interiors of any model. The tremendous length of the exterior allows for ample cargo space and legroom for up to five passengers of nearly any size. Plus,the nearly perfect safety scores and long list of available safety technology on this model make it great for any drivers young and old. However, there are many other midsize sedans that are more agile and handle better than the Kia Optima. Also, the base engine on the current Optima model isn’t as fuel efficient as many of the big name models of the same class. Overall, the Kia Optima is one of the best models of its class, but there are better options in the United States market. There’s plenty of room for improvement with the upcoming 2021 Kia Optima.

Kia Optima Highlights

Fuel Economy:

With its base engine, the current Kia Optima model averages about 24 city and 32 highway miles per gallon. These figures are decent, but other midsize sedan models are more fuel efficient. The most popular engine option, which is an available 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine averages 27 city and 37 highway miles per gallon, which is more on pace with the Kia Optima’s biggest competitors.


The interior of the current Kia Optima is arguably the models biggest strong-suit, especially considering the model’s competition. The interior design is upscale and luxurious, despite not being redesigned in several years. Additionally, the Optima’s interior space for its passengers is nearly unrivaled within its class. Spy shots already appeared and we like the new look.


As previously mentioned, the fourth generation Optima is built on the same exterior platform as the corresponding model year(s) Hyundai Sonata. So, as you might expect, these models have extremely similar exteriors. With a new exterior design likely on the way for the Kia Optima, we can expect the new design to match the 2021 Hyudai Sonata models.


One of the biggest criticisms of the Kia Optima is its lack of agility and steering wheel response. However, that doesn’t mean that the Optima is weak or slow. The standard engine on the current Optima model is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes up to 185 horsepower, which is more than enough power for most driving situations. Additionally, there’s two turbocharged four -cylinder engines that make up to 178 and 245 horsepower, respectively.


Despite being well-built long-lasting models, the current Kia Optima received an extremely low predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five by J.D. Power and Associates.

2021 Kia Optima Price and Expected Release Date

The 2020 Kia Optima has a starting MSRP of $23,190. With an all new design likely on the horizon, this figure could change significantly in the coming years. The 2020 Kia Optima was formally released to the public in the United States in the early fall of 2019. So, it’s reasonable to suspect that the 2021 model will come around the fall of 2020.
What changes would you like to see to the Kia Optima in 2021?

Images for impression from the KIA press website.

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