With automakers racing to get 2019 model year vehicles out into the public eye, some vehicles may get a little fine-tuning whereas others a complete overhaul. When it comes to the Kia Optima, there isn’t a whole lot to change in the first place, so some fine tuning and a little bit of upgrading is all Kia Motors had to do when bringing the Kia Optima into the 2019 model year. The changes may be a little subtle, but we like to call them “polished.”
The three engines from the 2018 lineup are still available in the 2019 model year, and they include the 185-horsepower 2.4-liter DOHC I-4 engine; 178-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter DOHC I-4 engine; and the 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC I4 engine. The engines on the 2018 model were all optimized with dual continuously variable valve timing, the process of altering the frequency of an engine’s cylinder valve lift events prior to and after the engine’s combustion cycle, feature a double overhead camshaft (DOHC), another engine technology that optimizes engine performance, and gasoline direct injection, the preferred method of fuel delivery for engines today. Although all of these systems were in place as the standard in the 2018 Kia Optima lineup, they have yet to be confirmed for 2019. But it’s a good bet Kia won’t mess with the formula.
The major change for the 2019 model year is the removal of a trim that was available in 2018. The original 2018 model year lineup consisted of the LX, S, LX 1.6T, EX, and SX trims. The turbocharged 1.6-liter DOHC I-4 engine was exclusive to the LX 1.6T, but for 2019, that trim is no longer available and the turbo 1.6-liter engine is now exclusive to the Optima EX trim, previously powered by the 2.4-liter engine.
The 2019 Kia Optima is another model affected by the design of the 2018 Kia Stinger. Although not designed with a swept back roof, the vehicle’s new front fascia and LED running lights may cause one to look at the Optima a little differently in 2019. For each trim, there are also some high-end exterior additions. Starting with the second trim in the lineup, the Optima S comes standard with projection-beam fog lamps, LED taillights, a dual exhaust, black-trimmed side-sill extensions, a gloss black grille, and 18-inch wheels. Buyers can step up to the Optima EX for LED fog lamps, or the Optima SX for a panoramic sunroof and more profound front fascia. Also, a new color option has been added – Passion Red.
Inside, the 2019 Kia Optima also has a few changes for each trim in the lineup. Major changes begin with the 2019 Optima S, now standard with proximity key push-button start. The Optima EX gets a small additional option, a heated steering wheel, and the Optima SX can come with two-tone leather seating and upholstery in red and black or opt-in for bronze-and-black Nappa leather upholstery with the Limited package add-on.
Tech and Safety
There is a little shuffling when it comes to technology in the 2019 Kia Optima. UVO eServices with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto have always been standard, so where does one go up from there? Well, for one thing, the UVO infotainment system is being restructured for a more intuitive, user-friendly interface. Secondly, the UVO infotainment system is split into two subsystems – a multimedia system, UVO Play, and the more info-oriented UVO Link. UVO Play makes use of Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, while UVO Link offers an extended suite of connected-car security and convenience features like on-demand diagnostics, maintenance alerts, vehicle alarm notifications, geofencing and speed alerts, as well as convenience features such as remote start with climate control, remote locking and unlocking, and remote activation of the horn and lights. Navigation and an upgraded Harman Kardon ten-speaker sound system are still optional add-ons for the EX and SX trims only.
Safety options have also changed, with automated emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning all standard on every 2019 Kia Optima trim. The driver attention warning system that sprung up first in the Kia Stinger will also be added to the lineup standard. The 2019 Optima EX will come standard with adaptive cruise control, and the rest of the safety features standard for the 2018 Kia Optima lineup are expected to be included – a rear-camera display, rear parking assist system, blind spot detection, and rear-cross traffic alert.
Like we said, this is more like a polished version of the Kia Optima. Stay tuned to find out when the 2019 Kia Optima will be available by following Miami Lakes Kia on social media.