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New Car Review: 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo with Everywoman Driver

2014 Kia Optima

In a mid-size sedan segment long dominated by function over desirability, the 2014 Optima cements the model’s status as a trailblazer of combining style and substance in an affordably priced vehicle.  Refining the Optima’s sculpted, high-end appearance, Kia’s Frankfurt-based design team improved the vehicle’s front and rear fascias and the brand’s signature tabbed grille.

The vehicle’s bold stance and aerodynamic shape are further accentuated by updated rear diffusers and a sweeping trunk lid.  Lighting up the European-inspired design are striking front LED positioning and fog lights, along with clear, newly designed LED rear lamps.

The improvements continue within the cabin of the 2014 Optima, as drivers are greeted with more upscale and high-tech amenities.  Activating the Optima’s push button ignition brings two new displays to life: a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and optional high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen, featuring UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity®2 sound system, HD Radio™®3, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio4 and SiriusXM Traffic™4.  All-new seat designs ensure a comfortable drive in the powerful and spirited sedan, while an optional new Blind Spot Detection (BSD)5 system, which includes rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors, improve convenience and peace of mind.

Every 2014 Optima comes well equipped with a generous roster of standard features.  The LX trim offers dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, exterior mirror turn signal indicators, front fog lights, exterior heated mirrors, chrome accented exterior door handles and new 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with 205/65R16 tires and a six-speed automatic transmission.  The volume-leading EX trim offers larger 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with 215/55R17 tires, leather seats, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and illuminated front cup holders.  Moving to the SX trim, consumers will find stylish new 18-inch polished alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tires, unique front and rear lower bumpers and side sills, aero wiper blades.  The SX Turbo includes HID headlights with auto leveling.  Elevating to the top-of-the-line Limited trim brings Optima to another level of sporty refinement, adding unique 18-inch chrome wheels, new LED fog lights, red brake calipers, an electronic parking brake, chrome accented side sills, and premium Nappa leather seats.

Dynamic and Efficient Powertrains
The 2014 Optima is available with two powerful Theta II powerplants featuring gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology: a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine.  A 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain is also available.  The 2.4-liter GDI engine is available on LX, EX and SX models while the more robust 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine is offered exclusively to the SX.  This turbo-charged unit delivers V6-type power with a four-cylinder’s efficiency.  Each engine choice is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission featuring Sportmatic® clutchless shifting.  New for the 2014 Optima, and exclusive to the sporty SX variant, is Drive Mode Select (DMS), which adjusts transmission shift points and steering weight, offering owners a customizable driving experience.

Below, Melissa, the Everywoman Driver gives a detailed drive and review of the 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo GDi.

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