2019 Kia Optima gets minor refresh and technology update

Article by Christian A., on April 3, 2018

It has been months since Kia began making noise about its new sporty Stinger, as well as the redesigned K900 flagship sedan that is among Kia’s biggest reveals at the 2018 New York Auto Show. But of course, the 2019 Kia Optima will not allow itself to be overshadowed. This is why the long standing compact sedan received a minor update that primarily adds new equipment and tech to the familiar design.

At first glance, it is not easy to spot the changes on the Optima, but if there is one thing that will truly catch your attention, it will be the new Passion Red exterior paint option that help identify the 2019 Optima. The car wears Stinger inspired LED daytime running lights. On one hand, the S models will be getting new fog lamps in a tweaked front fascia, together with LED tail lights, and a couple of gloss black trim for the grille and the side sills.

The EX trim level, on the other hand, gets new leather sport seats and a new ambient interior lighting option. Moving up the higher trims, the SX will be dressed in two-tone red/black leather “European style” sport seats, and the SXL model will be a little more upscale with a new two tone bronze/black interior with Nappa leather.

As we look into the technological bits of the Kia Optima, it now comes standard with safety systems that are quickly becoming standard equipment throughout the auto industry. The equipment includes a forward collision alert system that monitors all that’s happening in front of the Optima. If necessary, the Optima will engage automatic emergency braking to prevent a collision. Lane keep assist is another feature that is included, as well as alerts that will wake up inattentive or sleepy drivers, which will let them either pay attention to the road, or pull over for a break from driving.

Moreover, Kia’s infotainment system and UVO telemetrics have been updated as well, which the manufacturer now calls a new tiered system. For the LX trim, the basic system comes standard, featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, with USB connections for your gadgets as well as voice control capability.

Moving on to the S and EX models, things become more convenient for the driver and passengers as the systems are connected and it features on-demand diagnostics, alarms, and various vehicle control that can be remotely accessed with only a smartphone. The two top trims, SX and SXL, will be getting extra features like navigation too.

The 2019 Kia Optima will hit dealerships by the end of the year, which means that model pricing will be released later on in the year too.

Press Release


The refreshed 2019 Kia Optima debuted at the New York International Auto Show today. Kia’s best-selling midsize sedan was unveiled with new design cues inside and out, expanded ADAS technology, a new UVO infotainment strategy and available European-inspired red and black two-tone sport leather-trimmed seats. Additional available enhancements to the Optima line include new alloy wheel choices, ambient LED interior lighting, and a new Passion Red exterior color.

“The Optima continues to be one of our best-sellers for good reason; its stand-out design sets it apart from other cars in the midsize segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America (KMA). “The 2019 refresh sharpens the overall design inside and out and we are making a number of ADAS technologies standard across the entire Optima line, which underlies the tremendous value Optima offers. A new approach to our award-winning telematics system, UVO, will make it easier for buyers to understand its features and UVO link includes an embedded modem. The new two-tone sport seats are for those looking to differentiate their Optima with unique European-inspired design cues.”

Proudly assembled* in the U.S. at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point, Georgia, the 2019 Optima will go on sale later this year and will be offered in four trim variants: LX, S, EX, and SX. Pricing will be announced closer to the 2019 Optima’s on-sale date.

Design Enhancements

The 2019 Optima receives a number of redesigned interior and exterior elements. The LX comes standard with Stinger-inspired LED daytime running lights, a new 16-inch alloy wheel design and matte gray-finish grill.

A long list of enhancements to the affordable S model emphasize sportiness and technology, including: new projection beam fog lamps, LED taillights, dual exhaust, sport side sills with gloss black trim, a gloss-black grill and 18-inch alloy wheels. Standard push-button start, smart key, smart trunk and power front windows with auto up/down functionality add convenience.

The EX boasts the turbocharged 178-horsepower engine with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with an adaptive Smart Shift drive mode. It also adds new leather seating surfaces with front seat heaters. A new 17-inch alloy wheel design and Smart Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go1 are standard. Similar to the S, the EX is equipped with standard fog lamps, LED taillights and dual exhaust. Available options include new ambient multicolor interior lighting, and a heated steering wheel.

Redesigned 18-inch wheels are standard on the SX and the SX Limited (SXL) package is available with Michelin 235/45R-18 tires. New LED fog lights, ambient interior lighting, sport steering wheel and Smart Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go functionality are standard on both SX and SXL variants. The SX features available European-styled red and black two-tone sport leather-trimmed seats, panoramic roof, a Harman Kardon®[iii] premium audio system with UVO link with Navigation, heated steering wheel, gloss black door pillars and side moldings, and a sport bumper with LED fog lamps. The SXL is available with a striking new two-tone bronze and black interior with Nappa leather seating surfaces.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Offered as standard equipment across the Optima lineup are a number of ADAS1 features, a suite of technologies designed to work in concert to potentially lessen the severity of a collision or avoid it entirely. Under certain driving conditions, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)1 can automatically apply the brakes to reduce speed, which may minimize the effects of a frontal collision. The Forward Collision Warning System (FCW)1 is designed to detect a potential collision with a vehicle it senses in front of the Optima and provides an audible warning and visual displays to alert the driver. Driver Attention Warning (DAW)[iv] monitors the driver and will provide visual and audible alerts if it senses the attention level has been significantly reduced. Lane Keep Assist (LKA)1 may apply corrective steering if it senses the vehicle drifting outside the intended lane, while the Lane Departure Warning (LDW)1 monitors the position of the Optima within its lane and warns the driver if it detects that the vehicle is deviating or about to deviate from the intended lane.

UVO Telematics and Infotainment

Since its introduction in 2013, Kia’s UVO telematics and infotainment system has made it easier than ever for owners to interact with their Kia vehicles and also stay connected. With ever-increasing functionality and in-vehicle entertainment options, KMA is restructuring UVO into an easy-to-understand tiered system and the 2019 Optima is the first Kia to launch with this approach.

UVO play is standard on the LX. Featuring Apple CarPlay®[v] and Android Auto™[vi] capability, UVO play tethers the user’s compatible smartphone to the Optima’s audio system through a USB cable[vii]. Via voice recognition[viii], drivers may use their compatible Apple[ix] or Android[x] smartphones for navigation, to make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music all in a way that allows the driver to stay more focused on driving.

UVO link[xi], available as standard equipment on S, and EX models, offers an extended suite of connected-car security and convenience features. UVO link includes Apple CarPlay5 and Android Auto6 support and adds features such as on-demand diagnostics[xii], maintenance alerts, vehicle alarm notifications, geo fencing and speed alerts. Similar to the K900 luxury sedan, convenience features such as remote start with HVAC control[xiii], remote lock/unlocking, and remote activation of the horn and lights are all included in UVO link.

The top-tier UVO link with Navigation is offered optionally on the EX with Premium Package and standard on the SX and SXL. Standard with all the features in UVO play and UVO link, UVO link with Navigation adds MY POIs and Map Care, which allows for two free map updates per year[xiv].

Source: Kia

If you liked the article, share on:



You will probably be surprised that there is a Volkswagen pickup truck on US soil. Yes, it’s true. It’s called the VW Atlas Tanoak Concept. But before you get too...
by - April 6, 2018
Earlier this year, we saw the Acura RDX Prototype in Detroit. And as it was very impressive, we hoped that the production version would be similar. That’s why it delighted...
by - April 4, 2018
During the 2018 New York International Auto Show, Alfa Romeo brought in the special edition models of the Giulia and the Stelvio. The Nero Edizione packages will now give the...
by - April 3, 2018
At the 2018 New York Auto Show, Kia did not just reveal the luxurious K900 and the updated Optima. Alongside these two models, the South Korean automaker also decided to...
by - April 3, 2018
It has been quite a long wait for the 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback. For a time, all we’ve had to look at was its placeholder, the RS5 Coupe, which is...
by - April 3, 2018