A sleek, well-equipped, midsize sedan.

2020 Kia Optima Review | CarMax

If you're looking to purchase a midsize sedan, you have plenty of good options. Do you want a practical city car, or would you prefer a sleek, well-equipped cruiser with a dash of performance flair to liven up the commute? With the 2020 Kia Optima, you'll get a midsize sedan that wears many hats. Underneath that stylish exterior is a vehicle that provides plenty of tech features and comfort as standard, along with an available sporty edge. Comfort or style? With the 2020 Kia Optima, you can have both.

While we currently do not have many 2020 Kia Optimas on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. Here's what you'll learn in this 2020 Kia Optima review:

Key Specs & Features


  • The 2020 Kia Optima with the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg combined: 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway.1

Cargo Space:

  • 15.9 cubic feet of cargo volume in standard configuration

Seating Capacity:

2020 Kia Optima Review: Front Seats | CarMax
  • Seats up to five people
  • 104.8 cubic feet of passenger volume

Engine Options:

  • 2.4L four-cylinder engine — 185 horsepower, 178 lb-ft of torque
  • 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine — 178 horsepower, 195 lb-ft of torque (EX models only)
  • 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine — 245 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque

Tech Features:

  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Eight-inch touchscreen


The Kia Optima has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists.

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Good Selection of Engines

2020 Kia Optima Review: Engine | CarMax

Three is a magic number, and it's also the number of engine options Kia offers on the 2020 Optima. Each one fulfills a purpose relative to what you might want from a midsize sedan. The base 2.4L four-cylinder engine is a good all-rounder for everyday driving, while the two turbocharged powerplants offer something a little different. Want maximum efficiency? Go for the 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which can produce an EPA-estimated 31 mpg combined and 37 mpg highway.2 Want to lean a little more toward performance? There's the SX trim's 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces nearly 250 horsepower, while still managing an EPA-estimated 30 mpg on the highway—ideal for long-distance cruising.1 Whatever you require from a midsize sedan, one of the Optima's three powerplants can provide what you're looking for.

2. Lots of Equipment as Standard

The 2020 Kia Optima has four distinct trim levels, with plenty of tech as standard. Features available on the base 2020 Kia Optima include automatic headlights and high-beam control, an eight-inch touchscreen and infotainment system—with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. There's also a suite of driver convenience features, including lane-keeping assistance, rear parking sensors, and forward-collision warning. This helps make the 2020 Kia Optima an appealing choice at every trim level.

3. Plenty of Driver Convenience Features

2020 Kia Optima Review: Dash | CarMax

The 2020 Kia Optima boasts a great selection of driver convenience tech right at your fingertips, from the base LX model on up. On S models, you'll also get fog lights, keyless entry and ignition, and a hands-free unlocking trunk. On the EX, you'll get adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and the optional Premium package, which includes a navigation system and a heated steering wheel. And on the SX, you'll enjoy LED headlights and fog lights with automatic high-beam control, and an enhanced driver information display. Whether for business or pleasure, the 2020 Kia Optima makes every journey as effortless as possible.

4. Practical Interior

2020 Kia Optima Review: Back Seats | CarMax

Not only does the 2020 Kia Optima have plenty of space for passengers, but there are also plenty of storage options for small items and additional cargo. The standard body can seat up to five people, with a total of 104.8 cubic feet of passenger volume. And, with 15.9 cubic feet of cargo volume in the trunk, you'll have more than enough room for a week's supply of groceries. Not only that, but the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split-folding configuration for extra luggage space, and a hands-free unlocking trunk is available on S, EX, and SX trims. Other touches—such as two cupholders for rear-seat passengers, as well as front- and rear-door bottle holders and overhead sunglass holders—make the 2020 Kia Optima a pleasant and convenient place to relax and stow your stuff.

2020 Kia Optima Review: Cargo | CarMax

5. Choice of Eight Exterior Colors

Right out of the gate, the 2020 Kia Optima is a very stylish car. It's a midsize sedan with swooping lines and a strong presence, which make it stand out from the crowd. To enhance that style, you have a selection of eight exterior colors from which to choose. Subtle standards like black, white, and gray/silver are covered, as well as bolder options such as Sangria, Horizon Blue, and Passion Red. All help maximize the curb appeal of this sleek sedan, and make the 2020 Kia Optima a car that will turn heads.

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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • LX: Includes heated mirrors, eight-inch touchscreen, rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assistance, forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and more.
  • S: Adds fog lights, keyless entry and ignition, power driver seat, hands-free unlocking trunk, an optional panoramic sunroof, and more.
  • EX: Adds adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery, the optional Premium package, and more.
  • SX: Unlocks LED headlights and fog lights, sports suspension, wheel-mounted shifter paddles, a rear spoiler, red brake calipers, and more.

Available Colors

  • Ebony Black
  • Horizon Blue
  • Passion Red
  • Platinum Graphite
  • Sangria
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Sparkling Silver
  • Titanium Silver


  • 104.8 cubic feet of passenger volume
  • Seats up to five passengers
  • 15.9 cubic feet of cargo volume
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats for extra storage
  • Sunglass holders and front/rear water bottle holders in doors

Average CarMax Prices

The 2020 Kia Optima is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. Pricing data for this model at CarMax is currently unavailable. See below to learn more about previous model years.

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2020 Kia Optima, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

2020 Kia Optima Review:RepairPal | CarMax

Safety and Reliability

RepairPal® Reliability Ratings for the 2020 Kia Optima2

The 2020 Kia Optima is a newer model and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. You may also consider other used Kia Optimas with similar features. Below are RepairPal reliability ratings for prior model years of the Kia Optima.

  • Overall RepairPal Reliability Rating - 4/5
  • Average annual cost of unscheduled repairs and maintenance: $470

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010-2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. Learn more at www.carmax.com/repairpal-reliability.

NHTSA Safety Ratings

The 2020 Kia Optima received overall five-star safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2020 Kia Optima, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Hyundai Sonata

Part of the sixth generation of Sonatas introduced in 2015, the 2017-2019 models focus on a smooth ride, plenty of room inside, and a good list of equipment from the base trims on up. And by plenty of room, we mean five seats and 106 cubic feet of passenger volume on 2019 models, with an additional 16 cubic feet of luggage volume in the trunk—more than enough for the family and all your cargo. As for that equipment list? On the SE trim (the base trim on 2018-2019 models), that includes features such as:

  • Cruise control
  • Six-speaker sound system with seven-inch touchscreen display
  • Rearview camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility

Kia Stinger

Straight away, the bold and aggressive styling tells you what to expect from this vehicle; it's a sleek, powerful, and exciting sedan that combines interior comfort with a thrilling driving experience. From its inception in 2018, the Stinger has been powered either by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine packing 255 horsepower, or a 3.3L V6 engine producing a formidable 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is also optional on all 2018-2019 models. Add that to features such as Brembo™ brakes, a mechanical-locking rear differential, adaptive suspension dampers, and launch control on GT trims (both 2018 and 2019 models), and the Stinger is packing more than enough to liven up any journey. And you don't need to skimp on features inside—not when the following are included as standard on 2018-2019 models:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility

Kia Sportage

With the fourth and latest generation entering in 2017, the 2017-2019 Sportage models are small-to-midsize crossover SUVs that emphasize a comfortable ride and spacious interior. The 2019 model provides 98.6 cubic feet of passenger volume across five seats, and 30.6 cubic feet of luggage volume in the trunk—which increases to 60.1 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. Additionally, standard features on 2017-2019 Sportages include:

  • Five-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth® and a USB port
  • Automatic headlights
  • Rearview camera (2018-2019 models only)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control (Popular package on 2018-2019 models only)

The Bottom Line

Whether you're looking for a daily driving office car or a family vehicle for various everyday needs, the 2020 Kia Optima should be on your radar. With a great range of engines and plenty of standard features, this vehicle is an excellent choice.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.