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How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2020 Kia Optima?

2020 kia optima jpg 2020 Kia Optima | Manufacturer image

Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in August 2019 about the 2019 Kia Optima. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. See what’s new for 2020 or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

The verdict: Kia’s Optima got a host of changes for 2019, including flashier styling, additional standard safety features and a revised multimedia system. Although the sedan has plenty of legroom for two car seats, we had difficulty installing them due to the sedan’s buried Latch anchors.

Does it fit three car seats? No

Take a look at how the Latch system and each car seat scored below in our Car Seat Check of the 2020 Kia Optima.

Related: Search Car Seat Checks

kia optima 2020 csc scorecard png graphic by Melissa Galicia Vega

A Grade

  • None

B Grade

  • Latch: The two sets of lower anchors are buried in the stiff upholstery, making access and connection a challenge.
  • Rear-facing convertible: Our 5-foot, 6-inch-tall front passenger had plenty of legroom in front of this seat, but the buried Latch anchors made installation difficult.
  • Forward-facing convertible: After raising the head restraint, this seat fit well — but again, the Latch anchors complicated installation. The three top tether anchors are clearly marked and easy to access on the rear shelf, however.
  • Booster: Again, raising the head restraint allowed the booster to sit flat against the seatback. The Optima’s buckles are on very short stalks, making them harder for kids to grasp independently.

C Grade

  • Infant: Although the infant seat had enough room, we docked it an extra grade because it was especially challenging to install using the seat’s skinny, hooklike connectors. It took a lot of muscle and fishing around to connect to the lower anchors; it was easier to install the convertible seat with its larger, chunkier connectors.

Shop the 2020 Kia Optima near you

2020 Kia Optima S
49,560 mi.
$19,995 $100 price drop
2020 Kia Optima LX
49,984 mi.
$20,395 $300 price drop

About’s Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Jennifer Geiger
News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

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