2009 Kia Optima

Change year or car

Change year or car

$17,495

starting MSRP

2009 Kia Optima

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Improved audio system
  • Likely value for the money
  • 10-year warranty

The bad:

  • Not as much V-6 power as many competitors
  • Derivative styling
  • ABS not standard

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • LX

    $17,495

  • EX

    $20,690

  • SX

    $21,140

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2009 Kia Optima trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Freshened for 2009
  • New sport-tuned SX trim
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Manual or automatic
  • Available navigation system

2009 Kia Optima review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Kia says the update of its 2009 Optima was an effort to spice up the car’s styling. To that end, the midsize sedan’s face has been thoroughly freshened, though its tail remains much the same. Revised engines add some power, but it remains to be seen whether these changes will help the Optima go head-to-head with a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord.

The Optima hits dealerships in late 2008; trim levels include the base LX, uplevel EX and sporty SX. A four-cylinder engine is standard, while a V-6 is optional.

Exterior
The Optima’s new face seems derivative of a lot of other cars — the headlights look like a Toyota Camry’s, while the interplay between the grille and lights recalls a similar pattern on the new Honda Accord.

Overall length is up a couple inches over last year’s model, and most of it has been added to the car’s front overhang. Sixteen-inch steel wheels come on the four-cylinder Optima LX, while other trims have 16-inch alloys. The Optima SX has 17-inchers, along with a sport-tuned suspension, darker headlights, and turn signals integrated into the side mirrors.

Interior
Kia didn’t alter the Optima’s interior as much as it did the exterior; the most notable change is probably the gauges, now framed inside three binnacles instead of a one-piece display. The stereo has an auxiliary jack for MP3 players, and a navigation system is optional for the first time.

The Optima LX comes with cloth seats, while the EX steps up to leather. SX trims have electroluminescent gauges, custom leather seats and metallic trim.

Under the Hood
Both the Optima’s engines have been upgraded, and Kia says gas mileage stays about the same. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder makes 175 horsepower, up from 162 hp last year; the 2.7-liter V-6 is up to 190 hp from 185 hp last year. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the four-cylinder, while a five-speed automatic is optional. The V-6 gets only the automatic.

Safety
Active head restraints, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows are standard. Unfortunately, antilock brakes, an electronic stability system and traction control are grouped together in an option package; the Accord and Sonata include those features standard.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.9
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews

4.0

Thought it was a fantastic car until the 45000

Everything was great and I loved it until it blew an engine at the 45000 mark. Now remember that this was maintained properly by a master auto tech and never abused.

5.0

Reliable, Fun and Sporty.

Love this car. Most reliable car I ever owned. Bought it with 80K, put on another 50K with no major work needed. rare to find 5 peed stick thee day but this car has it.

4.7

Very reliable car! Its solid and clean.

I really like this car! I wouldn't be selling it if I didn't inherit a newer vehicle from a family member. It is extremely reliable and easily maintained. The only BAD thing I could say about this car would be the interior cloth material on the upper section of the doors. It shifted a little bit and came loose but I had a seamstress repair it. She used hot glue. It was like new after that. Everything mechanical worked as intended. It still runs excellent 10+ years later. I would highly recommend a Kia Optima.

See all 30 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Kia
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
60 months/60,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
120 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 years or newer/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles
Powertrain
10 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
165-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2009

Pontiac G6

$19,275

starting MSRP

2014

Dodge Dart

$16,495

starting MSRP

2009

Acura TSX

$29,160

starting MSRP