New Elegant 2023 KIA Optima Mid-Size Sedan Review

2023 KIA Optima brings a whole lot of style to a segment that traditionally with the K5’s signature design is also not let down by ho-hum engines, with a turbocharged two-cylinder four that includes a standard 180-hp version or a bold GT-only 290-hp option.

The more powerful manufacturing makes the Kia family sedan incredibly quick 60 mph arriving in just 5.2 seconds. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission but the GT itself has a dual-clutch gearbox with quick shifts.

The 2023 KIA Optima wants all-wheel drive and should stick with the solid standard powertrain for most of the ride. Trim level updates and equipment The more luxurious EX trim now offers acoustic front door glass that combats road noise.

The all-wheel-drive GT-Line model now has a standard heated steering wheel and the top-of-the-line GT receives the acoustic glass treatment as well but is otherwise unchanged.

2023 KIA Optima Review

The 2023 KIA Optima is a Mid-Size Sedan that has been renamed the K5 and we expect to get a better redesign than before. The sleek and stylish K5 is a breath of fresh air in a segment that tends to play it safe in terms of looks.

2023 KIA Optima New

The K5 features a modern design that borders on the luxury brand’s level of refinement on higher trims. The 2023 model year will likely be minimal and consist mostly of feature availability updates.

The styling of the 2023 KIA Optima/K5 is very comfortable offering plenty of value packed with impressive technology. Additionally, the 2023 KIA Optima is not a high-end GT version which means you will have to settle for a front-wheel drive on the most powerful version.

Fuel economy is on par with the segment leader and the trunk is larger than the Toyota Camry. The 2023 KIA Optima/K5 is one of the sportiest-looking sedans on the road and its transmission is smooth and handling is capable.

The GT-Line trim has potential, but the front-wheel drive configuration alone holds it back.

The Kia K5 with the standard 180 horsepower engine won’t impress you, but the power is more than enough for everyday use. It takes 8 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill.

Stopping from 60 mph requires a few more feet than average, but the braking is easy and smooth.

READ NEXT: All-New Luxurious 2024 Kia Sportage Crossover SUV Review

The aggressive styling of the 2023 KIA Optima/K5 may look sportier than usual, but the steering and handling are very easy to drive. The transmission shifts quite smoothly and is responsive to downshifts when you need to get through them.

The front seats provide decent comfort for a few hours, with ample cushioning and moderate support from the side bolsters. The suspension is able to absorb road imperfections and avoid feeling too soft.

  • Comfortable and quiet on the highway
  • The powerful turbocharged engine in the GT trim level
  • Plenty of available tech features
  • Impressive value
  • LX trim is discontinued
  • Sound-dampening front windows on EX, GT-Line, and GT trims

2023 KIA Optima Interior

2023 KIA Optima / K5 The interior is carefully designed to be easy to use. Despite the many electronic features all controls are well labeled and logically placed and there is no need to read the owner’s manual.

The cabin is also relatively spacious, with modest headroom but plentiful legroom.

However, tall adults should have no problem fitting in the front. Forward visibility is excellent thanks to the very narrow front roof pillars.

Rear visibility is squeezed a little by the high rear decklid but it does not pose a significant obstacle.

The cabin of the 2023 KIA Optima offers plenty of places to store including a charging pad, another rubberized phone tray and a large center armrest holder. Installing a large baby seat shouldn’t pose a problem, and the anchors are easily accessible.


The 2023 KIA Optima comes with wireless connectivity technology Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. There is also a wireless charging pad that features a cooling fan and a smart spring-loaded section that keeps your phone in place.

The standard system has an 8-inch touchscreen that is easy to use although it has a slight delay in response.

The system’s physical shortcut buttons are preferable to the upgraded 10.25-inch screen which has capacitive touch buttons that are hard to find without looking. Our tester also had a total of four USB charging ports.

The KIA Optima 2023 with its excellent advanced driver does not generate false alarms. The optional Smart Cruise Control enhances the existing adaptive cruise control by slowing down the K5 when approaching bends in the road. Collectively this is one of the best systems in its segment.

READ NEXT: Don’t miss out: New 2024 KIA Telluride Mid-Size SUV Review

2023 KIA Optima Engine, Transmission and Performance

Most K5 models are powered by a 180 hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine comes standard with front-wheel drive all-wheel drive is optional but only in the GT-Line.

The 180-hp front-drive K5 we drove provided decent acceleration around town and our testing revealed a 7.0-second trip to 60 mph. The full-Monty GT model has a more powerful 2.5-liter turbo four engine that produces 290 horses and 311 pound-feet of torque.

The sportiest K5 comes with bigger brakes, unique suspension tuning and wider tires on larger 19-inch rims. The GT we drove sprinted to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds and stopped from 70 mph in 163 feet.

2023 KIA Optima MPG

Estimated fuel economy on the 2023 KIA Optima is a combined 31 mpg (27 city/37 highway) matching the efficiency of most other base-engine sedans in this class.

This estimate should be accurate after what we saw on our standard 115-mile evaluation run.


The 2023 Kia K5 is available in four trim levels: LXS, GT-Line, EX and GT. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional for the LXS and GT-Line. Highlights of standard and optional features include:


The base LXS trim comes with an interesting mix of features, including:

  • 1.6-liter turbocharged 180 horsepower four-cylinder engine
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • 16-inch wheels
  • Proximity keyless entry and start button
  • Remote start
  • LED headlights
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration (with wireless connectivity)
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • USB ports for front and rear passengers
  • 60/40-folding rear seats with center armrest

All K5s also come with these advanced driver assistance features:

  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking (warns you of an impending collision and activates the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane-keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help the vehicle stay centered in its lane)
  • Driver attention warning (issues a warning if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross the path of your vehicle while backing up)
  • Rear passenger safe exit system (can prevent rear passengers from opening doors to vehicles approaching from behind)
  • Blind spot warning (warns you if a vehicle in the next lane is in your blind spot)
  • High beam assist (automatically dims bright lights for oncoming traffic)


Similar to the LXS but has:

  • Additional sporty exterior treatment and black
  • 18-inch wheels
  • LED fog lights and taillights
  • Sound-absorbing front windows
  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Simulated fabric and leather upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • The wireless smartphone charging pad
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen (removes wireless connectivity for CarPlay and Android Auto)
  • Integrated navigation system

GT-Line is available with the GT-Line Premium package:

  • Upgraded version of the lane-keeping system (Highway Driving Assist)
  • Evasive steering assist (enhances the forward collision mitigation system with steering-based collision avoidance)
  • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the K5 and the vehicle in front)
  • LED projector headlamps

There is also the GT-Line Panoramic Sunroof package:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • LED interior lighting

READ NEXT: New 2024 KIA Forte Compact Sedan Ultimate Review


Forgetting the sporty look of the GT-Line but adding a bit of luxury with:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • LED interior lighting
  • Temperature control vents for rear passengers
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Rear parking sensors

The available EX Premium package loads the K5 with:

  • Features from the GT-Line Premium package
  • Front parking sensors
  • Folding side mirrors with turn signals
  • Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the K5 and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Rear automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)
  • 12-speaker premium Bose sound system
  • Power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • Driver’s seat memory settings
  • Heated steering wheel


The performance-oriented GT is equipped like the EX. It also has:

  • 2.5-liter turbocharged 290 hp four-cylinder engine
  • Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Upgraded brakes
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Most GT-Line styling flourishes
  • Front sport seats

The optional GT-1 package gives you most of the features of the EX Premium package.

2023 KIA Optima Price

Price in 2023 Kia Optima

  • LXS $26,415
  • GT-Line $27,815
  • EX $30,315
  • GT $32,815

People also ask KIA Optima 2023

Q: How much is a 2023 Kia Optima?
A: The starting price is $26,415 manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). MSRP excludes destination and handling charges, taxes, title, license, options, and dealer fees.

Q: Is Kia discontinuing the Optima?
A: In 2021, Kia dropped the “Optima” name and renamed the model in the U.S. to feature the same name it carries in South Korea, “K5”.

Q: How reliable is the 2023 Kia Optima?
A: The Kia Optima’s Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks 8th out of 24 for mid-size cars. The average annual repair cost is $471 which is lower than the average cost of ownership. The average repair severity and frequency of such problems are low, so major repairs are rare on the Optima.

Q: Does the K5 replace the Optima?
A: 2021 marks the launch of the all-new Kia K5, which replaces the Optima in the Kia lineup. This sleek and sharp midsize sedan presents a formidable option for Harvey drivers looking to add sophistication and sportiness to their daily commutes and weekend cruises.

Exit mobile version