The Kia Optima has indeed evolved over the years since its introduction. Throughout these strategic changes, Kia has maintained all along the core qualities that helped quickly establish the Optima as a sporty yet family-friendly, practical yet luxurious sedan.

First Generation 2000-2005

The Kia Optima debuted in 2001. At that time, the sedan shared a lot of characteristics with a popular sedan from sister automaker Hyundai, the Sonata.

Second Generation 2005-2010

The second-gen Optima came out in 2005, featuring a design more unique to the line and differing from the Sonata. Featuring a robust inline four-cylinder and optional five-speed automatic, the sedan offered a dynamic driving experience. In addition, the Kia Optima scored five stars in crash tests by the NHTSA.

In 2008, Kia updated the second-gen Optima, introducing a number of exciting changes. The front-end and tail lights were redesigned. The Optima received a new base engine and the interior was updated, including a redesigned instrument cluster.

Third Generation 2010-2015

The Kia Optima was completely redesigned for the third generation. Following design changes made throughout the brand, the Optima was sculpted into a much sportier and sleeker sedan.  The Optima received the singular "tiger nose" grille and lots of tech updates, with Bluetooth connectivity and even a cooled glove box. The Optima became quite a bit more versatile, with a hybrid model and a turbo model being introduced.

Fourth Generation 2016

For the latest generation, Kia has focused on creating an even more rewarding driving experience. Over 50% of the chassis is made with advanced high-strength steel, making the Optima both stiffer and lighter. Kia also introduced a new engine option, an all-new 1.6-liter Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder for the fourth generation. The standard engine was redesigned to offer torque at lower RPMs.

With the Kia Optima--and every other model--Kia continues to make intelligent design choices, assuredly strengthening the viability of a sedan that has always been a study in balance and craftsmanship.

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