2016 Kia Optima Earns Top Safety Pick+ Award, Headlights Deemed Poor by the IIHS

2016 Kia Optima 5 photos
Photo: Kia
2016 Kia Optima IIHS crash test2016 Kia Optima IIHS crash test2016 Kia Optima IIHS crash test2016 Kia Optima IIHS crash test
The Optima is an important vehicle for the South Korean manufacturer. It is the Asian brand’s weapon of choice in the mid-size segment. Now at its fourth generation, the Kia Optima can talk the talk and walk the walk as far as crashworthiness is concerned. However, its headlights are disappointing.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Toyota Prius v is the sole mid-size vehicle out of 31 evaluated to earn a good rating in the institute’s first-ever headlight assessment. Other than the 2016 Kia Optima, which has curve-adaptive headlights, poor ratings were also attributed to Buick for the Verano, the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and CLA, Volkswagen Passat, and Nissan Altima. Blimey!

The IIHS explains that “in the case of the Optima, a big problem is glare. Its curve-adaptive system provides better visibility than its non-adaptive lights, but produces excessive glare for oncoming vehicles on all five low beam approaches.” On the upside, the safety credentials of the Kia Optima are jim-dandy. For the 2016 model year, the carmaker made subtle modifications to the driver’s seat belt and to the front suspension.

As a brief refresher, the 2015 Kia Optima earned an acceptable rating in the small overlap test. The modifications presented above earned Kia a Top Safety Pick+ award for the 2016 model year Optima. The only minus is the possibility of an injury to the left foot in the small overlap crash test.

Regarding crash prevention, the 2016 Kia Optima is available with an optional system that has avoided a collision in both the 12 mph and 25 mph track tests of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Those interested in buying a 2016 Kia Optima, the half-brother of the Hyundai Sonata starts at $21,990 for the LX trim level with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and the 6-speed automatic. The Hybrid, on the other hand, goes for $25,995 and is rated 36 mpg (6.5 l/100 km) city and 40 mpg (5.9 l/100 km) highway.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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