Top Safety Pick +

2019 Kia Optima

midsize car / 4-door sedan

Award applies only to vehicles with specific headlights

2019 Kia Optima 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Small overlap front: passenger-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Headlights (varies by trim/option)
Front crash prevention
Standard system
Superior
Optional system
Superior

Child seat anchors

LATCH ease of use

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights
  • Standard blind spot detection
  • Optional lane departure warning
  • Optional lane departure prevention

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2016-19 models

Tested vehicle: 2016 Hyundai Sonata Eco 4-door

The Hyundai Sonata was redesigned for the 2015 model year. Beginning with 2016 models, the driver's seat belt was modified, and front suspension changes were made to alter wheel movement during small overlap frontal crashes. Later, beginning with 2016 models built after October 2015, the structure was reinforced at the junction between the door sill and hinge pillar to improve occupant protection in small overlap crashes. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2016 model year and since then has been built on the same platform as the Hyundai Sonata. All 2016 and later Optimas include equivalent modifications made on the driver side of Sonatas built after October 2015.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the driver-side small overlap frontal crash test of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata built after October 2015.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained reasonably well.

Forces during the crash contributed to a moderate risk of injury to the dummy's left foot.

The frontal and side curtain airbags worked well together to keep the head from coming close to any stiff structure or outside objects that could cause injury.

Small overlap front: passenger-side

Rating applies to 2018-19 models built after January 2018

Tested vehicle: 2017 Hyundai Sonata SE 4-door

The Hyundai Sonata was redesigned for the 2015 model year. Beginning with 2016 models, the driver's seat belt was modified, and front suspension changes were made to alter left and right wheel movement during small overlap frontal crashes to improve occupant protection.

The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2016 model year and since then has been built on the same platform as the Hyundai Sonata, with the exception that the Optima's passenger side structure was lacking some of the strengthening needed for optimal performance in passenger-side small overlap crashes.

Beginning with 2018 Optima models built after January 2018, the passenger-side door sill, lower door hinge pillar, and toepan were reinforced to improve occupant protection in such crashes. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Passenger restraints and dummy kinematics
The dummy’s head contacted the frontal airbag but moved off toward the right side, leaving the head vulnerable to contact with forward structure. The side curtain airbag deployed and has sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects. The side torso airbag also deployed.
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the passenger-side small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame and dashboard after the crash test indicates that the passenger’s survival space was maintained well.

The passenger's space was maintained well, and risk of injuries to the dummy's legs and feet was low.

The dummy’s head contacted the frontal airbag but moved toward the right side, allowing the head to slip into the gap in coverage between the frontal and side curtain airbags.

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2016-19 models

Tested vehicle: 2016 Kia Optima SX 4-door
The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2016 model year and the Hyundai Sonata was redesigned for the 2015 model year (since 2016 the two cars have been built on the same platform). Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test of a 2016 Optima conducted by Hyundai/Kia as part of frontal crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Side

Rating applies to 2016-19 models

Tested vehicle: 2016 Kia Optima LX 4-door
The Kia Optima was redesigned for the 2016 model year and the Hyundai Sonata was redesigned for the 2015 model year (since 2016 the two cars have been built on the same platform). Side ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test of a 2016 Optima conducted by Hyundai/Kia as part of side crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2016-19 models

Tested vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata SE 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,285 lbs
Peak force 17,046 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.19

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2016-19 models

Seat type: Power cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry

Front crash prevention

Ratings are given for 2 different trim variations available on this vehicle.

System details

  • Standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistance
  • Standard Forward Collision Warning

Package name

  • Standard (LX and S trims)

Applies to 2019 models

Overall evaluation

  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, impact speed was reduced by 22 mph.
Superior
Superior

System details

  • Optional Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistance with Pedestrian Detection
  • Standard Forward Collision Warning

Package name

  • Optional (EX and SX trims)

Applies to 2019 models

Overall evaluation

  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
Superior
Superior
with optional equipment

How front crash prevention is evaluated

Headlights

Ratings are given for 2 different headlight variations available on this vehicle.

Trim level(s)

  • SX trim
Low-beam headlight type LED projector
High-beam headlight type LED projector
Curve-adaptive? Yes
High-beam assist? Yes
Overall rating

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the left side of the road and fair on the right side. On curves, visibility was good on the sharp left and both right curves and fair on the gradual left curve.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the right side of the road and inadequate on the left side. On curves, visibility was good on both right curves and fair on both left curves.

High-beam assist compensates for some limitations of this vehicle's low beams on the straightaway and on both left curves.

Trim level(s)

  • LX trim
  • S trim
  • EX trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen projector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the right side of the road and fair on the left side. On curves, visibility was fair on the sharp left and both right curves and inadequate on the gradual left curve.

The low beams created excessive glare.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was fair on the gradual right curve and inadequate on the sharp right and both left curves.

How headlights are evaluated

Child seat anchors

Applies to 2016-19 models

Overall evaluation
Vehicle trim LX
Seat type cloth

This vehicle has 2 rear seating positions with complete child seat attachment (LATCH) hardware.

It has 1 additional seating position with a tether anchor only.

1 2 3
G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
thether anchor symbol
Tether anchor
lower anchor symbol
Lower anchors
shared lower achors symbol
Lower anchor(s) can be borrowed from adjacent positions(s)
No hardware available

Details by seating position

1
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
2
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
none available
3
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors

Applies to 2016-19 models

Overall evaluation
Vehicle trim SX Limited
Seat type leather

This vehicle has 2 rear seating positions with complete child seat attachment (LATCH) hardware.

It has 1 additional seating position with a tether anchor only.

1 2 3
G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
thether anchor symbol
Tether anchor
lower anchor symbol
Lower anchors
shared lower achors symbol
Lower anchor(s) can be borrowed from adjacent positions(s)
No hardware available

Details by seating position

1
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
2
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
none available
3
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors

How child seat anchors are evaluated