IIHS gives the highest safety rating to Kia’s 2016 Optima

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The redesigned Kia Optima earned the top award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which granted the mid-sized sedan the Top Safety Pick Plus rating.

Optima is Kia’s best-selling nameplate in the United States with a record of 159,414 units delivered last year. And now, the redesigned model proved it can make more safety improvements over the 2015 Optima, as the new mid-sized sedan earned the highest possible rating – Top Safety Pick Plus – from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but only when it comes with the optional front crash prevention system. To qualify for TSP+, the IIHS testing parameters require each vehicle to earn “good” ratings in five crashworthiness tests – small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength and head restraints – as well as an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention. The 2016 Optima received “good” crashworthiness ratings and a superior rating for the optional front-crash prevention system.

The new Optima – built on the same platform as the Hyundai Sonata, which also is a Top Safety Pick Plus winner – has a starting price of 21,840 dollars for the 185 hp 2.4 liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, in the LX trim. Available driver-aid technology includes Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Rear Parking Assist System (RPAS), Front Collision Warning System (FCWS), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).