Why You Should Get the 2017 Kia Optima Over the 2020 Version

The 2020 Kia Optima offers a premium cabin and a long list of handy tech features. And while a brand new Kia Optima is an attractive choice, it doesn’t come cheap. Fortunately, though, the Optima is also a great choice to buy used. If you’re looking to buy used to save money and get some of the latest modern features, you’ll find that the 2017 Optima is an excellent way to go. 

Driving a used 2017 Kia Optima 

Like the 2020 version, the 2017 Optima features three different engine options. Base models come with a satisfactory 185-horsepower 2.4-liter engine linked to a six-speed automatic. Next up is the LX 1.T trim with a 178-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, and a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. For the most power, you’ll want to shop for the SX and SXL models equipped with a 245-hp 2.0-liter engine. 

If fuel-efficiency is among your main priorities, go with either the base engine or models with the 1.6-liter engine. There’s also a hybridized version that you might want to consider as well. Overall, the Optima is a smooth ride that doesn’t feel overpowered. The only complaint from experts at U.S. News is that the Optima’s handling is bland, but that’s not a big enough reason not to buy it

On the inside 

In addition to its powertrain options, the Optima is also known for its well-built cabin. This sedan comes standard with cloth seats and can carry up to five people comfortably. Some models will have more amenities, including leather seats and heated seats. Interestingly enough, U.S. News ranked the 2017 Optima interior higher than the 2020 version.

The Optima also earns praise for its user-friendly infotainment system. Standard infotainment features on the 2017 Optima include a 5-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity. Kia didn’t make Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard features on the optima until the 2018 model year. But the good news is that these smartphone integration features are available on the upper-level models, including the EX trim. Advanced safety features are also only available on the higher trims.

The 2017 Optima earned excellent safety ratings

A model poses next to KIA Optima SW GT during the Geneva Motor Show 2016
The Kia Optima | Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

If You Want a Certified Pre-Owned Car Kia Is the Way to Go

What makes the 2017 Optima even more appealing is its outstanding safety ratings. One of the few cars in its class earned a five-star crash-test safety score from the NHTSA. The IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick+, which is its highest honor. Consumer Reports also recognized the 2017 Optima for its excellent safety scores.

The 2017 Optima is one of the best model years to buy used according to CR. You should know, though, that the NHTSA recalled the 2017 Optima twice for safety concerns, but those only apply to the hybrid versions.


One major reason to pick the 2017 Optima over the 2020 version is its above-average three-year depreciation rate. You can save over $10K if you opt to get the 2017 Optima instead of the 2020 version, according to iSeeCars.com. Simply put, the 2017 Optima is a great value buy.