The Kia Optima is the automaker's popular mid-size sedan that squares off in an ultra-competitive class.

With the Optima, Kia competes against best sellers like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, not to mention the Ford Fusion

Kia Optima,  Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, and Chevy Malibu, as well as its mechanical cousin, the Hyundai Sonata.

The newest Optima was introduced for the 2016 model year as a bona fide contender among mid-size sedans.

For the 2019 year, automatic emergency braking became standard and the Optima's styling was modestly updated, Kia Optima

Kia shuffled some options and features in the Optima for 2020, but made no substantial changes.

A new Optima arrived for 2016. Styling for the new Optima is slightly less dramatic than before, while the car itself is slightly wider, with a touch of extra wheelbase length.

The latest Kia Optima benefited from the dual-clutch automatic transmission offered in the Hyundai Sonata Eco model.

Like the Sonata, the new Optima offers a 2.4-liter inline-4 as well as two turbo-4s, a 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter.Kia Optima

Today, the Optima shares an assembly plant in West Point, Georgia, with the Kia Sorento, though Optima Hybrid sedans are made in South Korea.

The following year, the Optima's styling was updated (squint and perhaps you'll see the differences), but the big and worthwhile change was its newly standard automatic emergency braking.

With the first-generation Optima, Kia reached beyond its usual crossover and hatchback offerings to take on the mainstream mid-size sedan market.

For the second generation, the 2005-2010 Kia Optima had styling that more distinctly separated it from its Hyundai cousin.Kia Optima

It remained a compact to mid-size sedan, but in the second generation it added an optional V-6. Kia Optima

While this Optima wasn't a style leader, it did have a spacious interior and an airy feel, with good outward visibility.

The 2011 Kia Optima was new. The sedan was longer, wider and lower than before—and much more attractive, with some of our editors liking the Optima's look better than that of the Sonata.

The Optima's standard and optional features lists were stronger than for those of most other mid-size sedans in this price range.

No major changes were made to the Optima for 2013, although late in the model year the Hybrid model saw some driveability updates and mileage improvements

The 2011-2013 Optima Hybrid was one of a group of cars that have been found to have overstated fuel-economy numbers.