Kia has earned a midyear safety rating upgrade for the 2017 Optima thanks to better available LED projector headlights for higher-trim models built starting in April. The mid-size sedan earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick Plus designation, the agency's highest.
The sedan had already earned Top Safety Pick status based on top good ratings in its five crashworthiness tests and a top superior rating for the optional front crash prevention system with automatic emergency braking. But the various headlight systems failed to earn the acceptable or good rating required for Top Safety Pick Plus, instead coming in at poor.
But improved LED headlights with high-beam assist on the up-level SX with Technology Package and SX Limited versions added to cars built after March 2017 earned a good rating in new testing. And the LED system on the SX trim built after March was rated acceptable rating.
You can find the month and year of a car's manufacture on the required sticker on the driver's door or door frame.
See how the Optima IIHS ratings compare with other mid-size sedans here.