|Kia has released the all-new Optima at its scheduled premiere at the New York Auto Show. Previously, Kia teased the world with an artist rendition of their all-new mid-size sedan, which incidentally is quite popular variant in the U.S.A.|
One of the core variants under Kia’s design guru Peter Schreyer, the new Kia Optima incorporates a longer and wider stance at a glance, along with a spacious and roomier interior. Schreyer has beefed up Kia’s new mid-size sedan with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer (length and wheelbase), taller and wider. This move obviously boosts cabin space and trunk capacity. Five versions are valid for the new Kia Optima line-up; LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX and SXL trims.
All-new Kia Optima gets newest design tweaks on the inside and out
At the front, the tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design. Meantime, the headlights are gifted bi-functional HID with Dynamic Bending Lights and High-beam assist. Sweeping to the profile, the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar have been maintained from its predecessor, which is actually a good thing.
The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style rearlights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan. Wheels options for the new Optima range from 16- to 18-inch, depending on trim levels.
The exterior elements pair favorably well with the interior, along with a more spacious cabin, and a bit of luxurious (Kia’s favorite acronym) appointments here and there. The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, the interior’s ergonomics are markedly improved. Major highlights inside include stiffer seat frames with soft foam headrests and support materials, powered driver and passenger seats, a six-speaker audio system, cloth or Nappa leather seats and plenty more. A premium audio system is available as an option; in the form of the Infinity Premium Audio System with 14-speaker and a 630w amplifier. At the same time, two new interior colors deck the Optima quite nicely; in either Merlot or Aubergine.
In an age of technology, the Kia Optima is optimized with the latest connectivity system and applications such as; UVO2, Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, Driving Score and Android Auto, and soon CarPlay.
Three engine options are offered in the new Optima; a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), 2.0-liter GDI turbo (SX and SXL) and 2.4-liter GDI (LX and EX). The 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter platforms are transferred from the previous edition, with outputs ranging from 185 – 247 hp. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. The 1.6-liter, specifically for the LX version, is capable of churning out 178 hp at 5,000 rpm and 264 Nm (195 lb.-ft.) of torque at just 1,500 rpm.
The new Optima’s body structure is reinforced by Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), which is paired to a panoramic sunroof support structure that’s made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. This combination helps reduce weight and lower the car’s center of gravity. Important and new innovative safety features on the latest Optima include a rear-camera or 360-degree Around View monitor (SX and SXL), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
The all-new Kia Optima is offered in three new colors; a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean, a dynamic grey with olive undertones and a deep red with aluminum pigments.
Production of the all-new Kia Optima is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of the year, with distribution details and pricing information forth coming late in quarter four or early 2016.