Kia has introduced a range of design enhancements and a new engine for the new Kia Optima. Sold as a Saloon or Sportswagon, the car made its debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and is now on sale at Kia dealers.
The new Optima Saloon and Optima Sportswagon receives Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) diesel engine. As well as refreshed exterior and interior design, the new Optima features Kia’s latest active safety and in-car connectivity technologies.
Kia’s designers have made a series of modifications to the Optima’s exterior design. These include a revised front bumper design, as well as new LED tail-lamps and a revised design for the head- and fog lamps. Saloon versions also have a re-profiled rear bumper. The ‘tiger-nose’ grille features a new bright chrome finish designed to create a more sophisticated, purposeful appearance. A new paint colour, ‘Runway Red’, is available, as well as new designs for the Optima’s 17- and 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels.
Inside, the cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel and satin-chrome trim on the centre console which extends across the dashboard. Grade ‘2’ models come with black cloth upholstery, level ‘3’ versions have black cloth with faux leather upholstery, with ‘GT-Line S’ models featuring black leather upholstery with red stitching.
In addition, ‘GT-Line S’ models of the Optima Saloon and Optima Sportswagon features new ambient lighting around the dashboard and doors, letting occupants choose between six different colours – or assign different colours to individual driving modes. By default, cabin lighting floods the cabin in a soft green glow in Eco mode, while Sport mode turns lighting to red. Smart mode fills the interior with soft blue ambient lighting.
The Optima Saloon and Sportswagon are now available with Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ diesel engine, designed to be complaint with the stricter limits laid down by the Euro 6d Temp emissions standard. The ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (common-rail direct injection) replaces the earlier 1.7-litre CRDi engine. The engine employs Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology, reducing particulate matter and NOx emissions. The powertrain produces 134bhp and 236 ft lb of torque across a 2,000-2,250rpm engine range.
The engine was engineered at Kia’s European research and development centre in Germany and features high-pressure common-rail fuel injection for maximum efficiency and a variable geometry turbocharger to enhance low-speed driveability while ensuring strong top-end power.
With Kia’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system as standard, CO2 emissions for the Sportswagon are 121g/km when paired with a manual gearbox or 122g/km for DCT models, while fuel economy is a high impressive 61.4mpg combined. CO2emissions of the saloon variant are 117g/km for manual ‘2’ grades and 7DCT ‘3’ models with 62.8mpg combines or 118g’km for manual ‘3’ grade with 64.2mpg combined.
The Optima Sportswagon manual has a 0-60mph acceleration time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 121mph, while the 7DCT takes 11.4 seconds to complete the 0-60mph dash and features a top speed of 120mph.
A new Drive Mode Selector lets Optima drivers switch between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart modes on 7DCT versions. Each mode enables the driver to customise the powertrain’s responses, prioritising fuel economy or more immediate acceleration. It also lets drivers adapt the weight of the rack-mounted power steering system, for more relaxed or more immediate, engaging steering responses. Smart Mode is designed to anticipate the driver’s needs, switching automatically between Eco, Comfort and Sport modes depending on conditions. This enables the Optima to adapt to the driver’s behaviour and the road conditions, pre-empting the driver’s preference for different speeds and driving environments.