The sleek four-door sedan with coupe-like styling has received much acclaim overseas, and is expected to do the same here.
The mid-large Optima boasts GDI technology in the new 2.4-litre Theta II engine that Kia says delivers the power of a V6 with the economy of a four cylinder. The ‘Anzac’ suspension is tuned for the roads and conditions in our part of the world.
The third-generation Optima is longer, lower and wider than the previous model and features a longer wheelbase (up by 75mm) that offers much more space for people and cargo. It’s also more competitive on price, with the single Optima EX model retailing at $46,990 for a fully-loaded car with the new 6-speed sequential automatic transmission as standard, as well as a Sports Package that includes uprated brakes, rear spoiler, subtle side skirts alloy pedals and unique 18” alloy wheels shod with low profile tyres that complement the sports-tuned suspension.
Apart from looking good, the design of the new Optima is more efficient, with an aerodynamic drag figure of Cd 0.29 (down from 0.32), with helps reduce wind noise, boosts open road performance and fuel economy.
The new 11.3:1 high compression 2.4-litre Theta II GDI unit introduces gasoline direct injection for the first time under the bonnet of a Kia model – lowering emissions and improving fuel economy, while also increasing the power by 11.6% and torque by 8.2% to 148kW @ 6300rpm and 250Nm @ 4250rpm respectively.
Other design enhancements over its predecessor include a two-stage variable induction system (VIS), Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), upgraded electronics and low-friction components, and also lighter construction.
The six-speed automatic transmission offers two operating modes; fully automatic for city driving and a ‘Sport’ clutch-less manual sequential change via the gear lever or the new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
In spite of the increased power and torque output, fuel economy and CO2 emissions are lowered to 7.9L/100km and 189g/km, assisted by an Eco meter on the dashboard.
Safety features include Electronic Stablity Control as standard, along with Hill Start Ascent Control and enhanced front, side and curtain airbags. There’s also a rear-view camera screen in the reversing mirror when reverse gear is selected, plus audible warning sensors.
Other luxury equipment includes: full leather interior, convenient push button start, dual zone climate air control, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, auto defog system, LED running lights, user interface LCD screen trip computer , steering wheel-mounted audio controls and an Infinity sound system with a 530Watt, 12-channel , 6-CD unit, 8-speakers, MP3 and iPod compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity. A full-size alloy spare wheel is included.
See the Kia Optima for sale.