The Kia brand has undergone a total and remarkable change in less than a decade. The new Optima provides further evidence of this in a different way.
The All New Kia Optima will arrive here in late December and will go on sale in January with the 1.7D power entry-level EX model starting at €27,950. It boasts a modern exterior, a bold new interior design with more room for driver and passengers, and an array of new convenience and safety equipment.
While the saloon arrives first, it will be followed later next year and plug-in hybrid version will also arrive in 2016.
While the 1.7D engine has been retained, it has been significantly improved. Power output has been increased from 136 to 141PS and CO2 on the manual version comes down from 133g to 120g with a new annual road tax of just €190.
The CO2 improvement on the new seven-speed DCT automatic is even more significant down 42g from 158g to 116g and road tax now just €10 more than the manual version.
Kia designers have maintained the key features of the previous model but have introduced sharper body lines and a more elongated sedan silhouette. The result is wheelbase 10mm longer and the full vehicle 10 mm longer, 25 mm wider and 10 mm taller all resulting in more room for drivers, passengers, and luggage. The increased space is accompanied by a totally redesigned interior crafted with the care and attention to detail typically associated with E segment models.
At the European press launch, Kia had statistics to show that there have been over 1 million Optimas sold worldwide and interestingly that 40 per cent of D-Segment (family size ) car owners regard their car as prestigious. Conscious of this and the fact that with luxury of this nature there is a demand for a calm and relaxing driving environment, Kia engineers have ensured that the Optima boasts greater refinement than ever before with considerable work done to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.
Kia Motors Ireland are offering Optima in three trim level: EX, Platinum, and GSE, all powered with the 1.7D power unit. The entry level but generously speced EX model start comes in at €27,950 and includes 17” alloys, Sat Nav, climate control, lane departure assist, and speed limit information as standard.
The volume model is expected to be the Platinum model at €31,450 which features a host of additional features including 18” alloy wheels, full leather seats (heated front and rear ), 12-way memory seat for the driver, heated steering wheel, and xenon lights.
Topping the range is the GSE (€34,450 ) with a distinctive beige leather interior, panoramic sunroof, smart key, 8" navigation screen, and 10-speaker 590 watt Harman Kardon premium sound system.
As always the Optima has been designed to achieve 5 star NCAP safety standards. Passive safety is further improved for occupants with the total number of airbags increasing to seven. The all-new Optima will be fitted as standard with driver, driver knee, passenger, two front side, and two curtain airbags.
Kia’s vehicle stability management is fitted as standard, ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car’s electronic stability control and electric motor-driven power steering if it detects a loss of traction. Also added in the Irish range are lane keep assist and speed limit information.