The new Optima Saloon and Optima Sportswagon benefits from 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.
Updated exterior and interior design
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 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.
Design updates to sporty the ‘GT-Line S’ variant
Kia has also modified the design of the Optima ‘GT-Line S’, which is now exclusively available in the stylish and practical Sportswagon bodystyle. For added style and on-road presence, there’s new LED fog lamps, a fresh 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel design and subtle gloss black mirror caps, side sills and air intake grille. The ‘GT-Line S’ model is further distinguished by distinctive new twin exhausts.
The interior features the same improvements to material quality and trim as the standard car, while the seats are now finished in black leather with red stitching.
Safety first: new active safety features available
The Optima Saloon and Optima Sportswagon are available with Kia’s latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), creating an intelligently safe vehicle with active safety technologies to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions.
The Optima’s Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system combats distracted or drowsy driving by monitoring a number of inputs from the vehicle and driver. It sounds a warning chime and displays a graphic in the instrument binnacle if it senses a lapse in concentration from the driver. In Europe, driver fatigue is believed to be a key factor in up to a quarter of all fatal traffic accidents across the continent.
Other safety features available on the Optima Saloon and Optima Sportswagon include: Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian recognition, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA); High Beam Assist (HBA), and full LED headlamps. Available on selected grade, these technologies make the Optima one of the safest cars in its class.
Technology: connected touchscreen infotainment and around view monitoring
The new Optima is available with Kia’s latest 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with satellite navigation and Kia Connected Services powered by TomTom®. The system offers Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ to enable full smartphone integration. Android Auto™ is designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher; Apple CarPlay™, for iPhone 5 or newer. Within the centre console is a wireless smartphone charger, allowing users to charge their smartphones on the move.
The infotainment system is linked to the new higher-resolution 360o Around View Monitor camera system and is available on ‘GT-Line S’ models. The system uses cameras at the front, rear and sides of the vehicle to provide the driver with a 360-degree view of their surroundings, making it easier to complete low-speed parking manoeuvres.
On grade ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions, a 490-watt Harman/kardon® eight-speaker Premium Sound system is fitted as standard, with an external amplifier and sub-woofer and Clari-Fi technology to restore the sound usually lost when digital music files are heavily compressed. There are USB charging points in the front and rear of every model, while the ‘GT-Line S’ includes a wireless charger for topping up the battery of compatible smartphones.
Powertrain: low emissions from lightweight turbocharged diesel engine
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 320Nm 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. CO2 emissions 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.
The Optima and Optima Sportswagon in the UK
There are two trim lines for the Optima Saloon – ‘2’ and ‘3’ or three trim lines for Sportswagon – ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’. The updated car is unashamedly targeted at business users who make up the vast majority of buyers in this sector of the market.
The entry-level ‘2’ grade comes as standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with European mapping and a reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, front and rear USB ports, dual automatic air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, cruise control with a speed limiter, electrically heated folding mirrors, a six-speaker DAB radio with MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth with music streaming. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, projection headlights with LED daytime running lights, powered two-way driver's seat lumbar adjustment, black cloth seats and remote central locking with a fold-away key, while the comprehensive safety provisions include Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-start Assist Control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and an electronic parking brake. Front and rear parking sensors are included, along with Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM smartphone connectivity and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live updates.
Grade ‘3’ upgrades the navigation screen to 8.0 inches and on the Sportswagon features privacy glass for the rear windows and tailgate. There’s an eight-way power-adjustable driver's memory seat with four-way electronic lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and steering wheel. The exterior is distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome and body colour exterior door handles, projection front fog lights and rear combination lamps and chrome-coloured side sill mouldings. The black cloth seats have faux leather sections, there are satin chrome highlights on the touch-screen bezel. Rear electric windows with an auto up/down function and an anti-trap safety feature are also found on grade ‘3’ along with a 4.3-inch premium vision instrument cluster, satin chrome interior door handles and gloss black window switch panels. The Harman/kardon® Premium Sound system with eight speakers and 490W external amplifier is also standard, while the 7DCT version has paddle shifters for manual control and a Drive Mode Select function. Additional driver aids on grade ‘3’ include Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and a speed limit information function (SLIF).
‘GT-Line S’ is exclusive to the Sportswagon bodystyle and supplements all this with a wireless mobile phone charger, 360-degree Around View Monitor, Smart Park Assist System (SPAS), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Adaptive Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), High Beam Assist (HBA), Forward Collison Avoidance Assist (FCA) and a Smart Powered Tailgate. It has a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, LED headlights with automatic levelling, dynamic cornering lights, LED front fog lights and LED rear combination lights with black bezel. The upholstery is finished in black leather with red stitching, and there’s ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, rear door window blinds, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates, a smart key with illuminated start/stop button, LED front map lights and rear reading lights and ambient interior lighting. A leather D-shaped steering wheel with red stitching and a rear bumper with diffuser and twin exhaust completes the sporty touches.
Market, warranty and after-care
Servicing is required every 20,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes soonest. In keeping with every Kia, the Optima saloon and Optima Sportswagon comes with the company’s unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached, and if the car is less than 18 months old or has fewer than 18,000 miles on the clock, it is topped up to match that of a new model.
The Optima is available with ‘Kia Care’ service plans, which have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicle’s life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.
The service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first three and five services, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty. The plans are available for all Kia owners and can be purchased at any point of ownership for cars up to five years old.