The all-new Kia Optima is on sale now and if you fancy one you’ll need to part with at least £21,495. That’s more than the entry-level price of the previous Optima, which cost upwards of £18,995.
But all isn’t quite what it seems, because the basic Optima 1 trim level has been deleted, with the Optima 2 now the base model. In total, four models are available, with – for the first time – GT and GT Line options to be added later. Kia is keen to position the new Optima as a more upmarket saloon, hence the deletion of the old base model.
The Kia Optima is the first car in its class to offer a wireless charger for mobile devices and also packs a 360-degree Around View Monitor and Smart Park Assist. Autonomous Emergency Braking, Bi-Xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights, High Beam Assist and a wealth of other safety devices are also available.
Combine these with Kia’s acclaimed seven-year warranty and it’s likely more people will take notice of the new Optima. Indeed, Kia is hopeful the Optima will make a big impression in the fleet sector.
The 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine is more powerful than before, as well as being up to 25% more efficient. In manual form, the diesel-only Optima emits just 110g/km CO2, with the potential to return as much as 67.3mpg. With the new 7DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission, the CO2 emissions figure rises to 116g/km, with fuel economy dropping to 64.2mpg.
On the plus side, the automatic transmission is more efficient than the six-speed torque converter found in the previous Optima. A plug-in hybrid Optima will be added to the range in 2016. Similarly, the GT and GT Line versions will be available next year, but Kia hasn’t confirmed when the long-awaited Optima estate – based on the stunning Sportspace concept – will be launched.
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At launch, three tim levels are available – badged as 2, 3 and 4. The entry-level Optima 2 is manual only, the Optima 3 offers a choice of transmissions, while the Optima 4 is DCT only.
Generous standard spec
Standard spec is generous, with the Optima 2 offering a 7-inch satellite navigation system, reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, dual automatic air conditioning, cruise control, heated folding mirrors, DAB radio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and a host of other features that would shame the conveyor belt on the Generation Game. This is a seriously well-equipped car.
The £23,495 Optima 3 gains a larger navigation screen, electric driver’s seat, heated front seats, xenon dual projection headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon premium sound system and a host of exterior and interior upgrades. The DCT transmission adds £1,400 to the price of the Optima 3.
The £28,895 Optima 4 is loaded with safety kit as standard, along with a tilt and slide panoramic roof, bi-xenon headlights, black leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, plus rear window blinds.
Kia is also promising a more rewarding drive than before, with a 50% stiffer body shell that’s also 8.6% lighter than before. It’s fair to say we’re a little bit excited about the new Optima. It has always been a good looking car, but now – on paper at least – it looks like it might have the dynamics and the kit to go with it.