First up, the 2.4-litre GDI four-cylinder and 2.0-litre GDI turbo engine from the previous generation are carried forward. The former outputs 185hp/241Nm while the latter produces 247hp/353Nm and both petrol engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic shifting with paddle shifters. The latest addition to the engine range is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo unit that sends 178hp and 264Nm of torque through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, a first for the Kia brand. All three powertrains send their power to the front wheels.
The new chassis is lighter and stiffer thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel, adding more hot stamped components, and greater use of structural adhesive. Overall, the all-new Optima is longer, taller, and wider (not disclosed) than before with an extended wheelbase of 2,805mm (10mm more). Kia also say that various innovations are put in place to reduce NVH including constructing the panoramic sunroof support structure out of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic among other changes.
To improve ride and handling, the Optima now carries a four-bushing mount system (previously dual bushing mounts) as along with new wheel bearings, addition of larger dual lower controls arms at the rear, and the Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response.
On the outside, the new design sports the brand’s signature tiger-nose grille that sits between bi-functional HID headlamps, Kia’s first application that is available with Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist. Along the side, its status quo until we reach the raised deck lid and LED taillights. Alloy wheels fitted are available in sizes ranging from 16- to 18-inches.
Inside, the expanded dimensions and wheelbase promote a roomier cabin as well as a large cargo capacity in the trunk. The interior itself sees the utilisation of more soft-touch materials with small details like real stitching along the dash and doors. Seat comfort is also improved with a new seat design wrapped in either cloth, leather, or Nappa leather.
Kia’s UVO infotainment unit comes standard with four additional eServices and will be able to interact with your smartphone using either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. An 8-inch touchscreen functions as the display for the system. Audio is sent through a standard six-speaker system with the option of an upgrade to the 14-speaker Infinity Premium Audio System.
As for safety and driver assistance systems, a rear-camera display and 360-degree Around View Monitor is offered along with Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).