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Kia Optima update gets new design and enhanced tech

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Kia has introduced a range of design enhancements and two new powertrain options to its Optima saloon and estate – a new 136hp 1.6-litre diesel engine, and a 163hp 1.6-litre petrol engine.

A switchable drive mode selector lets the driver switch between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart modes. Each mode can then be further customised to prioritise fuel economy or more immediate acceleration. ‘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.

Kia 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 models also feature a new rear bumper design. The grille features a new bright chrome finish to create a more sophisticated, purposeful appearance. A new paint colour called ‘Runway Red’ is available, as well as new alloy wheel designs.

Inside, the cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel and satin-chrome trim on the centre console which extends across the dashboard. Buyers can specify their interior in black, two-tone black and grey cloth or leather, or choose a new brown cloth or leather upholstery. There’s new ambient lighting around the dashboard and doors, which can be switched between six different colours.

GT and GT Line updates

The GT Line and flagship GT models also get some new design updates. These consist of new LED fog lamps, 18-inch alloy wheel designs, and gloss black colouring for the mirror caps, side sills and air intake grille. GT Line models are distinguished by dual twin exhausts, while the Optima GT is fitted with chrome twin exhaust tips.

The interiors feature the same improvements to material quality and trim as the standard car, while the seats are now available in two-tone black and red leather. Black leather with contrasting red stitching is also available. The GT has front seats embroidered with subtle GT logos in contrast black or grey stitching, depending on the choice of upholstery.

Safety improvements

The updated Optima is available with Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, a suite of active safety technologies to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions.

This includes a driver drowsiness detection system, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, lane-keeping assist, and full LED swivelling headlamps with automatic high beam. These technologies are claimed to make the Optima one of the safest cars in its class.

The new Optima is available with seven- or eight-inch touchscreen infotainment systems, with navigation and connected services powered by TomTom. The system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to enable full smartphone integration.  In the centre console is a wireless smartphone charger for compatible devices.

The infotainment system is linked to a higher-resolution 360º camera system. The system uses cameras at the front, rear and sides of the vehicle to provide the driver with an overall view of their surroundings, making it easier to complete low-speed parking manoeuvres.

As with all Kia models, the new Optima will come with a seven year, 100,000 mile warranty. The upgraded Optima saloon and Sportswagon go on sale across Europe in the autumn – full UK specification, line up and pricing will be announced in due course.

The latest from The Car Expert

Michael Dalton
Michael Daltonhttp://thevanexpert.co.uk
Michael graduated from university in 2016 with a degree in Human, Social, and Political Sciences. He is a former contributor to both The Car Expert and The Van Expert.