Kia Motors America has unveiled a refreshed version of its Optima saloon, a car that has proved a global hit for Kia since its launch exactly three years ago, at the 2010 New York International Motor Show.
Just three years ago, Kia turned the automotive world on its head when the Peter Schreyer-penned Optima mid-size sedan was unveiled at the 2010 New York International Motor Show. Since that time, Optima has become Kia’s sales leader, selling more than 150,000 units last year and gaining worldwide acclaim for its European-inspired design and fun-to-drive performance.
The 2014 Optima arrives with updated front and rear ends, retaining the vehicle’s dynamic and sporty proportions. Available, in the U.S. market, in LX, EX, SX and SX-Limited trims, the Optima’s new premium amenities and convenience options make Optima an impressive player in the competitive mid-size saloon segment. This new Optima is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms in the third quarter of the year, and pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date. A European launch is anticipated towards the start of 2014.
Michael Sprague, Executive Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Kia Motors America, said: “With the latest version of the Optima, Kia continues to advance value to new levels of sophistication, offering mid-size saloon consumers new premium amenities and convenience upgrades, as well as a refinement of the world-class design that so completely transformed our brand. The Optima is the cornerstone of Kia’s design evolution and epitomizes the brand’s goal of building highly-captivating, value-positioned vehicles.”
Improvement of an Already Iconic Design
In a mid-size saloon segment long dominated by function over desirability, the 2014 Optima cements the model’s status as a trailblazer of combining style and substance in an affordably priced vehicle. Refining the Optima’s sculpted, high-end appearance, Kia’s Frankfurt-based design team improved the vehicle’s front and rear ends and the brand’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille. The vehicle’s bold stance and aerodynamic shape are further accentuated by updated rear diffusers and a sweeping boot lid. Lighting up the European-inspired design are striking front LED daytime running lights and fog lights, along with clear, newly designed LED rear lamps.
The improvements continue within the cabin of the 2014 Optima, as drivers are greeted with more upscale and high-tech amenities. Activating the Optima’s push button ignition brings two new displays to life: a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and optional high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen, featuring UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity sound system, HD Radio and Satellite Radio.
All-new seat designs ensure a comfortable drive in the powerful and spirited sedan, while an optional new Blind Spot Detection (BSD) system, which includes rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors, improves convenience and peace of mind.
Every 2014 Optima comes well equipped with a generous host of standard features. The LX trim offers dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, exterior mirror turn signal indicators, front fog lights, exterior heated mirrors, chrome accented exterior door handles and new 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with 205/65R16 tyres and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The volume-leading EX trim offers larger 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with 215/55R17 tyres, leather seats, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and an illuminated front cup holders. Moving to the SX trim, consumers will find stylish new 18-inch polished alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tyres, unique front and rear lower bumpers and side sills, aero wiper blades.
The SX-T includes Xenon headlights with auto levelling. Elevating to the top-of-the-line Limited trim brings Optima to another level of sporty refinement, adding unique 18-inch chrome wheels, new LED fog lights, red brake callipers, an electronic parking brake, chrome accented side sills, and premium Nappa leather seats.
Dynamic and Efficient Powertrains
The 2014 Optima is available with two powerful Theta II powerplants featuring Gasoline Direct injection (GDi) technology: a 2.4-litre GDi four-cylinder or a 2.0-litre T-GDi engine. A 2.4-litre hybrid powertrain is also available. The 2.4-litre GDi engine is available on LX, EX and SX models while the more robust 2.0-litre turbo GDi engine is offered exclusively to the SX. This turbo-charged unit delivers V6-type power with a four-cylinder’s efficiency.
Each engine choice is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission featuring Sportmatic clutch-free shifting. New for the 2014 Optima, and exclusive to the sporty SX variant, is Drive Mode Select (DMS), which adjusts transmission shift points and steering weight, offering owners a customisable driving experience.