Released earlier in January the second generation model is more modern with a luxurious cabin. Improvements have been made to comfort, safety and fuel economy.
From the outside it doesn’t look like much has changed since the last generation, however the Kia Optima has been updated for 2016 with a new luxurious interior and slight increase in size. Interior space has been improved thanks to an extra 10mm on the wheelbase, almost 13mm added to the width and just over 15mm increase in height.
Notable changes to the exterior design include the LED ‘halo effect’ rear light clusters and the front light units are now wrap around, meeting the distinctively Kia ‘tiger nose’ grille and the taut metal sheet over the front wheel arches.
What to expect inside
Equipment is impressive in all three trims, the entry-level grade 2 comes with a 7-inch sat nav system, reversing camera, DAB radio, MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. The model even adds comfort specifications such as two-way driver’s seat lumbar adjustment and dual automatic air conditioning as well as safety provisions such as an electronic parking brake, Vehicle Stability Management, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and Electronic Stability Control.
The seats are more comfortable than the model’s predecessor, there is increased support through reshaping and comfort has been improved by the stiffer frames. NVH is decreased with acoustic dampening and additional soundproofing.
A seven or eight-inch touchscreen (depending on trim level) operates the sat nav and infotainment systems. One option that can be integrated with this is the Kia Connected Service, which offers real-time traffic and weather updates directly.
By going up a grade to the next trim you will expect the addition of an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with four-way lumbar adjustment, heated seats and xenon dual projection headlights. Seats feature leather sections and there are electric windows with an anti-trap safety feature and auto up and down function. Outside you’ll find 18-inch alloy wheels, body colour exterior door handles and chrome-coloured side sill mouldings.
Range topping grade 4 featured spec includes wireless mobile phone charging, a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof and ambient interior lighting among other points.
Under the bonnet
There are four versions available in the UK, all featuring a fuel saving start/stop system and all ideal for those driving for business. Grade 2 is manual only, grade 3 offers both transmissions and grade 4 is DCT only. All four are available with a 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine.
CO2 emissions have been decreased by up to 25 per cent from the Kia’s original model therefore decreasing BIK tax and making whole life costs for the Optima more enticing. The manual model emits 110g/km (a 14% decrease with a reported fuel economy of 67.3mpg), whereas the DCT emits 116g/km (a decrease of 25%), and official fuel economy figures are 64.2mpg so fleet running costs should be lower than with the previous model.
An electric plug in version, GT model and an estate are to join the range later on in 2016.
Top class safety
Kia is of the belief that the best way to survive an accident is to prevent one. The best in its class for safety, the new Optima has multiple accident prevention features available. Grades 3 and 4 have reversing cameras on the 7.0 or 8.0-inch touch screens, preventing minor bumps when parking. The range-topping grade 4 operates long- and short-range radar systems to detect vehicles and pedestrians at a distance and at any speed. This version of the model also boasts Rear Cross traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and Lane Keep Assist.