Kia's £21k saloon and its Sportswagon estate sibling get revised looks along with extra petrol and diesel engines; on sale in the summer

Kia has updated its Optima saloon and Optima Sportswagon estate with revised styling, new engines and additional technology - and its displaying the models at the Geneva motor show.

A new 1.6-litre diesel engine with 134bhp and 236lb ft replaces the 139bhp 1.7 CRDi unit in the Optima. The new powerplant employs selective catalytic reduction, which, Kia claims, "significantly reduces emissions".

Kia's existing 178bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol unit, which is also used in the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Kona, has also been added to the engine line-up, slotting between the naturally aspirated 161bhp 2.0 GDi and the 242bhp 2.0 T-GDi of the Optima GT. This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

In addition, a new drive mode selector, which alters accelerator and steering responses, lets drivers choose from four set-ups: Eco, Comfort, Sport and automatic.

Styling revisions to the Optima include a new front bumper design, chrome grille highlights, headlight design, foglight design and LED tail-lights. The saloon also gains a new rear bumper design. There's also a fresh paint colour, Runway Red, and new 16in, 17in and 18in alloy wheel designs.

Sporty GT and GT-Line models add LED foglights, twin tailpipes and gloss black highlights for the door mirror caps, side sills and air intake grille.

Inside, a new steering wheel, extra trim on the dashboard and six-colour ambient lighting have been introduced, along with leather and brown cloth upholstery options.

The infotainment is Kia's latest system, displayed on a 7.0in or 8.0in touchscreen, featuring sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging and a new 360deg parking camera.

In terms of safety tech, a driver awareness monitor joins lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The update to the Optima follows a record year for the model in Europe, in which Kia shifted 16,800 examples, compared with 9600 in 2016, the model's first full year on sale.

Kia Europe CEO Michael Cole said: "The Optima is a key contributor to Kia’s sustainable growth in Europe, and its sales momentum has been maintained through the introduction of new variants in 2017, these including the Sportswagon, GT variants and plug-in hybrid".

The 2018 Optima will go on sale in the third quarter of 2018. A small price increase over the current £20,845 entry point is expected.

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Our Verdict

Kia Optima

Latest Optima looks to right the wrongs of the old model with improved quality, refinement and handling, but is it successful

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Comments
6

27 February 2018

Looks as good as any other premium(?) German/Swedish Estate and does the same job for £10k or so less. Cheaper and maybe better than alot of PSA, VW's, Ford's efforts meaning this good looking capable Estate with a 7 year warranty is capable of taking sales from both groups.

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

27 February 2018
xxxx wrote:

Looks as good as any other premium(?) German/Swedish Estate and does the same job for £10k or so less. Cheaper and maybe better than alot of PSA, VW's, Ford's efforts meaning this good looking capable Estate with a 7 year warranty is capable of taking sales from both groups.

 

Sadly though the market for big old school saloons has fractured into, on the one hand, high-chair style pretend SUVs, and on the other, PCP/lease for base spec German repmobiles (which often work out cheaper due to resale value)

 

 

27 February 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Looks as good as any other premium(?) German/Swedish Estate and does the same job for £10k or so less. Cheaper and maybe better than alot of PSA, VW's, Ford's efforts meaning this good looking capable Estate with a 7 year warranty is capable of taking sales from both groups.

 

Sadly though the market for big old school saloons has fractured into, on the one hand, high-chair style pretend SUVs, and on the other, PCP/lease for base spec German repmobiles (which often work out cheaper due to resale value)

 

 

Not sure about PCP's but take a look at the contract hire rates for these, they work out considerably cheaper than the so called premium brands. The wagon version of this is really good, not as soft touch inside but the build is on par, and better than Ford/Vauxhall can hobble together. Ride quality is a bit harsh though.

27 February 2018

It makes me happy and positive for Kia that they still sell this, given that almost everyone else has given up on big saloons, and Kia themselves are having runaway success with their pretend crossover "me too!" SUVs that everyone is inexplicably obsessed with.

27 February 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

It makes me happy and positive for Kia that they still sell this, given that almost everyone else has given up on big saloons, and Kia themselves are having runaway success with their pretend crossover "me too!" SUVs that everyone is inexplicably obsessed with.

Why is it a 'pretend' crossover? It either is or isn't.

27 February 2018

The estate particularly is a fine looking machine, apart from the fake diffuser (on a estate car for crying out loud). A manual version would make it very appealing.

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