Kia has updated its Optima model for 2018
The car gains new petrol and diesel engines...
...as well as a revised exterior design and revamped interior
The latest infotainment system is added in 7.0 or 8.0 form
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.