Fourth-generation Optima will go on sale towards the end of this year, featuring Sportspace-inspired looks and a more luxurious cabin

The new Kia Optima will make its global debut at the New York motor show next month, and has been previewed with this official image, which shows the car in the metal for the first time.

Set to take on the likes of the new Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat when it goes on sale in Europe towards the end of this year, the fourth-generation Optima is based on the same platform as the Hyundai i40.

Kia describes the new car as being "passionately designed and obsessively crafted," and says the Optima range "has become a catalyst for the brand’s tremendous growth around the globe."

Showing clear design inspiration from recent Kia models, the fourth-generation Optima features a thinner, elongated interpretation of the firm's 'Tiger Nose' grille, as well as larger lower air vents. The new model gets a more aggressive rear bumper design than today's Optima, too.

As well revising the exterior styling, Kia is understood to have lifted the overall fit and finish of the Optima's cabin, with spy pictures revealing a new centre console design. The Korean firm says "the all-new Optima features a more spacious interior, premium features from the class above and a number of technologies not previously offered."

Elements from Geneva's Sportspace concept car, such as its large freestanding infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster, could also be used. The Sportspace previews the Optima estate, which will go on sale soon after the saloon.

Powering the new model in Europe will be a revised version of the current Optima's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine. In the current car, that engine produces 134bhp and 321lb ft.

Joining the range soon after launch should be a new diesel-electric hybrid variant of the Optima. Kia previewed the technology with its Optima T-Hybrid concept at the Paris motor show last year, and again on the Sportspace concept car. 

The mild hybrid powertrain mates the Optima's existing 1.7-litre turbodiesel engine to a small electric motor.

Read more New York motor show news

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Kia Optima

The Kia Optima has looks, practicality and value on its side. But in a class of talented models, it is an also-ran.

Join the debate

Comments
9

26 September 2014
Though i can't see this being anything more than a niche model in Europe. It should go down a treat in the States and the interior looks pretty nice as well.

21 January 2015
Our silly CO2 based taxes means Kia is unlikely to offer a petrol Optima in UK or Europe. The US and China however is a different story.

21 January 2015
Are you SURE about that lb ft figure for torque?

Where has all Japanese design went to?

22 January 2015
Can't actually comment on the articles I would like as the posts run to more than 1 page so any comments made are lost in the ether. It must be an extremely difficult and expensive fix otherwise any IT department worth their salt would have had this fixed long ago. Utterly pathetic!!

22 January 2015
I Like the optima but its of no interest to me as it has no petrol engine. Please bring the 2.0 turbo USA has.

22 January 2015
I prefer this to the SUVs that Kia offer, always thought the Optima looked classy in an understated way.

19 March 2015
Here in Russia the Optima - which is in fact a scaled up version of the (Russia only - made here here in St Petersburg) Hyundai Solaris. The Solaris is the number one seller for the ;last 2 years here and consequently the sister stable Kia (also made here) Optima has become a popular choice and an option to the VW Passat. However, I think they (Kia) have a long way to go to match interior performance and looks to beat the Passat. This is only a series of sketches so need to see how improved it is in the metal. One thing in its favour over the Passat is the warranty which is twice that of the Passat

what's life without imagination

19 March 2015
I wish that they would sell the estate version in the US with their V6 but that will not happen, sadly.

26 March 2015
Moparman wrote:

I wish that they would sell the estate version in the US with their V6 but that will not happen, sadly.

That would be good in the UK too. But a diesel only range will limit its appeal to private buyers (well me anyway).

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK