More efficient, cleaner, and better looking equals a successful sales recipe

Kia Motors of Europe is giving the Kia Optima sedan and Sportswagon a healthy mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year. The South Korean automaker is hoping to play off its successes in 2017 with an Optima that’s even more focused on customer demands.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, said in Kia’s official release that “The Optima enjoyed a record year of sales in Europe in 2017, with sales growing from 9,600 to more than 16,800 units last year. It is a key contributor to Kia’s sustainable growth in Europe, and the Optima’s sales momentum has been maintained through the introduction of new variants in 2017. These include Sportswagon and high-performance GT variants, and an ultra-low emissions Plug-in Hybrid powertrain.

Headlining the changes are two new engines: a new “U3” 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel and a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine. They join the two existing 2.0-liter gasoline engines and Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The entire range now comes with drive modes, allowing customization of the driving experience.

Outwardly, the new Kia Optima Sportswagon boasts a slightly revised exterior that’s more upscale. The grille, lower fascia, headlights, and fog lights are all mildly different. Around back, new LED taillights shine with an updated pattern. New wheels also accompany the changes. The sporty GT trim gets further changes, including specific 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, and gloss black trim on the mirror caps, side sills, and grille. The rear bumper features dual exhaust, as well.

Inside, the Optima’s cabin remains mostly unchanged. A new steering wheel, stain chrome trim, and a new ambient lighting package are the biggest updates. Two-tone leather seats are now optional, including black leather with red contrast stitching.

On GT models, the interior gets the GT insignia embroidered on the seatbacks in either black or gray contrast stitching, depending on the choice of leather seating color.

The 2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon gets a handful of active safety technology, too. This includes Kia’s new Driver Attention Warning system, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with pedestrian recognition, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and Dynamic Bending Light (headlights that follow the steering wheel) with the LED headlights. A 360-degree camera system is also new for 2019.

Last but not least, the 2019 Optima comes with Kia’s most up-to-date infotainment software on both the standard 7.0-inch and optional 8.0-inch touchscreens. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation from TomTom are all included.

Kia has not announced pricing at this point, but that will become available closer to the 2019 Optima and Optima Sportswaon’s on-sale date in Europe during the third quarter of 2018.

References

2016 Kia Optima
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Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Optima.

2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon
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Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

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Read more Kia news.

- * Optima offers new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi engine with lower, cleaner emissions
- * Powertrain line-up bolstered by addition of 1.6-litre T-GDi gasoline engine
- * Revised exterior and interior design for spacious sedan and Sportswagon
- * Equipped with the latest technology and safety features, including Driver Attention Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
- * Available with new high-resolution Around View Monitor parking camera
- * Upgraded Optima sedan and Sportswagon on-sale in Europe in Q3 2018

Kia Motors Europe has introduced a range of design enhancements and new engines for the new Kia Optima. Sold in Europe as a sedan or Sportswagon, the car makes its debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, and is due on sale across Europe in Q3 2018.

The Optima range benefits from two new powertrain options: Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (common-rail direct injection) diesel engine, and a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine. As well as refreshed exterior and interior design, the new Optima also features Kia’s latest active safety and in-car connectivity technologies.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The Optima enjoyed a record year of sales in Europe in 2017, with sales growing from 9,600 to more than 16,800 units last year. It is a key contributor to Kia’s sustainable growth in Europe, and the Optima’s sales momentum has been maintained through the introduction of new variants in 2017. These include Sportswagon and high-performance GT variants, and an ultra-low emissions Plug-in Hybrid powertrain.

“With a model to meet every requirement, the Optima’s refreshed design, new engines and expanded range of technologies will further broaden its appeal, for corporate and private buyers alike.”

Powertrain: low emissions from lightweight turbocharged engines

The Optima is now available with Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ diesel engine, designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard. The new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (common-rail direct injection) replaces the earlier 1.7-litre CRDi engine. The new engine employs Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to significantly reduce emissions. The new engine therefore produces low carbon dioxide, particulate matter and NOx emissions. The powertrain produces 136ps and 320 Nm of torque across a 2,000-2,250 rpm engine range.

A new addition to the range, the Optima is also available with Kia’s 180ps 1.6-litre T-GDi engine for the first time. The lightweight turbocharged engine offers buyers a new gasoline powertrain option between the naturally-aspirated 163ps 2.0-litre CVVL (Continuously-Variable Valve Lift) engine and the 245ps 2.0-litre T-GDi which powers the high-performance Optima GT. The new 180ps 1.6-litre T-GDi is paired with Kia’s smooth-shifting seven-speed double-clutch transmission, which lets drivers change gear using steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

A new Drive Mode Selector lets Optima drivers switch between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart modes. Each mode enables the driver to customise the powertrain’s responses, prioritising fuel economy or more immediate acceleration. It also lets drivers adapt the weight of the rack-mounted power steering system, for more relaxed or more immediate, engaging steering responses. ‘Smart Mode’ is designed to anticipate the driver’s needs, switching automatically between Eco, Comfort and Sport modes depending on conditions. This enables the Optima to adapt to the driver’s behaviour and the road conditions, pre-empting the driver’s preference for different speeds and driving environments.

Updated exterior and interior design

Kia’s designers have made a series of modifications to the Optima’s exterior design. These include a revised front bumper design, as well as new LED tail-lamps and a revised design for the head- and fog lamps. Sedan models also feature a new rear bumper design. The ‘tiger-nose’ grille features a new bright chrome finish to create a more sophisticated, purposeful appearance. A new paint colour, ‘Runway Red’, is available, as well as new designs for the Optima’s 16-,17-, and 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels.

Inside, the cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel and satin-chrome trim on the centre console which extends across the dashboard. Buyers can specify their interior in black, two tone black and grey cloth or leather, or choose a new brown cloth or leather upholstery.

In addition, the Optima features new ambient lighting around the dashboard and doors, letting occupants switch between six different colours – or assign different colours to individual driving modes. By default, cabin lighting floods the cabin in a soft green glow in Eco mode, while Sport mode turns lighting to red. Smart mode fills the interior with soft blue ambient lighting.

Design updates to GT and GT Line variants

Kia has also modified the design of the Optima GT Line and high-performance Optima GT. For added style and on-road presence, GT and GT Line models feature new LED fog lamps, 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel designs, and subtle gloss black mirror caps, side sills and air intake grille. GT Line models are distinguished by distinctive new dual twin exhausts, while the Optima GT is fitted with chrome twin exhaust tips.

The interior features the same improvements to material quality and trim as the standard car, while the seats are now available in two-tone black and red leather. Black leather with contrasting red stitching is also available. The GT has front seats embroidered with subtle GT logos in contrast black or grey stitching, depending on the choice of upholstery.

Safety: new active safety features available

The Optima is available with Kia’s latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) creating an intelligently safe vehicle with active safety technologies to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions.

The Optima’s new Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system combats distracted or drowsy driving by monitoring a number of inputs from the vehicle and driver. It sounds a warning chime and displays a graphic in the instrument binnacle if it senses a lapse in concentration from the driver. In Europe, driver fatigue is believed to be a key factor in up to a quarter of all fatal traffic accidents across the continent*. The USA’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. In the USA, this results in an estimated 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries annually.**

Other safety features available on the Optima include: Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian recognition***, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA); High Beam Assist (HBA), and full LED headlamps with Dynamic Bending Light. These technologies make the Optima one of the safest cars in its class.

Technology: connected touchscreen infotainment and around view monitoring

The new Optima is available with Kia’s latest 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with navigation and Kia Connected Services powered by TomTom®. The system offers Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ to enable full smartphone integration. Android Auto™ is designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher; Apple CarPlay™, for iPhone 5 or newer. Within the centre console is a wireless smartphone charger, allowing users to charge their smartphones on the move.

The infotainment system is linked to the Optima’s new higher-resolution Around View Monitor (AVM) camera system. The system uses cameras at the front, rear and sides of the vehicle to provide the driver with a 360-degree view of their surroundings, making it easier to complete low-speed parking manoeuvres.

Upgraded Optima sedan and Sportswagon on-sale in Q3 2018

Backed by the company’s quality promise, the new Kia Optima is sold as standard with the company’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty. The upgraded Optima sedan and Sportswagon go on sale across Europe in Q3 2018.

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