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Found 19 results

  1. The Kia K5 was unveiled in South Korea last month, but now we have some technical details to go with it. It sounds like Kia will ditch the Optima name in the U.S. and go with the K5 name used in South Korea going forward. The engine selection is similar to that of the Hyundai Sonata. There will be a 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder with 178 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. There will also be a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated and direct injected 4-cylinder that produces 191 hp and 181 lb.-ft of torque. The bigger news is that the Kia K5 GT will also get the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder going into the Sonata N-Line, that motor produces 286 hp and 311 lb.-ft of torque. That final engine is paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and should get the sedan from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. Sometime in the future, a hybrid version of the car will be released, but Kia isn't going into detail on that just yet. Probably the biggest news for the K5 is that it will gain an all-wheel drive system that can shift power to the rear axle based on road conditions and driver input. It should be noted that the Sonata doesn't get an all-wheel drive option, so this gives the Kia a point of distinction over its cousin. The K5 has a sporty exterior with a wide tiger nose grille running the entire width of the vehicle. New headlights with a 'heart beat' daytime running light feature flank both sides. The stance of the K5 is said to lean forward with a rakish windshield and sloping roof. In the rear is a dual exhaust system and integrated spoiler along with a LED light bar. Wheels start at 16-inches and range up to 19-inches on the GT. The K5 is 193.1 inches long, longer than its predecessor, it's also lower and wider. Wheelbase grows by 1.8-inches. The cabin is all new with fancy new seats and a flat bottom steering wheel. There is an availabe infotainment system that sports a 10.25-inch screen while an available gauge cluster is fully digital and 12.3 inches complimented by an 8.0-inch heads up display. Some models of K5 will get a rotary gear selector while others get a more traditional T-Shifter. The K5 will have a bunch of driver assistance technologies including forward collision avoidance assist, blind-spot monitoring and assist, smart cruise control, driver attention warning, and highway driving assist. Also available is a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system and a remote park assist that will allow users to move their vehicle forwards or backwards with a key fob in order to get into or out of a tight parking spot. The 2021 Kia K5 goes on sale in the first half of 2020. View full article
  2. The Kia K5 was unveiled in South Korea last month, but now we have some technical details to go with it. It sounds like Kia will ditch the Optima name in the U.S. and go with the K5 name used in South Korea going forward. The engine selection is similar to that of the Hyundai Sonata. There will be a 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder with 178 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. There will also be a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated and direct injected 4-cylinder that produces 191 hp and 181 lb.-ft of torque. The bigger news is that the Kia K5 GT will also get the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder going into the Sonata N-Line, that motor produces 286 hp and 311 lb.-ft of torque. That final engine is paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and should get the sedan from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. Sometime in the future, a hybrid version of the car will be released, but Kia isn't going into detail on that just yet. Probably the biggest news for the K5 is that it will gain an all-wheel drive system that can shift power to the rear axle based on road conditions and driver input. It should be noted that the Sonata doesn't get an all-wheel drive option, so this gives the Kia a point of distinction over its cousin. The K5 has a sporty exterior with a wide tiger nose grille running the entire width of the vehicle. New headlights with a 'heart beat' daytime running light feature flank both sides. The stance of the K5 is said to lean forward with a rakish windshield and sloping roof. In the rear is a dual exhaust system and integrated spoiler along with a LED light bar. Wheels start at 16-inches and range up to 19-inches on the GT. The K5 is 193.1 inches long, longer than its predecessor, it's also lower and wider. Wheelbase grows by 1.8-inches. The cabin is all new with fancy new seats and a flat bottom steering wheel. There is an availabe infotainment system that sports a 10.25-inch screen while an available gauge cluster is fully digital and 12.3 inches complimented by an 8.0-inch heads up display. Some models of K5 will get a rotary gear selector while others get a more traditional T-Shifter. The K5 will have a bunch of driver assistance technologies including forward collision avoidance assist, blind-spot monitoring and assist, smart cruise control, driver attention warning, and highway driving assist. Also available is a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system and a remote park assist that will allow users to move their vehicle forwards or backwards with a key fob in order to get into or out of a tight parking spot. The 2021 Kia K5 goes on sale in the first half of 2020.
  3. Kia's styling lately has been on a good run with the handsome Kia Telluride, the Kia Stinger, and the new Kia Soul. Next up looks to be the redesigned Kia Optima. Though the current model is only 4 years old, Kia is looking at a major redesign for 2020-2021 in the Korean market where it is dubbed the K5. The company released a series of concept photos to show the direction in styling they are aiming for. The flowing lines give the car a couple like silhouette, while a larger, blunter "tiger nose" grille takes up most of the front. The running lights take on a Z shape like on the larger Cadenza and the headlamps merge into the wide front grille. Around back is a trunk lid with a small lip of a rear spoiler and full-width tail lamps. A chrome strip runs from the base of the A-pillar, up and along the roofline and then down under the rear window glass. Inside is a fully digital instrument cluster and a minimal number of buttons and dials on the center stack. The standard style gear shifter has been replaced with a rotary selector. We don't know when the actual reveal will be, but it can't be that far away, perhaps at the Los Angeles Auto Show coming up in November.
  4. Kia's styling lately has been on a good run with the handsome Kia Telluride, the Kia Stinger, and the new Kia Soul. Next up looks to be the redesigned Kia Optima. Though the current model is only 4 years old, Kia is looking at a major redesign for 2020-2021 in the Korean market where it is dubbed the K5. The company released a series of concept photos to show the direction in styling they are aiming for. The flowing lines give the car a couple like silhouette, while a larger, blunter "tiger nose" grille takes up most of the front. The running lights take on a Z shape like on the larger Cadenza and the headlamps merge into the wide front grille. Around back is a trunk lid with a small lip of a rear spoiler and full-width tail lamps. A chrome strip runs from the base of the A-pillar, up and along the roofline and then down under the rear window glass. Inside is a fully digital instrument cluster and a minimal number of buttons and dials on the center stack. The standard style gear shifter has been replaced with a rotary selector. We don't know when the actual reveal will be, but it can't be that far away, perhaps at the Los Angeles Auto Show coming up in November. View full article
  5. When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four. As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models. But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet. The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Kia Model: Optima Trim: SXL Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25 Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia Base Price: $35,790 As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A View full article
  6. When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four. As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models. But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet. The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Kia Model: Optima Trim: SXL Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25 Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia Base Price: $35,790 As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A
  7. Has it really been almost four years since we last took at the Kia Optima? Going back through our review archives, the answer is yes with the 2012 Optima Hybrid. Since this time, we have driven the full gamut of midsize sedans that have impressed us (Honda Accord EX) or ended up to be a big dud (Chevrolet Malibu Eco). The Optima hasn’t been resting on its laurels during this time either. Kia has been improving the sedan over time with new features and trim levels. Last year, the company introduced an all-new Optima which looks similar to the previous one. So we wondered what changes had been made and if it still remains one of our favorite midsize sedans. Compared to the last-generation Optimas, the 2016 model looks the same at a glance. But there are some key differences that set the new model apart from the old one. The most apparent one is around back where there is a new trunk lid design with a higher decklid. A set of LED taillights finishes it off. The front also sees some changes, but you’ll need to look closely. The grille is slightly narrower and there are new headlights. Some will be disappointed that Kia didn’t do any drastic changes, but I’m ok with it. It is still one of the best looking midsize sedans on sale. The interior is where you’ll begin to see some major changes. The dashboard is all-new with a design borrowed from the Cadenza and K900 with more soft-touch materials and a revised center stack. We like the new center stack as it is easier to find to various functions at a quick glance. The 2016 model also gains an updated version of Kia’s UVO infotainment system with eServices. eServices allow you to do various functions such as run diagnostics on the vehicle and schedule a service appointment. It will also call 911 if the airbags deploy. Like in previous Kia models we have driven, UVO is towards the top of our favorite infotainment systems as it is simple to use and offers a lot of features for the money. Overall comfort in the Optima hasn’t changed much since we last checked it out. The front seats still offer excellent levels of comfort and support. Opt for the Premium Package on the EX and you’ll gain power adjustments for the passenger, and heated and ventilated seats. In the back, there is plenty of legroom for any sized passenger. Headroom is a different story as tall passengers will be hitting the headliner due to the sloping roofline. If you get the optional panoramic sunroof, this cuts headroom even further. Our EX tester came with 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder with 185 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The 2.4 provides enough power for most people with decent acceleration and a smooth delivery of power. The engine, for the most part, keeps to itself it terms of noise. But this changes during hard acceleration as the engine begins to sound very gravely. The six-speed automatic goes about its business with delivering smooth shifts. As for fuel economy, we got an average of 30.2 MPG for the week. One item we wished Kia would work on is the Optima’s ride. We found it to be a little bit too harsh with many of bumps and imperfections making their way into the cabin. We know Kia is trying to set itself apart from Hyundai by having an edge of sportiness. But you can have good handling along with a comfortable ride. Noise isolation isn’t great as a decent amount of road and wind noise come into the cabin. In terms of handling, the Optima doesn’t embarrass itself. Body motions are kept in check and the steering feels slightly heavy when turning. The 2016 Kia Optima does bring some improvements to already good sedan. But a couple of items keep the Optima back from being towards the top in the midsize class, mostly the ride and noise isolation. If Kia can address both of these issues, then the Optima will be a true threat. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima EX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Kia Model: Optima Trim: EX Engine: 2.4L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/35/28 Curb Weight: 3,362 lbs Location of Manufacture: West Point, GA Base Price: $24,890 As Tested Price: $30,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: EX Premium Package - $3,700 EX Premium Audio Package - $1,200
  8. Has it really been almost four years since we last took at the Kia Optima? Going back through our review archives, the answer is yes with the 2012 Optima Hybrid. Since this time, we have driven the full gamut of midsize sedans that have impressed us (Honda Accord EX) or ended up to be a big dud (Chevrolet Malibu Eco). The Optima hasn’t been resting on its laurels during this time either. Kia has been improving the sedan over time with new features and trim levels. Last year, the company introduced an all-new Optima which looks similar to the previous one. So we wondered what changes had been made and if it still remains one of our favorite midsize sedans. Compared to the last-generation Optimas, the 2016 model looks the same at a glance. But there are some key differences that set the new model apart from the old one. The most apparent one is around back where there is a new trunk lid design with a higher decklid. A set of LED taillights finishes it off. The front also sees some changes, but you’ll need to look closely. The grille is slightly narrower and there are new headlights. Some will be disappointed that Kia didn’t do any drastic changes, but I’m ok with it. It is still one of the best looking midsize sedans on sale. The interior is where you’ll begin to see some major changes. The dashboard is all-new with a design borrowed from the Cadenza and K900 with more soft-touch materials and a revised center stack. We like the new center stack as it is easier to find to various functions at a quick glance. The 2016 model also gains an updated version of Kia’s UVO infotainment system with eServices. eServices allow you to do various functions such as run diagnostics on the vehicle and schedule a service appointment. It will also call 911 if the airbags deploy. Like in previous Kia models we have driven, UVO is towards the top of our favorite infotainment systems as it is simple to use and offers a lot of features for the money. Overall comfort in the Optima hasn’t changed much since we last checked it out. The front seats still offer excellent levels of comfort and support. Opt for the Premium Package on the EX and you’ll gain power adjustments for the passenger, and heated and ventilated seats. In the back, there is plenty of legroom for any sized passenger. Headroom is a different story as tall passengers will be hitting the headliner due to the sloping roofline. If you get the optional panoramic sunroof, this cuts headroom even further. Our EX tester came with 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder with 185 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The 2.4 provides enough power for most people with decent acceleration and a smooth delivery of power. The engine, for the most part, keeps to itself it terms of noise. But this changes during hard acceleration as the engine begins to sound very gravely. The six-speed automatic goes about its business with delivering smooth shifts. As for fuel economy, we got an average of 30.2 MPG for the week. One item we wished Kia would work on is the Optima’s ride. We found it to be a little bit too harsh with many of bumps and imperfections making their way into the cabin. We know Kia is trying to set itself apart from Hyundai by having an edge of sportiness. But you can have good handling along with a comfortable ride. Noise isolation isn’t great as a decent amount of road and wind noise come into the cabin. In terms of handling, the Optima doesn’t embarrass itself. Body motions are kept in check and the steering feels slightly heavy when turning. The 2016 Kia Optima does bring some improvements to already good sedan. But a couple of items keep the Optima back from being towards the top in the midsize class, mostly the ride and noise isolation. If Kia can address both of these issues, then the Optima will be a true threat. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima EX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Kia Model: Optima Trim: EX Engine: 2.4L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/35/28 Curb Weight: 3,362 lbs Location of Manufacture: West Point, GA Base Price: $24,890 As Tested Price: $30,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: EX Premium Package - $3,700 EX Premium Audio Package - $1,200 View full article
  9. KIA MOTORS AMERICA POSTS TENTH CONSECUTIVE MONTHLY SALES RECORD Double Digit Gains for Five Models Push Year-To-Date Sales up 6.9 Percent IRVINE, Calif., March 1, 2016 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced best-ever February sales of 49,737 vehicles, a 13 percent increase over the same period last year. The brand’s tenth consecutive monthly sales record was led by the Soul and Optima, with 11,842 and 9,630 units sold, respectively. “With our Super Bowl ad, Presidents’ Day Sales Event and prominent role in the NBA All-Star Game, February was a huge month for Kia as we extended our monthly record streak to double digits,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, KMA. “Positive economic indicators, low gas prices and mild weather nationwide also drove consumers into Kia showrooms at a record pace, where they discovered the ‘New Kia’s’ line-up of world-class products.” MONTH OF FEBRUARY YEAR-TO-DATE Model 2016 2015 2016 2015 Rio 1,461 1,943 2,891 3,515 Forte 8,187 5,549 13,516 11,971 Optima 9,630 11,584 18,043 20,978 Cadenza 585 640 959 1,023 K900 83 62 151 181 Sportage 5,860 3,407 10,663 6,461 Sorento 8,101 8,518 14,796 16,061 Sedona 3,988 2,362 5,990 4,032 Soul 11,842 9,965 21,033 18,107 Total 49,737 44,030 88,042 82,329
  10. It was five years ago that Kia shocked everyone with the introduction of the Optima. With a bold design, impressive engine lineup, and excellent value for money, the Optima put everyone in the midsize sedan class on notice and was a catalyst in the transformation of Kia. So it seems appropriate that Kia introduce an all-new Optima at New York, which is what they did today. The previous Optima was a big success for the brand, and that put Kia in a tough position. How do you make a popular model new and fresh, while retaining the identity that worked so well before? In the Optima's case, you leave the basic shape, but make a number of adjustments to the front and rear. The front end gets larger headlights, while the tiger-nose grille is composed in a new pinpoint design for the SX and SXL trims. Around back is a raised decklid and optional LED taillights. Wheel choices range from 16 to 18 inches. The Optima has grown in both wheelbase (110.4 inches - increased by 0.4 inches), and width (73.2 inches - increased 1.0 inch). The increase allows for increase in overall space in the cabin and trunk. The Optima's interior draws some inspiration from the Cadenza and K900 with more soft-touch materials, and real stitching along the dash and doors. The center stack sees better grouping and reduction of buttons to reduce confusion. The Optima will also get the second-generation of UVO with eServices, along with the introduction of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which allows drivers to access a number core functions from their smartphones via the 8-inch touchscreen. Kia will be offering three different engines for the 2016 Optima: 2.4L GDI four-cylinder: 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque (Available on LX and EX) Turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder: 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque (Available on LX) Turbocharged 2.0L GDI four-cylinder: 247 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque (Available on SX and SXL) The 2.4 and turbo 2.0 will be paired with six-speed automatics, while the turbo 1.6 will get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Kia says the Optima will go on sale in the U.S. in the forth quarter of this year. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 ALL-NEW 2016 OPTIMA MIDSIZE SEDAN MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW Kia’s Best-Selling Nameplate is Passionately Designed and Obsessively Crafted with European Styling, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements Optima matures into an expertly crafted sedan with two turbo engine choices and five trims, including the U.S.-exclusive SXL Built at Kia’s U.S. plant, Optima features reduced NVH and a more responsive, confident ride NEW YORK, Apr. 1, 2015 – Five years ago Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the re-designed Optima at the New York International Auto Show and introduced a game-changing midsize sedan that catalyzed the brand’s design-led transformation. History was repeated when the all-new 2016 Optima, a symbol of the Kia brand’s maturation through continuous refinement and obsessive attention to detail, made its debut here today. An instant hit with consumers looking for a fresh alternative to an otherwise staid segment, the Optima has been KMA’s top-selling vehicle for three consecutive years, and the all-new model is poised to continue that success. Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL – when sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima will be built at Kia’s plant* in West Point, Georgia. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date. “The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA. “The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.” Instantly Recognizable European Design Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, revealing a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever. The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.0 inch). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk. The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K900 . The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of bi-functional HID headlights – with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist – that illuminate the tarmac around corners. The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan appearance. The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan. The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors compliment the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky; a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments. Exquisite Interior Craftsmanship Optima’s interior is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia’s premium and luxury sedans, the Optima utilizes more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Optima’s luxurious interior is obsessively crafted with an impressive attention to detail and features real stitching along the dash and doors, complimented by tasteful metallic accents, varying by trim level. The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia’s already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved. The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. A stiffer seat frame reduces vibration and soft foam in the headrest, upper back and thigh-support areas allows occupants to nestle into seats with deeper side bolsters made with denser, more supportive foam. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. For added convenience, the 2016 Optima offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles. Depending on trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather or luxurious Nappa leather and two new interior colors – a rich merlot and a dark aubergine – are available. Convenience and Technology Kia’s cutting-edge connectivity system, UVO , comes standard with four additional eServices not previously available on Optima: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score . Additionally, Optima is Kia’s pilot vehicle for the introduction of AndroidTM Auto and Apple® CarPlay (late availability), which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. After connecting their smartphone to the head unit via the vehicle’s front fast-charge USB port (another fast-charge USB port is located in the rear seat), the 8-inch touchscreen screen displays the smartphone’s most important features. Core functions including music, messaging, navigation and voice calls are available via the screen, the steering wheel or via voice command2. Kia is one of the first to deliver this technology, which is available for select Android phones operating with Lollipop or Apple phones operating with iOS8.X or higher. Any future third-party apps that are added by either Android or Apple will be available for customers to enjoy from their respective app store. While the standard six-speaker audio system will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiasts, true audiophiles will gravitate to the available Infinity® Premium Audio System , which includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi™ technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology breathes new life into your favorite music, restoring a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. Optima’s premium Infinity audio system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™7 Surround technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and detailed. Kia was one of the first automakers to incorporate Clari-Fi technology into their audio systems with the debut of the 2016 Sorento, and Optima is the first-ever Kia sedan to feature QuantumLogic Surround technology. The all-new Optima takes convenience to the next level with a long list of available technologies across the various trim levels. Available on every Optima is a rear-camera display while SX and SXL trims offer an available 360-degree Around View Monitor8. Available driver-aid technology, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC)8, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)8, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)8 and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)8 – which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage – makes the task of driving easier and more convenient. Also available for the first time on any Kia vehicle are Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA), which recognizes oncoming traffic and automatically switches the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle has passed. Smart Performance and Safety The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car. The greater use of structural adhesive by more than 450 percent over the previous generation improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride. Additional innovations were implemented to reduce NVH, lighten the vehicle and enhance aerodynamics. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia to feature a panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity. A larger full floor under cover helps reduce wind noise and aid fuel efficiency. Increased dash insulation, added windshield side molding and the increased use of structural adhesive ensure a quiet ride with reduced road and wind noise. Engine mounts, body panels and wheels all are stiffer on the all-new Optima, reducing vibrations, engine noise and road noise. Larger cross-member bushings are utilized to help isolate road and engine noise, as well as reducing engine vibration through the floor and steering wheel. Improving ride and handling was a top priority for engineers. Overall, the chassis is lighter and stiffer, resulting in improved steering response, high-speed stability and handling. Moving the suspension location points of the front and rear sub-frames outward optimizes suspension geometry for a smoother ride over uneven pavement. Where the previous Optima made due with dual bushing mounts, increased lateral stiffness was achieved with a four-bushing mount system for both sub-frames. The increased stiffness pays dividends in improved steering response and tractability through corners. More robust wheel bearings up front and the addition of larger dual lower control arms at the rear also help refine the all-new Optima’s ride and handling characteristics. Available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response with a higher gear ratio. The all-new Optima is available with three engine choices, striking a performance balance between sportiness and fuel efficiency. Two powerplants carry over from the previous generation, the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, available on the LX and EX models, and the 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine, available on the SXL and SX Turbo models. While the engines have yet to receive EPA certification, the 2.4-liter is estimated to produce 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbo is expected to generate approximately 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,350 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic® shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. Both engines have been retuned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM. All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand. The transmission optimizes the engine’s responsiveness for a sporty feel that doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy. Also new for the Optima, Michelin® tires are available on all trims. All three engines channel energy through the front wheels.
  11. It was five years ago that Kia shocked everyone with the introduction of the Optima. With a bold design, impressive engine lineup, and excellent value for money, the Optima put everyone in the midsize sedan class on notice and was a catalyst in the transformation of Kia. So it seems appropriate that Kia introduce an all-new Optima at New York, which is what they did today. The previous Optima was a big success for the brand, and that put Kia in a tough position. How do you make a popular model new and fresh, while retaining the identity that worked so well before? In the Optima's case, you leave the basic shape, but make a number of adjustments to the front and rear. The front end gets larger headlights, while the tiger-nose grille is composed in a new pinpoint design for the SX and SXL trims. Around back is a raised decklid and optional LED taillights. Wheel choices range from 16 to 18 inches. The Optima has grown in both wheelbase (110.4 inches - increased by 0.4 inches), and width (73.2 inches - increased 1.0 inch). The increase allows for increase in overall space in the cabin and trunk. The Optima's interior draws some inspiration from the Cadenza and K900 with more soft-touch materials, and real stitching along the dash and doors. The center stack sees better grouping and reduction of buttons to reduce confusion. The Optima will also get the second-generation of UVO with eServices, along with the introduction of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which allows drivers to access a number core functions from their smartphones via the 8-inch touchscreen. Kia will be offering three different engines for the 2016 Optima: 2.4L GDI four-cylinder: 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque (Available on LX and EX) Turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder: 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque (Available on LX) Turbocharged 2.0L GDI four-cylinder: 247 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque (Available on SX and SXL) The 2.4 and turbo 2.0 will be paired with six-speed automatics, while the turbo 1.6 will get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Kia says the Optima will go on sale in the U.S. in the forth quarter of this year. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 ALL-NEW 2016 OPTIMA MIDSIZE SEDAN MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW Kia’s Best-Selling Nameplate is Passionately Designed and Obsessively Crafted with European Styling, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements Optima matures into an expertly crafted sedan with two turbo engine choices and five trims, including the U.S.-exclusive SXL Built at Kia’s U.S. plant, Optima features reduced NVH and a more responsive, confident ride NEW YORK, Apr. 1, 2015 – Five years ago Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the re-designed Optima at the New York International Auto Show and introduced a game-changing midsize sedan that catalyzed the brand’s design-led transformation. History was repeated when the all-new 2016 Optima, a symbol of the Kia brand’s maturation through continuous refinement and obsessive attention to detail, made its debut here today. An instant hit with consumers looking for a fresh alternative to an otherwise staid segment, the Optima has been KMA’s top-selling vehicle for three consecutive years, and the all-new model is poised to continue that success. Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL – when sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima will be built at Kia’s plant* in West Point, Georgia. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date. “The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA. “The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.” Instantly Recognizable European Design Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, revealing a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever. The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.0 inch). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk. The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K900 . The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of bi-functional HID headlights – with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist – that illuminate the tarmac around corners. The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan appearance. The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan. The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors compliment the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky; a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments. Exquisite Interior Craftsmanship Optima’s interior is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia’s premium and luxury sedans, the Optima utilizes more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Optima’s luxurious interior is obsessively crafted with an impressive attention to detail and features real stitching along the dash and doors, complimented by tasteful metallic accents, varying by trim level. The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia’s already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved. The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. A stiffer seat frame reduces vibration and soft foam in the headrest, upper back and thigh-support areas allows occupants to nestle into seats with deeper side bolsters made with denser, more supportive foam. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. For added convenience, the 2016 Optima offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles. Depending on trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather or luxurious Nappa leather and two new interior colors – a rich merlot and a dark aubergine – are available. Convenience and Technology Kia’s cutting-edge connectivity system, UVO , comes standard with four additional eServices not previously available on Optima: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score . Additionally, Optima is Kia’s pilot vehicle for the introduction of AndroidTM Auto and Apple® CarPlay (late availability), which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. After connecting their smartphone to the head unit via the vehicle’s front fast-charge USB port (another fast-charge USB port is located in the rear seat), the 8-inch touchscreen screen displays the smartphone’s most important features. Core functions including music, messaging, navigation and voice calls are available via the screen, the steering wheel or via voice command2. Kia is one of the first to deliver this technology, which is available for select Android phones operating with Lollipop or Apple phones operating with iOS8.X or higher. Any future third-party apps that are added by either Android or Apple will be available for customers to enjoy from their respective app store. While the standard six-speaker audio system will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiasts, true audiophiles will gravitate to the available Infinity® Premium Audio System , which includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi™ technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology breathes new life into your favorite music, restoring a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. Optima’s premium Infinity audio system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™7 Surround technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and detailed. Kia was one of the first automakers to incorporate Clari-Fi technology into their audio systems with the debut of the 2016 Sorento, and Optima is the first-ever Kia sedan to feature QuantumLogic Surround technology. The all-new Optima takes convenience to the next level with a long list of available technologies across the various trim levels. Available on every Optima is a rear-camera display while SX and SXL trims offer an available 360-degree Around View Monitor8. Available driver-aid technology, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC)8, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)8, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)8 and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)8 – which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage – makes the task of driving easier and more convenient. Also available for the first time on any Kia vehicle are Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA), which recognizes oncoming traffic and automatically switches the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle has passed. Smart Performance and Safety The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car. The greater use of structural adhesive by more than 450 percent over the previous generation improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride. Additional innovations were implemented to reduce NVH, lighten the vehicle and enhance aerodynamics. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia to feature a panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity. A larger full floor under cover helps reduce wind noise and aid fuel efficiency. Increased dash insulation, added windshield side molding and the increased use of structural adhesive ensure a quiet ride with reduced road and wind noise. Engine mounts, body panels and wheels all are stiffer on the all-new Optima, reducing vibrations, engine noise and road noise. Larger cross-member bushings are utilized to help isolate road and engine noise, as well as reducing engine vibration through the floor and steering wheel. Improving ride and handling was a top priority for engineers. Overall, the chassis is lighter and stiffer, resulting in improved steering response, high-speed stability and handling. Moving the suspension location points of the front and rear sub-frames outward optimizes suspension geometry for a smoother ride over uneven pavement. Where the previous Optima made due with dual bushing mounts, increased lateral stiffness was achieved with a four-bushing mount system for both sub-frames. The increased stiffness pays dividends in improved steering response and tractability through corners. More robust wheel bearings up front and the addition of larger dual lower control arms at the rear also help refine the all-new Optima’s ride and handling characteristics. Available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response with a higher gear ratio. The all-new Optima is available with three engine choices, striking a performance balance between sportiness and fuel efficiency. Two powerplants carry over from the previous generation, the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, available on the LX and EX models, and the 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine, available on the SXL and SX Turbo models. While the engines have yet to receive EPA certification, the 2.4-liter is estimated to produce 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbo is expected to generate approximately 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,350 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic® shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. Both engines have been retuned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM. All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand. The transmission optimizes the engine’s responsiveness for a sporty feel that doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy. Also new for the Optima, Michelin® tires are available on all trims. All three engines channel energy through the front wheels. View full article
  12. One of Kia showings at this year's Paris Motor Show is a intriguing hybrid concept housed in the current Optima. The Optima T-Hybrid Concept pairs a 1.7L diesel four-cylinder featuring a turbocharger and electric supercharger, and a a small electric motor with a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild-hybrid setup allows the vehicle to travel on all-electric at low speeds and when cruising. When slowing down, the setup helps recharge the battery pack. Kia isn't talking about fuel economy or emissions as the company is still developing the powertrain. “In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe. Source: Kia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Kia to showcase diesel-electric Kia Optima T-Hybrid at Paris - More power and lower emissions for Kia Optima mild hybrid show car - Innovative new powertrain pairs 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine with 48V lead-carbon battery, small electric motor and an electric supercharger- Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept previews new powertrain technology ahead of future mass production Frankfurt, 29 September 2014 – Kia will reveal the new Kia Optima mild hybrid show car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show on 2 October, the first application and demonstration of the brand's innovative new mild hybrid powertrain. The Kia Optima T-Hybrid (turbo hybrid) concept is powered by the model's existing 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine, paired with a small electric motor, powered by a 48V lead-carbon battery. The diesel-electric powertrain concept, which was previewed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, enables the Optima T-Hybrid show car to be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, with deceleration serving to recharge the battery pack. Lead-carbon batteries were chosen for the mild hybrid powertrain as, unlike lithium-ion batteries, they require no active cooling and are easier to recycle at the end of the unit's lifecycle. The vehicle features a zero-emissions stop-start system, and a new belt-driven starter generator replaces the conventional alternator, meaning the engine can restart with almost no noise or vibration. Installing the powertrain in the Optima sedan has enabled engineers to fit a smaller vehicle battery and starter motor, enhancing weight distribution and handling. The system also allows the installation of an innovative electric supercharger for the CRDi engine, in addition to the conventional turbocharger, providing improved power and torque at all engine speeds. The electric supercharger in particular helps to boost torque and engine response at low engine speeds. Still under development, no specific performance or fuel economy figures are confirmed for the powertrain or its application in the Optima T-Hybrid show car. However, Kia's engineers are targeting a significant reduction in CO2 tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption and a power increase of between 15 to 20 percent for any model which could be equipped with the new powertrain. Currently, the Optima's 136ps 1.7-litre engine produces CO2 emissions of 128 g/km (when fitted with ISG stop-start). "In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers," commented Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe. "The new mild hybrid system is our flagship technology for improving the efficiency of our internal combustion-powered models. In future, technology such as this will help Kia further reduce fleet emissions in Europe," added Cole. While under development, no plans have been confirmed yet for mass production of the Kia Optima T-Hybrid show car. The T-Hybrid powertrain remains under consideration for new Kia models in the future.
  13. One of Kia showings at this year's Paris Motor Show is a intriguing hybrid concept housed in the current Optima. The Optima T-Hybrid Concept pairs a 1.7L diesel four-cylinder featuring a turbocharger and electric supercharger, and a a small electric motor with a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild-hybrid setup allows the vehicle to travel on all-electric at low speeds and when cruising. When slowing down, the setup helps recharge the battery pack. Kia isn't talking about fuel economy or emissions as the company is still developing the powertrain. “In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe. Source: Kia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Kia to showcase diesel-electric Kia Optima T-Hybrid at Paris - More power and lower emissions for Kia Optima mild hybrid show car - Innovative new powertrain pairs 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine with 48V lead-carbon battery, small electric motor and an electric supercharger- Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept previews new powertrain technology ahead of future mass production Frankfurt, 29 September 2014 – Kia will reveal the new Kia Optima mild hybrid show car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show on 2 October, the first application and demonstration of the brand's innovative new mild hybrid powertrain. The Kia Optima T-Hybrid (turbo hybrid) concept is powered by the model's existing 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine, paired with a small electric motor, powered by a 48V lead-carbon battery. The diesel-electric powertrain concept, which was previewed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, enables the Optima T-Hybrid show car to be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, with deceleration serving to recharge the battery pack. Lead-carbon batteries were chosen for the mild hybrid powertrain as, unlike lithium-ion batteries, they require no active cooling and are easier to recycle at the end of the unit's lifecycle. The vehicle features a zero-emissions stop-start system, and a new belt-driven starter generator replaces the conventional alternator, meaning the engine can restart with almost no noise or vibration. Installing the powertrain in the Optima sedan has enabled engineers to fit a smaller vehicle battery and starter motor, enhancing weight distribution and handling. The system also allows the installation of an innovative electric supercharger for the CRDi engine, in addition to the conventional turbocharger, providing improved power and torque at all engine speeds. The electric supercharger in particular helps to boost torque and engine response at low engine speeds. Still under development, no specific performance or fuel economy figures are confirmed for the powertrain or its application in the Optima T-Hybrid show car. However, Kia's engineers are targeting a significant reduction in CO2 tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption and a power increase of between 15 to 20 percent for any model which could be equipped with the new powertrain. Currently, the Optima's 136ps 1.7-litre engine produces CO2 emissions of 128 g/km (when fitted with ISG stop-start). "In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers," commented Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe. "The new mild hybrid system is our flagship technology for improving the efficiency of our internal combustion-powered models. In future, technology such as this will help Kia further reduce fleet emissions in Europe," added Cole. While under development, no plans have been confirmed yet for mass production of the Kia Optima T-Hybrid show car. The T-Hybrid powertrain remains under consideration for new Kia models in the future. View full article
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 6, 2012 Much like the competition, Kia offers a variety of powertrains in their midsize sedan competitor, the Optima, to meet the demands of consumers. There’s a base four-cylinder model, a turbocharged-four taking the place of a V6, and hybrid model. I’ve reviewed the base four-cylinder Optima back in July, and found it to be one of best midsize sedans on sale. Now it’s time to see where the Optima Hybrid can match the high bar set by the regular Optima or not. The differences between a normal Optima and an Optima Hybrid are very noticeable on the exterior. The biggest giveaway that you’re driving an Optima Hybrid besides the hybrid badge on the back is a unique set of seventeen-inch alloy wheels. Other changes Kia has done to the Optima Hybrid include a revised rear fascia and a new rear spoiler. On the interior, Kia has changed the instrument cluster to one that gives information on how much battery charge there is left, an eco gauge, and a small color screen providing trip computer info. The optional navigation unit (part of the $5,350.00 premium technology package) has a screen providing information about the system. The Optima Hybrid’s powertrain is made up of a 2.4L gas engine producing 166 HP (@ 6,000 RPM) and 154 lb-ft of torque (@ 4,250 RPM), an electric motor producing 40 HP (@ 1,400-6,000 RPM) and 151 lb-ft of torque (0 - 1,400 RPM), and a 270V lithium-polymer battery. Total output of the hybrid system is 206 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque going through a six-speed automatic. The best way to describe the Optima Hybrid’s powertrain is ‘almost fully realized’. When pulling away from a stop, the Hybrid pulls away quickly whether on electric or hybrid power. On open roads and in traffic, I never found myself wishing for more power since the powertrain is able to keep up. The downside to this system is the transition from electric to hybrid power is very noticeable. When the switch happens, you can hear the gas engine hesitate for a brief moment and feel some sort of vibration. The Optima Hybrid got EPA ratings of 35 City/40 Highway/37 combined. However a few weeks after turning the Optima Hybrid back in, Hyundai and Kia announced they had overstated fuel economy on certain 2011-2013 vehicles. The Optima Hybrid was one of those vehicles affected and has revised EPA fuel economy numbers of 34 City/39 Highway/36 combined. During the week, I averaged 37.2 on mostly rural and suburban roads. On the freeway, I hit 40 MPG with the cruise control set on 70 MPH. Kia didn’t change much with handling and ride of the Optima Hybrid, which means the sporty and composed ride from the standard Optima remains. Steering on the Optima Hybrid is the same as the normal Optima as well; not a lot of feel and a surprising amount of heaviness to it. Wind and road noise on the Optima Hybrid were kept to a minimum. The Kia Optima Hybrid is very good first effort. Building upon a good base of the normal Optima, the hybrid model possesses very good performance and decent fuel economy for the class. Kia does need to work on smoothing out the transition from electric to hybrid power though. There is one problem for the Kia Optima Hybrid, the competition. On paper, the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the new Ford Fusion Hybrid best the Optima Hybrid in fuel economy ratings. The only thing Kia can fight back with is the amount of equipment that you can get for the price. The Optima Hybrid I had in for review cost $32,500.00. But for that price, I got heated and cooled front seats, heated back seats, panoramic sunroof, navigation, a premium sound system, and much more. To try and match the equipment level of the Optima Hybrid, you’ll have to spend a few thousand more on the competitors. Is that enough though to convince someone to check it out? If you’re looking for a midsize hybrid to stand out, check out the Optima Hybrid. If fuel economy is a concern, look at the Camry and Fusion. Disclaimer: Kia provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Year - 2012 Make – Kia Model – Optima Hybrid Trim – N/A Engine – 2.4L Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – (Gas) 166 HP (@ 6,000 RPM) , (Electric) 40.2 HP (@ 1,400 to 6,000 RPM), (Combined) 206 HP Torque @ RPM – (Gas) 154 lb-ft (@ 4,250 RPM), (Electric) 166 HP (@ 0 - 1,400 RPM), (Combined) 195 lb-ft Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 34/39/36 Curb Weight – 3,490 lbs Location of Manufacture – Hwasung, South Korea Base Price - $25,700.00 As Tested Price - $32,500.00 (Includes $750.00 Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 6, 2012 Much like the competition, Kia offers a variety of powertrains in their midsize sedan competitor, the Optima, to meet the demands of consumers. There’s a base four-cylinder model, a turbocharged-four taking the place of a V6, and hybrid model. I’ve reviewed the base four-cylinder Optima back in July, and found it to be one of best midsize sedans on sale. Now it’s time to see where the Optima Hybrid can match the high bar set by the regular Optima or not. The differences between a normal Optima and an Optima Hybrid are very noticeable on the exterior. The biggest giveaway that you’re driving an Optima Hybrid besides the hybrid badge on the back is a unique set of seventeen-inch alloy wheels. Other changes Kia has done to the Optima Hybrid include a revised rear fascia and a new rear spoiler. On the interior, Kia has changed the instrument cluster to one that gives information on how much battery charge there is left, an eco gauge, and a small color screen providing trip computer info. The optional navigation unit (part of the $5,350.00 premium technology package) has a screen providing information about the system. The Optima Hybrid’s powertrain is made up of a 2.4L gas engine producing 166 HP (@ 6,000 RPM) and 154 lb-ft of torque (@ 4,250 RPM), an electric motor producing 40 HP (@ 1,400-6,000 RPM) and 151 lb-ft of torque (0 - 1,400 RPM), and a 270V lithium-polymer battery. Total output of the hybrid system is 206 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque going through a six-speed automatic. The best way to describe the Optima Hybrid’s powertrain is ‘almost fully realized’. When pulling away from a stop, the Hybrid pulls away quickly whether on electric or hybrid power. On open roads and in traffic, I never found myself wishing for more power since the powertrain is able to keep up. The downside to this system is the transition from electric to hybrid power is very noticeable. When the switch happens, you can hear the gas engine hesitate for a brief moment and feel some sort of vibration. The Optima Hybrid got EPA ratings of 35 City/40 Highway/37 combined. However a few weeks after turning the Optima Hybrid back in, Hyundai and Kia announced they had overstated fuel economy on certain 2011-2013 vehicles. The Optima Hybrid was one of those vehicles affected and has revised EPA fuel economy numbers of 34 City/39 Highway/36 combined. During the week, I averaged 37.2 on mostly rural and suburban roads. On the freeway, I hit 40 MPG with the cruise control set on 70 MPH. Kia didn’t change much with handling and ride of the Optima Hybrid, which means the sporty and composed ride from the standard Optima remains. Steering on the Optima Hybrid is the same as the normal Optima as well; not a lot of feel and a surprising amount of heaviness to it. Wind and road noise on the Optima Hybrid were kept to a minimum. The Kia Optima Hybrid is very good first effort. Building upon a good base of the normal Optima, the hybrid model possesses very good performance and decent fuel economy for the class. Kia does need to work on smoothing out the transition from electric to hybrid power though. There is one problem for the Kia Optima Hybrid, the competition. On paper, the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the new Ford Fusion Hybrid best the Optima Hybrid in fuel economy ratings. The only thing Kia can fight back with is the amount of equipment that you can get for the price. The Optima Hybrid I had in for review cost $32,500.00. But for that price, I got heated and cooled front seats, heated back seats, panoramic sunroof, navigation, a premium sound system, and much more. To try and match the equipment level of the Optima Hybrid, you’ll have to spend a few thousand more on the competitors. Is that enough though to convince someone to check it out? If you’re looking for a midsize hybrid to stand out, check out the Optima Hybrid. If fuel economy is a concern, look at the Camry and Fusion. Disclaimer: Kia provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Year - 2012 Make – Kia Model – Optima Hybrid Trim – N/A Engine – 2.4L Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – (Gas) 166 HP (@ 6,000 RPM) , (Electric) 40.2 HP (@ 1,400 to 6,000 RPM), (Combined) 206 HP Torque @ RPM – (Gas) 154 lb-ft (@ 4,250 RPM), (Electric) 166 HP (@ 0 - 1,400 RPM), (Combined) 195 lb-ft Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 34/39/36 Curb Weight – 3,490 lbs Location of Manufacture – Hwasung, South Korea Base Price - $25,700.00 As Tested Price - $32,500.00 (Includes $750.00 Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 23, 2012 Question: What is the second oldest nameplate in Kia's lineup? If you said the Sportage, you would be wrong. That happens to be the oldest nameplate. The answer is a tie between Kia's smallest and largest sedans: the Rio and Optima. For the time being we're going to focusing on the latter. Introduced back in 2000, the Optima was met with... well.. zero fanfare. If you told someone that you just bought a Kia Optima, they would look at quizzically and say "A What!" The only way you would know the Optima existed beside passing you're nearest Kia dealership was when you picked up one from car rental place for your vacation. In fact, in 2011, the 2000 - 2006 Kia Optima was the subject of a about a ficticious car company that tried to come up with the most nondescript, boring car they could. The result was a car called the Mediocrity, a very thinly disguised 2001 Optima. But in that same year, Kia unveiled the new Optima. The sleek styling and commercial campaign made everyone stand up and take notice. Also, it put Subaru on notice as to who they’re dealing with.Has this coming out work for the new Optima? And more importantly, Can the Optima vie for the title of the best midsize sedan? Next: The Outside Story Exterior Compared to the past two generations of the Optima, the new one is definitely a looker. The overall look carries a lot of influences from European automakers, especially Audi and BMW. This shouldn't come as a surprise when Kia's design chief, Peter Schreyer, worked at Audi before going to Kia. Starting with the low-slung front end, the most prominent design piece is the large, wide grille. Flanking on either side of the grille is a set of headlights extending into the front fenders. The Optima's side profile features door panels that are scalloped along the bottom and a chrome strip running along the greenhouse. The back end is very short and features a trunk lid that is scalloped where the license plate and Optima nameplate reside. A set of chrome-tipped exhausts and seventeen-inch alloy wheels finish off the look. Next: Step Inside Interior The Optima's interior doesn't have the same flair as the exterior, but there is some European influences making their way inside. The driver-oriented dash is a mix of soft- and hard-touch plastics, and French-stitched material in the places you would expect. The center console is trimmed with a metal bezel and wood trim. This Optima EX came equipped with the premium package which gains you heated and cooled power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a load of other features. Build and material quality are very good for the class. For entertainment, the Optima came equipped with a five-inch touch screen for Navigation and AM/FM/SiriusXM /CD/USB/Aux/Bluetooth running through an excellent eight-speaker Infinity sound system that is part of the premium package. The screen is very responsive to input, easy to read, and is very bright. At night, the glow of the Nav screen is distracting even at the lowest brightness setting. Controls for the audio, climate control, and navigation reside underneath the screen, with the layout being very logical and easy to reach. Rear seat passengers won't find much to complain about the Optima's legroom. Taller passengers will notice the sharply raked rear window as it cuts into their headroom. Trunk space measures out to 15.4 cubic feet, which puts the Optima in the middle of the midsize sedan class. Next: Under the Hood Powertrain The Optima comes in three different engine flavors: a 2.4 Gasoline-Direct-Injection inline-four, a 2.0L turbo-four, and a hybrid model. Ours came equipped with the 2.4L GDI inline-four producing 200 HP and 186 lb-ft of torque sending power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. During the Interactive Review, I described the engine as being "smooth" and "peppy” and feel it still holds true. The 2.4L provides better than expected power for a 4-cylinder. Leaving from a stop or merging on to the freeway, the 2.4 delivers its power fast and smoothly. The six-speed automatic provides smooth shifts and seems to always put you in the right gear for the situation. Fuel economy for the 2.4L GDI is rated at 24 City/35 Highway/28 Combined. My average for the week with Optima EX was around 27.2 MPG, the majority of driving taking place on suburban and rural roads. Next: Driving Around Ride & Drive The Optima's ride can be classified as sporty. The suspension is comprised of a set of MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link setup with coil springs around back. This combination makes the Optima really fun to drive on curvy roads. The sportier setup comes with a stiffer ride, but not so much that you’ll need to see the dentist after. The Optima is well sound insulated with engine and road noise muted to a minimum. As for the steering, I found it to be direct but lacking feedback. The steering feels heavier than most other family mid-sizers and took some getting used to, but by the end of our time together, I learned to appreciate it. Visibility is a mixed bag for the Optima: Front and side views are good but visibility towards the rear suffers from the sloping roofline and large c-pillar. Thankfully, our Optima had a back-up camera as part of the Premium package which made backing-up much easier. Next: And the Verdict.. Verdict The Kia Optima is the automotive equivalent of a Cinderella story. Once a vehicle that no one seemed to know that existed or cared about, the Optima shines brightly in the crowded midsize sedan class. In fact, the Kia Optima happens to be outselling the Subaru Legacy by 3 to 1 so far this year (73,158 Optimas vs. 24,272 Legacys). So while Subaru may have the funny commercial, Kia gets the last laugh. The Optima does have a couple of Jeers listed below, but the Cheers more than outweigh them. And consider this: for $28,300 (the as-tested price), you're getting a quality-built sedan with a set of equipment that would embarrass cars costing twice as much while delivering a sporty ride and impressive fuel economy for its class. If you're seriously looking in the midsize sedan segment, don't be afraid to check out the Optima. Otherwise, you might be missing out on what could be the best midsize sedan on sale today. Cheers: Value for money Sporty Ride Engine Performance Fuel Economy Exterior & Interior Design Jeers: Rear Visibility Rear Headroom for taller passengers Nav screen a tad bright during night driving Disclaimer: Kia provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gas for this review. Year - 2012 Make - Kia Model – Optima Trim – EX Engine – 2.4L GDI inline-four Driveline – Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 200 @ 6300 Torque @ RPM - 186 @ 4250 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/25/28 Curb Weight – 3223 lbs Location of Manufacture – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, West Point, GA Base Price - $23,200.00 As Tested Price - $28,300.00 (Includes $750.00 Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 23, 2012 Question: What is the second oldest nameplate in Kia's lineup? If you said the Sportage, you would be wrong. That happens to be the oldest nameplate. The answer is a tie between Kia's smallest and largest sedans: the Rio and Optima. For the time being we're going to focusing on the latter. Introduced back in 2000, the Optima was met with... well.. zero fanfare. If you told someone that you just bought a Kia Optima, they would look at quizzically and say "A What!" The only way you would know the Optima existed beside passing you're nearest Kia dealership was when you picked up one from car rental place for your vacation. In fact, in 2011, the 2000 - 2006 Kia Optima was the subject of a about a ficticious car company that tried to come up with the most nondescript, boring car they could. The result was a car called the Mediocrity, a very thinly disguised 2001 Optima. But in that same year, Kia unveiled the new Optima. The sleek styling and commercial campaign made everyone stand up and take notice. Also, it put Subaru on notice as to who they’re dealing with.Has this coming out work for the new Optima? And more importantly, Can the Optima vie for the title of the best midsize sedan? Next: The Outside Story Exterior Compared to the past two generations of the Optima, the new one is definitely a looker. The overall look carries a lot of influences from European automakers, especially Audi and BMW. This shouldn't come as a surprise when Kia's design chief, Peter Schreyer, worked at Audi before going to Kia. Starting with the low-slung front end, the most prominent design piece is the large, wide grille. Flanking on either side of the grille is a set of headlights extending into the front fenders. The Optima's side profile features door panels that are scalloped along the bottom and a chrome strip running along the greenhouse. The back end is very short and features a trunk lid that is scalloped where the license plate and Optima nameplate reside. A set of chrome-tipped exhausts and seventeen-inch alloy wheels finish off the look. Next: Step Inside Interior The Optima's interior doesn't have the same flair as the exterior, but there is some European influences making their way inside. The driver-oriented dash is a mix of soft- and hard-touch plastics, and French-stitched material in the places you would expect. The center console is trimmed with a metal bezel and wood trim. This Optima EX came equipped with the premium package which gains you heated and cooled power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a load of other features. Build and material quality are very good for the class. For entertainment, the Optima came equipped with a five-inch touch screen for Navigation and AM/FM/SiriusXM /CD/USB/Aux/Bluetooth running through an excellent eight-speaker Infinity sound system that is part of the premium package. The screen is very responsive to input, easy to read, and is very bright. At night, the glow of the Nav screen is distracting even at the lowest brightness setting. Controls for the audio, climate control, and navigation reside underneath the screen, with the layout being very logical and easy to reach. Rear seat passengers won't find much to complain about the Optima's legroom. Taller passengers will notice the sharply raked rear window as it cuts into their headroom. Trunk space measures out to 15.4 cubic feet, which puts the Optima in the middle of the midsize sedan class. Next: Under the Hood Powertrain The Optima comes in three different engine flavors: a 2.4 Gasoline-Direct-Injection inline-four, a 2.0L turbo-four, and a hybrid model. Ours came equipped with the 2.4L GDI inline-four producing 200 HP and 186 lb-ft of torque sending power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. During the Interactive Review, I described the engine as being "smooth" and "peppy” and feel it still holds true. The 2.4L provides better than expected power for a 4-cylinder. Leaving from a stop or merging on to the freeway, the 2.4 delivers its power fast and smoothly. The six-speed automatic provides smooth shifts and seems to always put you in the right gear for the situation. Fuel economy for the 2.4L GDI is rated at 24 City/35 Highway/28 Combined. My average for the week with Optima EX was around 27.2 MPG, the majority of driving taking place on suburban and rural roads. Next: Driving Around Ride & Drive The Optima's ride can be classified as sporty. The suspension is comprised of a set of MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link setup with coil springs around back. This combination makes the Optima really fun to drive on curvy roads. The sportier setup comes with a stiffer ride, but not so much that you’ll need to see the dentist after. The Optima is well sound insulated with engine and road noise muted to a minimum. As for the steering, I found it to be direct but lacking feedback. The steering feels heavier than most other family mid-sizers and took some getting used to, but by the end of our time together, I learned to appreciate it. Visibility is a mixed bag for the Optima: Front and side views are good but visibility towards the rear suffers from the sloping roofline and large c-pillar. Thankfully, our Optima had a back-up camera as part of the Premium package which made backing-up much easier. Next: And the Verdict.. Verdict The Kia Optima is the automotive equivalent of a Cinderella story. Once a vehicle that no one seemed to know that existed or cared about, the Optima shines brightly in the crowded midsize sedan class. In fact, the Kia Optima happens to be outselling the Subaru Legacy by 3 to 1 so far this year (73,158 Optimas vs. 24,272 Legacys). So while Subaru may have the funny commercial, Kia gets the last laugh. The Optima does have a couple of Jeers listed below, but the Cheers more than outweigh them. And consider this: for $28,300 (the as-tested price), you're getting a quality-built sedan with a set of equipment that would embarrass cars costing twice as much while delivering a sporty ride and impressive fuel economy for its class. If you're seriously looking in the midsize sedan segment, don't be afraid to check out the Optima. Otherwise, you might be missing out on what could be the best midsize sedan on sale today. Cheers: Value for money Sporty Ride Engine Performance Fuel Economy Exterior & Interior Design Jeers: Rear Visibility Rear Headroom for taller passengers Nav screen a tad bright during night driving Disclaimer: Kia provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gas for this review. Year - 2012 Make - Kia Model – Optima Trim – EX Engine – 2.4L GDI inline-four Driveline – Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 200 @ 6300 Torque @ RPM - 186 @ 4250 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/25/28 Curb Weight – 3223 lbs Location of Manufacture – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, West Point, GA Base Price - $23,200.00 As Tested Price - $28,300.00 (Includes $750.00 Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 5, 2012 This week in the Cheers and Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Kia Optima EX. This Optima is equipped with the base 2.4L DI inline-four delivering 200 HP and 186 lb-ft torque, and is equipped with a six-speed automatic. First Impressions so far: Love the exterior and interior design Headroom in the backseat is a bit tight The amount of equipment for the price is very impressive Average fuel economy so far: 27.2 MPG I will be updating with more thoughts about the Optima throughout its stay. Send in your questions in the meantime. Update #1: So far the Optima has been really impressing me. The 2.4L DI four is very smooth and has quite the punch. Average fuel economy has dropped to 25.3 MPG, but that's in line with the EPA rating for the city. I'm expecting that number rise over the weekend. As for complaints, I have one dealing with the back window. you can barely see anything out the back window due to the rakish design and large C-Pillars. Thankfully, the Optima has a rear view camera thanks to the optional Premium package. I'll another update coming either tomorrow or Monday with highway fuel economy numbers. Update #2: My time with the Optima is coming to close, as it will be heading back tomorrow. And, I'm sad to see it go. The Optima has really impressed my as a package. The powertrain, design, and features makes for a very formidable player in the midsize sedan market. It does have some problems, some I have talked about here and some that I will talk about in the review. But most are minor, maybe for the back window and not seeing out of it. As for highway fuel economy, the EPA rates the Optima 2.4L at 35 MPG. I got close to it, getting 33.5 MPG on my run. If I had gone further, I'm willing to bet I would have matched or even surpassed 35. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 5, 2012 This week in the Cheers and Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Kia Optima EX. This Optima is equipped with the base 2.4L DI inline-four delivering 200 HP and 186 lb-ft torque, and is equipped with a six-speed automatic. First Impressions so far: Love the exterior and interior design Headroom in the backseat is a bit tight The amount of equipment for the price is very impressive Average fuel economy so far: 27.2 MPG I will be updating with more thoughts about the Optima throughout its stay. Send in your questions in the meantime. Update #1: So far the Optima has been really impressing me. The 2.4L DI four is very smooth and has quite the punch. Average fuel economy has dropped to 25.3 MPG, but that's in line with the EPA rating for the city. I'm expecting that number rise over the weekend. As for complaints, I have one dealing with the back window. you can barely see anything out the back window due to the rakish design and large C-Pillars. Thankfully, the Optima has a rear view camera thanks to the optional Premium package. I'll another update coming either tomorrow or Monday with highway fuel economy numbers. Update #2: My time with the Optima is coming to close, as it will be heading back tomorrow. And, I'm sad to see it go. The Optima has really impressed my as a package. The powertrain, design, and features makes for a very formidable player in the midsize sedan market. It does have some problems, some I have talked about here and some that I will talk about in the review. But most are minor, maybe for the back window and not seeing out of it. As for highway fuel economy, the EPA rates the Optima 2.4L at 35 MPG. I got close to it, getting 33.5 MPG on my run. If I had gone further, I'm willing to bet I would have matched or even surpassed 35. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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