Don’t look now, but the Kia Optima has been reborn. In place of the sedate-looking midsize sedan that was once available to the Philippine market is a sportier-looking machine that packs a lot more road presence.
The Kia Optima returns as a more aggressive-looking land shark
Months after launching in its home market of South Korea, the new-generation Optima arrives in the U.S. as the K5, riding on an all-new N3 platform that places increased emphasis on performance and safety. The South Korean automaker is bucking the trend of crossovers and SUVs, choosing to breathe new life into (and redefining) the traditional sedan.
On the outside, the Optima boasts longer and wider dimensions, with the familiar angular silhouette adapted from its Stinger sibling. Leading the charge is the modernized “tiger nose” grille which has been slimmed down yet widened, extending to the herringbone LED headlamp array. Sitting above is a hood that sports additional strakes to give it more character.
A redesigned fascia complements the silhouette borrowed from the Stinger
LED foglamps are integrated into more aggressive-looking housings at the corners of the front bumper. The Optima’s land shark appeal is enhanced by the fastback design at the rear, accompanied by LED tail lamps connected by dashes spanning the width of the trunk lid. Wheel options include 16-, 18-, and 19-inch aluminum alloys.
Getting to the interior, the Kia Optima uses a spacious and driver-centric layout showcasing both luxury and sophistication. Up to five occupants can indulge in red leatherette upholstery that’s complemented by metallic and wood finishes on the dashboard and door panels. Drivers take control of a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, accompanied by an aircraft-type shift knob.
Sophisticated yet sporty best describe the new Optima's interior
The newly-designed infotainment display is available in 8- or 10.25-inch sizes, stretching into the instrument panel and offering a navigation system with real-time traffic data, telematics, and custom driver settings.
This is patched to a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system with Dynamic Speed Compensation, which adjusts the sound according to driving speed. The Optima is the first Kia to offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for less-cluttered connectivity, while the wireless charging feature is accompanied by a cooling fan to regulate your personal device’s temperature.
Engine and powertrain
The new Optima will offer two engines: a 1.6L turbocharged engine with 180 hp and 264 hp paired with an all-new eight-speed automatic gearbox, and a 2.5L turbo mill that makes 290 hp and 421 Nm of pull, working in concert with the first Kia-developed eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.
The new Optima offers a selection of two turbocharged engines
Available all-wheel-drive is an option on the 1.6L turbo, using an electro-hydraulic system to regulate the coupling for quicker response and more precise control in changing road conditions.
Kia has equipped the all-new Optima with its extensive “Kia Drive Wise” array of advanced driver assistance tech, including Standard Forward Collision Warning, Standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Standard Driver Attention Warning, Available Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, Available Highway Driving Assist, and Available Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve.
Vehicle stability control, electronic stability control, and a total of nine airbags round out the safety features on the Optima range.
Will the new Optima be an option for Filipino buyers?
The U.S.-market Optima (K5) will come in LX, LXS, GT-Line, and EX trims, sharing production facilities with the award-winning Telluride SUV in West Point, Georgia. Do you want to see the new Optima gracing our roads soon?
Keep an eye on more new car releases at Philkotse.com.
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