Remember the Kia Optima? It now looks absolutely gorgeous

Updated Jun 07, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The sedate-looking sedan gets a radical makeover.

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.

Kia Optima

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 Kia 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.

Kia Optima 2

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. 

Kia Optima interior

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.

>>> Related: Check out the current car lineup of Kia Philippines

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.

Optima engine

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. 

>>> Related: [Philkotse guide] All about Korean car brands in the Philippines


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.

Kia Optima 4

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?

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Know more about Kia Optima 2021

Kia Optima

The Kia Optima is a mid-size four-door sedan offered worldwide as the Kia Magentis, the Kia Lotze, and the Kia K5. It features a sleek exterior detailed with fine lines and curved edges for a modern subdued elegance. Inside, it offers a spacious cabin fitted with premium driver and passenger features meant to provide a relaxing driving experience. The Kia Optima is offered in the following variants: the Kia Optima LX, the Kia Optima EX, the Kia Optima EX Luxury, and the Kia Optima SX. It comes in Satin Metal, Ultra Silver, Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black, Temptation Red, Carbon Blue, and Graphite.


Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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