2016 Optima is a Bright Star in Kia’s Future


The 2016 Kia Optima just debuted here at the New York Auto Show after going through a careful transition into a new generation under the watchful eye of supreme design leader Peter Schreyer.

Following closely in the footsteps Kia imprinted during the Geneva Motor Show with its Sportspace concept, the new Optima looks like a step in the right direction for the South Korean auto brand. Two powertrains from the previous generation – a 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder engine and a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct injection four-pot – carry over offering 185 hp and 247 respectively. Those are both paired to six-speed automatic transmission, but there’s also a third powertrain on the menu. Starting in 2016, the Optima will also be available with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. If that sounds familiar it’s because this is the Kia counterpart to Hyundai’s new Sonata Eco. 2016-Kia-Optima-02

This time around the Sonata is slightly wider and longer than it was before, but only by fractions of an inch in each measure, which is enough to claim improved passenger space, but only marginally so.

2015 New York Auto Show Coverage

Kia also made a point of improving the interior with real stitching on the dashboard and doors along with more soft touch material. Standard fare among the Kia line like heated and cooled front seats are still part of the package, but the company is also offering a power height adjustable front passenger seat to make outward visibility better for the vertically challenged among us.

Cloth and leather seat upholstery are both available, but high grade Nappa leather is also part of the Optima’s options list.

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Aside from premium materials, Kia is also offering a new suite of technologies through its UVO infotainment system to let parents keep track of young drivers. Now you’ll get an alert if your little rebel drives outside a pre-set radius. You will also be able to tell if they are driving recklessly with a new “driving score” feature. The car also has a curfew and speed alert to circumvent the “I lost track” excuse.

Kia didn’t announce pricing today, but sales of the new Optima are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of the year.

Discsuss this article at our Kia forum