Sharp-styled saloon now more sharply priced.
The mid-size family car space may be shrinking, with more and more buyers moving towards SUVs, but Kia hasn’t yet pulled the curtain down on its stylish Optima saloon. For the 2018 model year, the car’s received an aesthetic revision as well as a looked-over kit list, and arrives in showrooms with lower prices to boot. But it’s not all good news, though.
Exterior revisions for the new model year encompass the usual: There’s new alloy wheels, new bumpers on either end, and new lights all round. Inside, you’ll find a (claimed) better array of materials, a smart new infotainment system with smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android devices, and that’s it.
The two-tier lineup kicks off with the Si, now down $1100 over the outgoing model at $33,390 (before ORCs). Updates to the model mean that built-in satellite navigation is gone, though the smartphone mirroring makes up for that (everyone uses Waze nowadays anyway), and the addition of lane-keep assist and driver drowsiness alert goes a long way.
The Si remains with some of the kit that we liked from the old car though, like LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloys, a rear camera with adapting guidelines, and autonomous emergency braking. Motivation is also unchanged, making use of the same 2.4-litre four-banger petrol from the old car, so there’s still 138kW/241Nm sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic.
The flagship GT model now comes in at $43,290 down some $1200 over the outgoing car. It gets all the kit of the Si model, like smartphone mirroring and lane-keep assist and LED head- and taillights, but adds on things like satellite navigation and a ‘Smart’ driving mode that adapts car settings to your driving style. Unfortunately, things like the front ventilated seats (an absolute boon on a hot day) and the panoramic sunroof (which is nice) have both been removed from the kit list.
Other kit for the GT include blind-spot monitoring, a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (which is brilliant), 18-inch alloys, wireless phone charging, and rear cross-traffic alert, in addition to the AEB that the Si has. Motivation for the GT remains unchanged too, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder mill, putting out 180KW and 350Nm. Like the Si, power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2018 Kia Optima is available to order now.