For 2018, Kia has revealed an updated version of their Optima that will see the introduction of some visual alterations as well as some new engines entering the range as well. To showcase this, the South Korean automaker has chosen to present the spruced up model in its estate body style, or Sportswagon, which will be making its official debut at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.
First of all, let’s forget about visually distinguishing the 2017 Optima facelift with this 2018 iteration as nearly everything is so nearly identical. We can list the new rear light pattern as being significant enough to note and likely to be unchanged upon its Australian launch. The real point of focus here are the powertrains, which mark some significant improvements over the mills they replace.
Things kick off, Kia is arming the new Optima with their all-new U3 motor, a 1.6-litre four-cylinder CRDi turbodiesel. Designed to surpass the Euro 6d standards, the engine employs Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions controls while churning out 101kW and 320Nm.
The rest of engine range announced for the European-spec Optima should be familiar to observers of both Kia and Hyundai. For one, the 1.6-litre T-GDi turbo-four petrol from the Hyundai Elantra SR, and Veloster jumped to the Kia family, starting with this Optima, producing 134kW and 265Nm and mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The 1.6 unit will slot as the middle petrol choice for the Optima, splitting the naturally aspirated 120kW 2.0-litre CVVL and the range-topping 2.0-litre turbocharged unit with 180kW found in the current Optima GT and lower-tier Kia Stingers.
Certain new driver assist and safety-oriented features have also found their way onto the new Optima, including a 360-degree camera, driver attention warning system, and lane keep assist. Other niceties included announced with the 2018 Optima are the adaptive LED headlights, chrome exhausts and a new design of alloys.
We’ll have more to say about the updated Optima as it makes its full debut at the Geneva Motor Show, but we doubt there will be much more to add. Also, we won’t be holding our breaths that the new features announced for Swiss premiere will be finding their way into the Australian-spec Optimas in the near term, at least not this year’s MY2018 update slated to drop in the coming few months.