Kia Optima will be road-tax free

Making its European debut after its global introduction at the New York International Auto Show in April, the Kia Optima signals Kia’s intentions to compete in the D-segment against the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia.

To do this, Kia has reduced CO2 emissions to just 113g/km – making it exempt from road tax – in the 1.7-litre VGT diesel unit, while a 2.0-litre petrol engine is also available.

Based on a new platform, the Kia Optima is expected to take advantage of an expected 23 per cent increase in saloon sales by 2013 worldwide despite falling European saloon sales.

"With the new Kia Optima, our global design team has penned a vehicle with distinctive dimensions and proportions that stands apart from everything else in its segment. Using an all-new mid-size platform and an all-new bodyshell, it moves our saloon product up to the next level of our design revolution," said Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing, Kia Motors Europe.

Designed by the team behind the successful Kia Soul and Kia Sportage, the Optima is also available with a special ‘Sport Package’ which includes a redesigned front grille, new front and rear bumpers, side sills, a rear spoiler and LED running lights.

"With our new sedan, we have created a product that people previously would not have expected from Kia and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve!" said Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer.

The Sports Package will also offer high performance dampers, larger disc brakes and black callipers to complement the 18", ten-spoke alloy wheels.

Prices for the Kia Optima saloon have not been released, but all models will be covered under Kia’s seven-year/100,000 mile warranty when it arrives next year.