Kia are set to launch the new Optima at the Frankfurt motor show next month. This next generation premium saloon is set to take on the Toyota Avensis with its bigger body and heavy focus on technology.
Strength to Strength
Kia seem to have a great deal of trouble doing anything wrong at all these days. For a brand that initially came to the UK from relative obscurity Kia is now one of the Major players in a number of different market segments. The brand starting gaining real popularity when it offered massive 7 year warranties with its cars, that kind of confidence in their own manufacturing was infectious and it was a PR coup. But as the brand has evolved globally it has also become known for fantastic forward thinking designs, real style and generally great cars too. Kia now finds itself in a very strong position and with recent discussions about sports cars on the horizon it is showing no signs of wasting the chance to become a true household name across the world.
The Optima is Kia’s bigger family and business saloon, it is aimed at middle managers as much as style concious families and older couples. It has Kia’s trademark muscular maw and a lot of other tricks up its sleeve, it is one of those cars the owners often find themselves being quizzed about by curious neighbours as they bring it home from the showroom. The new Kia is set to keep this trend setting feel and any perspective owner should expect the same treatment from people a little more stuck in the saloon doldrums.
The new design is a little longer and carries an even more sleek almost animal appearance. The whole car sits poised on the road ready to pounce, from the wrap around LED headlights right up the the lifted rear lights and diffuser. Although this car is essentially a facelift launch and not a new car, Kia have been seriously busy with some substantial upgrades. To add some extra handling capacity to the mix Kia have also made the car 50% more rigid with the use of high strength steel. These kind of improvements are hard to put your finger on when you drive, but the feeling of confidence in the corners will make itself apparent as you fall in love with the driving experience.
The interior upgrades are substantial on this new Optima. It is clear the materials used are of a higher quality than previously chosen, this will give an overall feel of luxury throughout. The dash is split into upper control sections and lower control sections with individual banks of buttons. The slightly longer body means more room in the back for passengers and some extra luxuries like pull up sun blinds and separate heater controls.
The Optima will be stacked with all sorts of driving and safety options too like adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and lane keep assistance. There is also an option for automatic braking for city use under 50 mph which makes an excellent choice for people who get stuck in a lot of heavy traffic.
On The Road
The only engine on the cards for the launch is a 1.7 litre diesel and it has been improved from the last model with extra power and torque, both now available at lower revs. With wind and road noise also reduced the new Optima will feel more refined all round. There will be a plug in hybrid and an estate version available in 2016 so there is a lot more to come.
The Optima has been a great car for years now and the new one is clearly going to keep up the tradition.