2016 Kia Optima Redesign: Details, Trims, Release

The 2016 Kia Optima has been introduced at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. The midsize sedan isn’t among the most extravagant vehicles on the market, but the automaker introduced it as a luxury vehicle. There’s an interesting range of engine options, five trims and numerous improvements.

The automaker is especially proud of the changes they’ve made. The 2016 Optima is their best-selling vehicle and they certainly dedicated a lot of attention to all the details. But the competitors haven’t been sleeping unsuspicious. They also worked hard on improvements, so we must wonder whether the new Kia Optima is good enough for the severe market battle.

2016 Kia Optima Roofline

A simple answer would be – yes. Perhaps it doesn’t have a romantic and rich European heritage or classic American luxury, but the 2016 Kia Optima is going to be as elegant as any sedan designed in Europe and as comfortable as any American midsize sedan. Of course, we have to wait in order to learn about real quality of the car, but if you want to buy a solid sedan without paying for the name, the redesigned 2016 Optima could be the right choice.

2016 Optima Exterior

2016 Kia Optima Redesign

It would be wrong if we said that the 2016 Kia Optima redesign hasn’t been focused on the car’s size. But it would also be wrong it we said that the all-new Optima is significantly bigger. Its dimensions are pretty much the same. Even the automaker said that the car is “marginally longer, taller and wider”.

As for the exterior style, the sedan is clearly more refined than before. It kept the same spirit, but in a new interpretation. There’s, of course, a distinctive tiger-nose grille and also a very bold front fascia that resembles the Kia K900, the automaker’s halo sedan. We must admit that the 2016 Optima has one of the most beautiful rooflines within the segment. Thanks to the dynamic profile, the sedan looks very powerful and sporty.

2016 Kia Optima SXL Sedan

Thanks to the chassis improvements, the 2016 Kia Optima is expected to have better handling, performance and safety. They used advanced materials, such as advanced high-strength steel, so the car is lighter than before.

The all-new Kia Optima has three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, but there’s a lineup of different wheels ranging from 16” to 18”.

Interior and Technology

Thanks to the body size changes, the interior of the new Optima is more comfortable than before. Don’t expect a wide prairie inside, but a bit more legroom and headroom is what they’ve managed to provide. Since borrowing quality materials from its luxurious cousins can never be wrong, the redesigned Optima offers a really cozy driver-oriented cabin.

2016 Kia Optima Interior

Reportedly, the seats suffered some structural changes, so they’re more comfortable now. The front seats are heated and ventilated. The automaker offers cloth, leather or top-notch Nappa leather for the seats, depending on a trim. There are two color schemes available: Rich Merlot and Dark Aubergine.

The technology improvements are really noticeable. The UVO2 connectivity system has four new eServices: Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, Driving Score and Geo-fencing. The 2016 Optima is going to have Android Auto and Apple Car Play availability, which means that the eight-inch touchscreen display can be used for various functions in collaboration with a smartphone.

2016 Kia Optima Dashboard

Aside from the standard six-speaker audio system, they also offer a 14-speaker Infinity Premium Audio System with 630-watt digital amplifier, Clari-Fi and QuantumLogic Surround technology.

Depending on a trim, the 2016 Kia Optima comes with a range of different systems and gadgets. Some of those are: Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking, 360-degree Around View Monitor and a rear-view camera. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia vehicle that comes with available Bi-function HID headlights, Dynamic Bending Lights feature and High Beam Assist.

2016 Kia Optima Rear End

Engine Options: GDI Mills & New Turbocharged 1.6-Liter Engine

As we already said, there are three engines available. Two old engines survived from the previous generation and one is all-new. The new engine that powers the 2016 Kia Optima is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder mill available on the LX trim. The engine delivers 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. Paired with a seven-speed DCT gearbox, this mill is going to provide sporty experience without impact on the car’s fuel economy, as the automaker said.

The other two engines are well known. There’s a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder dedicated to the LX and EX trims and a turbocharged 2.0-liter GDI engine offered with SXL and SX Turbo versions.

2016 Kia Optima Engine

According to the automaker, the 2.4-liter GDI is able to deliver 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The 2.0-liter turbo GDI returns 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 1,350. Those engines are mated with a six-speed Sportmatic shiftable automatic transmission.

Every given drivetrain option will deliver its power to the front wheels.

2016 Kia Optima SXL Badge

2016 Kia Optima Release Date & Price

The 2016 Kia Optima comes in five trims: LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL. The SXL is U.S.-exclusive trim.

Since the next-gen Optima is going to be released in the last quarter of the year, it’s still early to talk about pricing. As far as we know, the price will be very competitive, but let’s wait for the official announcement.

Photos: Kia Motors America

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