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by Tim Beissmann

Styling updates and specification enhancements will be accompanied by small price rises when the 2014 Kia Optima launches in Australia next week.

The price of the entry-level Optima Si increases $300 to $30,990 before on-road costs, while the mid-spec SLi rises $1000 to $35,990 and the flagship Platinum $1200 to $40,490.

The facelifted 2014 Kia Optima – the first significant update since the launch of the third-generation model in 2010 – originally debuted at the 2013 New York auto show in March sporting a revised front bumper with sweeping black inserts.

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Front parking sensors are now standard across the Optima range, joining the already-standard rear sensors. The Platinum grade uniquely gains quad-point LED fog lamps in our market.

The rear features a mildly restyled bumper and diffuser, and the SLi and Platinum gain new-look LED tail-lights.

New 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs also feature across the updated range.

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The Optima’s cabin gains some new trims and materials, while the layout of the centre stack has also been revised.

The Optima SLi upgrades from cloth to leather upholstery and gains an Infinity premium sound system, bringing it into line with the Platinum.

The Platinum gets a safety boost, with blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert systems now standard.

While the Optima is available with a turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine, a 1.7-litre turbo-diesel and a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain in overseas markets, none of these will be offered locally.

The Kia Optima sold in Australia will continue to team a 148kW/250Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. Combined cycle fuel consumption for the 2014 model is unchanged at 7.9 litres per 100km.

The 2014 Kia Optima officially launches next week at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne.

2014 Kia Optima manufacturer’s list prices:

  • Optima Si – $30,990 (+$300)
  • Optima SLi – $35,990 (+$1000)
  • Optima Platinum – $40,490 (+$1200)