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2015 Kia Optima : First look at updated medium sedan

CarAdvice’s spy photographers have snapped a prototype of the heavily updated Kia Optima testing on public roads in Germany.

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The shots show a silver prototype with black cladding across all major panels, suggesting Kia’s designers have made big changes to the 2015 Optima’s exterior.

Visible at the front is a new grille with a diamond-effect pattern similar to that of the recently updated Sportage and all-new Sorento. The lower air intake is also larger than the current model’s, while changes are also expected to the headlights, bumper and bonnet.

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The 2015 Optima retains its predecessor’s sweeping roofline but gains a third window behind the rear doors, likely in the pursuit of improved visibility over the driver’s shoulder.

The tail-lights will get another refresh, joining expected changes to the rear bumper.

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The 2015 Kia Optima’s interior is said to take a step upmarket, introducing a much larger central touchscreen and a revised centre stack with repositioned buttons and dials that has a decidedly German feel.

Reports suggest the Optima’s powertrain line-up will expand to four engines, including turbocharged 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol units, a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre petrol, and a 1.7-litre turbo diesel.

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Kia is expected to take the wraps off the 2015 Optima at April’s New York auto show.

The updated model should head to Australia about three to four months later, landing in local showrooms around the third quarter of next year.