UPDATE, 20/06/18: We've added new images of Australian-spec MY18 Optimas to this article. Head to the galleries section for more pictures
Local pricing and specifications for the updated 2018 Kia Optima have been released this week, bringing a fresh look, some new equipment, along with price revisions.
It's a fairly mild update – and we don't even have images of local models yet – though the two-tier line-up picks up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the first time.
The cosmetic changes largely mirror those of the Korean-market K5, meaning there's new headlights and tail-lights with revised LED signatures, new bumpers, wheels, and revised interior trims.
Kicking off proceedings is the entry-level Si (pictured in silver), which starts at $33,390 plus on-road costs (-$1100). Changes for the new model year include the aforementioned infotainment upgrade, driver attention monitoring, along with the addition of lane-keep assist – the previous model had lane departure warning.
However, the addition of smartphone mirroring means the previous model's native satellite navigation system has been booted. The Si also loses its HID headlights for dual-projector halogen units.
The engine remains unchanged, meaning the base model is powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, making 138kW of power and 241Nm of torque, channelled to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic.
Carryover equipment includes a rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, autonomous emergency braking, LED daytime-running lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the GT (pictured in white) bumps the price to $43,290 before on-roads, representing a $1200 saving over the 2017 version.
For MY18, the top-spec variant gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 10 years of MapCare updates for its satellite navigation system, and an additional 'Smart' driving mode – essentially an adaptive profile that adjusts settings on the fly.
It does lose some kit, though. There's no longer ventilation for the front seats – they're only heated now – and the previous model's panoramic sunroof has been deleted. Front passengers also have to manually adjust their seats now, while high-beam assist and tyre pressure monitoring has also been dropped.
Features carried over from the pre-facelift version include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a wireless phone charger.
Power comes from the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol as before, with claimed outputs of 180kW and 350Nm. Like the base model, drive is sent exclusively to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic.
Watch for our reviews to come in the weeks ahead. If the new Optima sounds like a winner, you can book a test drive here, or find a dealer here. Kia lists its latest offers here (links open in new tabs).
2018 Kia Optima pricing
- Si – $33,290 (-$1100)
- GT – $43,290 (-$1200)
All prices exclude on-road costs