The 2016 Kia Optima launches in Australia this week with subtle exterior styling tweaks and an even more premium interior in an attempt to breathe some life back into the medium/large sedan segments in Australia.
The fourth generation Optima will replace the stylish and impressive third generation sedan, a car that cemented Kia’s ability to design attractive vehicles that were also technologically up to date.
There’s no longer the same three-model range (Si, SLi, Platinum) we’re familiar with from the previous model, with Kia opting for a simplified two-model range. Importantly, GT now replaces Platinum as the top-spec model. The entry level Si nameplate remains while the mid grade SLi is no longer. Where all three models previously featured a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine, the range topping GT now gets a powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.
The entry-level Si model starts from $34,490, while the GT starts from $43,990 with both models featuring the same six-speed automatic.
Despite looking more compact than the model it replaces, the new Kia Optima is actually larger, measuring in with a wheel base that is 10mm longer (2805mm), a 10mm overall gain in length (4855mm) and 25mm extra width (1860mm). It’s also 10mm taller than the outgoing Optima (1465mm). Si weighs 1540kg, while the GT weighs 1605kg.
Standard specification tyres are impressive for both variants. The Si is fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, shod with 215/55/R17 Continental ContiPremiumContact 5 tyres, while the GT gets 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/45/R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. Both variants get a full-size alloy spare wheel and tyre.