ALL-NEW OPTIMA

PRESS PACK

GENERAL SPECIFICATION

Optima

THE All-NEW KIA OPTIMA                                                                                   

Short story 

  • More modern, bolder exterior styling
  • High-quality cabin with horizontal layout and luxurious materials
  • Cutting-edge technologies include wireless phone charging
  • New powertrains slash emissions by up to 25 per cent
  • Major improvements in ride comfort, refinement, space and safety
  • GT and GT-Line versions to be offered for first time
  • Other variants to come, including a plug-in hybrid 

It is difficult to know where to start with the all-new, second-generation Kia Optima, such is the extent of the changes introduced by the designers and engineers. 

There is a more luxurious and more driver-focused cabin with a horizontal layout, high-quality materials and state-of-the-art technologies, including advanced connectivity systems and wireless mobile telephone charging. This complements the more modern and bolder evolutionary exterior styling for a car which, from the outset, has attracted international praise for its design. 

But business users might prefer the focus to be on the car’s new powertrains, which slash CO2 emissions by as much as 25 per cent. This in turn brings considerable reductions in the amount of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax they pay. 

The list of improvements and additions goes on and on…more space all round for every occupant; greater safety and sharper driving dynamics thanks to a 50 per cent stiffer body shell; a smoother ride and greater refinement; a huge range of new driver assistance technologies; and the availability for the first time of sporty GT-Line and GT models later in 2016. 

And it will not stop there. Kia has already announced that it plans to offer an Optima featuring the brand’s first plug-in electric hybrid powertrain (PHEV) in 2016, while the SPORTSPACE concept, revealed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, hints at an estate version to come – another first for the company. 

Sharper appearance front and rear

Under the watchful eye of President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, Kia has taken an evolutionary approach to the Optima's exterior design, maintaining the identity of a car which still looks as smart today as it did when launched while introducing greater modernity and boldness. 

The new Optima has an even greater road presence than the outgoing model thanks to its longer profile – which has been enlarged by 10mm to correspond with the increase in wheelbase – sharp body lines and creases and greater surface detailing. 

At the front the hallmark Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille meets up with longer and wider wrap-around light units which have been pulled taut over the blistered front wheel arches. With an increase in overall width of 25mm and wide black or high-gloss black lower grilles, the new Optima has a more powerful and more stable appearance. 

The increase in overall length to 4,855mm, although only 10mm greater than before, creates space for an even more swept-back and dynamic side profile. A shoulder line extends all the way from the front light units, creating a clean, straight crease that links front and rear and does so much to give the Optima its cohesive appearance. The door panels are deeply sculpted and curve fluently into slightly extended side sills which increase the visual weight around the lower body and again emphasise stability. 

The car’s athletic appearance is reinforced at the rear, where a rising, spoiler-shaped boot lid and an expansive rear bumper flow into a diffuser section which houses the chrome-tipped oval exhaust tailpipe. The tail light units – LED on most models – wrap around the rear corners, like those in front, and give the new Optima a more modern night-time signature. The new body is more aerodynamically efficient as well as more stylish, reducing the drag co-efficient (Cd) from 0.3 to 0.29. Each tiny improvement in Cd has a significant impact on fuel economy, particularly at higher speeds. 

A more modern interior with a huge step forward in quality

The new Optima has a more modern layout with a horizontal dash structure and far higher-quality materials. The dash and control layout is more driver-focused, with the centre console now angled at 8.5 degrees towards the person behind the wheel. The central 7.0- or 8.0-inch touch-screen is set at exactly the same height as the instruments in the main cluster to make it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly. 

The fascia is divided into an upper display zone and a lower control zone, while the number of buttons and switches in the control zone has been reduced because more functions are now accessed via the standard touch-screen, simplifying use and giving the cabin a less cluttered look. 

The interior is trimmed in black cloth, black cloth with faux leather or black leather, depending on model grade. A faux leather finish has been applied to the door and centre console armrests; black leather is standard on the gearlever and steering wheel; and the door switch panels, door handles and interior bezels are trimmed with either metallic paint or satin chrome, depending on model.

The impressive quality is also apparent in the soft-touch materials, interior lighting – LED at the top of the range – and, on the road, greater refinement as a result of the application of increased sound-proofing.

All of this is supported by increased passenger and luggage space and improved practicality thanks to the 10mm longer wheelbase, 25mm greater overall width and 10mm increase in height. The new dimensions improve head, leg and shoulder room all round, while the boot capacity has risen from 505 to 510 litres, and there is a wider opening to make loading easier. 

Along with the greater space there are improvements in comfort thanks to new seat frames which are not only stiffer but also 2.6kg per seat lighter. This reduces the levels of vibration felt by occupants. Rear passengers now have their own heating system, and at the top of the range there are pull-up window shades incorporated into the doors to block out strong sunlight.

 

Fully connected to enhance comfort, convenience and safety

The new Optima comes loaded with advanced technology options – some of which are firsts in the segment; others firsts for Kia – so that it is fully connected to enhance comfort, convenience and safety.

Every version is fitted with a touch-screen navigation system and features Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is either 7.0 inches or 8.0 inches in size, depending on model, and is linked to a rear parking camera. There are also USB charging points in the front and rear in every model. 

The touch-screen infotainment system is paired as standard with a six-speaker audio on the entry-level model, while other versions feature a powerful 590-watt harman kardon™ Premium Sound system with 10 speakers, an external amplifier and Clari-Fi, which restores sound that’s lost with heavily compressed digital music files. 

The new Optima is the first car in its class to be offered with a wireless charger for mobile devices, located in the base of the centre console. Occupants are therefore able to recharge mobile phones or MP3 players without the inconvenience of wires and connectors. 

It is available with a 360-degree Around View Monitor which, through four strategically mounted cameras, gives the driver a bird's-eye view of the car when manoeuvring. At the top of the range a Smart Park Assist System automatically steers the car in and out of parallel or perpendicular parking slots while the driver operates the accelerator and brakes, and there is a reversing camera and audible front and rear parking sensors in every model. 

Autonomous Emergency Braking and bi-xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights, which sweep the road in line with steering wheel movements, plus High Beam Assist become available for the first time on any Kia, and at the top of the range the new Optima has Lane Keep Assist, a Speed Limit Information Function, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers about to pull out of a perpendicular parking space into the path of a vehicle approaching from the side. 

Four versions, with more to come

Four versions of the new Optima are available in the UK, unashamedly targeted at business users who make up the vast majority of buyers in this sector of the market. All versions are powered by an upgraded EU6 version of Kia's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission delivering fuel savings and CO2 reductions of up to 25 per cent over the previous model. The entry-level grade 2 version is manual only, grade 3 offers both transmissions while grade 4 is DCT only. ISG, Kia's fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start system, is standard. 

All versions are extensively equipped. There are initially three trim levels – 2, 3 and 4 – with GT-Line and GT versions to be added in 2016. Previously the Optima trim levels started at the 1 spec, topping out at 3 for the top of range vehicle. With the all-new Optima the trim levels start at 2, due to the significant level of standard equipment which now comes with the vehicle, equivalent to competitor mid-grades. In addition, having a 4 grade in the Optima line-up aligns it with our other premium models, such as the Sorento and Sportage, it also means we can look to introducing a 1 grade in the future should demand rise. 

Even the entry-level 2 grade comes as standard with a 7.0-inch satellite navigation system with European mapping and a reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, dual automatic air conditioning, cruise control with a speed limiter, electrically heated folding mirrors, a six-speaker DAB radio with MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, dual projection headlights with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, powered two-way driver's seat lumbar adjustment and remote central locking with a fold-away key, while the comprehensive safety provisions include Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-start Assist Control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and an electronic parking brake. 

Grade 3 upgrades the navigation screen to 8.0 inches, has an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way electric lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and xenon dual projection headlights. The exterior is distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome and body colour exterior door handles, LED front foglights and rear combination lamps and chrome-coloured side sill mouldings. The black cloth seats have faux leather sections, there are satin chrome highlights on the touch-screen bezel, the rear electric windows have an auto up and down function with an anti-trap safety feature, a premium vision instrument cluster, satin chrome interior door handles and gloss black window switch panels. The harman kardon™ Premium Sound System is also standard, while the 7DCT version has paddle shifters for manual control and a Drive Mode Select function. 

Grade 4 further supplements this with a wireless mobile phone charger, 360-degree Around View Monitor, the Smart Park Assist System, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Speed Limit Information and Autonomous Emergency Braking. It has a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights with automatic levelling and washers, Dynamic Bending Lights, black leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates, rear window blinds, Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, a smart key with illuminated start/stop button, LED front map lights and rear reading lights and ambient interior lighting. 

Up to 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions with improved economy

In the UK, sales of the Optima and its competitors are heavily dependent on company car fleets, where whole-life running costs for operators and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK) for users are the most influential factors. With this in mind, Kia has again opted to launch the Optima with a single, extensively upgraded 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired to either a six-speed manual gearbox or the new seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission, bringing reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 25 per cent. 

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, offering a commuter-friendly all-electric drive range with even lower emissions and greater taxation advantages, will be added later in 2016. 

Kia’s 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine now develops an improved 139bhp at 4,000rpm and increased torque of 340Nm, starting at a lower 1,750rpm. This represents increases of 5bhp and 15Nm over the previous version. The engine meets EU6 emissions regulations and delivers outstanding performance for its capacity with effortless driveability. 

The engine was engineered at Kia’s European research and development centre in Germany and features high-pressure common-rail fuel injection for maximum efficiency and a new variable geometry turbocharger actuator to enhance low-speed driveability while ensuring strong top-end power.

With the Idle Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system as standard, CO2 emissions of manual models are 14 per cent lower at 110g/km, while fuel economy improves to a highly impressive 67.3mpg. An even bigger improvement is apparent with the new 7DCT dual-clutch auto gearbox, which replaces the previous six-speed torque converter unit. Emissions tumble by 25 per cent, to 116g/km, while fuel economy is now 64.2mpg. 

The major reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will put a smile on the faces of fleet operators and business users by lowering whole-life running costs and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK). With CO2 emissions down from 128g/km to 110g/km, manual versions reduce BIK by three tax bands, while for the 7DCT versions the reduction is an even more dramatic and bank balance-friendly eight tax bands. Meanwhile, with fuel consumption lowered by almost 10mpg for the manual models and more than 17mpg for the 7DCT versions, fleet running costs will be dramatically lower. 

For private owners there are significant benefits, too. The standard rate of Vehicle Excise Duty, or road tax, falls by £90 per year with manual versions and by £150 with the 7DCT after the first initial registration payment.   

The manual has a reduced 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 121mph, while with the 7DCT 0-60mph takes 10.6 seconds and the top speed is 126mph. 

The seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch automatic transmission was developed in-house at Kia's Namyang research and development centre in Korea with the aim of delivering the comfort and smoothness of a torque converter transmission in automatic mode with the sportiness of a manual when the driver chooses to take control of gearchanging via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Greater agility with premium-class refinement

A far stiffer body structure plus major revisions to the suspension and steering combine to give the new Optima sharper, sportier driving characteristics with even greater comfort and refinement, aided by extensive new measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The body shell of the new Optima is 50 per cent stiffer than that of the previous model yet also 8.6kg lighter. This is largely down to a 150 per cent increase in the use of Advanced High-Strength Steel to reinforce the A and B pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead. At the same time there has been a 450 per cent increase in the amount of structural adhesive to bond body panels together. 

The stiffer body shell provides an ideal platform for the uprated suspension and steering to work without having to compensate for torsional flex. The new Optima is therefore better able to isolate vibrations and bumps on poor road surfaces and deliver improved ride comfort with greater agility.

The new Optima also features Kia's latest rack-mounted motor-driven power assisted steering system (R-MDPS). By mounting the power steering system directly on the rack rather than the column, the engineers have been able to provide quicker and more linear responses to driver inputs with greater feel. The new Optima is now one of the most agile cars in its class. As an added benefit, R-MDPS gives approximately three per cent fuel savings because it draws on engine power only when the car is turning.      

Comprehensive new measures to counter NVH ensure that the new Optima has the refinement to match its more upmarket appearance, quality and technology features. 

Innovations to help towards this include a larger under-floor cover and more effective windscreen seals, each of which contribute two per cent to the reduction in wind noise while improving aerodynamics and, consequently, fuel consumption.

Increased dashboard insulation lowers the amount of engine noise able to enter the cabin by four per cent, and the acoustic refinement of the 1.7-litre CRDi engine itself has been improved. Larger cross-member bushings front and rear eliminate a greater proportion of road noise while reducing the vibrations transmitted through the floor and steering wheel.

Safety firsts

The new Optima is available with a number of advanced active safety features, some of which are firsts for Kia including one that is unique in the car's market segment. These augment the comprehensive suite of active and passive safety technologies which are standard across the range. 

The new Optima's safety begins with its far stiffer body shell with programmed front, side and rear crumple zones. For further crash protection, all versions have twin front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and two full-length side curtain airbags.

Kia's policy has always been that the best way to survive an accident is not to have one, and with that in mind the new Optima is available with advanced active collision-avoidance systems. 

The top-of-the-range grade 4 version is fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking which, uniquely in class, employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 31mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph. 

The Optima ‘4’ also has Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes; Lane Keep Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to back out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. It has High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in its vicinity on unlit roads, and a Speed Limit Information function within the instrument cluster. 

A reversing camera integrated with the 7.0- or 8.0-inch navigation touch-screen and reversing sensors are standard, helping to minimise the chance of annoying little parking dents, and Optima ‘4’ has a Smart Park Assist System which can guide the car in and out of parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also has a 360-degree around-view monitor linked to four cameras. 

All versions have anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist so that the car comes to rest in the shortest possible distance in an emergency, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management prevent the car from skidding in corners or when accelerating on surfaces with different levels of grip between left and right. And Hill-start Assist checks the car for two seconds when setting off on inclines to prevent it rolling backwards. 

Warranty and servicing

The Optima comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to conditions covering wear and tear items. The warranty is fully transferable to subsequent owners as long as the age or mileage limits have not been exceeded. 

It is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering fleet and retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable.  If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold the next owner may upgrade to the five-year service package.  

UK model line-up

Version

Power bhp

Torque Nm

0-60 sec

Top Speed mph

Comb. mpg

CO2

1.7 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG ‘2’

139

340

9.7

121

67.3

110

1.7 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG ‘3’

139

340

9.7

121

67.3

110

1.7 CRDi 7-speed DCT ISG ‘3’

139

340

10.6

126

64.2

116

1.7 CRDi 7-speed DCT ISG ‘4’

139

340

10.6

126

64.2

116

 

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact:

Stephen Kitson
Director of Corporate Communications

E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936

 

Daniel Sayles
Press Relations Manager

E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149

 

Sara Robinson     
Senior Press Officer

E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332

 

Carly Escritt       

Senior Press Officer

E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 262 252

 

Moyosola Fujamade
Press Officer (press fleet)

E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832 069 M: 07471 216 343

 

Hannah Cowton
Press Office Assistant

 

E: hcowton@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

 

Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
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2 THE NEW OPTIMA ON A PAGE                                                                        

   What's new about our new saloon – at a glance 

Body

  • Longer (10mm), wider (25mm), taller (10mm) with a 10mm increase in wheelbase
  • 50 per cent stiffer thanks to 50 per cent use of Advanced High-strength Steel
  • More aerodynamic (Cd 0.29 instead of 0.3)
  • Body weight reduced by 8.6kg despite increase in size
  • Evolutionary new styling combines sportiness with functionality
  • GT-Line and GT versions to come adding extra sporty flourishes

 

Interior

  • More head, leg and shoulder room all round
  • Increase in boot capacity from 505 to 510 litres with wider opening
  • New horizontal dash structure with navigation screen at same height as instruments
  • More driver-focused control layout
  • More luxurious trim materials
  • Dash divided into upper display zone and lower control zone
  • Fewer switches with more functions operated from standard touch-screen

 

Powertrains and running gear

  • Power and torque of 1.7-litre CRDi engine increased to 139bhp and 340Nm
  • Engine now EU6-compliant
  • Improvements in fuel economy and CO2 emissions of up to 25 per cent
  • Major reduction in BIK taxation with every model
  • Seven-speed dual-clutch (7DCT) auto gearbox replaces six-speed torque converter unit
  • New suspension bushes, dual rear lower arms and geometry improve agility and comfort
  • Rack-mounted power steering (R-MDPS) replaces column-mounted MDPS
  • Major reductions in NVH through extra sound-proofing and acoustic damping
  • High-power GT petrol engine and plug-in hybrid powertrain to be added in 2016

 

Technology and safety

  • First car in class to offer wireless phone charger
  • Touch-screen sat-nav with reversing camera on all models
  • Kia Connected Services with TomTom gives speed camera, weather and traffic information
  • Front and rear USB ports standard
  • 360-degree Around View Monitor available
  • Smart Park Assist System can guide the car in and out of parallel and perpendicular spaces
  • Dynamic Bending Headlights introduced
  • New safety technologies include unique-in-class twin-radar Autonomous Emergency Braking, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Speed Limit Information and High Beam Assist

 

 

3 DESIGN                                                                                                                             

   Bolder and more modern with a luxurious new interior 

The first-generation Kia Optima was lauded with international praise for its elegant simplicity, muscular proportions and coupé-like silhouette, which represented a seismic shift in design over previous mid-size Kia saloons that were rational, functional and good value, but which lacked any real identity. The Optima changed all that, garnering the 2011 ‘Best of the Best’ title in Germany’s Red Dot design competition and an IF Product Design Award, also in Germany.   

The challenge with the second-generation model was how to take that forward – the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome. What Kia has done, under the watchful eye of President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, is to take an evolutionary approach, maintaining the identity of a car which still looks as smart today as it did when launched while introducing greater modernity and boldness. At the same time there was a completely fresh approach to the interior, with a horizontal dash structure unashamedly focused on the driver and much more luxurious materials and cutting-edge technologies. 

The new Optima is also significantly more spacious than its predecessor, taking advantage of the 10mm longer wheelbase, 25mm greater overall width and 10mm increase in height. The new dimensions improve leg and head room in the rear by 25mm and 10mm respectively, for example; there is 20mm more shoulder room in the front and 17mm more in the rear; and 13mm more headroom in the front. 

Exterior design

The new Optima has an even greater road presence than the outgoing model thanks to its longer profile – which has been enlarged by 10mm with the increase in wheelbase – sharp body lines and creases and greater surface detailing. This will be even more emphatically seen in the new GT-Line and GT versions, which later in 2016 will introduce the ultimate sporty look to the Optima. 

The new car is unmistakably a Kia, especially from the front, where the hallmark Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille meets up with longer and wider wrap-around light units which have been pulled taut over the blistered front wheel arches. The lower part of the bumper is almost at a right angle where it meets the front foglamps (where fitted). These sit like three jewels encased in a high-gloss black lower grille. Together, they give the new Optima a more powerful and more stable appearance.

The increase in overall length to 4,855mm, although only 10mm greater than before, is nevertheless significant as it creates space for an even more swept-back and dynamic side profile. The glass area preserves the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that were so influential in giving the first-generation Optima a sports saloon shape, with the rear quarter-light kicking up sharply as the shoulder line meets the raised boot lid. That shoulder line extends all the way from the front light units, creating a clean, straight crease that links front and rear and does so much to give the Optima its cohesive appearance. The door panels are deeply sculpted and curve fluently into slightly extended side sills which increase the visual weight around the lower body and again emphasise stability. 

The car’s athletic appearance is reinforced at the rear, where a rising, spoiler-shaped boot lid and an expansive rear bumper flow into a diffuser section which houses the chrome-tipped oval exhaust tailpipe. The tail light units – LED on most models – wrap around the rear corners, like those in front, and give the new Optima a more modern night-time signature. The new body is more aerodynamically efficient as well as more stylish, reducing the drag co-efficient (Cd) from 0.3 to 0.29. Each tiny improvement in Cd has a significant impact on fuel economy, particularly at higher speeds. 

There is a choice of four paint colours and two different alloy wheel designs, 17 or 18 inches in diameter, depending on model. There will be an even more purposeful and dynamic look for the new GT-Line and GT versions to be added later in 2016. The GT-Line, previewed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, will feature a bolder and more aggressive front bumper, high-gloss black side sills, a subtle rear diffuser with integrated dual exhaust tailpipes and special badging.

A more modern interior with a huge step forward in quality

Anyone looking for tangible evidence of the huge improvement in quality with the new Optima need do no more than open a door. The more modern layout with its horizontal dash structure is immediately apparent, as is the high-quality nature of the materials used throughout. 

The dash and control layout is more driver-focused, with the centre console now angled at 8.5 degrees towards the person behind the wheel. The central 7.0- or 8.0-inch touch-screen is set at exactly the same height as the instruments in the main cluster – a more logical and more visible layout which emphasises the minute attention to detail applied to the new Optima and the horizontal design of the dashboard. 

The fascia is divided into an upper display zone and a lower control zone to make it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly. Kia has reduced the number of buttons and switches in the control zone by permitting more functions to be operated via the touch-screen, simplifying use and giving the cabin a less cluttered look. 

The display and control zones are separated by a horizontal chrome strip which enhances the increased width of the cabin. The interior is trimmed in black cloth, black cloth with faux leather or black leather, depending on trim grade. A faux leather finish has been applied to the door and centre console armrests; black leather is standard on the gearlever and steering wheel; and the door switch panels, door handles and interior bezels are trimmed with either metallic paint or satin chrome, depending on model. 

The quality is also apparent in the soft-touch materials, interior lighting – LED at the top of the range – and, on the road, the greater levels of refinement as a result of the application of increased sound-proofing. 

The A-list nature of the interior is reinforced by the new levels of connectivity and technology on board. Every model has satellite navigation with European mapping accessed via a 7.0- or 8.0-inch touch-screen and linked to Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom traffic and speed camera alerts, weather reports and local search information. Bluetooth with music streaming, reversing sensors and a reversing camera are also integrated, while at the top of the range a wireless mobile phone charger and 360-degree Around View Monitor are standard. Every model also has a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) 3.5-inch mono or 4.3-inch colour supervision instrument cluster. 

All of this is supported by greater passenger and luggage space and increased practicality thanks to the 10mm longer wheelbase, 25mm greater overall width and 10mm increase in height. The new dimensions improve leg and head room in the rear by 25mm and 10mm respectively, for example; there is 20mm more shoulder room in the front and 17mm more in the rear; and 13mm more headroom in the front. The boot capacity, meanwhile, has risen from 505 to 510 litres, and there is a wider opening to make loading easier. 

Along with the greater space there are improvements in comfort thanks to new seat frames which are not only stiffer but also 2.6kg per seat lighter. This reduces the levels of vibration felt by occupants. The upper seat backs, under-thigh supports and headrests now feature softer foam, while the side bolsters are deeper and made of denser foam to provide greater lateral support. Rear passengers now have their own heating system, and at the top of the range there are heated outer rear seats and pull-up window shades incorporated into the doors to block out strong sunlight.

 

 

4 TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                                 

   Fully connected to enhance convenience and safety

It is not just in the areas of quality, comfort and quietness where the new Optima excels. It also comes loaded with advanced technology options – some of which are firsts in its class; others firsts for Kia – so that it is fully connected to enhance convenience and safety. 

Every version of the new Optima is fitted with a touch-screen satellite navigation display in the centre of the dashboard, and features Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is either 7.0 inches or 8.0 inches in size, depending on model, and has a full colour display with a rear parking camera. There are also USB charging points in the front and rear for larger devices in every model. 

The touch-screen infotainment system is paired as standard with a six-speaker audio on the entry-level model, while other versions feature a powerful 590-watt harman kardon™ Premium Sound system with 10 speakers, an external amplifier and Clari-Fi, which restores sound that is lost with heavily compressed digital music files. 

The new Optima is the first car in its class to be offered with a wireless charger for mobile devices, located in the base of the centre console. Occupants are therefore able to recharge mobile phones or MP3 players without the inconvenience of wires and connectors, which frequently change when new devices are introduced. The wireless charger features foreign object detection, switches on automatically when a phone is placed upon it and displays the phone's charge status in the instrument cluster. An in-built safety system prevents overheating, while drivers and passengers are warned if they are about to leave the car with the phone still on the charging pad.

It is also available with a 360-degree Around View Monitor which, through four strategically mounted cameras, gives the driver a bird's-eye view of the car when manoeuvring. At the top of the range a Smart Park Assist System automatically steers the car into parallel or perpendicular parking slots while the driver works the accelerator and brakes, and there is a reversing camera and audible front and rear parking sensors in every model.

Autonomous Emergency Braking and bi-xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights, which sweep the road in line with steering wheel movements, plus High Beam Assist become available for the first time on any Kia, and at the top of the range the new Optima also comes with Lane Keep Assist, a Speed Limit Information Function, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers about to pull out of a perpendicular parking space into the path of a vehicle approaching from the side. 

First Kia with a harman kardon™ Premium audio system

Kia has had a 15-year relationship with renowned car audio experts Harman International, but for the new Optima this has been extended. The new Optima is the first Kia with a harman kardon™ Premium audio system which, with its elegant design and sublime sound, perfectly complements the stylish and refined interior of Kia's latest mid-sized saloon. 

Kia involved Harman engineers from the very first stages of the new Optima's development and design to ensure the audio system components could be integrated into the car without compromise. Hundreds of hours were then spent fine-tuning the system specifically for the Optima, taking into account its size, seating configuration and interior materials. 

The system developed by Kia and Harman incorporates 10 strategically mounted speakers, optimised and tuned precisely for the Optima; an 11-channel, 590-watt digital amplifier with programmed Digital Signal Processing; QuantumLogic Surround, which identifies individual instruments and voices and presents them in a precise, multi-channel sound stage; and Clari-Fi, Harman's patented technology to rebuild audio details frequently lost when digital music files are heavily compressed. The system also includes Automatic Speed Dependent Volume Control, which eliminates the need for the driver to readjust the audio system's volume while on the move by controlling individual channels according the car's speed.     

 

5 RANGE FINDER                                                                                                   

   Three exceptionally well-equipped grades for now – with more to come

Four versions of the new Optima are available in the UK, unashamedly targeted at business users who make up the vast majority of buyers in this sector of the market. All versions are powered by an upgraded EU6 version of Kia's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission delivering fuel savings and CO2 reductions of up to 25 per cent over the previous model. The entry-level grade 2 version is manual only, grade 3 offers both transmissions while grade 4 is DCT only. ISG, Kia's fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start system, is standard. 

In inimitable Kia style, all versions are extensively equipped. There are initially three trim levels – ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’ – with ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT’ versions to be added later in 2016. 

Even the entry-level 2 grade comes as standard with a 7.0-inch satellite navigation system with European mapping and a reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, front and rear USB ports, dual automatic air conditioning with ioniser, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, cruise control with a speed limiter, electrically heated folding mirrors, a six-speaker DAB radio with MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth with music streaming. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, dual projection headlights with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, powered two-way driver's seat lumbar adjustment and remote central locking with a fold-away key, while the comprehensive safety provisions include Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-start Assist Control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and an electronic parking brake. 

Grade ‘3’ upgrades the navigation screen to 8.0 inches, has an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way electronic lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and xenon dual projection headlights. The exterior is distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome and body colour exterior door handles, LED front foglights and rear combination lamps and chrome-coloured side sill mouldings. The black cloth seats have faux leather sections, there are satin chrome highlights on the touch-screen bezel, the rear electric windows have an auto up and down function with an anti-trap safety feature, a premium vision instrument cluster, satin chrome interior door handles and gloss black window switch panels. The harman kardon™ Premium Sound System is also standard, while the 7DCT version has paddle shifters for manual control and a Drive Mode Select function. 

Grade ‘4’ further supplements this with a wireless mobile phone charger, 360-degree Around View Monitor, the Smart Park Assist System, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Speed Limit Information and Autonomous Emergency Braking. It has a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights with automatic levelling and washers, Dynamic Bending Lights, black leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates, rear window blinds, adaptive smart cruise control, a smart key with illuminated start/stop button, LED front map lights and rear reading lights and ambient interior lighting. 

6 ALL THINGS MECHANICAL                                                                                          

    Engine, transmissions, running gear, NVH 

In the UK, sales of the Optima are heavily dependent on company car fleets, where whole-life running costs for operators and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK) for users are the most influential factors. With this in mind, Kia has again opted to launch the Optima with a single, extensively upgraded 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired to either a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission bringing reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 25 per cent. 

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, offering a commuter-friendly all-electric drive range with even lower emissions and greater taxation advantages, will be added later in 2016. 

There have also been major revisions to the fully independent suspension, steering and sound-deadening features to give the car sportier driving manners with increased comfort and refinement in line with its more premium look and feel and vastly enhanced quality. 

The 1.7-litre CRDi engine

Kia’s 1.7-litre (1,685cc) four-cylinder 16-valve CRDi turbodiesel engine now develops an improved 139bhp at 4,000rpm and increased torque of 340Nm starting at a lower 1,750rpm as a result of an extensive package of revisions. This represents increases of 5bhp and 15Nm over the previous version. The engine now fully complies with EU6 emissions regulations and delivers outstanding performance for an engine of this capacity with effortless driveability.

The engine was engineered at Kia’s European research and development centre in Germany and features high-pressure common-rail fuel injection for maximum efficiency and a new variable geometry turbocharger actuator to enhance low-speed driveability while ensuring strong top-end power. Maximum torque is now available from 1,750rpm to 2,500rpm, whereas previously the lower peak of 325Nm was available only between 2,000 and 2,500rpm. Measures to enhance efficiency include a new piston coating which reduces internal friction, while engine noise has been minimised thanks to the addition of a new timing chain crank sprocket. 

With the Idle Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system as standard, CO2 emissions of manual models are now 14 per cent lower at 110g/km, while fuel economy improves to a highly impressive 67.3mpg. The figures for the outgoing Optima were 128g/km and 57.6mpg. An even bigger improvement is apparent with the new 7DCT dual-clutch auto gearbox, which replaces the previous six-speed torque converter automatic in grade 3 (optional) and grade ‘4’ (standard) versions of the latest Optima. Emissions tumble by 25 per cent, from 158g/km to 116g/km, while fuel economy is now 64.2mpg, a highly significant improvement on the previous 47.1mpg.

The manual has a reduced 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.7 seconds (previously 10.2 seconds) and a top speed of 121mph, and the 7DCT also has sharper performance than the last-generation six-speed auto, with 0-60mph taking 10.6 seconds instead of 11.5, and the top speed improving from 122mph to 126. 

Like the manuals, 7DCT versions feature Kia’s EcoDynamics fuel-saving, CO2-reducing ISG system as standard. The 7DCT versions also have a Drive Mode Select system featuring three options – Normal, Eco and Sport – which alter the transmission shift timing, throttle mapping and steering wheel weighting accordingly. Steering wheel-mounted paddles allow the driver to take manual control of gearshifting at any stage.

Optima follows cee'd range with 7DCT transmission option

The seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission recently introduced with 1.6-litre CRDi versions of the cee'd range is now available with the 1.7-litre CRDi engine in the new Optima. It was developed in-house at Kia's Namyang research and development centre in Korea with the aim of enhancing fuel efficiency while delivering the comfort and smoothness of a torque converter transmission in automatic mode with the sportiness of a manual when the driver chooses to take control of gearchanging via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 

One clutch operates the odd-numbered gears and the other the even-numbered ratios, ensuring that the transmission is always primed for the next up- or downshift. As a result, torque losses during shifting are reduced, improving efficiency, while gearchanges are at least as smooth as with the best torque converter auto. 

The manual is a slick-shifting unit with the forward gears arranged in a double-H pattern and reverse to the left and up, selected by first raising a collar around the shift lever. Longer gearing for the higher ratios and optimised software for the gearshift advisory system help the driver to get maximum fuel efficiency with no loss of driveability. 

ISG and Active ECO

Kia’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system turns off the engine when the car is stationary in traffic. With manual models the driver must first put the gearlever into neutral and release the clutch pedal. The engine restarts immediately as soon as the clutch pedal is partially pushed (manual) or the brake pedal is released (7DCT). As a result, no fuel is wasted and no emissions are pumped into the atmosphere when the car is stationary. 

ISG consists of crankshaft position, battery and vacuum sensors plus neutral, on-off and clutch switches that feed into an electronic control unit. This operates the ISG starter, intelligent alternator and cluster. The air conditioning units and bonnet switch also feed into the ISG ECU. 

The crankshaft position sensor measures the crank angle during engine run-out and monitors it while the vehicle is stopped, ensuring the starter is activated for as short a time as possible by optimising cranking and combustion. The battery sensor monitors the battery condition and temperature, while the clutch and neutral switches recognise when driver wishes to continue driving and ensure the engine is started. There is a brake booster pressure sensor to make sure the engine continues to operate if brake boost falls too low. 

A heavy-duty maintenance-free AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery delivers the power necessary to run the system, and intelligent alternator management reduces drain on the battery while accelerating and recharges the battery when coasting and braking. The system has been engineered not to stop the engine during warm-up from a cold start or if the air conditioning system is working hard. Drivers can also manually turn off the ISG system through a switch on the dashboard. 

Revised suspension and steering for a sportier drive

A far stiffer body structure plus major revisions to the suspension and steering combine to give the new Optima sharper, sportier driving characteristics with even greater comfort and refinement, aided by extensive new measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). 

The body shell of the new Optima is 50 per cent stiffer than that of the previous model, yet also 8.6kg lighter. This is largely down to a 150 per cent increase in the use of Advanced High-Strength Steel, which is now employed in half of the Optima's body structure compared with a fifth previously. These higher-strength steel alloys are used extensively to reinforce the A and B pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead, giving the new Optima far greater structural integrity. At the same time there has been a 450 per cent increase in the amount of structural adhesive to bond body panels together. 

The stiffer body shell provides an ideal platform for the uprated suspension and steering to work without having to compensate for torsional flex. The new Optima is therefore better able to isolate vibrations and bumps on poor road surfaces, improving ride comfort and agility. 

The Optima retains fully independent suspension at all four corners via subframe-mounted MacPherson struts with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled dampers at the front and a subframe-mounted multi-link system with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled dampers at the rear. There are front and rear anti-roll bars. 

The front and rear subframe mounting points have been moved further out, taking advantage of the car's increased width, for a smoother ride, and the number of front bushing points has been increased from two to four to increase lateral stiffness, while the bearings are more robust. This results in improved steering responsiveness and greater cornering traction, with less delay when the car needs to settle after a severe road surface-induced jolt. 

At the rear there are larger dual suspension arms in place of the previous single links on each side, with thicker, more absorbent bushes. This improves stability and bump absorption, aided by the increase in wheelbase. 

It is an arrangement which provides ideal wheel alignment and body control even under high cornering loads, with good suspension travel and supple damping over a typically broken B-road surface. The Optima is extremely stable in crosswinds or when suddenly changing lanes on the motorway, ensuring the car always remains under the driver’s complete control. 

The new Optima also features Kia's latest rack-mounted motor-driven power assisted steering system (R-MDPS). By mounting the power steering function directly on the rack rather than the column, the engineers have been able to give the Optima quicker and more linear responses to driver inputs, particularly around the straight-ahead, with greater feel. The new Optima is now one of the most agile cars in its market segment. As an added benefit, R-MDPS gives approximately three per cent fuel savings because it draws on engine power only when the car is turning.       

There are large disc brakes on all four wheels, ventilated at the front, with anti-lock (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, giving the car powerful emergency stopping power, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver. The Optima also comes with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which maintains brake pressure for two seconds after the driver releases the pedal to ensure smooth transitions on inclines.

Reduced NVH complements the Optima's premium quality 

Comprehensive new measures to counter NVH ensure that the new Optima has the refinement to match its more upmarket appearance, quality and technology features. The stiff bodyshell again provides an ideal platform for this, while the lower drag co-efficient of 0.29 brings about significant improvements in wind noise. 

Innovations to help towards this include a larger under-floor cover and more effective windscreen seals, each of which contribute two per cent to the reduction in wind noise while improving aerodynamics and, consequently, fuel consumption. 

Increased dashboard insulation lowers the amount of engine noise able to enter the cabin by four per cent, and the acoustic refinement of the 1.7-litre CRDi engine has been improved. Larger cross-member bushings front and rear eliminate a greater proportion of road noise while reducing the vibrations transmitted through the floor and steering wheel.

The part played by the new body in improving NVH is also significant. With a more rigid body frame and stiffer body panels and engine mounts, there is a significant reduction in vibration throughout the cabin. Even the new alloy wheels, 83 per cent stiffer than before, help to cut vibrations created by poor road surfaces. All of this has enabled the engineers to make subtle changes to the car's suspension geometry to further reduce vibrations and road noise while enhancing the car's dynamic abilities.

 

7 THE NEW OPTIMA MEANS BUSINESS                                                                       

    Lower company car tax bills as a result of dramatic CO2 reductions       

 

The major reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with the latest, more powerful 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine will put a smile on the faces of fleet operators and business users by lowering whole-life running costs and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK).

 

A recent survey of fleet managers by Kia reported that the average CO2 figure of the cars they operate is 134g/km, and they expect the number of environmentally friendly vehicles in fleets to increase to more than 40 per cent within the next five years. The new Optima is ideally positioned to take advantage of this: both manual and 7DCT versions are well below that 134g/km average CO2 figure with emissions of 110 and 116g/km respectively. Well over half of the fleet managers in the survey said they monitor whole-life running costs and 17 per cent cited BIK as a deciding factor in choosing models.

 

With CO2 emissions down from 128g/km to 110g/km, manual versions of the new Optima reduce BIK by three tax bands, while for the 7DCT versions which replace cars with the former six-speed torque converter automatic the reduction is an even more dramatic and bank balance-friendly eight tax bands. Meanwhile, with fuel consumption improved by almost 10mpg with the manual gearbox and more than 17mpg with the 7DCT, fleet running costs will be significantly lower.

 

For private owners there are benefits, too. The standard rate of Vehicle Excise Duty, or road tax, falls by £90 per year with manual versions and by £150 with the 7DCT after the initial registration payment.    

 

The Optima’s more stylish design and higher-quality finish are expected to be reflected in far higher residual values, which would in turn mean lower monthly leasing bills for operators. The comprehensive new safety features and low repair costs keep insurance rates down. And, as with any Kia, servicing requirements were factored in from the start of the design and engineering process to ensure the minimum of down time and cost when the car has to go in for routine maintenance, which is required only once a year or at 20,000-mile intervals, whichever comes soonest. 

 

Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering fleet and retail

customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years, are available. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable. If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold, the next owner may upgrade to the five-year service package. 

 

Last but not least, the car comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to conditions covering wear and tear items. The warranty is transferable to subsequent owners. 

Cost tables

Version

Combined

mpg

CO2

BIK rate

Insurance

group

1.7 CRDi grade ‘2’ 6-speed manual ISG

67.3

110

20%

15E

1.7 CRDi grade ‘3’ 6-speed manual ISG

67.3

110

20%

16E

1.7 CRDi grade ‘3’ 7-speed 7DCT auto ISG

64.2

116

21%

16E

1.7 CRDi grade ‘4’ 7-speed 7DCT auto ISG

64.2

116

21%

20A

 

8 SAFETY FIRSTS FOR KIA

   Advanced new active safety features available

The new Optima is available with a number of advanced active safety features, some of which are firsts for Kia including one that is unique in the car's market segment. These augment the comprehensive suite of active and passive safety technologies which are standard across the range.

The new Optima's safety begins with its far stiffer body shell with programmed front, side and rear crumple zones to minimise the risk of injury in an accident. The body shell of the new Optima is 50 per cent stiffer than that of the previous model, yet also 8.6kg lighter. This is largely down to a 150 per cent increase in the use of Advanced High-Strength Steel, which is now employed in half of the Optima's body structure compared with a fifth previously. These higher-strength steel alloys are used extensively to reinforce the A and B pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead, giving the new Optima far greater structural integrity. At the same time there has been a 450 per cent increase in the amount of structural adhesive to bond body panels together. 

For further crash protection, all versions of the new Optima have twin front and side airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger and two full-length side curtain airbags.

Advanced new active accident-avoidance features

Kia's policy has always been that the best way to survive an accident is not to have one, and with that in mind the new Optima is available with advanced active collision-avoidance systems to complement the extensive range of features fitted as standard to the previous model. 

The top-of-the-range grade 4 version is fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking which, uniquely in class, employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 31mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play to detect obstacles in the car's path and respond by automatically slowing the car, to a complete stop if necessary. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph. 

The Optima 4 also has Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes; Lane Keep Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to back out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. It has High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in its vicinity on unlit roads, and a Speed Limit Information function within the instrument cluster. 

A reversing camera integrated with the 7.0- or 8.0-inch navigation touch-screen and reversing sensors are standard, helping to minimise the chance of suffering annoying little parking dents, and Optima 4 has a Smart Park Assist system which can guide the car into parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also has a 360-degree Around View Monitor linked to four cameras. 

All versions have anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist so that the car comes to rest in the shortest possible distance in an emergency, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management prevent the car from skidding in corners or when accelerating on surfaces with different levels of grip between left and right. And Hill-start Assist checks the car for two seconds when setting off on inclines to prevent it rolling backwards.

Cruise control with a speed limiter is fitted to Optima ‘2’ and ‘3’, and Adaptive Smart Cruise Control is standard on Optima ‘4’. 

Emergency Stop Signalling flashes the high-level brake light in an emergency stop to warn the drivers of following vehicles, while the Tyre Pressure Warning system ensures the driver is given advanced notice of a loss of pressure long before it could lead to sudden deflation. 

Static or dynamic cornering lights, depending on model, provide greater night-time vision when turning. 

Seat-belt pre-tensioners reduce the forces on the wearer’s chest in a collision, and ISOFIX top tethers and anchors are fitted to allow child seats to be mounted. A passenger airbag cut-off switch is standard to permit a rear-facing child seat to be carried in the front of the car. 

Speed-sensing automatic door locks ensure the security of all passengers. They are automatically disabled in the event of an accident.

 

 

9 MANUFACTURING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

   Built at Hwasung, Kia’s major plant 

European versions of the Optima are built at the Hwasung plant in Asan Bay alongside the Sorento, Kia’s large SUV, and a number of models which are not exported to the UK. 

Hwasung is Kia's largest plant, with a production capacity of 600,000 cars a year. It opened in 1989 and production began in 1991. Hwasung is also home to a 200-acre proving ground with 16 driving courses, opened in 1993, and it houses an employee sports centre, giving the 12,000 workers and their families access to gymnasiums, swimming pools, squash courts and weight-training and community facilities. 

In recent years Hwasung has undergone major changes to improve the quality of production processes and the cars leaving the factory gates. The improved quality has been recognised by the American publication Consumer Reports. 

Constant efforts are also being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced, and Hwasung has sent no waste to landfill since 2008. 

Improved paint facilities have been installed and every aspect of vehicle production has been scrutinised to ensure the plant uses less energy. Water and power consumption, dust, CO2, contaminants and the amount of waste per vehicle have all been reduced. 

Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in each of its production facilities. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes.

The overall waste generated by Hwasung is under constant review and a number of programmes have seen dramatic improvements.  Recycling has increased and now stands at well over 90 per cent. Exhaust pollutants from Hwasung – dust, NOx and SO2 – have also decreased dramatically. 

New technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement. Typical cast melting furnaces produce large amounts of dust, and contained within this is a high proportion of zinc. The captured dust is treated and the zinc extracted before being re-used within the production process. 

Pump invertors have been fitted to coolant and collectant pumps to control the rpm according to load. This has led to energy savings and a reduction in CO2 equivalent to around 4,000 tons per year.

Another simple energy-saving process has been implemented within Hwasung’s huge and complex air conditioning systems. A fixed amount of heat was supplied to some areas of the plant, regardless of the outside temperature. Using smart control units, the fans now run to supply heat only where and when needed. 

More technology is being employed in the machining shops where gearboxes are produced. Compressed air is used as a coolant when machining intricate gearbox internals, rather than cutting oil, helping to reduce oil use to less than half of one per cent. 

The green landscape around Kia facilities is an important part of each plant make-up. One ongoing programme is based on a number of ecology gardens which are filled with trees and plants resistant and also sensitive to environmental changes in air pollution. This has the added benefits of providing a more comfortable environment for the staff and local population and offsetting some of the CO2 output from the facility.

These gardens are continually monitored since they act as real-world indicators of air quality. Each site is broadening the green patches in and around its compound and constantly monitors air pollution in neighbouring communities. A monthly task for each facility is a stream clean-up programme, where Kia cleans and maintains local, natural water courses. This is not only to monitor cleanliness but also to keep them maintained for local communities to enjoy. 

The overall effect of the many green initiatives has resulted in Hwasung being officially recognised as an eco-friendly worksite by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

 

10 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     We’ve anticipated what you’re likely to ask us

 

  1. How well does the Optima sell in the UK, and what are your ambitions with the new model?
  2. Sales are modest – in 2014 they totalled 736, and in the 10 months to the end of October 2015 amounted to 600 – but that is largely down to the fact that we do not offer the unsustainable discounts to fleets that some companies are prepared to tolerate, and nor are we going to. However, we are much more optimistic about the prospects for the new car, especially as later in 2016 we will have an estate for the first time, and a plug-in hybrid. We estimate sales of around 2,200 in 2016 – 1,400 estates, 500 saloons and around 300 plug-in hybrids.

 

  1. What has the fleet/retail sales split traditionally been and which are likely to be the best-selling versions?
  2. More than 80 per cent of sales are to fleet customers. The best-selling version of the previous model was the mid-range grade ‘2’ EcoDynamics model with both fleet and retail customers. As for the new car, all versions now feature EcoDynamics technologies, including ISG. We are also experiencing increased demand for higher-grade versions of all our models, so it will be a toss-up between grades ‘2’ and ‘3’ as to which ends up being the favourite among customers.  

 

  1. With diesel engines becoming more costly because of EU6 regulations, were you tempted to offer a petrol engine?
  2. We refer you to our previous answer regarding fleet/retail sales. Fleets, and business users, are still heavily biased towards diesel because of the taxation advantages, so a petrol version would have added complication to the range for very few extra sales. But of course there will be a petrol Optima in the UK next year when we launch the exciting GT, our first high-performance saloon.

 

  1. Will you also take the plug-in hybrid?
  2. Certainly. Our policy is to offer the cars that customers want, and the plug-in hybrid will be very appealing to fleets and business drivers because of its extremely low CO2 emissions. It is also Kia's policy to decarbonise road transport as soon as is practicable and to offer all forms of alternative powertrain, and plug-in hybrids are an essential component of this.

 

  1. What is the timetable for the introduction of other variants?
  2. The GT and GT-Line versions are currently scheduled to arrive in the last quarter of 2016 – we hope to have the plug-in hybrid around the same time as that. And there will be an estate based on the SPORTSPACE concept at some point in 2016, which will be a highly important addition to the range.

    To locate a local dealer or for more information please visit www.kia.co.uk

    Stephen Kitson
    Director of Corporate Communications

    E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
    T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
    Daniel Sayles
    Press Relations Manager

    E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
    Sara Robinson     
    Senior Press Officer

    E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
    T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
    Carly Escritt       
    Senior Press Officer

    E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
    Moyosola Fujamade
    Press Officer (press fleet)

    E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
    Emily Jacklin
    Press Office Assistant
    E: ejacklin@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

    Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
    Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
    Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

 

Optima

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION                                                                              

All the facts and figures 

1.7 CRDi 

 No. of cylinders/valves

 

 4 / 16

 Displacement

 cc

 1,685

 Bore x stroke

 mm

 77.2 x 90

 Power output

 bhp (Kw)

 139 @ 4,000 rpm

 Torque output

 Nm

 340 @ 1,750 – 2,500 rpm

 Compression ratio

 

 15.7:1

 Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

 

 Standard

 Engine details

 

 Cast iron block with aluminium cylinder head;

 common-rail high-pressure fuel injection;

 variable geometry turbocharger

 Emissions

 

 Euro 6

 

Transmission

 Transmission type

 

 Six-speed manual

 Seven-speed DCT

 Gear ratios

 1st gear

 2nd gear

 3rd gear

 4th gear

 5th gear

 6th gear

 7th gear

 Reverse

 Final drive    

 Final drive

 3.615

 1.931

 1.696

 1.241

 0.921

 0.732

     –

 3.731

 3.765 (1, 2, reverse)

 2.783 (3-6)

 3.786

 2.261

 1.957

 1.023

 0.778

 0.837

 0.681

 5.074

 4.286 (1-2, 4-5)

 3.158 (3, 6, 7, reverse)

 

Suspension, steering and braking

 Front axle

Fully independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson  struts with coil spring, twin tube gas-filled dampers and

anti-roll bar

 Rear axle

Fully-independent subframe-mounted multi-link, coil springs , twin tube gas-filled dampers, anti-roll bar

 Braking system

Ventilated front discs 280mm (300mm on 18”), solid rear discs 262mm with ABS and EBD and ESC

 Steering

Rack-mounted R-MDPS electric power-assisted, rack and pinion, 2.6 turns lock-lock

 Wheels

6.5J x 17-inch / 7.5J x 18-inch

 Tyres

215/55R17 / 235/45R18

 Spare wheel

Temporary spare wheel

 

Dimensions and weights

 Wheelbase

 mm

 2,895

 Overall – l / w / h

 mm

 4,855 / 1,860 / 1,465

 Kerb weight min

 kg

 1,515

1,530

 Tow weights – braked / unbraked

 kg

 1,800 / 750                1,500 / 750

 Boot capacity VDA / SAE

 litres

 510

 Turning circle

 m

 10.9

 Fuel tank capacity

 litres

 70

 Drag coefficient

 Cd

 0.29

 

Performance and fuel consumption

 

 

 Six-speed manual

7-speed DCT

 Acceleration 0-60 mph

 seconds

 9.7

 10.6

 Maximum speed

 mph

 121

 126

 Fuel consumption – urb / x.urb / com

 mpg

 55.4 / 76.3 / 67.3

 55.4/ 68.9 / 64.2

 CO2

 g/km

 110

 116

 VED

 band

 cost

 B

 £20 year two

 C

 £30 year two

 

GENERAL

Optima

THE All-NEW KIA OPTIMA                                                                                   

Short story 

  • More modern, bolder exterior styling
  • High-quality cabin with horizontal layout and luxurious materials
  • Cutting-edge technologies include wireless phone charging
  • New powertrains slash emissions by up to 25 per cent
  • Major improvements in ride comfort, refinement, space and safety
  • GT and GT-Line versions to be offered for first time
  • Other variants to come, including a plug-in hybrid 

It is difficult to know where to start with the all-new, second-generation Kia Optima, such is the extent of the changes introduced by the designers and engineers. 

There is a more luxurious and more driver-focused cabin with a horizontal layout, high-quality materials and state-of-the-art technologies, including advanced connectivity systems and wireless mobile telephone charging. This complements the more modern and bolder evolutionary exterior styling for a car which, from the outset, has attracted international praise for its design. 

But business users might prefer the focus to be on the car’s new powertrains, which slash CO2 emissions by as much as 25 per cent. This in turn brings considerable reductions in the amount of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax they pay. 

The list of improvements and additions goes on and on…more space all round for every occupant; greater safety and sharper driving dynamics thanks to a 50 per cent stiffer body shell; a smoother ride and greater refinement; a huge range of new driver assistance technologies; and the availability for the first time of sporty GT-Line and GT models later in 2016. 

And it will not stop there. Kia has already announced that it plans to offer an Optima featuring the brand’s first plug-in electric hybrid powertrain (PHEV) in 2016, while the SPORTSPACE concept, revealed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, hints at an estate version to come – another first for the company. 

Sharper appearance front and rear

Under the watchful eye of President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, Kia has taken an evolutionary approach to the Optima's exterior design, maintaining the identity of a car which still looks as smart today as it did when launched while introducing greater modernity and boldness. 

The new Optima has an even greater road presence than the outgoing model thanks to its longer profile – which has been enlarged by 10mm to correspond with the increase in wheelbase – sharp body lines and creases and greater surface detailing. 

At the front the hallmark Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille meets up with longer and wider wrap-around light units which have been pulled taut over the blistered front wheel arches. With an increase in overall width of 25mm and wide black or high-gloss black lower grilles, the new Optima has a more powerful and more stable appearance. 

The increase in overall length to 4,855mm, although only 10mm greater than before, creates space for an even more swept-back and dynamic side profile. A shoulder line extends all the way from the front light units, creating a clean, straight crease that links front and rear and does so much to give the Optima its cohesive appearance. The door panels are deeply sculpted and curve fluently into slightly extended side sills which increase the visual weight around the lower body and again emphasise stability. 

The car’s athletic appearance is reinforced at the rear, where a rising, spoiler-shaped boot lid and an expansive rear bumper flow into a diffuser section which houses the chrome-tipped oval exhaust tailpipe. The tail light units – LED on most models – wrap around the rear corners, like those in front, and give the new Optima a more modern night-time signature. The new body is more aerodynamically efficient as well as more stylish, reducing the drag co-efficient (Cd) from 0.3 to 0.29. Each tiny improvement in Cd has a significant impact on fuel economy, particularly at higher speeds. 

A more modern interior with a huge step forward in quality

The new Optima has a more modern layout with a horizontal dash structure and far higher-quality materials. The dash and control layout is more driver-focused, with the centre console now angled at 8.5 degrees towards the person behind the wheel. The central 7.0- or 8.0-inch touch-screen is set at exactly the same height as the instruments in the main cluster to make it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly. 

The fascia is divided into an upper display zone and a lower control zone, while the number of buttons and switches in the control zone has been reduced because more functions are now accessed via the standard touch-screen, simplifying use and giving the cabin a less cluttered look. 

The interior is trimmed in black cloth, black cloth with faux leather or black leather, depending on model grade. A faux leather finish has been applied to the door and centre console armrests; black leather is standard on the gearlever and steering wheel; and the door switch panels, door handles and interior bezels are trimmed with either metallic paint or satin chrome, depending on model.

The impressive quality is also apparent in the soft-touch materials, interior lighting – LED at the top of the range – and, on the road, greater refinement as a result of the application of increased sound-proofing.

All of this is supported by increased passenger and luggage space and improved practicality thanks to the 10mm longer wheelbase, 25mm greater overall width and 10mm increase in height. The new dimensions improve head, leg and shoulder room all round, while the boot capacity has risen from 505 to 510 litres, and there is a wider opening to make loading easier. 

Along with the greater space there are improvements in comfort thanks to new seat frames which are not only stiffer but also 2.6kg per seat lighter. This reduces the levels of vibration felt by occupants. Rear passengers now have their own heating system, and at the top of the range there are pull-up window shades incorporated into the doors to block out strong sunlight.

 

Fully connected to enhance comfort, convenience and safety

The new Optima comes loaded with advanced technology options – some of which are firsts in the segment; others firsts for Kia – so that it is fully connected to enhance comfort, convenience and safety.

Every version is fitted with a touch-screen navigation system and features Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is either 7.0 inches or 8.0 inches in size, depending on model, and is linked to a rear parking camera. There are also USB charging points in the front and rear in every model. 

The touch-screen infotainment system is paired as standard with a six-speaker audio on the entry-level model, while other versions feature a powerful 590-watt harman kardon™ Premium Sound system with 10 speakers, an external amplifier and Clari-Fi, which restores sound that’s lost with heavily compressed digital music files. 

The new Optima is the first car in its class to be offered with a wireless charger for mobile devices, located in the base of the centre console. Occupants are therefore able to recharge mobile phones or MP3 players without the inconvenience of wires and connectors. 

It is available with a 360-degree Around View Monitor which, through four strategically mounted cameras, gives the driver a bird's-eye view of the car when manoeuvring. At the top of the range a Smart Park Assist System automatically steers the car in and out of parallel or perpendicular parking slots while the driver operates the accelerator and brakes, and there is a reversing camera and audible front and rear parking sensors in every model. 

Autonomous Emergency Braking and bi-xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights, which sweep the road in line with steering wheel movements, plus High Beam Assist become available for the first time on any Kia, and at the top of the range the new Optima has Lane Keep Assist, a Speed Limit Information Function, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers about to pull out of a perpendicular parking space into the path of a vehicle approaching from the side. 

Four versions, with more to come

Four versions of the new Optima are available in the UK, unashamedly targeted at business users who make up the vast majority of buyers in this sector of the market. All versions are powered by an upgraded EU6 version of Kia's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission delivering fuel savings and CO2 reductions of up to 25 per cent over the previous model. The entry-level grade 2 version is manual only, grade 3 offers both transmissions while grade 4 is DCT only. ISG, Kia's fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start system, is standard. 

All versions are extensively equipped. There are initially three trim levels – 2, 3 and 4 – with GT-Line and GT versions to be added in 2016. Previously the Optima trim levels started at the 1 spec, topping out at 3 for the top of range vehicle. With the all-new Optima the trim levels start at 2, due to the significant level of standard equipment which now comes with the vehicle, equivalent to competitor mid-grades. In addition, having a 4 grade in the Optima line-up aligns it with our other premium models, such as the Sorento and Sportage, it also means we can look to introducing a 1 grade in the future should demand rise. 

Even the entry-level 2 grade comes as standard with a 7.0-inch satellite navigation system with European mapping and a reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, dual automatic air conditioning, cruise control with a speed limiter, electrically heated folding mirrors, a six-speaker DAB radio with MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, dual projection headlights with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, powered two-way driver's seat lumbar adjustment and remote central locking with a fold-away key, while the comprehensive safety provisions include Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-start Assist Control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and an electronic parking brake. 

Grade 3 upgrades the navigation screen to 8.0 inches, has an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way electric lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and xenon dual projection headlights. The exterior is distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome and body colour exterior door handles, LED front foglights and rear combination lamps and chrome-coloured side sill mouldings. The black cloth seats have faux leather sections, there are satin chrome highlights on the touch-screen bezel, the rear electric windows have an auto up and down function with an anti-trap safety feature, a premium vision instrument cluster, satin chrome interior door handles and gloss black window switch panels. The harman kardon™ Premium Sound System is also standard, while the 7DCT version has paddle shifters for manual control and a Drive Mode Select function. 

Grade 4 further supplements this with a wireless mobile phone charger, 360-degree Around View Monitor, the Smart Park Assist System, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Speed Limit Information and Autonomous Emergency Braking. It has a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights with automatic levelling and washers, Dynamic Bending Lights, black leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates, rear window blinds, Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, a smart key with illuminated start/stop button, LED front map lights and rear reading lights and ambient interior lighting. 

Up to 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions with improved economy

In the UK, sales of the Optima and its competitors are heavily dependent on company car fleets, where whole-life running costs for operators and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK) for users are the most influential factors. With this in mind, Kia has again opted to launch the Optima with a single, extensively upgraded 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired to either a six-speed manual gearbox or the new seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission, bringing reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 25 per cent. 

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, offering a commuter-friendly all-electric drive range with even lower emissions and greater taxation advantages, will be added later in 2016. 

Kia’s 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine now develops an improved 139bhp at 4,000rpm and increased torque of 340Nm, starting at a lower 1,750rpm. This represents increases of 5bhp and 15Nm over the previous version. The engine meets EU6 emissions regulations and delivers outstanding performance for its capacity with effortless driveability. 

The engine was engineered at Kia’s European research and development centre in Germany and features high-pressure common-rail fuel injection for maximum efficiency and a new variable geometry turbocharger actuator to enhance low-speed driveability while ensuring strong top-end power.

With the Idle Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system as standard, CO2 emissions of manual models are 14 per cent lower at 110g/km, while fuel economy improves to a highly impressive 67.3mpg. An even bigger improvement is apparent with the new 7DCT dual-clutch auto gearbox, which replaces the previous six-speed torque converter unit. Emissions tumble by 25 per cent, to 116g/km, while fuel economy is now 64.2mpg. 

The major reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will put a smile on the faces of fleet operators and business users by lowering whole-life running costs and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK). With CO2 emissions down from 128g/km to 110g/km, manual versions reduce BIK by three tax bands, while for the 7DCT versions the reduction is an even more dramatic and bank balance-friendly eight tax bands. Meanwhile, with fuel consumption lowered by almost 10mpg for the manual models and more than 17mpg for the 7DCT versions, fleet running costs will be dramatically lower. 

For private owners there are significant benefits, too. The standard rate of Vehicle Excise Duty, or road tax, falls by £90 per year with manual versions and by £150 with the 7DCT after the first initial registration payment.   

The manual has a reduced 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 121mph, while with the 7DCT 0-60mph takes 10.6 seconds and the top speed is 126mph. 

The seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch automatic transmission was developed in-house at Kia's Namyang research and development centre in Korea with the aim of delivering the comfort and smoothness of a torque converter transmission in automatic mode with the sportiness of a manual when the driver chooses to take control of gearchanging via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Greater agility with premium-class refinement

A far stiffer body structure plus major revisions to the suspension and steering combine to give the new Optima sharper, sportier driving characteristics with even greater comfort and refinement, aided by extensive new measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The body shell of the new Optima is 50 per cent stiffer than that of the previous model yet also 8.6kg lighter. This is largely down to a 150 per cent increase in the use of Advanced High-Strength Steel to reinforce the A and B pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead. At the same time there has been a 450 per cent increase in the amount of structural adhesive to bond body panels together. 

The stiffer body shell provides an ideal platform for the uprated suspension and steering to work without having to compensate for torsional flex. The new Optima is therefore better able to isolate vibrations and bumps on poor road surfaces and deliver improved ride comfort with greater agility.

The new Optima also features Kia's latest rack-mounted motor-driven power assisted steering system (R-MDPS). By mounting the power steering system directly on the rack rather than the column, the engineers have been able to provide quicker and more linear responses to driver inputs with greater feel. The new Optima is now one of the most agile cars in its class. As an added benefit, R-MDPS gives approximately three per cent fuel savings because it draws on engine power only when the car is turning.      

Comprehensive new measures to counter NVH ensure that the new Optima has the refinement to match its more upmarket appearance, quality and technology features. 

Innovations to help towards this include a larger under-floor cover and more effective windscreen seals, each of which contribute two per cent to the reduction in wind noise while improving aerodynamics and, consequently, fuel consumption.

Increased dashboard insulation lowers the amount of engine noise able to enter the cabin by four per cent, and the acoustic refinement of the 1.7-litre CRDi engine itself has been improved. Larger cross-member bushings front and rear eliminate a greater proportion of road noise while reducing the vibrations transmitted through the floor and steering wheel.

Safety firsts

The new Optima is available with a number of advanced active safety features, some of which are firsts for Kia including one that is unique in the car's market segment. These augment the comprehensive suite of active and passive safety technologies which are standard across the range. 

The new Optima's safety begins with its far stiffer body shell with programmed front, side and rear crumple zones. For further crash protection, all versions have twin front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and two full-length side curtain airbags.

Kia's policy has always been that the best way to survive an accident is not to have one, and with that in mind the new Optima is available with advanced active collision-avoidance systems. 

The top-of-the-range grade 4 version is fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking which, uniquely in class, employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 31mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph. 

The Optima ‘4’ also has Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes; Lane Keep Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to back out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. It has High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in its vicinity on unlit roads, and a Speed Limit Information function within the instrument cluster. 

A reversing camera integrated with the 7.0- or 8.0-inch navigation touch-screen and reversing sensors are standard, helping to minimise the chance of annoying little parking dents, and Optima ‘4’ has a Smart Park Assist System which can guide the car in and out of parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also has a 360-degree around-view monitor linked to four cameras. 

All versions have anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist so that the car comes to rest in the shortest possible distance in an emergency, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management prevent the car from skidding in corners or when accelerating on surfaces with different levels of grip between left and right. And Hill-start Assist checks the car for two seconds when setting off on inclines to prevent it rolling backwards. 

Warranty and servicing

The Optima comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to conditions covering wear and tear items. The warranty is fully transferable to subsequent owners as long as the age or mileage limits have not been exceeded. 

It is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering fleet and retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable.  If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold the next owner may upgrade to the five-year service package.  

UK model line-up

Version

Power bhp

Torque Nm

0-60 sec

Top Speed mph

Comb. mpg

CO2

1.7 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG ‘2’

139

340

9.7

121

67.3

110

1.7 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG ‘3’

139

340

9.7

121

67.3

110

1.7 CRDi 7-speed DCT ISG ‘3’

139

340

10.6

126

64.2

116

1.7 CRDi 7-speed DCT ISG ‘4’

139

340

10.6

126

64.2

116

 

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact:

Stephen Kitson
Director of Corporate Communications

E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936

 

Daniel Sayles
Press Relations Manager

E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149

 

Sara Robinson     
Senior Press Officer

E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332

 

Carly Escritt       

Senior Press Officer

E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 262 252

 

Moyosola Fujamade
Press Officer (press fleet)

E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832 069 M: 07471 216 343

 

Hannah Cowton
Press Office Assistant

 

E: hcowton@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

 

Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

 

2 THE NEW OPTIMA ON A PAGE                                                                        

   What's new about our new saloon – at a glance 

Body

  • Longer (10mm), wider (25mm), taller (10mm) with a 10mm increase in wheelbase
  • 50 per cent stiffer thanks to 50 per cent use of Advanced High-strength Steel
  • More aerodynamic (Cd 0.29 instead of 0.3)
  • Body weight reduced by 8.6kg despite increase in size
  • Evolutionary new styling combines sportiness with functionality
  • GT-Line and GT versions to come adding extra sporty flourishes

 

Interior

  • More head, leg and shoulder room all round
  • Increase in boot capacity from 505 to 510 litres with wider opening
  • New horizontal dash structure with navigation screen at same height as instruments
  • More driver-focused control layout
  • More luxurious trim materials
  • Dash divided into upper display zone and lower control zone
  • Fewer switches with more functions operated from standard touch-screen

 

Powertrains and running gear

  • Power and torque of 1.7-litre CRDi engine increased to 139bhp and 340Nm
  • Engine now EU6-compliant
  • Improvements in fuel economy and CO2 emissions of up to 25 per cent
  • Major reduction in BIK taxation with every model
  • Seven-speed dual-clutch (7DCT) auto gearbox replaces six-speed torque converter unit
  • New suspension bushes, dual rear lower arms and geometry improve agility and comfort
  • Rack-mounted power steering (R-MDPS) replaces column-mounted MDPS
  • Major reductions in NVH through extra sound-proofing and acoustic damping
  • High-power GT petrol engine and plug-in hybrid powertrain to be added in 2016

 

Technology and safety

  • First car in class to offer wireless phone charger
  • Touch-screen sat-nav with reversing camera on all models
  • Kia Connected Services with TomTom gives speed camera, weather and traffic information
  • Front and rear USB ports standard
  • 360-degree Around View Monitor available
  • Smart Park Assist System can guide the car in and out of parallel and perpendicular spaces
  • Dynamic Bending Headlights introduced
  • New safety technologies include unique-in-class twin-radar Autonomous Emergency Braking, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Speed Limit Information and High Beam Assist

 

 

3 DESIGN                                                                                                                             

   Bolder and more modern with a luxurious new interior 

The first-generation Kia Optima was lauded with international praise for its elegant simplicity, muscular proportions and coupé-like silhouette, which represented a seismic shift in design over previous mid-size Kia saloons that were rational, functional and good value, but which lacked any real identity. The Optima changed all that, garnering the 2011 ‘Best of the Best’ title in Germany’s Red Dot design competition and an IF Product Design Award, also in Germany.   

The challenge with the second-generation model was how to take that forward – the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome. What Kia has done, under the watchful eye of President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, is to take an evolutionary approach, maintaining the identity of a car which still looks as smart today as it did when launched while introducing greater modernity and boldness. At the same time there was a completely fresh approach to the interior, with a horizontal dash structure unashamedly focused on the driver and much more luxurious materials and cutting-edge technologies. 

The new Optima is also significantly more spacious than its predecessor, taking advantage of the 10mm longer wheelbase, 25mm greater overall width and 10mm increase in height. The new dimensions improve leg and head room in the rear by 25mm and 10mm respectively, for example; there is 20mm more shoulder room in the front and 17mm more in the rear; and 13mm more headroom in the front. 

Exterior design

The new Optima has an even greater road presence than the outgoing model thanks to its longer profile – which has been enlarged by 10mm with the increase in wheelbase – sharp body lines and creases and greater surface detailing. This will be even more emphatically seen in the new GT-Line and GT versions, which later in 2016 will introduce the ultimate sporty look to the Optima. 

The new car is unmistakably a Kia, especially from the front, where the hallmark Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille meets up with longer and wider wrap-around light units which have been pulled taut over the blistered front wheel arches. The lower part of the bumper is almost at a right angle where it meets the front foglamps (where fitted). These sit like three jewels encased in a high-gloss black lower grille. Together, they give the new Optima a more powerful and more stable appearance.

The increase in overall length to 4,855mm, although only 10mm greater than before, is nevertheless significant as it creates space for an even more swept-back and dynamic side profile. The glass area preserves the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that were so influential in giving the first-generation Optima a sports saloon shape, with the rear quarter-light kicking up sharply as the shoulder line meets the raised boot lid. That shoulder line extends all the way from the front light units, creating a clean, straight crease that links front and rear and does so much to give the Optima its cohesive appearance. The door panels are deeply sculpted and curve fluently into slightly extended side sills which increase the visual weight around the lower body and again emphasise stability. 

The car’s athletic appearance is reinforced at the rear, where a rising, spoiler-shaped boot lid and an expansive rear bumper flow into a diffuser section which houses the chrome-tipped oval exhaust tailpipe. The tail light units – LED on most models – wrap around the rear corners, like those in front, and give the new Optima a more modern night-time signature. The new body is more aerodynamically efficient as well as more stylish, reducing the drag co-efficient (Cd) from 0.3 to 0.29. Each tiny improvement in Cd has a significant impact on fuel economy, particularly at higher speeds. 

There is a choice of four paint colours and two different alloy wheel designs, 17 or 18 inches in diameter, depending on model. There will be an even more purposeful and dynamic look for the new GT-Line and GT versions to be added later in 2016. The GT-Line, previewed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, will feature a bolder and more aggressive front bumper, high-gloss black side sills, a subtle rear diffuser with integrated dual exhaust tailpipes and special badging.

A more modern interior with a huge step forward in quality

Anyone looking for tangible evidence of the huge improvement in quality with the new Optima need do no more than open a door. The more modern layout with its horizontal dash structure is immediately apparent, as is the high-quality nature of the materials used throughout. 

The dash and control layout is more driver-focused, with the centre console now angled at 8.5 degrees towards the person behind the wheel. The central 7.0- or 8.0-inch touch-screen is set at exactly the same height as the instruments in the main cluster – a more logical and more visible layout which emphasises the minute attention to detail applied to the new Optima and the horizontal design of the dashboard. 

The fascia is divided into an upper display zone and a lower control zone to make it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly. Kia has reduced the number of buttons and switches in the control zone by permitting more functions to be operated via the touch-screen, simplifying use and giving the cabin a less cluttered look. 

The display and control zones are separated by a horizontal chrome strip which enhances the increased width of the cabin. The interior is trimmed in black cloth, black cloth with faux leather or black leather, depending on trim grade. A faux leather finish has been applied to the door and centre console armrests; black leather is standard on the gearlever and steering wheel; and the door switch panels, door handles and interior bezels are trimmed with either metallic paint or satin chrome, depending on model. 

The quality is also apparent in the soft-touch materials, interior lighting – LED at the top of the range – and, on the road, the greater levels of refinement as a result of the application of increased sound-proofing. 

The A-list nature of the interior is reinforced by the new levels of connectivity and technology on board. Every model has satellite navigation with European mapping accessed via a 7.0- or 8.0-inch touch-screen and linked to Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom traffic and speed camera alerts, weather reports and local search information. Bluetooth with music streaming, reversing sensors and a reversing camera are also integrated, while at the top of the range a wireless mobile phone charger and 360-degree Around View Monitor are standard. Every model also has a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) 3.5-inch mono or 4.3-inch colour supervision instrument cluster. 

All of this is supported by greater passenger and luggage space and increased practicality thanks to the 10mm longer wheelbase, 25mm greater overall width and 10mm increase in height. The new dimensions improve leg and head room in the rear by 25mm and 10mm respectively, for example; there is 20mm more shoulder room in the front and 17mm more in the rear; and 13mm more headroom in the front. The boot capacity, meanwhile, has risen from 505 to 510 litres, and there is a wider opening to make loading easier. 

Along with the greater space there are improvements in comfort thanks to new seat frames which are not only stiffer but also 2.6kg per seat lighter. This reduces the levels of vibration felt by occupants. The upper seat backs, under-thigh supports and headrests now feature softer foam, while the side bolsters are deeper and made of denser foam to provide greater lateral support. Rear passengers now have their own heating system, and at the top of the range there are heated outer rear seats and pull-up window shades incorporated into the doors to block out strong sunlight.

 

 

4 TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                                 

   Fully connected to enhance convenience and safety

It is not just in the areas of quality, comfort and quietness where the new Optima excels. It also comes loaded with advanced technology options – some of which are firsts in its class; others firsts for Kia – so that it is fully connected to enhance convenience and safety. 

Every version of the new Optima is fitted with a touch-screen satellite navigation display in the centre of the dashboard, and features Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is either 7.0 inches or 8.0 inches in size, depending on model, and has a full colour display with a rear parking camera. There are also USB charging points in the front and rear for larger devices in every model. 

The touch-screen infotainment system is paired as standard with a six-speaker audio on the entry-level model, while other versions feature a powerful 590-watt harman kardon™ Premium Sound system with 10 speakers, an external amplifier and Clari-Fi, which restores sound that is lost with heavily compressed digital music files. 

The new Optima is the first car in its class to be offered with a wireless charger for mobile devices, located in the base of the centre console. Occupants are therefore able to recharge mobile phones or MP3 players without the inconvenience of wires and connectors, which frequently change when new devices are introduced. The wireless charger features foreign object detection, switches on automatically when a phone is placed upon it and displays the phone's charge status in the instrument cluster. An in-built safety system prevents overheating, while drivers and passengers are warned if they are about to leave the car with the phone still on the charging pad.

It is also available with a 360-degree Around View Monitor which, through four strategically mounted cameras, gives the driver a bird's-eye view of the car when manoeuvring. At the top of the range a Smart Park Assist System automatically steers the car into parallel or perpendicular parking slots while the driver works the accelerator and brakes, and there is a reversing camera and audible front and rear parking sensors in every model.

Autonomous Emergency Braking and bi-xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights, which sweep the road in line with steering wheel movements, plus High Beam Assist become available for the first time on any Kia, and at the top of the range the new Optima also comes with Lane Keep Assist, a Speed Limit Information Function, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers about to pull out of a perpendicular parking space into the path of a vehicle approaching from the side. 

First Kia with a harman kardon™ Premium audio system

Kia has had a 15-year relationship with renowned car audio experts Harman International, but for the new Optima this has been extended. The new Optima is the first Kia with a harman kardon™ Premium audio system which, with its elegant design and sublime sound, perfectly complements the stylish and refined interior of Kia's latest mid-sized saloon. 

Kia involved Harman engineers from the very first stages of the new Optima's development and design to ensure the audio system components could be integrated into the car without compromise. Hundreds of hours were then spent fine-tuning the system specifically for the Optima, taking into account its size, seating configuration and interior materials. 

The system developed by Kia and Harman incorporates 10 strategically mounted speakers, optimised and tuned precisely for the Optima; an 11-channel, 590-watt digital amplifier with programmed Digital Signal Processing; QuantumLogic Surround, which identifies individual instruments and voices and presents them in a precise, multi-channel sound stage; and Clari-Fi, Harman's patented technology to rebuild audio details frequently lost when digital music files are heavily compressed. The system also includes Automatic Speed Dependent Volume Control, which eliminates the need for the driver to readjust the audio system's volume while on the move by controlling individual channels according the car's speed.     

 

5 RANGE FINDER                                                                                                   

   Three exceptionally well-equipped grades for now – with more to come

Four versions of the new Optima are available in the UK, unashamedly targeted at business users who make up the vast majority of buyers in this sector of the market. All versions are powered by an upgraded EU6 version of Kia's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission delivering fuel savings and CO2 reductions of up to 25 per cent over the previous model. The entry-level grade 2 version is manual only, grade 3 offers both transmissions while grade 4 is DCT only. ISG, Kia's fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start system, is standard. 

In inimitable Kia style, all versions are extensively equipped. There are initially three trim levels – ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’ – with ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT’ versions to be added later in 2016. 

Even the entry-level 2 grade comes as standard with a 7.0-inch satellite navigation system with European mapping and a reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, front and rear USB ports, dual automatic air conditioning with ioniser, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, cruise control with a speed limiter, electrically heated folding mirrors, a six-speaker DAB radio with MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth with music streaming. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, dual projection headlights with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights, powered two-way driver's seat lumbar adjustment and remote central locking with a fold-away key, while the comprehensive safety provisions include Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-start Assist Control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and an electronic parking brake. 

Grade ‘3’ upgrades the navigation screen to 8.0 inches, has an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way electronic lumbar adjustment, heated front seats and xenon dual projection headlights. The exterior is distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome and body colour exterior door handles, LED front foglights and rear combination lamps and chrome-coloured side sill mouldings. The black cloth seats have faux leather sections, there are satin chrome highlights on the touch-screen bezel, the rear electric windows have an auto up and down function with an anti-trap safety feature, a premium vision instrument cluster, satin chrome interior door handles and gloss black window switch panels. The harman kardon™ Premium Sound System is also standard, while the 7DCT version has paddle shifters for manual control and a Drive Mode Select function. 

Grade ‘4’ further supplements this with a wireless mobile phone charger, 360-degree Around View Monitor, the Smart Park Assist System, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Speed Limit Information and Autonomous Emergency Braking. It has a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights with automatic levelling and washers, Dynamic Bending Lights, black leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates, rear window blinds, adaptive smart cruise control, a smart key with illuminated start/stop button, LED front map lights and rear reading lights and ambient interior lighting. 

6 ALL THINGS MECHANICAL                                                                                          

    Engine, transmissions, running gear, NVH 

In the UK, sales of the Optima are heavily dependent on company car fleets, where whole-life running costs for operators and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK) for users are the most influential factors. With this in mind, Kia has again opted to launch the Optima with a single, extensively upgraded 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired to either a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission bringing reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 25 per cent. 

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, offering a commuter-friendly all-electric drive range with even lower emissions and greater taxation advantages, will be added later in 2016. 

There have also been major revisions to the fully independent suspension, steering and sound-deadening features to give the car sportier driving manners with increased comfort and refinement in line with its more premium look and feel and vastly enhanced quality. 

The 1.7-litre CRDi engine

Kia’s 1.7-litre (1,685cc) four-cylinder 16-valve CRDi turbodiesel engine now develops an improved 139bhp at 4,000rpm and increased torque of 340Nm starting at a lower 1,750rpm as a result of an extensive package of revisions. This represents increases of 5bhp and 15Nm over the previous version. The engine now fully complies with EU6 emissions regulations and delivers outstanding performance for an engine of this capacity with effortless driveability.

The engine was engineered at Kia’s European research and development centre in Germany and features high-pressure common-rail fuel injection for maximum efficiency and a new variable geometry turbocharger actuator to enhance low-speed driveability while ensuring strong top-end power. Maximum torque is now available from 1,750rpm to 2,500rpm, whereas previously the lower peak of 325Nm was available only between 2,000 and 2,500rpm. Measures to enhance efficiency include a new piston coating which reduces internal friction, while engine noise has been minimised thanks to the addition of a new timing chain crank sprocket. 

With the Idle Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system as standard, CO2 emissions of manual models are now 14 per cent lower at 110g/km, while fuel economy improves to a highly impressive 67.3mpg. The figures for the outgoing Optima were 128g/km and 57.6mpg. An even bigger improvement is apparent with the new 7DCT dual-clutch auto gearbox, which replaces the previous six-speed torque converter automatic in grade 3 (optional) and grade ‘4’ (standard) versions of the latest Optima. Emissions tumble by 25 per cent, from 158g/km to 116g/km, while fuel economy is now 64.2mpg, a highly significant improvement on the previous 47.1mpg.

The manual has a reduced 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.7 seconds (previously 10.2 seconds) and a top speed of 121mph, and the 7DCT also has sharper performance than the last-generation six-speed auto, with 0-60mph taking 10.6 seconds instead of 11.5, and the top speed improving from 122mph to 126. 

Like the manuals, 7DCT versions feature Kia’s EcoDynamics fuel-saving, CO2-reducing ISG system as standard. The 7DCT versions also have a Drive Mode Select system featuring three options – Normal, Eco and Sport – which alter the transmission shift timing, throttle mapping and steering wheel weighting accordingly. Steering wheel-mounted paddles allow the driver to take manual control of gearshifting at any stage.

Optima follows cee'd range with 7DCT transmission option

The seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission recently introduced with 1.6-litre CRDi versions of the cee'd range is now available with the 1.7-litre CRDi engine in the new Optima. It was developed in-house at Kia's Namyang research and development centre in Korea with the aim of enhancing fuel efficiency while delivering the comfort and smoothness of a torque converter transmission in automatic mode with the sportiness of a manual when the driver chooses to take control of gearchanging via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 

One clutch operates the odd-numbered gears and the other the even-numbered ratios, ensuring that the transmission is always primed for the next up- or downshift. As a result, torque losses during shifting are reduced, improving efficiency, while gearchanges are at least as smooth as with the best torque converter auto. 

The manual is a slick-shifting unit with the forward gears arranged in a double-H pattern and reverse to the left and up, selected by first raising a collar around the shift lever. Longer gearing for the higher ratios and optimised software for the gearshift advisory system help the driver to get maximum fuel efficiency with no loss of driveability. 

ISG and Active ECO

Kia’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system turns off the engine when the car is stationary in traffic. With manual models the driver must first put the gearlever into neutral and release the clutch pedal. The engine restarts immediately as soon as the clutch pedal is partially pushed (manual) or the brake pedal is released (7DCT). As a result, no fuel is wasted and no emissions are pumped into the atmosphere when the car is stationary. 

ISG consists of crankshaft position, battery and vacuum sensors plus neutral, on-off and clutch switches that feed into an electronic control unit. This operates the ISG starter, intelligent alternator and cluster. The air conditioning units and bonnet switch also feed into the ISG ECU. 

The crankshaft position sensor measures the crank angle during engine run-out and monitors it while the vehicle is stopped, ensuring the starter is activated for as short a time as possible by optimising cranking and combustion. The battery sensor monitors the battery condition and temperature, while the clutch and neutral switches recognise when driver wishes to continue driving and ensure the engine is started. There is a brake booster pressure sensor to make sure the engine continues to operate if brake boost falls too low. 

A heavy-duty maintenance-free AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery delivers the power necessary to run the system, and intelligent alternator management reduces drain on the battery while accelerating and recharges the battery when coasting and braking. The system has been engineered not to stop the engine during warm-up from a cold start or if the air conditioning system is working hard. Drivers can also manually turn off the ISG system through a switch on the dashboard. 

Revised suspension and steering for a sportier drive

A far stiffer body structure plus major revisions to the suspension and steering combine to give the new Optima sharper, sportier driving characteristics with even greater comfort and refinement, aided by extensive new measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). 

The body shell of the new Optima is 50 per cent stiffer than that of the previous model, yet also 8.6kg lighter. This is largely down to a 150 per cent increase in the use of Advanced High-Strength Steel, which is now employed in half of the Optima's body structure compared with a fifth previously. These higher-strength steel alloys are used extensively to reinforce the A and B pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead, giving the new Optima far greater structural integrity. At the same time there has been a 450 per cent increase in the amount of structural adhesive to bond body panels together. 

The stiffer body shell provides an ideal platform for the uprated suspension and steering to work without having to compensate for torsional flex. The new Optima is therefore better able to isolate vibrations and bumps on poor road surfaces, improving ride comfort and agility. 

The Optima retains fully independent suspension at all four corners via subframe-mounted MacPherson struts with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled dampers at the front and a subframe-mounted multi-link system with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled dampers at the rear. There are front and rear anti-roll bars. 

The front and rear subframe mounting points have been moved further out, taking advantage of the car's increased width, for a smoother ride, and the number of front bushing points has been increased from two to four to increase lateral stiffness, while the bearings are more robust. This results in improved steering responsiveness and greater cornering traction, with less delay when the car needs to settle after a severe road surface-induced jolt. 

At the rear there are larger dual suspension arms in place of the previous single links on each side, with thicker, more absorbent bushes. This improves stability and bump absorption, aided by the increase in wheelbase. 

It is an arrangement which provides ideal wheel alignment and body control even under high cornering loads, with good suspension travel and supple damping over a typically broken B-road surface. The Optima is extremely stable in crosswinds or when suddenly changing lanes on the motorway, ensuring the car always remains under the driver’s complete control. 

The new Optima also features Kia's latest rack-mounted motor-driven power assisted steering system (R-MDPS). By mounting the power steering function directly on the rack rather than the column, the engineers have been able to give the Optima quicker and more linear responses to driver inputs, particularly around the straight-ahead, with greater feel. The new Optima is now one of the most agile cars in its market segment. As an added benefit, R-MDPS gives approximately three per cent fuel savings because it draws on engine power only when the car is turning.       

There are large disc brakes on all four wheels, ventilated at the front, with anti-lock (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, giving the car powerful emergency stopping power, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver. The Optima also comes with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which maintains brake pressure for two seconds after the driver releases the pedal to ensure smooth transitions on inclines.

Reduced NVH complements the Optima's premium quality 

Comprehensive new measures to counter NVH ensure that the new Optima has the refinement to match its more upmarket appearance, quality and technology features. The stiff bodyshell again provides an ideal platform for this, while the lower drag co-efficient of 0.29 brings about significant improvements in wind noise. 

Innovations to help towards this include a larger under-floor cover and more effective windscreen seals, each of which contribute two per cent to the reduction in wind noise while improving aerodynamics and, consequently, fuel consumption. 

Increased dashboard insulation lowers the amount of engine noise able to enter the cabin by four per cent, and the acoustic refinement of the 1.7-litre CRDi engine has been improved. Larger cross-member bushings front and rear eliminate a greater proportion of road noise while reducing the vibrations transmitted through the floor and steering wheel.

The part played by the new body in improving NVH is also significant. With a more rigid body frame and stiffer body panels and engine mounts, there is a significant reduction in vibration throughout the cabin. Even the new alloy wheels, 83 per cent stiffer than before, help to cut vibrations created by poor road surfaces. All of this has enabled the engineers to make subtle changes to the car's suspension geometry to further reduce vibrations and road noise while enhancing the car's dynamic abilities.

 

7 THE NEW OPTIMA MEANS BUSINESS                                                                       

    Lower company car tax bills as a result of dramatic CO2 reductions       

 

The major reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with the latest, more powerful 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine will put a smile on the faces of fleet operators and business users by lowering whole-life running costs and benefit-in-kind taxation (BIK).

 

A recent survey of fleet managers by Kia reported that the average CO2 figure of the cars they operate is 134g/km, and they expect the number of environmentally friendly vehicles in fleets to increase to more than 40 per cent within the next five years. The new Optima is ideally positioned to take advantage of this: both manual and 7DCT versions are well below that 134g/km average CO2 figure with emissions of 110 and 116g/km respectively. Well over half of the fleet managers in the survey said they monitor whole-life running costs and 17 per cent cited BIK as a deciding factor in choosing models.

 

With CO2 emissions down from 128g/km to 110g/km, manual versions of the new Optima reduce BIK by three tax bands, while for the 7DCT versions which replace cars with the former six-speed torque converter automatic the reduction is an even more dramatic and bank balance-friendly eight tax bands. Meanwhile, with fuel consumption improved by almost 10mpg with the manual gearbox and more than 17mpg with the 7DCT, fleet running costs will be significantly lower.

 

For private owners there are benefits, too. The standard rate of Vehicle Excise Duty, or road tax, falls by £90 per year with manual versions and by £150 with the 7DCT after the initial registration payment.    

 

The Optima’s more stylish design and higher-quality finish are expected to be reflected in far higher residual values, which would in turn mean lower monthly leasing bills for operators. The comprehensive new safety features and low repair costs keep insurance rates down. And, as with any Kia, servicing requirements were factored in from the start of the design and engineering process to ensure the minimum of down time and cost when the car has to go in for routine maintenance, which is required only once a year or at 20,000-mile intervals, whichever comes soonest. 

 

Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering fleet and retail

customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years, are available. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable. If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold, the next owner may upgrade to the five-year service package. 

 

Last but not least, the car comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to conditions covering wear and tear items. The warranty is transferable to subsequent owners. 

Cost tables

Version

Combined

mpg

CO2

BIK rate

Insurance

group

1.7 CRDi grade ‘2’ 6-speed manual ISG

67.3

110

20%

15E

1.7 CRDi grade ‘3’ 6-speed manual ISG

67.3

110

20%

16E

1.7 CRDi grade ‘3’ 7-speed 7DCT auto ISG

64.2

116

21%

16E

1.7 CRDi grade ‘4’ 7-speed 7DCT auto ISG

64.2

116

21%

20A

 

8 SAFETY FIRSTS FOR KIA

   Advanced new active safety features available

The new Optima is available with a number of advanced active safety features, some of which are firsts for Kia including one that is unique in the car's market segment. These augment the comprehensive suite of active and passive safety technologies which are standard across the range.

The new Optima's safety begins with its far stiffer body shell with programmed front, side and rear crumple zones to minimise the risk of injury in an accident. The body shell of the new Optima is 50 per cent stiffer than that of the previous model, yet also 8.6kg lighter. This is largely down to a 150 per cent increase in the use of Advanced High-Strength Steel, which is now employed in half of the Optima's body structure compared with a fifth previously. These higher-strength steel alloys are used extensively to reinforce the A and B pillars, side sills, roof, floor, front wheel arches and rear bulkhead, giving the new Optima far greater structural integrity. At the same time there has been a 450 per cent increase in the amount of structural adhesive to bond body panels together. 

For further crash protection, all versions of the new Optima have twin front and side airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger and two full-length side curtain airbags.

Advanced new active accident-avoidance features

Kia's policy has always been that the best way to survive an accident is not to have one, and with that in mind the new Optima is available with advanced active collision-avoidance systems to complement the extensive range of features fitted as standard to the previous model. 

The top-of-the-range grade 4 version is fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking which, uniquely in class, employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 31mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play to detect obstacles in the car's path and respond by automatically slowing the car, to a complete stop if necessary. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph. 

The Optima 4 also has Blind Spot Detection to act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver when changing lanes; Lane Keep Assist to alert a tired driver who may be about to stray into the path of a vehicle approaching from behind; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn a driver who is about to back out of a perpendicular parking bay that there is a vehicle approaching at right angles. It has High Beam Assist to switch between full and dipped beam automatically when there are other vehicles in its vicinity on unlit roads, and a Speed Limit Information function within the instrument cluster. 

A reversing camera integrated with the 7.0- or 8.0-inch navigation touch-screen and reversing sensors are standard, helping to minimise the chance of suffering annoying little parking dents, and Optima 4 has a Smart Park Assist system which can guide the car into parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also has a 360-degree Around View Monitor linked to four cameras. 

All versions have anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist so that the car comes to rest in the shortest possible distance in an emergency, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management prevent the car from skidding in corners or when accelerating on surfaces with different levels of grip between left and right. And Hill-start Assist checks the car for two seconds when setting off on inclines to prevent it rolling backwards.

Cruise control with a speed limiter is fitted to Optima ‘2’ and ‘3’, and Adaptive Smart Cruise Control is standard on Optima ‘4’. 

Emergency Stop Signalling flashes the high-level brake light in an emergency stop to warn the drivers of following vehicles, while the Tyre Pressure Warning system ensures the driver is given advanced notice of a loss of pressure long before it could lead to sudden deflation. 

Static or dynamic cornering lights, depending on model, provide greater night-time vision when turning. 

Seat-belt pre-tensioners reduce the forces on the wearer’s chest in a collision, and ISOFIX top tethers and anchors are fitted to allow child seats to be mounted. A passenger airbag cut-off switch is standard to permit a rear-facing child seat to be carried in the front of the car. 

Speed-sensing automatic door locks ensure the security of all passengers. They are automatically disabled in the event of an accident.

 

 

9 MANUFACTURING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

   Built at Hwasung, Kia’s major plant 

European versions of the Optima are built at the Hwasung plant in Asan Bay alongside the Sorento, Kia’s large SUV, and a number of models which are not exported to the UK. 

Hwasung is Kia's largest plant, with a production capacity of 600,000 cars a year. It opened in 1989 and production began in 1991. Hwasung is also home to a 200-acre proving ground with 16 driving courses, opened in 1993, and it houses an employee sports centre, giving the 12,000 workers and their families access to gymnasiums, swimming pools, squash courts and weight-training and community facilities. 

In recent years Hwasung has undergone major changes to improve the quality of production processes and the cars leaving the factory gates. The improved quality has been recognised by the American publication Consumer Reports. 

Constant efforts are also being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced, and Hwasung has sent no waste to landfill since 2008. 

Improved paint facilities have been installed and every aspect of vehicle production has been scrutinised to ensure the plant uses less energy. Water and power consumption, dust, CO2, contaminants and the amount of waste per vehicle have all been reduced. 

Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in each of its production facilities. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes.

The overall waste generated by Hwasung is under constant review and a number of programmes have seen dramatic improvements.  Recycling has increased and now stands at well over 90 per cent. Exhaust pollutants from Hwasung – dust, NOx and SO2 – have also decreased dramatically. 

New technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement. Typical cast melting furnaces produce large amounts of dust, and contained within this is a high proportion of zinc. The captured dust is treated and the zinc extracted before being re-used within the production process. 

Pump invertors have been fitted to coolant and collectant pumps to control the rpm according to load. This has led to energy savings and a reduction in CO2 equivalent to around 4,000 tons per year.

Another simple energy-saving process has been implemented within Hwasung’s huge and complex air conditioning systems. A fixed amount of heat was supplied to some areas of the plant, regardless of the outside temperature. Using smart control units, the fans now run to supply heat only where and when needed. 

More technology is being employed in the machining shops where gearboxes are produced. Compressed air is used as a coolant when machining intricate gearbox internals, rather than cutting oil, helping to reduce oil use to less than half of one per cent. 

The green landscape around Kia facilities is an important part of each plant make-up. One ongoing programme is based on a number of ecology gardens which are filled with trees and plants resistant and also sensitive to environmental changes in air pollution. This has the added benefits of providing a more comfortable environment for the staff and local population and offsetting some of the CO2 output from the facility.

These gardens are continually monitored since they act as real-world indicators of air quality. Each site is broadening the green patches in and around its compound and constantly monitors air pollution in neighbouring communities. A monthly task for each facility is a stream clean-up programme, where Kia cleans and maintains local, natural water courses. This is not only to monitor cleanliness but also to keep them maintained for local communities to enjoy. 

The overall effect of the many green initiatives has resulted in Hwasung being officially recognised as an eco-friendly worksite by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

 

10 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     We’ve anticipated what you’re likely to ask us

 

  1. How well does the Optima sell in the UK, and what are your ambitions with the new model?
  2. Sales are modest – in 2014 they totalled 736, and in the 10 months to the end of October 2015 amounted to 600 – but that is largely down to the fact that we do not offer the unsustainable discounts to fleets that some companies are prepared to tolerate, and nor are we going to. However, we are much more optimistic about the prospects for the new car, especially as later in 2016 we will have an estate for the first time, and a plug-in hybrid. We estimate sales of around 2,200 in 2016 – 1,400 estates, 500 saloons and around 300 plug-in hybrids.

 

  1. What has the fleet/retail sales split traditionally been and which are likely to be the best-selling versions?
  2. More than 80 per cent of sales are to fleet customers. The best-selling version of the previous model was the mid-range grade ‘2’ EcoDynamics model with both fleet and retail customers. As for the new car, all versions now feature EcoDynamics technologies, including ISG. We are also experiencing increased demand for higher-grade versions of all our models, so it will be a toss-up between grades ‘2’ and ‘3’ as to which ends up being the favourite among customers.  

 

  1. With diesel engines becoming more costly because of EU6 regulations, were you tempted to offer a petrol engine?
  2. We refer you to our previous answer regarding fleet/retail sales. Fleets, and business users, are still heavily biased towards diesel because of the taxation advantages, so a petrol version would have added complication to the range for very few extra sales. But of course there will be a petrol Optima in the UK next year when we launch the exciting GT, our first high-performance saloon.

 

  1. Will you also take the plug-in hybrid?
  2. Certainly. Our policy is to offer the cars that customers want, and the plug-in hybrid will be very appealing to fleets and business drivers because of its extremely low CO2 emissions. It is also Kia's policy to decarbonise road transport as soon as is practicable and to offer all forms of alternative powertrain, and plug-in hybrids are an essential component of this.

 

  1. What is the timetable for the introduction of other variants?
  2. The GT and GT-Line versions are currently scheduled to arrive in the last quarter of 2016 – we hope to have the plug-in hybrid around the same time as that. And there will be an estate based on the SPORTSPACE concept at some point in 2016, which will be a highly important addition to the range.

    To locate a local dealer or for more information please visit www.kia.co.uk

    Stephen Kitson
    Director of Corporate Communications

    E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
    T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
    Daniel Sayles
    Press Relations Manager

    E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
    Sara Robinson     
    Senior Press Officer

    E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
    T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
    Carly Escritt       
    Senior Press Officer

    E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
    Moyosola Fujamade
    Press Officer (press fleet)

    E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
    Emily Jacklin
    Press Office Assistant
    E: ejacklin@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

    Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
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    Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

 

SPECIFICATION

Optima

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION                                                                              

All the facts and figures 

1.7 CRDi 

 No. of cylinders/valves

 

 4 / 16

 Displacement

 cc

 1,685

 Bore x stroke

 mm

 77.2 x 90

 Power output

 bhp (Kw)

 139 @ 4,000 rpm

 Torque output

 Nm

 340 @ 1,750 – 2,500 rpm

 Compression ratio

 

 15.7:1

 Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

 

 Standard

 Engine details

 

 Cast iron block with aluminium cylinder head;

 common-rail high-pressure fuel injection;

 variable geometry turbocharger

 Emissions

 

 Euro 6

 

Transmission

 Transmission type

 

 Six-speed manual

 Seven-speed DCT

 Gear ratios

 1st gear

 2nd gear

 3rd gear

 4th gear

 5th gear

 6th gear

 7th gear

 Reverse

 Final drive    

 Final drive

 3.615

 1.931

 1.696

 1.241

 0.921

 0.732

     –

 3.731

 3.765 (1, 2, reverse)

 2.783 (3-6)

 3.786

 2.261

 1.957

 1.023

 0.778

 0.837

 0.681

 5.074

 4.286 (1-2, 4-5)

 3.158 (3, 6, 7, reverse)

 

Suspension, steering and braking

 Front axle

Fully independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson  struts with coil spring, twin tube gas-filled dampers and

anti-roll bar

 Rear axle

Fully-independent subframe-mounted multi-link, coil springs , twin tube gas-filled dampers, anti-roll bar

 Braking system

Ventilated front discs 280mm (300mm on 18”), solid rear discs 262mm with ABS and EBD and ESC

 Steering

Rack-mounted R-MDPS electric power-assisted, rack and pinion, 2.6 turns lock-lock

 Wheels

6.5J x 17-inch / 7.5J x 18-inch

 Tyres

215/55R17 / 235/45R18

 Spare wheel

Temporary spare wheel

 

Dimensions and weights

 Wheelbase

 mm

 2,895

 Overall – l / w / h

 mm

 4,855 / 1,860 / 1,465

 Kerb weight min

 kg

 1,515

1,530

 Tow weights – braked / unbraked

 kg

 1,800 / 750                1,500 / 750

 Boot capacity VDA / SAE

 litres

 510

 Turning circle

 m

 10.9

 Fuel tank capacity

 litres

 70

 Drag coefficient

 Cd

 0.29

 

Performance and fuel consumption

 

 

 Six-speed manual

7-speed DCT

 Acceleration 0-60 mph

 seconds

 9.7

 10.6

 Maximum speed

 mph

 121

 126

 Fuel consumption – urb / x.urb / com

 mpg

 55.4 / 76.3 / 67.3

 55.4/ 68.9 / 64.2

 CO2

 g/km

 110

 116

 VED

 band

 cost

 B

 £20 year two

 C

 £30 year two

 



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Feb 12, 2016
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