2016 Kia Optima

All new Optima at New York Auto Show

By Shahzad Sheikh

2016 Kia Optima

I really like the current Kia Optima, it was one of the true design leaders when it came to the new revitalised Kia and remains one of the best-looking four-door saloons around. BMW-style sleekness, but its own sharp-edged identity and clean lines made it a stand-out saloon. A nice set of wheels was the cherry on top.

Unsurprisingly it was a sales hit too. So here’s the newest version of the Optima. It has a longer, wider and stiffer chassis, and apparently more interior room.

It’ll come (for the States at least) with three engine choices including a new 1.6-litre Turbo four-cylinder producing 178bhp and 195lb ft with a 7-speed Dual Clutch auto, plus a 2.0-litre turbo putting out 247bhp and 260lb ft from just 1350rpm mated to a six-speed auto. This will be the one to get. So for sure, we’ll probably end up instead with the 2.4-litre producing 185bhp and 178lf ft from 4000rpm, sadly.

2016 Kia Optima

The cars will obviously be well specced and Kia claims the comfort, quality and safety have all been improved. The truth will be in the driving of course, the current car – despite its slick looks – was still not the best to drive.

But I do think the new styling is a backwards step. Having enjoyed some success with the Optima – and other cars in its range due to the styling – Kia seems to be reverting back to a more conservative path, playing it safe.

The styling of the new Optima is merely evolutionary to my eyes, but let’s reserve final judgement for when the cars arrive in here probably in time for the Dubai Motor Show.

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