Kia's second-generation Optima midsize sedan has arrived, sporting the same handsome styling cues as before but with new sheetmetal, lights and bumpers giving it a thoroughly modern look.
That's not all that's changed though. The range structure has been narrowed to just two models - the base Si and top-spec GT - and there's now a powerful turbo engine under the bonnet of the range-topper.
Prices have also moved north by a few thousand, but that's balanced out by a specification list that's one of the most generous in the segment.
Starting with the base Si, you get the usual entry-level kit: manually-adjusted cloth seats, power windows, cruise control, Bluetooth integration and a six-speaker audio system.
However, with the Optima Si you also get to enjoy dual-zone climate control, dusk-sensing HID headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, satellite navigation and a seven-inch colour touchscreen infotainment display.
Step into the GT flagship and the Optima takes on a more luxurious aura.
Leather upholstery becomes standard (with black or red colour schemes available), the front seats become power adjustable and feature heating and cooling, there's a heated steering wheel, integrated rear sun shades, and a 10-speaker harman/kardon audio system.
Bi-xenon headlamps, LED tail lamps, a faux diffuser on the rear bumper, 18-inch alloys (a 1-inch step up above the Si), alloy pedals, an 8-inch infotainment display, panoramic glass sunroof and active cruise control are also standard on the GT.
The spec upgrades are accompanied by dimensional growth which nets more room for passengers - particularly those in the rear.
There's now 25mm more backseat legroom, and the wider body gives 20mm more front shoulder room and 17mm more rear shoulder room. Headroom also grows by 5mm up front, and 15mm at the rear.
The Optima range now has two engine options: a naturally-aspirated and direct-injected 2.4 litre petrol for the Si, and a turbocharged petrol 2.0 litre for the GT.
Both take power to the front wheels and both utilise a six-speed automatic transmission, but with 180kW and 350Nm the turbo easily out-muscles the 138kW/241Nm 2.4 atmo.
The 2.4 and 2.0 turbo ride on the same MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension and have the same brake setup, but the GT boasts a more direct rack-mounted electric steering assistance motor rather than the Si's column-mounted one.
Both cars have a turning circle of 10.9 metres.
Fuel economy is listed at 8.3 l/100km for the 2.4 and 8.5 l/100km for the 2.0 turbo, and both engines will run on regular 91-octane unleaded petrol.
The 2016 Optima is available now, with both the entry-level Si and top-grade GT getting price rises of $3000 over their respective predecessors.
- Optima Si auto: $34,490
- Optima GT auto: $43,990
- Premium paint: $595
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