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Revised Kia Optima gets new engines. Image by Kia.

Revised Kia Optima gets new engines
Fresh looks, more equipment and cleaner motors for the revised family car.
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2018-08-08: Pricing for refreshed Kia Optima range

What's all this about?

Kia has had a play with its Optima family car, with the changes also applying to the handsome Sportswagon estate version, too. There are sundry design tweaks, fresh interior finishes, new bits of equipment and all that sort of minimal update stuff you might expect of a midlife facelift. But there are also a pair of brand-spanking powerplants to talk about.

OK, shall we start with those?

Indeed we shall. The old 1.7 CRDi, with 141hp and 340Nm, has finally met its end at the hands of Euro 6 emissions regs. In its place comes another four-cylinder CRDi turbodiesel, this one known as the 'U3'. It's a 1.6-litre motor and while it is marginally down on outputs (136hp and 320Nm, the latter delivered across just a 250rpm band starting from 2,000rpm), it uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to minimise harmful nasties escaping from its tailpipes - things like CO2, NOx and particulates.

Right, but what's the other motor?

It's the 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol four-pot in 180hp trim. This slots in nicely between 2.0-litre normally aspirated models with 163hp, and the slightly bonkers Optima GT with its 245hp T-GDi engine. That latter motor, by the way, has just been introduced to the Stinger range, to excellent effect. If you go for the T-GDi 180hp, then you get Kia's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while all 2018MY Optimas now enjoy a Drive Mode Selector button that cycles the car through four different settings.

Sounds more like it. What about the rest of the Optima changes?

Visual primping, really. The bumpers are revised fore and aft, necessitating a change to the shapes of the front lights and fog lamps, while LED tail-lights are drafted in. The 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloys wheels come in some new designs, 'Runway Red' is added to the colour palette and the 'tiger-nose' grille now enjoys chrome highlights. Inside, a new steering wheel, satin-chrome trim and six-colour ambient lighting are all part of the Optima bundle. GT-Line cars and the GT model itself have their own visual amendments, while all Optimas enjoy an enhanced Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) package.

When does this freshened Optima go on sale?

Following a debut at the Geneva Motor Show, from quarter three of this year.

Matt Robinson - 27 Feb 2018

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