Kia lifted the covers off the all-new 2016 Optima midsize sedan at this year's New York International Auto Show.
The 2016 Kia Optima was designed with modern and instantly recognizable European design cues under the watchful eyes of Kia's president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer. Featuring a strong hot-stamped tiger-nose grill inspired by the K900 flagship and an aggressive front design with swept-back headlamps. The new-generation midsize sedan from Kia aims to be a sophisticated and dynamic sedan. The incorporates a raised deck lid and is finished off by LED halo-style tail lamps akin to the Cadenza.
Dimension-wise, the 2016 Optima is longer, wider and taller. The wheelbase has been stretched by 10 mm, while the overall width gets a 25 mm increase. This gives it a roomier and more comfortable cabin increasing head room, shoulder width, and rear seat leg room. The trunk also gets additional cargo space.
The interior was designed to give more comfort, innovation and function with premium features. This has resulted in details like real stitching on the dash and doors to metallic accents and soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. The driver-focused cockpit features a cleaner and more unified design with a strong horizontal plane and a wider center console to give a sense of space. The seats have also been engineered with better support and comfort in mind.Modern ergonomics were applied by grouping and reducing functional keys and buttons for ease of use. It will also feature connectivity options for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with Kia's updated UVO system which now offers Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score.
For the US market, the 2016 Optima features a new 1.6-liter turbo engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT); it is rated at 180 PS and 264 Nm of torque. The top-trim gets a 2.0-liter GDI-turbo rated at 250 PS and 353 Nm of torque, with the base 2.4 GDI naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder getting 188 PS and 214 Nm of toque; both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic with 'Sportmatic' manual mode.
The chassis has also been significantly improved with use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) to reduce weight and provide better rigidity and crash protection. NVH improvement was achieved through the use of better insulation, and bushings. A new carbon-fiber reinforced plastic panoramic roof support frame has been used to reduce weight and provide a lower center of gravity. Engineers worked on improving handling through stiffer frame mounts, while suspension geometry has likewise been altered to provide a smoother ride on uneven pavement.
In terms of safety and convenience, the all-new Optima gets technology (depending on variant) such as a 360-degree Around View Monitor, Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA).