With this improved Sportswagon model, the key change is the addition of a new 136PS 1.6-litre CRDi engine, replacing the previous, rather thirsty, 1.7-litre CRDi unit. As before, there's a choice of manual or DCT auto transmission. Kia has also developed a petrol/electric hybrid variant with a 2.0-litre GDI petrol engine mated to a 50 kW electric motor. Total power output for the package is 202bhp. If you want more conventional petrol power, there's now a 180PS 1.6-litre T-Gdi unit available. With all Optimas, by stretching out the wheelbase, stiffening the body with 'Advanced High-Strength Steel' and upgrading the suspension, Kia has sought to improve handling dynamics. Plus Kia engineers have been focussing on Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) innovations to reduce road, wind and engine noise, stiffening the body to avoid vibration and rattles, and improving the seals and insulation around the car.
A Drive Mode Selector lets Optima drivers switch between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart modes. Each mode enables the driver to customise the powertrain's responses, prioritising fuel economy or more immediate acceleration. It also lets drivers adapt the weight of the rack-mounted power steering system, for more relaxed or more immediate, engaging steering responses. 'Smart Mode' is designed to anticipate the driver's needs, switching automatically between Eco, Comfort and Sport modes depending on conditions. This enables the Optima to adapt to the driver's behaviour and the road conditions, pre-empting the driver's preference for different speeds and driving environments.