- New Kia Optima on sale from today
- Up to 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions
- GT and GT-Line versions to come for first time
Crucial for company car drivers will be the revised 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, which is powerful with 139bhp and 340Nm of torque, meets EU6 emissions regulations and when fitted with a manual gearbox emits just 110g/km of CO2.
This means manual models of the Optima now slot into a 20 percent BIK tax band for the current 2015/16 tax year and will cost 20 percent taxpayers from £71 a month. Fuel economy has also increased to 67.3mpg combined.
If fitted with the new 7DCT dual-clutch auto gearbox, which replaces the previous six-speed, emissions fall by 25 percent to 116g/km, while fuel economy is now 64.2mpg.
It’s the only engine available from launch and can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 9.7 seconds, eventually reaching a top speed of 121mph when fitted with the manual gearbox. If fitted with the auto 'box the car is slightly slower, completing 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds.
A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Optima will be added to the range later in 2016, and Kia has already announced plans to offer sporty GT-Line and GT versions later in the year too. An estate version is likely to join the line-up at some point.
You can currently buy the new Optima in three trims, badged 2, 3 and 4. All versions come equipped with a seven-inch sat-nav system, a reversing camera, dual-zone air-con, cruise control, six speakers, DAB radio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloys and LED daytime running lights.
New equipment available either as standard or optional in this latest model includes a wireless charger for mobile devices located in the base of the centre console, a 360-degree reversing camera, a parking-assist system, which will help steer the car in and out of parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, and bi-xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights that move with steering wheel movements.
Top-of-the-range grade 4 versions cost £28,840 to buy and are fitted with a new Autonomous Emergency Braking system which employs both short- and long-range radar systems to detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 31mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play.
The new Optima is longer, taller and wider than the model it replaces, meaning more space inside for all passengers, plus the boot has increased to 510 litres.
An upgraded interior will greet you when you slip behind the wheel and improvements to sound insulation should offer greater comfort and refinement.