Kia Optima goes on sale in NZ at $46,990

Kia Optima goes on sale in NZ at $46,990

The all-new Kia Optima has just gone on sale in New Zealand, is certainly a striking looking sedan.

Chief designer Peter Schreyer had a lot to say about the new model, “With the new Optima, we have created a product that people previously would not have expected from Kia and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve!” said Schreyer of the mid-large sedan.

The distinct lines of the new Optima have been well received overseas and Kia Motors is hoping for a similar reception here in New Zealand.

“It is fair to say that there has been more international comment passed on the new Optima than any other Kia model in the past – all of it highly favourable,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand. “In-line with international trends we are expecting a huge demand for the new Optima which may put pressure on our ability to deliver in New Zealand.”

Under the bonnet the new Optima boasts advanced GDI technology in the new 2.4-litre Theta II engine that delivers the power of a V6 with the economy of a four cylinder.

The new 11.3:1 high compression 2.4-litre Theta II GDI unit introduces gasoline direct injection for the first time under the bonnet of a Kia model, power is increased by 11.6% and torque by 8.2% to 148kW @ 6300rpm and 250Nm @ 4250rpm respectively.

The new Theta II engine features numerous design enhancements over its predecessor, with a two-stage variable induction system (VIS), Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), upgraded electronics and low-friction components, while also featuring lighter construction.

The six-speed automatic transmission offers two operating modes; fully automatic for city driving and a ‘Sport’ clutch-less manual sequential change via the gear lever or the new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, which are standard on Optima.

In spite of the increased power and torque output, fuel economy and CO2 emissions are lowered to 7.9L/100km and 189g/km, assisted by an Eco meter on the dashboard.

“With fuel prices rising ever higher, the 2.4-litre GDI engine and 6-speed auto will be a winning combination in the new Optima,” says Mr McDonald.

The third-generation Optima is longer, lower and wider than the previous model and features a significantly longer wheelbase (up by 75 mm) that offers much more space for people and cargo. The  Optima is currently offered in high-spec EX trim only and will retail at $46,990 for a fully-loaded car with the new 6-speed sequential automatic transmission as standard, as well as a Sports Package that includes uprated brakes, rear spoiler, subtle side skirts alloy pedals and unique 18” alloy wheels shod with low profile tyres that complement the sports-tuned suspension.

The Optima also features a locally-developed suspension and handling package built under the Anzac suspension programme. New Zealand and Australian engineers collaborated to fine tune the Optima suspension to ensure it would deliver a suitable ride, handling and road-holding experience for NZ roads.

And when it comes to safety, the Optima boasts Electronic Stablity Control as standard, along with Hill Start Ascent Control and enhanced front, side and curtain airbags.

The Optima’s equipment level is impressive for the price and includes: full leather interior, convenient push button start, dual zone climate air control, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, auto defog system, recognizable LED running lights, user interface LCD screen trip computer , steering wheel-mounted audio controls and an Infinity sound system with a 530Watt, 12-channel , 6-CD unit, 8-speakers, MP3 & iPod compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity. A full-size alloy spare wheel is alloy included.

Car and SUV can’t wait to get some seat time in Kia’s new Optima and see what it’s all about. Check back for a full review soon.

To find out more about the new Kia Optima, click here to go to the Kia NZ website.

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