The Kia Optima saloon and Sportswagon estate have been upgraded for 2018, with revised styling, updated gadgetry, and new engine choices.

From the outside, the changes appear minimal at first glance, which suits us fine as we called the Optima Sportswagon “one of the most handsome wagons on the market.”

The front bumper has been re-profiled, the headlights and fog-lights have been restyled, and there’s revised chrome-work around the ‘tiger nose’ grille.

At the rear, saloon models gain a new bumper design, while new LED tail-lights feature on both.

Rounding out the exterior changes are new designs for the alloy wheels (now in 16, 17, and 18-inch sizes) plus a new colour – Runway Red.

GT and GT-Line models go a step further with new LED fog lights, gloss black door mirrors, side sills and air intakes, plus twin chrome exhausts.

Inside, there’s a new steering wheel, an extra splash of satin-chrome trim across the dashboard, and a new brown cloth or leather upholstery option.  GT and GT-Line models are also available with two-tone black/red upholstery.

There’s also new ambient lighting in six configurable colours, although by default it matches the setting of the new Drive Mode selector as seen in the new Kia Sorento, with its choice of Eco, Comfort, Sport or Smart.

The dashboard plays host to Kia’s latest infotainment system, with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard.

The system is now linked to a 360-degree camera system with higher resolution cameras for a clearer picture.

Also available are a range of safety and driver aids, including Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and High Beam Assist.  The full LED headlights incorporate Dynamic Bending Light, too.

Under the bonnet, there’s a new 1.6-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, replacing the previous 1.7-litre unit, with 136ps and 320Nm of torque.

Previously unavailable in the UK, the Optima GT will be coming to these shores later in the year, complete with its 245ps 2.0-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine.

Unfortunately, the rumoured 1.6-litre T-GDi turbo petrol unit will not be available in RHD markets.

The new Kia Optima is expected to go on sale in Q3 2018, with pricing and specifications to be announced nearer the time.

Alex

Editor

Freelance journalist, ex-offroad driving instructor and long distance road-tripper. If you have any questions about this piece, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter.