Kia has pulled $500 off the price of its premium 2014 Optima Limited sedan model while loading it with technology that not long ago was found only in luxury line-ups.
The 2014 range of LX, EX, and Limited Optimas has just gone on sale in New Zealand, priced from $42,490 for the entry-level LX and $45,990 for the better equipped EX. Updates include revised styling inside and out, added equipment, like heated seats and automatic folding mirrors, and suspension changes.
At $50,490, the top-end Optima Limited is the first Kia sold in New Zealand to feature safety features Blind Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist, electronic systems that warn of vehicles out of the driver’s sight.
There is also Rear Cross-traffic Alert built into the rear parking sensors, useful when backing out of a car park, where it warns the driver of approaching vehicles. Front parking sensors are also standard.
The Limited model gets satellite-navigation as standard from next February. It features real-time traffic information for drivers in the Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch regions.
The navigation maps are updated and supported by Kia Motors NZ free of charge for the first three years of ownership.
Refining the Optima’s sculpted, high-end appearance, Kia’s German-based design team has improved the vehicle’s front and rear styling.
The new grille is bolder and classier, with the LED daytime running lights lifted from the lower bumper to a position just above the headlights.
The vehicle’s aerodynamic shape is further accentuated by new rear diffusers and a sweeping trunk lid that replaces the previous rear boot lid spoiler.
Lighting up the line-up are front LED quad-lamp fog lights (on EX and Limited models), along with newly designed LED rear lamps.
The improvements continue inside with more upscale and high-tech amenities. The push-button ignition brings two new displays to life: a 4.3-inch touch-screen LCD instrument cluster, featuring an eight-speaker Infinity sound system, on the LX and EX models; and a high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen incorporating the sound system.
There’s a brand new leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel and new, more ergonomic gear shift lever. The dashboard is also redesigned.
The front seats gets better side support in the cushion and backrest, plus more padding under the leading edge of the cushion, together with softer leather upholstery for the EX and Limited.
The so-called ANZAC suspension system (tuned for NZ and Australia conditions) has received some minor tuning to improve ride and handling feel and reduce noise.
The 2014 Optima range is powered by the direct-injection Theta II 2.4-litre engine, driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Drive-Mode-Select allows the driver to adjust settings in the throttle and gear change points via the ECO button on the lower right of the steering wheel.
The LX gets 17-inch and the EX and Limited 18-inch alloys. The LX trim offers dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, exterior mirror turn signal indicators, front fog lights, exterior heated mirrors, chrome accented exterior door handles, and Infinity sound system with reversing camera on the touch-screen.
The EX model gets leather seats, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, automatic folding mirrors LED fog lights and illuminated front cup holders.
The Limited includes a sports styling package with 18-inch sports alloys, HID headlights, cornering lamps, red brake calipers, chrome accented side sills, 10-way power adjustable passenger’s seat, twin sunroofs and dark woodgrain interior trim.