Optima gets facelift

Kia Optima Photo / Ted Baghurst.
Kia Optima Photo / Ted Baghurst.

Famous for its tiger nose grille, Kia has added another head-turning design feature as it launches the facelift Optima in New Zealand.

Front quad fog lights have been added to the EX and Limited models with the LED daytime running now sitting above the front headlights, blending into that famous grille.

On sale now, the 2014 Optima "sports saloon", as Kia calls it, has been given a "refinement" treatment over the existing model.

Other changes include newly designed front and rear bumpers, touchscreen audio, front sensors, Infinity audio system, plus new alloys - 17in on the base model LX and 18in on the EX and Limited.

The LX has a price increase of $500 to $42,490 over the previous model, while $1000 is cut off the EX ($46,990) and $500 from the Limited ($50,990).

With 100 previous model Optimas sold this year, the company expects 30 sales of the facelift model by the end of the year.

Kia NZ boss Todd McDonald said the Optima buyers were generally small-business owners or people who had the ability to buy a work car.

"The new Optima has had a dramatic change in the visual appearance ... and is the halo model of the Kia range," said McDonald.

The Kia Optima Ltd has new front fog lights. Pictures / Ted Baghurst
The Kia Optima Ltd has new front fog lights. Pictures / Ted Baghurst

The Optima retains the 2.4-litre petrol engine paired with the six-speed auto and still has a five-star safety rating with the Limited and EX adding reverse cameras plus blind-spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert on the top-spec model.

Driven took the Limited model for a first drive this week, with the quad fog lights and the diamond-shaped front grille making the most notable visual changes on the model.

At the rear, the bumper spoiler is gone, with a slight lip at the top of the boot, while furrowed air dams create a strong appeal.

Inside, the car also gains the new steering wheel and larger driver display console that are now found in the newly launched Carens and Cerato.

- NZ Herald

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