MY2016 Kia Optima: evolutionary style hides 1.6L, 2L turbos

The fourth generation Kia Optima sedan has mades its official debut at the New York Auto Show. Underneath its evolutionary body is an evolutionary drivetrain, and much improved interior.

The new Optima goes on sale in the US from the last quarter of 2015 in five trim levels: LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL.

Under the hood of the LX is a 1.6-liter with 178hp (133kW) and 195 lb-ft (264Nm). Tied to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, it drives the front wheels.

The 2-liter direct injection naturally aspirated engine carries over, and develops 185hp (138kW) and 178 lb-ft (241Nm). This engine is available on the LX and EX.

At the top, on the SX Turbo and SXL, there’s a 2-liter turbo with 247hp (184kW) and 260 lb-ft (353Nm). The two larger engines use a 6-speed auto exclusively.

The new Optima is based on the previous car, but has been made longer, wider and taller. Other dimensions aren’t available, but the new sedan has a 0.4 inches (10mm) longer wheelbase at 110.4-in (2,804mm), and is now 73.2-in (1,859mm) wide or 1-in (25.4mm) more than before.

Available tech includes HID headlights with dynamic bending and high beam assist, 14-speaker Infinity sound system, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking.