The Optima is one of Kia’s better selling cars and also one of the better-selling family sedans in the US. An entirely new model of the car was released last year, and an update is already inbound with the 2017 Kia Optima, which is expected to feature a slightly better interior equipment level as well as some changes to its running gear in order to make for a more refined car.
We need to stress out that this is quite a strange move, even from Kia. However, besides these small changes, the new Optima is going to be nearly identical to the current generation, and that’s perfectly normal considering how new it already is.
2017 Kia Optima Release Date
The release date for the 2017 version will most likely be set sometime towards the end of 2016, and it should be available for sale starting with the first quarter of the next year. Since it is not a huge upgrade, we know that it will come without much of fuss. We need to salute Kia for further improving one vehicle that is selling quite well; we are aware that not many car makers will opt for this step, and instead leave it as it is.
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Kia Optima will feature an identical interior to the ongoing model, and the only change here should be the replacement of the optional 5inch touch-screen on the mid-spec cars with a larger 7-inch unit. Also, the base models are now expected to get a small LCD screen that will provide information about the infotainment system and trip computer. The two hybrid models of the Optima will only bring minimal changes to the interior such as a new instrument cluster, new color options for the upholstery as well as less space inside the trunk due to the addition of a set of batteries under the trunk’s floor.
On the outside, besides having Kia’s already well-known design language applied to the car’s looks, the Optima will now receive a new Sportswagon version which is the first wagon in its class in a very long time. This has already been showcased a few days ago, and we have to say that Kia’s designers did a wonderful job by combining the great looks of the sedan with a wagon body. The final result is by far, one of the best-looking vehicles in a very long time that came to the US market.
The price will remain at the same levels as the current model, and the only changes will be for the newly introduced hybrid which will start selling with this small update. There are going to be two different hybrid models for sale, a normal version that will cost around $28,000 and a plug-in hybrid that should start somewhere around $35,000 which is still pretty good considering its competitors are usually more expensive than it. Full price list is offered in the table below this article so check it out.
Engine wise, the usual base models of the 2017 Kia Optima are going to rock three different engines. The base model will get the same 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline four as before which will make up to 185 horsepower and little over 170 lb-ft of torque. The mid-range models will get an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged mil with 178 horsepower and a much healthier 195 lb-ft of torque. Torque is available from much lower down the rev range with the added benefit of being a smoother engine all around. The top of the range models will get only one engine; a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four cylinders developing 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque which may not be the most efficient or smoothest engine out there but certainly one of the most powerful in its class.
For those looking for fuel efficiency, the Optima will now also get two hybrid powertrains, both using the same 199 horsepower hybrid system composed out of a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine and a small electric motor. The difference is that the plug-in version will benefit from a larger battery pack which will allow it to travel around 20 to 30 miles on electricity alone with both of them being able to get over 40 MPG on average.
The overall impression is that the 2017 Kia Optima is one of the best options on sedan market. It is clear that they managed to improve it further with these small upgrades even it was redesigned only a year ago. You might not be able to compare it with high-end luxury sedans from Germany and few other companies, but it is not even close to their price range. Check out the full price list for this vehicle.