The Kia Optima has just become cheaper, with the Korean carmaker doing a bit of give and take with equipment levels as part of a mild, 2019 model-year update to the Korean brand’s mainstay medium car.
Retail pricing for the entry-level Si has reduced by $1100 to $33,390, while the athletically styled Optima GT has reduced by $1200 to $43,290.
Video: 2018 Kia Optima review
The Si gains brighter dual-projection headlamps and a sharper 7.0-inch infotainment screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have also been added, at the expense of Kia’s in-built satellite navigation system in some models, with drivers instead having to rely on directions piped to the infotainment screen via a smartphone’s mapping app.
The GT also gains a new 8.0-inch screen, but retains satellite navigation with 10 years of MapCare and SUNA traffic information. However, it loses the panoramic sunroof, high-beam assist, tyre pressure monitoring and powered settings for the front passenger seat, and front-seat cooling (front-seat heating remains).
On the plus side, both variants gain driver attention alert, and a more advanced lane keeping assist system.
The Optima Si and GT have also received a light facelift, with tweaks to the grille, front fascia and rear panels, complemented by re-styled alloy wheels.
Meanwhile, Kia Australia’s engineers have further improved ride and handling for local conditions, focusing on its ride refinement, and steering feel.
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Kia Australia chief operating officer Damian Meredith said the pricing, aesthetic and equipment changes were critical to keep the Optima fresh and relevant in a market that includes the big-selling Camry and newly refreshed Mazda 6.
“Optima has been a key Kia model, for a number of reasons, for more than half a decade and keeping it fresh and market-relevant is a constant review process,” Meredith said.
The updated Kia Optima is now available in showrooms.