All-New Kia Optima Sedan Goes on Sale in Britain with a Dual-Clutch Gearbox

All-New Kia Optima 4 photos
Photo: Kia
All-New Kia OptimaAll-New Kia OptimaAll-New Kia Optima
The previous Kia Optima wasn't really designed with European buyers in mind. But at some point, company bosses decided "what the heck?" and tried pitching it to the people who would normally buy "boring VW Passats." And what do you know, it worked.
Now, Kia is launching an all-new Optima sedan in Britain and has made plans to sell a wagon version too. Sleeker, better equipped and sexier, the Optima is going on sale from £21,495.

Four models will be available, but all of them come with the same 1.7-liter CRDi turbodiesel rated at 141 PS and 340 Nm (250 lb-ft) of torque. When matched to a 6-speed manual, that engine is said to deliver 0 to 60mph sprints in 9.7 seconds and up to 67.3 mpg UK (4.2 l/100km).

But if you're going to get a big sedan, you might as well have one that's easy to drive. For the first time, the Optima is available with a DSG-rivaling 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT7 for short). It works the same as the German system, keeping the next gear ready on a separate clutch and blending the best features from both manual and conventional automatic gearboxes. Compared to the old 6-speed auto model, it offers a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions, though that's partly due to engine updates.

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Optima, offering an all-electric range of around 30 miles and even lower emissions will be added later in 2016.

The DCT7 is a £1,500 optional extra, but it's still slightly cheaper than its German alternative. Speaking of prices, the Optima is cheaper than the entry-level Passat that starts at £22,320 and comes with a 1.6-liter TDI.

The all-new Optima is the first car in its class with a wireless charger for mobile devices, located in the base of the center console. We wouldn't want those Galaxy phones to run out of juice, now would we?

The 2016 Optima is also available with a 360-degree Around View Monitor that gives the driver a bird's eye view when parking, while a Smart Park Assist System automatically steers the car in and out of parallel or perpendicular parking slots.

Lane Keep Assist, Speed Limit Information Function, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers when they’re about to pull out of a perpendicular parking space into the path of a vehicle approaching from either side, are also available.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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