Kia tries to kick start Optima

Kia has given its sporty Optima sedan a nip and a tuck in a bid to kick start sales.

But it’s not all good news for buyers, with satellite navigation removed from the entry model.

With sales down 35 per cent year on year however what choice does the company have?

Up front the Optima has had a tickle to the grille and bumper, the Si has dual projection headlights (losing the high intensity discharge units), there’s new wheels, and some panel massaging.

Inside there’s also been a gentle makeover, with the entry level Si receiving a new 7.0-inch touchscreen and the range topping GT an 8.0-inch.

Safety has also been enhanced with the addition of Driver Attention Alert, a warning system to remind drivers to have a break, and Lane Keeping Assist has been upgraded from the Lane Departure Warning.

The Si loses satnav thanks to a smartphone compatibility, and in a somewhat odd decision, the GT loses power adjustment for the front passenger seat and ventilation is deleted.

For leather seats in Australian climes, that’s not a good idea.

The GT, however, gets a 10-year SUNA update program for its satnav system.

Kia’s Australian engineers have further refined the suspension for an even more supple yet comfortable ride for the Si, and a more sporting feeling for the GT.

Pricing has been adjusted to reflect the changes.

The Si is down by $1100 to a recommended retail price of $33,390, while $1200 has been lopped off the GT taking it to $43,290.

Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said with the pace at which the new car market is changing it is critical to keep product fresh and relevant.

“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,” he said.

The seven year warranty, capped priced servicing, and roadside assistance programs remain unchanged.

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