Kia's mid-size Optima will enter its fourth generation with sleeker styling, a new four-cylinder engine, new 7-speed transmission, and greater smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 2016 Optima, which debuted at the New York International Auto Show, has been a strong seller for Kia and led the brand's revival with the third-generation model for 2010, according to Kia.
The mid-size sedan gets a new 1.6L four-cylinder that's paired with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission on the LX trim. It produces 178 hp at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm. The two carryover engines include the 2.4L four-cylinder on the LX and EX models and the 2.0L turbo engine on the SXL and SX Turbo models.
The 2016 model has been widened and a stiffer ride improved handling. The Optima's cabin size has been increased to bring more space.
The mid-size sedan will get the latest version of the company's UVO infotainment system that will run on an eight-inch touchscreen and will integrate with Android Lollipop and iOS 8 via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Kia is offering the Optima in five trim levels, including the LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo, and SXL. It will arrive at dealers in the fourth quarter. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.