New engine packs powerful punch without sacrificing fuel economy
Kia Motors America (KMA) today globally unveiled the 2009 Optima
midsize sedan at the New York International Auto Show. On sale in early
fall, the refreshed Optima offers a completely modified exterior, which
offers a more aggressive, dynamic style than previous models, and is
outfitted with a new engine that provides more power and better fuel
economy. For 2009, Optima also is larger than its predecessors, which
complements its distinctive new styling and separates itself from other
vehicles in the growing midsize segment.
"Optima is in a strong
position to change the way consumers think about midsize sedan
offerings," said Tom Loveless, vice president, sales of KMA. "Already
known for its exemplary quality, safety and value, Optima’s sleek new
redesign provides consumers with a sporty, fuel-efficient choice and
showcases Kia’s commitment to providing the best all-around vehicle
2009 Optima is presented with new front, side and rear styling cues,
which build upon Kia’s philosophy of creating dynamic vehicles that
evoke passion. The fog lamps and lower front grille have been enlarged
and the headlamps narrowed to create an aggressively sharper look.
Wider side garnishes add sportiness while the acute front lines
continue toward the back, ending on a distinctly edged trunk lid. To
complete the redesigned rear fascia, taillights are narrowed to enhance
Optima’s sleeker cosmetic appearance.
Also, new for 2009 is the
addition of the sporty SX trim, which complements the
handsomely-equipped, value-priced LX and luxury-oriented EX trims.
Already available with Kia’s Rio, Rio5, Spectra and Spectra5 models,
the SX line provides another dimension for Optima buyers looking for a
sportier midsize. Along with a sport-tuned suspension, SX upgrades
include: a black-bezeled front grille and headlamps, LED outside-mirror
turning signals, fog lights and hyper-silver-finished 17-inch wheels.
EX and LX V6 models are equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, and are
fitted with Goodyear tires.
The 2009 Optima’s overall
length also increased, extending nearly two inches in the front and one
inch in the rear, to an overall length of roughly 189 inches. The
larger proportions enhance the exterior styling for a lower, leaner,
more powerful stance. All other dimensions, including wheelbase, remain
Efficient, Powerful Engine
in two powerplants – a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 2.7-liter V6 engine
– and two five-speed transmissions (manual with LX four-cylinder model
only), the 2009 Optima introduces a new engine under its hood. When
redesigned as a 2006.5 model, the peppy four-cylinder engine delivered
161 horsepower, a 15-percent increase from the previous generation. For
2009, a more powerful 2.4-liter engine takes its place, producing an
additional 13 horsepower. Optima’s four-cylinder output increases to
175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque. The available 2.7-liter V6
engine remains a carryover but output has increased to 190 horsepower
and 184 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is mated to a five-speed, gated
automatic transmission. All automatics feature Sportmatic™ clutchless
The introductions of Dual
Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and a Variable Intake System
(VIS) further enhance Optima’s new under-the-hood excitement. These
added systems improve the vehicle’s fuel economy without sacrificing
Built on a unibody frame, the
front-wheel-drive Optima utilizes independent front and rear suspension
systems. MacPherson struts are used in the front with a multi-link
layout in the rear and are joined with coil springs and anti-roll bars
(standard equipment on all models) to engage drivers with responsive
handling and provide utmost comfort whether the road is smooth or less
style makeover continues into the Optima’s cabin with expanded
electronics melded with refreshed fascia patterns and color schemes.
Based on a new platform, the standard audio system features MP3
compatibility, a USB port and SIRIUS satellite radio capability in
addition to an auxiliary jack, which was added to 2008 models. An
optional in-dash navigation system also is an Optima first.
The rest of the center fascia
and floor console receive minor tuning for even more intuitive
operation whereas the new barrel-type instrument cluster design adopts
a sporty red illumination. Optima continues to offer two seat trims in
gray or beige color schemes – cloth (LX), leather (EX) – with black
leather trim on SX models, which also features aluminum trim, metal
sport pedals and a Supervision meter cluster.
Amidst the host of additional
options, Optima still offers an array of standard features. The LX is
equipped with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, an
AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers, cloth seat and door trim, a
six-way adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front
passenger seat as well as 60/40-split folding rear seats. EX models
upgrade to a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt and telescopic
functions, leather seat and door trim, leather-wrapped shift knob,
automatic temperature control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror
featuring Homelink® and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
Convenience and Premium Packages offer further content upgrades,
including a power sunroof and an Infinity® audio system.
with the rest of the Kia line-up, the 2009 Optima is equipped with many
safety features as standard equipment. This includes six airbags (dual
advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side
curtain), front active headrests, side-impact door beams,
height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force
limiters, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower
Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring
System (TPMS). The Electronic Stability Control Package adds Electronic
Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), brake assist
and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
2009 Optima is covered by Kia’s comprehensive warranty program, which
offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are
a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a
five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a
five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A
five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the
comprehensive vehicle coverage.