Subtly facelifted 2018 Kia Optima brings new powertrains and features to Geneva

It will arrive in dealerships in Q3 2018

Only two years after the world debut of the Optima Sportswagon, Kia is applying a series of powertrain, equipment and styling updates to the entire Optima family at the Geneva Motor Show.

Both the sedan and the wagon get two fresh powertrain options: an all-new 1.6-liter CRDi diesel engine, and a 1.6-liter T-GDi gasoline unit. Delivering 136 metric horsepower and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque between 2,000 rpm and 2,250 rpm the new "U3" diesel powertrain replaces the 1.7-liter CRDi unit and complies with the strict Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard thanks to the use of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology. As a result, Kia says the powertrain emits low carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and NOx emissions.

As for the 1.6-liter T-GDi engine, it produces 180 hp, slotting between the naturally-aspirated 163-hp 2.0-liter CVVL unit and the 245-hp 2.0-liter T-GDi that powers the Optima GT. The new engine is mated to a seven-speed double-clutch transmission fitted with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

In addition to the new engines, the refreshed Optima gets a new Drive Mode Selector that lets drivers switch between Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Smart modes — with the latter designed to anticipate the driver's needs.

Styling-wise, Kia hasn't made significant changes. On the outside, the Optima features a revised front bumper design, bright chrome finish for the "tiger-nose" grille, refreshed headlights and fog lamps, and new LED taillights. The Optima sedan also gets a new rear bumper design. Customers can order a new "Runway Red" paint, as well as new designs for the 16-, 17-, and 18-inch alloys. GT Line and GT models gain new LED fog lamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, and gloss black trim.

Inside, the refreshed Kia Optima receives a new steering wheel and satin-chrome trim on the center console. Buyers can have the interior in black, two-tone black and grey cloth or leather, or a newly-introduced brown fabric or leather upholstery. In addition, the Optima now offers ambient lighting with six different colors.

Besides the subtly refreshed styling, the Optima gains Kia's latest active safety and in-car connectivity technologies. New driver assist systems include Driver Attention Warning (DAW), while the latest 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen infotainment systems offer navigation, Kia Connected Services powered by TomTom, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The infotainment system is linked to a new higher-resolution Around View Monitor (AVM) camera system that provides a 360-degree view of the Optima's surroundings.

The upgraded Kia Optima sedan and Sportswagon will go on sale across Europe in the third-quarter of 2018.

READ MORE: The all-new Ceed will be Kia's main exhibit at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show

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