MUSCAT — The Optima is often referred to as one of Kia’s most stunning design achievements. This model's astonishingly rapid transformation has captivated drivers and auto enthusiasts across the globe to a great degree. Here's an insight as to how this mid-size sedan blossomed over the past 12 years.
First launched in 2000, the Optima was an all-new midsize sedan that brought a higher level of comfort and luxury to the Kia line-up.
2003 marked the first major facelift for the Optima, which featured a new grille with a horizontal design and a Kia badge. The V6 trims featured new alloy wheel design and 16-inch Michelin tyres, and the SE trim became the EX.
In 2005, Kia went beyond a cosmetic facelift, and launched a completely new model inside and out. The Optima now featured more horsepower and torque from both of its available engines. Design wise, the new model was styled to create a clean, voluminous, bold and dynamic image. When it came to the front view, its radiator grille and character lines on the hood provided an elegant and modern image. Also, the large headlamps enhanced the voluminous exterior design cue. Meanwhile, a refined side moulding, a sharply curved C-pillar and a new 17” alloy wheels all helped to generate a dynamic and sporty look.
The Optima received a major facelift in 2010, courtesy of Peter Schreyer Kia’s Chief Design Officer. This key event marked the sedan’s new design direction. It featured refreshed styling cues and changes from the front fenders forward with a new front-end that adopted the signature tiger nose grille, as well as new tail lamps. The Optima’s exterior had a sportier flair with an updated interior to match, which included a new instrument panel design, red illumination and new materials. There’s no denying that this facelift was a peek into something very big on the horizon.
The show stopping all-new Optima that we all know today arrived in 2010. In a stark contrast to its predecessor, the 3rd generation Optima showcases Kia’s brand image with mainstream attractiveness in terms of style, dimensions, and powertrain. The Optima truly became a game changer in the mid-size sedan market with class-leading competitiveness and unique characteristics, such as its 2.0 turbo GDI engine, a rare performance spec in the mid-size category.
This was one of most dramatic design shifts undergone by a Kia model, and the new stylishly sporty sedan gave the world yet another powerful reason to believe in the design prowess of Kia, especially since it also earned the world’s most renowned red dot ‘best of the best’ design award in 2011, the competition’s highest distinction, for which only the best products in each category are eligible.
Its lower, wider, and longer body shell, complemented by a sleek, coupe like roofline for a more elegant and confident presence, and enhancements under the hood, all work together for a high quality and high impact driving experience.
2011 marked the introduction of the Kia Optima Hybrid, the second Kia hybrid vehicle, which is powered by a full parallel hybrid system. The Optima Hybrid can be driven in full-electric mode or in combined gas-electric mode at any speed. Estimated fuel economy is 36 mpg city and 40 mpg highway (North America). To lower CO2 emissions, the European Optima Hybrid adopted a 2.0L gasoline engine instead of the 2.4L, which is applied to the North American model. This allowed it to generate only 125 grams of CO2 emissions. The Optima Hybrid also features the UVO, powered by Microsoft, a hands-free and voice-activated infotainment system.
In conclusion, in its young 12-year history, the Kia Optima went from selling 85,825 units globally in 2001 to 219,256 at the end of 2011. This giant leap is remarkable, especially when compared to the growth of competitor sedans that had 40-plus years of manufacturing to achieve similar volume per year, and this is only the beginning for the Optima.
With each passing day, this story of transformation continues unabated as Optima captures even more hearts and minds the world over.
Reliable International Automotive, the distributor for Kia in Oman provides a rewarding ownership experience for customers. Excellent product attributes and unmatched 18 facilities easily ensure their absolute satisfaction, every mile of the way.
No wonder then that Reliable International Automotive has been ranked amongst the top Kia distributors worldwide and has been honoured with prestigious accolades including the Kia 'Dealer of the Year' award; Kia 'Distributor of Distinction' award, 'Family Like Care' Service award and the 'Zenith Club' award for excellent performance. The prestigious 'Kia Award for Overall Excellence and Outstanding Performance' amongst Kia distributors worldwide was bestowed most deservingly. “You can like us and follow us on www.facebook.com/kiaoman for the the latest happenings on Kia in Oman,” invites the spokesperson.