Kia Optimizes Optima for 2009

March 20, 2008

Let’s face it: some products are just, well, boring. And there’s been no better case in point than the Kia Optima, a sedan that could get lost in a crowd, even if it were on its own.

Think of it as “The poster child for the old Kia,” acknowledged Kia spokesman Alex Fedorek.

For 2009, however, the Korean carmaker aims to gain a little more interest and attention for the sedan by giving it a little more expressive design. The mid-cycle update of the 2009 Kia Optima made its debut at this year’s New York Auto Show, and it shows the clear influence of the Kia Kue concept vehicle.

The update goes from head to tails, starting with a more distinctive grille that hints at the new face of the Kia brand. New headlights are more distinctive and should help get the 2009 Kia Optima more attention.

A chiseled rear spoiler lip offsets brand new taillights. For 2009, the Optima can be shod in standard 16-inch or optional 17-inch wheels and tires.

Inside, Optima gets an upgraded audio system, for 2009, including a new USB port, and standard Sirius Satellite Radio.

The car’s inline-4 engine gets a 13-horsepower bump, thanks to a new dual variable-valve timing system and variable intake. The V-6 also bulks up.

Optional sports seats and alloy pedals arrive for 2009 among the Optima’s new list of options.

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