Kia has revealed its all-new Optima will cost from £21,495 OTR.
On sale from today there are four versions available, all powered by an upgraded EU6 version of Kia's 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, now paired with either a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed (7DCT) dual-clutch auto transmission.
The 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine develops an improved 139bhp and increased torque of 340Nm. This represents increases of 5bhp and 15Nm over the previous version. With the Idle Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system as standard, CO2 emissions of manual models are 14 per cent lower at 110g/km, while fuel economy improves to 67.3mpg. An even bigger improvement, says Kia, is the new 7DCT dual-clutch auto gearbox, which replaces the previous six-speed torque converter unit. Emissions drop by 25 per cent, to 116g/km, while fuel economy is now 64.2mpg.
As a result, benefit-in-kind taxation in manuals falls by three tax bands, while for the 7DCT the reduction is 42g/km and eight tax bands. With fuel consumption improved by almost 10mpg for manual models and more than 17mpg for the 7DCT automatics, fleet running costs will be 'dramatically lower'.
A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Optima, offering a commuter-friendly all-electric drive range with even lower emissions and greater taxation advantages, will be added later in 2016.
The first car in its class with a wireless charger for mobile devices, located in the base of the centre console, the Optima is also available with a 360-degree Around View Monitor for a bird's-eye view when manoeuvring, while a Smart Park Assist System automatically steers the car in and out of parallel or perpendicular parking slots.
There are initially three trim levels - badged 2, 3 and 4 - with GT-Line and GT versions to be added later in 2016. All versions are 'extensively equipped'. ISG - Kia's fuel-saving, emissions-reducing engine stop/start system, is standard.
Prices range from £21,495 OTR for the 1.7 CRDi 6-speed manual ISG 2 to £28,895 for the 1.7 CRDi 7-speed DCT ISG 4.