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Kia scoops two iF Design Awards

Two of Kia's newest models have both won an iF Design Award.

The Kia Sportage and Optima were honoured in the ‘Automobiles/Vehicles/Bikes’ category, where the product as well as overall design quality, are considered by the independent jury, evaluating the cars on their finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety.

Since it was launched in 1953, the annual iF Design Award has become an important prize in design. The award has its origins in the ‘Formgerechte Industrieerzeugnisse’ (Good Industrial Design) product shows initiated by Germany’s Hannover Messe, and is now described as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious design competitions.

Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia Motors UK commented: “We are delighted to accept these awards for the all-new Kia Sportage and Optima as proof of our design teams’ consistent efforts to develop prize-winning designs. The new Sportage features a distinctive new face, and the elegant Optima saloon highlights other, different facets of Kia’s design. These are important flagship models for us, clearly demonstrating the design-led transformation of the Kia model range in recent years.”

With the latest generation of the Sportage, Kia has redesigned its compact SUV adding a ‘high quality interior’ combining ‘modern elegance with high-quality materials and practical features’. The all-new Kia Optima saloon features ‘modern surface details, sharp styling lines, and a long, lean silhouette’ giving the car an even bolder on-road presence than its predecessors.

The official presentation ceremony for the 2016 iF Design Awards will take place on 26 February 2016 at the Munich Creative Business Week.

Diesel, Hybrid, Family Car, Saloon

Kia confirms all-new Optima pricing and spec

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.