Make / Model Search

New models - Kia - Optima

First look: Kia relaunches Optima

Facelift plus: Apart from the new front-end look of the Kia Optima, the car also gets revised suspension and driveline.

Kia’s mid-size V6 sedan returns to Australia after taking a break

20 Apr 2004

KIA has relaunched the Optima mid-size sedan onto the Australian market after an absence of more than a year.

And true to Kia Automotive Australia’s cutting edge pricing policy, the car not only returns with a bigger and more powerful engine, it is also cheaper than the old model.

The revised Optima also has more equipment, a fairly significant facelift and suspension revisions.

Kia is hoping all that, combined with a national advertising campaign, will drive the revised Optima to 100 sales initially, with a long term target of 150 sales per month.

The new Optima is priced at $26,950. The old car was launched here in May 2001 at $28,490 and was later dropped to $27,490.

It went off sale in February 2003 and in its last full year on sale in 2002 was averaging about 13.5 sales per month.

In those days it was the most expensive model in the KAA line-up, but that role now falls on the Sorento four-wheel drive.

The original Optima was powered by a 2.5-litre 127kW/229Nm V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic with semi-manual Tiptronic operation.

The new Optima uses a 2.7-litre V6 that produces 132kW and 245Nm and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with semi-manual Tiptronic operation.

Optima is basically a rebodied version of parent company Hyundai’s mid-sizer, the Sonata, so it is no surprise the 2.7 engine is used in that car, among other Hyundais.

An all-new Sonata is due to be revealed by Hyundai before the end of the year and the next generation Optima should spring from that. However, that is more than 12 months away from local release.

17 center imageThe revised Optima comes in a single specification that includes new comfort features such as cruise control, full leather upholstery, alloy wheels, air-conditioning and CD audio system.

Kia claims the Optima covers the 100km/h dash in 9.5 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 209km/h. Official fuel consumption claims are 10.5 and 7.0L/100km on the city and highway test cycles respectively.

Suspension revisions to the double wishbone front and multi-link rear-end are designed to make the car provide more responsive handling and better ride comfort.

Disc brakes are standard front and rear as is the four-sensor, four-channel ABS anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and TCS electronic traction control provides effortless getaways in difficult conditions.

Completing the mechanical package is power assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

The Optima measures up at 4700mm with a 2700mm wheelbase. Boot space is claimed to be 386 litres.

The Optima is the first of four new Kias that will go onto the market this year. The Cerato small sedan will be launched in June, the Sportage compact 4WD in September and two commercials – the updated K2700 and Pregio – should be here before the end of the year.

Also under consideration is the hatchback version of the Cerato, but that may not arrive in 2004. The Picanto mini, once forecast to be here in 2004, is off the future model list.

KAA is aiming for 20,000 sales in 2004, up from 2003’s record of 17,235.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

GoAuto can help you buy a new Optima

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Kia models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here