After a major refresh for the 2014 model year, the 2015 Kia Optima gets just a bit of fine-tuning for the new one, but it may be in line for a minor price cut, too. Consider: Although Kia has yet to reveal the MSRP for the 2015 Optima, the car's corporate cousin—the Hyundai Sonata—is enjoying a $300 cost reduction for the new selling season.
Regardless, the biggest upgrade for the 2015 Kia Optima is the latest iteration of the brand's UVO eServices technology. The setup allows owners to leverage their compatible smartphones to access a variety of connected services, and that includes four new ones. Geo Fencing, Speed Alerts and Curfew Alerts provide owners with more peace of mind when they turn their Optimas over to other drivers, delivering electronic notifications if the cars exceed pre-set limits for driving locations, top speed or hours of operation. In addition, the system provides a monthly Driving Score that can help owners track and improve their driving efficiency.
Among the other adjustments for the 2015 Kia Optima lineup:
- Cruise-control switchgear has been moved to the right spoke of the steering wheel.
- New brushed bezels have been introduced to the steering wheel in the range-topping SX-Limited model, with tiller stitching available in a contrasting white color.
- A black cloth interior has been added to the option list of the 2015 Kia Optima LX.
- Exterior paint choices will expand with the eventual availability of Smokey Blue, while Sparkling Silver and Platinum Graphite replace Bright Silver and Metal Bronze at launch.
- All 2015 Kia Optima trims will benefit from a standard acoustic laminated windshield, which was deployed solely on the SX-Limited during the 2014 model year.
There's also some interesting news on the powertrain front. Over the past few years, the Kia Optima and the Hyundai Sonata have been offering the same two engine choices, a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine and a turbo four, and the engines shared the same output in both cars. But while the standard 2.4-liter units will continue to deliver the same 192 hp and 181 lb.-ft. of torque for 2015, the sedans' 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplants diverge noticeably. In the Sonata, the engine has been "optimized for lower-RPM drivability" and will serve up 245 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque; the unoptimized Optima actually delivers more power, though, with 274 hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2015 Kia Optima goes on sale later this year.