KIA Insider

Next-gen Kia Optima spied for the first time

On the heels of the completely redesigned Hyundai Sonata, one of our spy photographers has finally caught the next-generation 2021 Kia Optima out testing. It makes sense the family sedan would appear soon, since it will undoubtedly be based on the Sonata just like past Optimas.

Unlike the Sonata, though, the new Optima looks like a very evolutionary design. The headlights are still wide and low in the nose. The "tiger nose" grille sits between the lights. It looks as though the grille may be a bit thinner than on the current model. The overall profile is still similar to the current model and the Kia Stinger, and it appears Kia will continue to have some interesting lines connecting the rear pillars and the roof.

Among the subtle differences are a revised greenhouse. The pieces of glass just ahead of the C-pillars follow the curve of the roof more than the somewhat upright pieces on the current car. The rear taillights, though still thin and wide, now appear to protrude from the rear. This particular version also appears to have fake tail pipes.

Though this is the first time we've seen the Optima, and it's still well-camouflaged, we expect to see the car revealed sometime next year. The reason is that the Sonata it's based on is nearly on sale, so a lot of the Optima's development is probably finished. It will likely share the Sonata's powertrains, which for now include a 191-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and a 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. Each of these is mated to an eight-speed automatic. A more powerful turbo four-cylinder should be available in the near future.