KIA Insider

2021 Kia Optima gets two turbocharged engines, AWD and a new GT trim

Kia confirmed some of the specs and options on its upcoming 2021 Optima mid-December, as well as letting us know, yes, the pics of its Korean-market K5 indicate what the car will look like here, too.

The 2021 Optima is much more handsome than before, and features new powertrain options sure to make it a hit.

Visually striking, with a revised front fascia that makes it – dare we say? – muscular-looking, the car sports new intake vents and LED daytime running lights that really improve the look of the traditionally sedate sedan.

Around the back it’s equally handsome, with a full-width rear taillight section, and a chrome strip that separates the C-pillar from the roof.

The base model Optima will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder; it makes 178 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. A new GT trim has also been added to the line, boasting a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder producing 286 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft. of torque.

That’s a formidable amount of power for the little Optima, and, fittingly, Kia claiming it’ll nab a zero-to-100-km/h time of 6.6 seconds.

In other markets, the Optima will receive a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, as well as a 2.5-litre four-cylinder; there is also talk of a hybrid powertrain. We’re not sure if these engines will make it to Canada, however. A six- or eight-speed automatic transmission is available on all engines, while the GT trim has an available eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

For global markets, the Optima will get an all-wheel-drive option, making it a much more formidable vehicle in the winter, and a rival to companies like Subaru, who have offered all-wheel-drive in their sedans since (almost) the beginning.

There are rumours, too, the Optima will adopt the “K5” name it wears in its home market, but we won’t say too much about that until the badge swap is pinned down.

The 2021 Kia Optima will be available in Canada starting in the second half of 2020. Pricing is still to be announced.