Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Confirmed

More good stuff coming from Kia, as the Korean company announced its intention to bring to market a plug-in hybrid Optima.
The PHEV would be introduced “sometime next year” in both sedan and new wagon version, also scheduled for 2016 release.
Obviously, this car would make a lot of sense for the company, with the Sonata PHEV close to arriving on dealer lots – leaving only some brand-engineering as the only hurdle left to jump for Kia.
There are no details on the drivetrain, not even type of engine (petrol/diesel).
The 2016 Optima looks sharp and we welcome it to the  plug-in  family.
We’ve been waiting on the Sonata plug-in hybrid the better part of this year – and promised by 2015’s end. Hopefully, the wait ends soon.


Friday, October 2, 2015

KMMG celebrates start of production for all-new 2016 Optima

WEST POINT, Ga. – Monday, September 29th, team members of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) celebrated the start of production for the new 2016 Kia Optima with a ceremony inside the facility’s General Assembly shop.
The new Optima is another is a growing line of successful launches for the west Georgia plant which began production of it’s first vehicle, the Sorento on November 16, 2009.
The first US assembled Optima rolled off the line at KMMG on September 2, 2011. These vehicles helped KMMG’s growth to more than 3,000 team members and have resulted in creating more than 15,000 jobs in West Point and surrounding communities.
KMMG President and CEO Hyun-Jong Shin had this to say, "I am so proud of all that our team members have accomplished and the hard work they have put into production of the all-new 2016 Kia Optima. The KMMG team continues to demonstrate a dedication to quality that is second to none with a commitment to producing world class products".
 KMMG has produced almost 1.8 million vehicles to date and continues to build on it’s success to improve efficiency in all of it’s operations. This includes an ongoing multi-million dollar expansion of the plant’s vehicle processing center, KMMG’s hub for shipping vehicles to dealerships around North America by railroad and by truck.

2015/2016 Kia Sedona Convenience on Wheels

I don’t often drive and write about minivans, although I did drive a Chrysler Town & Country back in June. When one of my scheduled media-loan cars developed a hiccup, I took up the offer to drive the Sedona. I’ve heard lots of good things about it and wanted to experience it for myself. Especially since the Kia Sedona is extensively all-new for 2015.

Bob Gordon, president and publisher of The Auto Channel drove the new Kia Sedona not long ago on a trip to southern California and called it the “no problem minivan.” Here’s the link to his write-up if you might want to reads what Bob had to say, HERE
I had mentioned in my Chrysler T&C story that my octogenarian parents-in-law have been minivan drivers for about fifteen years. They love the convenience this vehicle type provides and treat it like a big closet on wheels when they make their annual snow-bird trip south.
My tester-for-a-week was a 2015 Sedona SX Limited that had a base price of $39,700. An optional SXL Technology package added $2,700 and rear seat entertainment system another $995. With $895 for freight and handling the bottom line came to $44,290. A tidy sum, at that.
For 2015, the Kia Sedona is offered in five trims: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. You can choose seven or eight passenger seating. Prices start at $26,100. For 2016 there’s still five trims priced, with a slight bump-up, ranging from $26,400 to $39,900.
 The Sedona was all-new in 2015 and for 2016 a few tweaks have been made. All trims now come standard with a rear back-up camera, which is a great convenience and safety feature in backing-up as well as parking maneuvers in a crowded city. For the L and LX trims, cloth seat material is now tricot, described as a more modern-looking pattern that replaces the previous knit.  The EX trim now comes standard with heated front seats.  The SX and SXL trims now offer eight-passenger seating when equipped with the Technology package.  And, the SXL trim now offers side sills with chrome accents that complement the standard 19-inch chrome wheels.
Powering all Sedona models is a 3.3-liter V6 engine rated at 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and is tuned for enhanced mid-range torque, offering 248 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. I was pleased to find the Sedona using a conventional automatic transmission, and not a CVT. The engine/transmission combination offered plenty of response and wasn’t lacking in any driving mode or condition.
Even though gasoline prices are staying low for now, don’t hold your breath. EPA test fuel economy ratings for the Sedona SXL I drove are 19 mpg combined, or 5.3 gallons per 100 miles, with 17 city mpg and 22 highway mpg. A nice surprise on a highway road trip of about 120 miles was exceeding the EPA highway rating with a 26 mpg average, notwithstanding my spirited driving style.
In my comings and goings in the Sedona I was continuously reminded of how convenient this vehicle is. It’s easy to slide slightly up and in to the driver’s seat. The high seating position offers a great view of the road ahead and your surroundings. Both sliding side doors are power operated on the SXL. A button-push on the key fob when approaching has the door conveniently open for you to load in anything you may be carrying. Push a button and they close. And sliding doors are great if the car parked next to you is close, or in a tight garage at home.
 Push a button and the rear hatch opens; another button push and it’s closed. A hands-free “Smart Power Liftgate” opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds, and its programmable function can be tailored to the user’s height preference.  
 The outside mirrors have a power fold feature. Lock the doors when parked and they fold in. Drive down a narrow street to squeeze passed a parked large truck and push a button and the mirrors fold in to give you the extra inches you need to pass through.
The rear view camera is a god-send in a crowded parking lot or to eliminate the park-by-feel parallel parking that so often is the case on a crowded city street. Also available is a Surround View Monitor that provides camera images from all around the vehicle for further safety in maneuvering. The heating and air condition has separate controls for driver, passenger and the rear seat area. I can be cool; my wife can be warm; those in the rear can be cooler or warmer.
I sometimes wished I wasn’t the diver. On the Sedona SX Limited I drove, second row “First Class” lounge seating can be positioned rearward for astonishing legroom and provides retractable lower-leg rests and airplane-style winged headrests. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. You can have second-row seat cushion heaters for added comfort and all 2015/2016 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40, in-floor-retractable design. Also, the Second row Slide-N-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for “on-the-go” cargo hauling, eliminating the hassle of removing seats.
If you are a frequent carrier of people or lots of packages and parcels you might want to check out more specifics and information on the Kia Sedona at To compare the Sedona to other minivans do that right here at
And, Kia also makes Sedona ownership convenient with 765 dealers across the U.S. and a 5 year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty.
The 2015 Kia Sedona has gotten lots of awards and recognition. With its family focus most important is its 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.
I found the Kia Sedona to be very user friendly and convenient. The sliding side door configuration is really the best solution for families with toddlers and also for elder folk with limited range of motion.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kia's Sorento Becomes More Refined, Even Luxurious

Buyers typically don't associate Kia with luxury, but its 2016 top-level Sorento SX-Luxury model is so robust in its looks, pleasing in its ride and stocked with features that it feels like a luxury SUV.
All of the Sorentos are larger than its predecessors, and come with new, handsome and refined styling. But it's the SX-Luxury model that brings everything to the table: Nappa leather seat trim, panoramic roof, 14-way power driver seat, heated steering wheel and a new "e-services" that can alert the owner's cellphone when the SUV is driven outside a predetermined geographic area or out past a pre-set curfew. Plus, the newest engine — a 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder — produces more torque than the Sorento's capable V-6.
There is a luxury-like price, however, starting at $40,795 with the turbo four and two-wheel drive. That's $15,000 more than the $25,795 starting retail price for the base 2016 Sorento L with cloth seats, 185-horsepower, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder engine and two-wheel drive. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The larger of Kia's two SUVs, the Sorento until this model year straddled the compact and midsize competition. But its new length — 15.6 feet — and enlarged cargo area puts the Sorento within 0.7 inches of the midsize Ford Edge SUV and 8 inches longer than the compact Honda CR-V.
The test Sorento with the 2-liter, turbo four-cylinder and all-wheel drive maneuvered well. It weighed some 4,000 pounds and felt substantial, but merged quickly and delivered steady power. Kia's 3.3-liter V-6, which has 260 horsepower, wasn't missed in the test SUV, as the smaller engine generates 260 foot-pounds of torque starting at a low 1,450 rpm and carries it to 3,500 rpm for ready response. In comparison, the V-6's peak torque of 252 foot-pounds comes on at 5,300 rpm.
The appeal of the turbo four is supposed to be fuel economy. But testing both the V-6 and turbo four-cylinder showed both averaged about 19 miles per gallon in combined city and highway travel — far below the federal government ratings that averaged 21 mpg to 23 mpg. The tank holds 18.8 gallons, so the travel range was a mediocre 357 miles.
Kias have a reputation for value, yet a rearview camera is not offered as an option on the base L; buyers must move up to the LX, which starts at $27,095.
The Sorento interior is quiet and appealing with well-placed controls, easy-to read gauges and nice-looking plastic trim. Seats were comfortable and at a good height so passengers get good views but don't have to climb high to get inside.
Road bumps were better managed by the suspension and strengthened 2016 platform, and steering feel is improved.
All V-6-powered Sorentos come with third-row seating for a seven-passenger maximum. All four-cylinder models except the LX have five seats. LX buyers can add the third row for an extra $1,200 plus a convenience package. It can be difficult for adults to get to the third row and legroom remains at 31.7 inches, small compared to the newly generous 44.1 inches in the front seats.
Maximum cargo capacity now is 73 cubic feet behind the first row seats. Cargo space behind the third row now is 11.3 cubic feet.
The 2016 Sorento earned an overall five out of five stars in U.S. government crash tests but has been the subject of two U.S. safety recalls.

2015 Kia Optima: New version of the saloon prepares for launch

The next version of Kia’s saloon will be more than a pretty face – with estate, performance and plug-in variants part of the plans too
The Kia Optima has been a handsome left-field presence in the saloon car market over the last few years. The next-generation model is going to change that, though – not by being any less handsome, but by adding an estate version into the mix.
Launched at the Frankfurt show, with a production roll-out set to follow imminently, the Euro-spec Optima will be powered by a new version of the familiar 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine from the outgoing model. This will develop 139bhp and 251lb ft and emit 110g/km – so, all the numbers moving gently in the right direction.
The engine will be bolted to a six-speed manual as standard. There’ll be a new auto option, too, in the shape of Kia’s latest seven-speed dual-clutch unit.
It all sits in a subtly redesigned body that’s slightly longer, wider and taller than before. It’s rangier in the wheelbase too, by more or less exactly one inch – all of which goes to the knee and shoulder room enjoyed by the rear-seat passengers.
The body is tauter as well as bigger, with greater use of high-tensile steel backed up by carbon fibre making it much stiffer than the old model – which won’t do any harm to its dynamics or refinement.
Built in Korea, the saloon version of the new Optima will go on sale in the UK before the end of the year. The aforementioned station wagon will follow next summer.

Beyond that, the Optima is expected to join Kia’s GT revolution as a new performance-orientated moded comes in at the top of the range. That should happen by the end of next year – and then in 2017, further evidence of Kia’s arrival in the mainstream will come from the addition of a plug-in hybrid.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It wasn’t so long ago that the Kia Rio was one of the very best options in the incredibly competitive Light Car segment. In fact, I recommended the Rio to three family friends – people who went on to buy a Rio, and all three still love them.

The problem for the 2015 Kia Rio SLi Auto we have on test here, though, is that the market has moved on rapidly over the intervening years.

Thanks to that rapid segment improvement, the Rio’s problem is now twofold: pricing and specification. Both those factors are seriously important in this segment too. As tested here, pricing for the Rio SLi starts from $22,990. You did read that correctly, that’s nearly 23 grand. Even within the Kia stable, there are smarter options. Take the Cerato five-door hatch in 1.8 S Premium guise, for example. It’s only $2000 more, starting from $24,990 and it also gets the automatic transmission for that price.

The five-door Rio hatch range as a whole is comparatively expensive. Pricing starts from $16,990, and that only gets you the paltry 1.4-litre engine with a manual transmission. The most affordable way into the 1.6-litre engine is the Si, which starts from $21,490, albeit with an automatic transmission.

You can see why the current Rio isn’t as appealing as it once was, then. Let’s take a closer look at this range-topping model.

The only addition to the standard RRP is premium paint for $520, bumping the price of our test vehicle up to $23,510 before the raft of dealer and delivery charges are factored in. Premium paint isn’t a necessity, but that ask from Kia is a lot cheaper than some other manufacturers.

The Rio was undeniably attractive when it was first released, and that remains the case now. The Rio was integral to ensuring that everyone stopped treating the Korean brand as a nuisance pretender, and age hasn’t wearied the Rio’s European sense of style at all. Coated in premium graphite like our test model and riding on 17-inch alloy wheels with quality Continental tyres, the Rio cuts a look most other hatches would be envious of. Styling is an important buying factor regardless of segment, so the Rio gets points for still looking the part.

The 1.6-litre four-pot engine is adequate without being even remotely spine-tingling. It makes 103kW at 6300rpm and 167Nm at 4850rpm. The ADR fuel claim is 6.1 litres/100km and we saw 8.5 litres/100km on test, largely around town. The engine is matched to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic, which continues to confidently represent conventional automatics in a world besotted with often-jerky dual clutch autos.

Factoring in a 75kg driver (no, obviously not my lardy frame), our Rio weighs in at 1298kg, so it’s no heavyweight by any means – a good thing given the tame power outputs.

Around town at low speed, where you’d expect the Rio to ply its trade most often, the engine performs well enough. The problems arise when you need to punch into a gap, take off quickly or merge faster than you might have expected.

Press the accelerator pedal a little harder, the transmission quickly slices down a gear or two and the engine starts to gasp for air. The accompanying rise in revs brings with it a nasty, rasping exhaust note that sounds like the engine is working way too hard. It probably isn’t; it just doesn’t sound great and isn’t accompanied by any rapid acceleration either.

The main problem here – as Tim noted in his recent review of the Rio Sport – is the torque hole below a comparatively high 4850rpm. You need to work the engine hard to get into the meat of that torque delivery, meaning not a lot happens before that point.

Once up to speed, though, the Rio cruises along quietly, aided by the broad spread of ratios within the transmission. The cabin’s sense of quiet is assisted by the almost complete absence of wind noise, quality Continental tyres that don’t transmit any roar inside, and the impressive absence of road noise.

Where the Rio’s interior once delivered a general ambience of elegance belying its cost, it now feels a little dated, especially the seat trim. The interior doesn’t do anything especially badly, it just doesn’t feel as premium as we’ve come to expect from Kia lately. Kia vehicles new to the market, like the Sorento, only serve to amplify that expectation. The lack of key features like a touchscreen with satellite navigation and reverse camera doesn’t help the interior either.

Rio remains comfortable, user-friendly and ergonomic, though, and while the lack of up-market standard inclusions is evident, the interior isn’t unpleasant. While we didn’t love the seat coverings, we did appreciate their comfort and adjustability. There’s more than enough room inside the Rio’s cabin for this segment, too, in both the front and second rows. Clever design, packaging and storage options mean you don’t feel claustrophobic in the cabin.

The undeniable bonus that hatchbacks bring to the table is usable luggage space and the Rio, despite it’s compact exterior dimensions, is no exception. With the seats up, there’s a handy 288 litres available. Fold the seats down and that opens up to a cavernous 923 litres. In real terms, you’ll be able to fit a lot more into the luggage area of a Rio than you thought possible of a compact hatch – great news for owners who might need to lug gear around regularly.

Like the Sport, the SLi rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and delivers a ride that errs on the side of firm, but isn’t uncomfortable. It’s harsher over poor surfaces than we’d like, though, and doesn’t ride as well as most other Kia product we’ve tested recently.

We couldn’t work the steering out either. Rio isn’t a hot hatch, so you shouldn’t expect razor sharp steering in any case, but our test example had a strange dead feeling no matter how much lock we wound on, and it also had a reluctance to self centre after entering a turn. We did get used to it, but it was definitely disconcerting in the beginning.

The Kia Rio SLi is covered by Kia’s market-leading seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. That includes roadside assistance for the duration of the warranty if you have your Rio serviced at an authorised Kia dealer. Capped price servicing makes that decision a little easier and prices range from $303 per service to $535 for a major service over the course of seven years or 105,000km, whichever comes first. All up, over that period, your Rio will cost a very reasonable $2722.00 in total to service.

So, while the Rio isn’t especially poor, it isn’t as impressive as it once was either. Kia will need to improve the model significantly to compete at the level it did not so long ago. Our recent Rio scoring might seem harsh compared to where we rated the vehicle when it was first released, but that says more about what we’ve come to expect from the Korean brand. Kia has lifted its game across the board, and we look forward to those same standards being implemented for Rio.


2016 Kia Rio Sedan and Hatchback: They're Still Here

While the Kia Trail’ster concept was busy hogging all the attention at the automaker’s Chicago auto show press conference, the updated 2016 Kia Rio sedan and hatchback were waiting in the wings for a spotlight moment that never came. They were mentioned only as an aside during the closing remarks, leaving us to ask: “Wait, what? The Rio was refreshed for 2016? And it’s here?” Well, it was, and we’ve got the particulars on all the changes.
The refresh is led by revised front and rear fascias, the Rio adopting the corporate geometric grille mesh pattern seen on the Optima and the Soul. The headlamps get moved slightly inward imparting a more contemporary vibe, and new fog-light surrounds with satin bezels encircle projector lenses. The lower valance also gets some horizontal style lines. The treatment continues at the rear, where the newly designed taillamps have been moved to the far corners of the vehicle, and—in some cases—new lower horizontal lines echo those found on the front. Two new color options, Urban Blue and Digital Yellow, also make the scene for 2016. Inside, some trim bits have been slightly altered, and Kia has increased the use of high-density foam in the A- and B-pillars to reduce NVH levels.
Acceleration, never the Rio’s forte, gets no help in the refresh. Power for both the sedan and the hatchback comes from the same naturally aspirated 138-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder as before. In the sedan, its 123 lb-ft of twist are funneled to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Sadly, the manual is no longer available in the hatchback.
The Rio’s three trim levels—LX, EX, and SX—are largely unchanged. The parsimonious LX comes with crank windows and manual door locks, although it does offer some niceties, including air conditioning, a six-way manual driver’s seat, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary audio jacks, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The LX Power package adds keyless entry plus power windows and door locks. LX sedan buyers who spring for the automatic transmission get Bluetooth and Kia's efficiency-minded Active Eco System in the bargain.
The mid-level EX comes standard with power windows, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and a tilt/telescope steering column. For 2016, the available Eco package is upgraded to include a backup camera and Kia’s updated UVO eServices Telematics system. A new Designer package dresses up the interior with natty black cloth and gray leatherette upholstery with gray stitching, padded gray door-panel inserts, as well as gray stitching on the steering wheel, center-console armrest, and shifter boot.
The top-dog SX trim—if such a bold claim can be made for such a humble transportation device—is focused on sportiness. To wit, we find 17-inch aluminum wheels; a sport-tuned suspension; 11-inch, front brake rotors; shift paddles; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SX also adds a backup camera, navigation, push-button start, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, and a sunroof.
At Chicago, the 2016 Rio waited in vain for its moment in the spotlight, but buyers won’t have to wait long to get their hands on one. The Rio arrives in dealerships in the next month or so—which is a lot more than the Trail’ster can say.

Ride & Drive: 2016 Kia Soul

The five-passenger, front-wheel drive Kia Soul is one of the biggest small cars you’ll ever drive.
It’s fun. It’s sporty. It’s practical. And for the 2016 model year, it has even more features. I’ve been a big fan of the Soul since its introduction for the 2010 model year.
With a base price starting less than $16,000, the Soul delivers a lot of value — as well as superb ride and handling capabilities, versatility and features.
Initially marketed to hip, urban, young adults, I remember telling Kia officials at the product launch in 2009 they were missing the boat because the Soul was an ideal car for folks my age because we tend to see past the slick television commercials and focus on value and comfort rather than hip and trendy.
They told me they would be happy to sell me a Soul, but their marketing campaign featuring dancing hipster mice wasn’t changing.
Six years later, the Soul is one of the hottest-selling nameplates in the industry. Guess what? Turns out a lot of folks my age are Soul owners.
Kia media folks have also been quick to point out, they have also sold a lot of Soul models to hip urban young adults. So we were both right.
Available in three trim levels — Base, + and ! (Or in English, Base, Plus and Exclaim), the 2016 Soul includes a number of new available features including forward collision warning and lane departure warning system, as well as a new designer collection that includes a two-tone paint scheme and unique elements.
That’s in addition to the already long list of standard features on all three models.
Soul Base models are powered by a 1.6-liter I-4 engine delivering 130 horsepower and 118 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway on regular unleaded gasoline.
The Soul + and ! trim levels are powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine delivering 164 horsepower and 151 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it has an EPA rating of 24 mpg city, 31 mpg city, also using regular unleaded gasoline.
Featuring a five-door body style, the Soul provides a great deal of versatility, including 61.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded (24.2 cubic feet for cargo with rear seat in use for passengers).

For those in the market for a great vehicle and a great value, the 2016 Kia Soul is a must for the test drive list.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts


2016 Kia Soul
5-seat compact 5-door
Front-wheel drive

Trim packages:

Base, +, !




1.6L I4 (130 hp/118 T)
2.0L I4 (164 hp/151 T)


6-speed manual
6-speed automatic


24/24 mpg city, 30/31 mpg highway (Base/+ and !)


 Regular unleaded


Electronic stability control and traction control
LENGTH:163 inches
WHEELBASE:101.2 in.
WIDTH: 70.9 inches
HEIGHT: 63 inches
WEIGHT: 2714-2837 lbs.
TRACK: 62/62.5
FUEL TANK: 14.2 gallons
TIRES: 16-, 17-, or 18-inch
CARGO: 24.2/61.3 cubic feet (behind 2nd/1st row).


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Kia’s New Sportage: Do You Like Its New Look?

The sheetmetal lines are clean and crisp, and aside from the peculiar face, the rest of the Sportage’s design is conservative and taught. Some BMW-ish scalloped tail lights add some flair to the rear, and the dual exhaust ports at least try to make you think that it’s sportier than it probably is.
Initially — since we haven’t had the chance to sit in one yet — it looks like rearward visibility my be compromised due to the high belt-line of the rear tailgate and beefy C-pillars. Otherwise, the Sportage seems to offer a pretty decent greenhouse out the sides and the front.

The quirkiness and character outside seem to be lost in the interior, where it’s all very sensible, simple and entirely unoffensive. But that’s important for a car like the Sportage, which will undoubtably be seen more as a suburban appliance than any kind of statement. Though it’s stuffed-animal like attitude will likely draw in many for its cute factor, there’s really no reason for Kia to try to make the same statement on the inside.
Chances are we won’t get the manual transmission that’s equipped on the model being shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and everything under the hood will probably stay familiar to U.S. buyers — a 2.4-liter four-cylinder as standard for base models, with the higher-end SX serving up the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s available on the current Sportage.

Overall, the new Kia Sportage is what you’d expect in a new Kia Sportage. Long gone are the cheap materials and tin-can construction the Kia was once infamous for. With each passing generation, its cars just get that much better. From a build quality and fit-and-finish perspective, Kia’s up there along the rest now, it’s no longer the cheap outlier it was.
However, it’s coming into a market rife with hardy competition. Volkswagen finally got around to addressing its Tiguan crossover, which is new from the ground up. Honda’s CR-V, Toyota’s RAV4, and the Ford Escape are all selling in volume as well, and Kia will also have to contend with Hyundai’s new Tucson — essentially the same car underneath, but at the same time fighting for consumer dollars. Fortunately, the Sportage now has the character to set it apart.

Kia will expand the Optima lineup with a station wagon and a plug-in hybrid model

The station wagon is expected to borrow more than a handful of styling cues from the Sportspace concept (pictured) that was presented earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. That means it will look strikingly similar to the Optima from the tip of the front bumper to the B-pillar. Beyond that, it will gain a longer roof line, a rakish, almost shooting brake-like D-pillar, and sharp horizontal tail lamps. Mechanically, the wagon will be all but identical to its sedan counterpart, meaning it will be available with gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines pulled straight from the Kia parts bin. On the Old Continent, the range-topping, GT-badged wagon will benefit from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger tuned to make 241 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque from 1,350 to 4,000 rpm.

The turbo four sends the sedan from zero to 62 mph in 7.4 seconds, and on to a top speed of 150 mph. The wagon will be a little bit slower because it will inevitably be heavier.