2009 Kia Optima launched in Dubai
Suddenly on sale now in Dubai and the UAE is the refreshed 2009 Kia Optima, with a facelifted exterior, and “a new engine that provides more power and better fuel economy.” The 2009 Optima midsizer is also supposedly larger than its predecessors, but we have doubts about that, along with questions over the engine specs.
The new front and rear ends add three inches in total at both ends, but wheelbase remains the same, so cabin space is the same as before. Engines for the GCC include a 164 hp 2.0-litre 4-cylinder and a 193 hp 2.7-litre V6. The new four-cylinder with variable-valve timing seems unusually powerful, gaining 19 hp over the previous motor, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it is a typo in the press release, and we’ll await confirmation on that front.
The facelifted Optima is available in value-priced LX and luxury-oriented EX trims. The 2.0-litre can be had with a manual or automatic, while the V6 gets a 5-speed automatic with a Sportmatic shifting feature.
The style makeover continues within the cabin with new trims and colour schemes. Features include a CD/MP3 player, new instrument cluster with red illumination, and seat trims in grey or beige, with cloth or leather, power windows and door locks, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front passenger seat as well as 60/40-split folding rear seats. EX models upgrade to a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt and telescopic functions, leather seat and door trim, leather-wrapped shift knob, automatic temperature control, and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
Safety features continue to be marginalised here, as only a driver’s airbag is standard, a passenger airbag is optional, and no side airbags available. Other features include front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts, brake assist and ABS brakes.
Prices start at a reasonable Dhs 54,000. Kia builds cars that rival the Japanese in build quality, but the brand continues to be plagued in the GCC with low resale values, poorly-targeted dealer marketing and decontenting of safety features.