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2016 Kia Optima Brings Rich Merlot and Dark Aubergine to NYC

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The 2016 Kia Optima SXL

The 2016 Kia Optima SXL

The 2016 Kia Optima officially debuted today at the New York International Auto Show, although we had already gotten a look at it last week, so the suspense wasn’t exactly killing us.

The new Optima looks a little better in profile—still not as cool as those teaser sketches made it look, but not bad. It takes some design cues from the K900, which is a good car to steal from.

2016 Kia Optima SX-L

Inside, the Optima cribs from the K900 again with more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Depending on the trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather, or Nappa leather, and two new pretentious-sounding interior colors—“a rich merlot and a dark aubergine”—are also available.

The SXL's aubergine interior... right? Isn't that aubergine? It's like an eggplant color, right?

The SXL’s aubergine interior… right? Isn’t that aubergine? It’s like an eggplant color, right?

When it goes on sale late in 2015, the Optima will be available in LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo, and (US exclusive) SXL trims. There will be three different powertrain options: a 185 horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine for the LX and EX, a 247 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder for the SXL and SX Turbo, and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder for the LX. Transmission options include a six-speed automatic and seven-speed dual clutch automatic.

The SXL's 247 hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine

The SXL’s 247 hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine

In terms of tech, the 2016 Optima is the first Kia to use the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay systems that allow drivers to control a suite of smartphone apps using the car’s UVO 8-inch touchscreen.

Newly available on the SX and SXL trims is a 360-degree Around View Monitor camera.

The 2016 Kia Optima SX

The 2016 Kia Optima SX

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance.  It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, KMA’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.  “The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.”