The 2006 Detroit show marks the North American debut of the new Kia Optima, which will be nearly identical to the European Kia Magentis that was unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in September 2005. Whereas the previous car was a restyled, bug-eyed version of the Hyundai Sonata, Kia claims that the Optima is significantly different from its Hyundai brother, although powertrains are still shared. Engine choices are include a 185-hp 2.7-liter V-6 and a 161-hp 2.4-liter four.
The Optima’s suspension consists of struts at the front (versus the Sonata’s costlier double links) and multiple links at the rear. The Optima also will be longer and taller than before and have a stretched wheelbase. The body shell encloses a roomier interior than before, with higher seating and six air bags.