A mid-cycle refresh will put a bit more visual and functional edge on the 2014 Kia Optima that made its debut in New York and is headed to showrooms during the third quarter of this year. In addition to modest nose and tail tweaks, the automaker's best-selling model also will receive a number of welcome enhancements to the interior and add a sophisticated Blind Spot Detection System to the option roster.

     Also: 2013 New York Auto Show

The new Optima's elegantly understated exterior recasting emanated from the automaker's European-based design group in Frankfurt, Germany. Up front, it consists of replacing and repositioning the conventional running lights and fog lamps with new LED units, while new LED taillamps and a more aggressive diffuser add more interest to the rear of the car.

Inside, all three Optima trim levels benefit from new and more supportive seats covered in cloth in the LX but wrapped in leather in the EX and primo SX/SX-Limited variants. The main dash display on all features a new 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster, while a new 8.0-inch high-resolution screen presents all of the pertinent data on models with the optional navigation/telematics system that brings UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity sound system, HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio with real-time SiriusXM Traffic.

     Also: 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid unveiled

While Kia has not provided specific output or EPA numbers for any of the 2014 Optima powertrains at this point - including the Optima Hybrid - the 2013 hardware seems likely to carry on unchanged. There is one change coming in the form of a new Drive Mode Select (DMS) system for the SX that will allow the driver to adjust the transmission shift points and steering effort to suit their particular tastes.

Pricing for the 2014 Kia Optima lineup will be released closer to its on-sale date.


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