If you happen to see Korean cars of late, like the Kia Forte, you would probably be amazed at the transformation of the design language of Korean cars compared to say, a generation ago. There are 2 models from Korea that will be launched in Malaysia in the next couple of months. First up, is the Kia Optima which is set to be launched on the 27th of Dec by Naza Kia.
Coupled with the current lineup of the all new Sportage, Forte and Forte Koup, the Optima will give its Japanese rivals a run for its money. The Optima will get the latest fuel efficient Theta-II 2.0 engine, that produces 165 bhp and 198 Nm of torque and will be coupled to a 6 speed automatic transmission. Features include auto-levelling HID xenon headlamps, LED daytime running headlights, dual-zone auto air-conditioner, panoramic sun roof, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, auto cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, six airbags and an electronic stability programme. At this moment, the retail price of the Optima is yet to be revealed, but as the day draws nearer, we will keep you posted of any information we received.
The other Korean cousin, Hyundai, will be launching the Elantra (Avante), come February. Hyundai Sime-Darby announced that, the Elantra will be rebadged as Inokom MD Elantra, although we know for a fact that most owners would want to change back to Hyundai logo on the front and rear. Now, unlike the Optima, the Elantra is a C segment sedan, which means it’ll be up against the likes of Kia Forte, Honda Civic, Toyota Altis and so on.
The Elantra will be available in two engine choices – 1.8-litre Nu MPI and 1.6-litre Gamma MPI D-CVVT. Connecting the engine and front wheels is a 6 speed transmission, which is capable of averaging 14.1 km / litre for the 1.8 and 14.9 km / litre for the 1.6. Both engines feature a maintenance free timing chain and Hyundai Sime Darby offers a five-year or 300,000km (whichever comes first) extended warranty on all its new passenger vehicles. A 24-hour road assist service is also now available to new and existing Hyundai vehicles.
Price is unknown at this point in time.