Kia at the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)

As you may have noticed from my social posts, I’m spending this week at the New York International Auto Show with Kia to check out their latest unveilings. Over the past year, I’ve had quite a few opportunities to familiarize myself with the brand. Thanks to the road trips in the Niro, exploring in the Cadenza, and just driving our Stinger around every day I’ve become a pretty big fan. As you can imagine, I’ve been really looking forward to checking out what they’re putting out next—and I was not disappointed.

I’ve been to many auto shows in the past, but never the NYIAS, so naturally I was excited to be invited. From what I heard, Kia has had the same booth location for the last few years, and rightfully so. It was like they had their own private runway. Though I enjoyed exploring the entire show and seeing what other brands had to offer, there were really only two models that I was eager to see, the 2019 Kia Optima SX and 2019 Kia K900.

The Refreshed 2019 Kia Optima SX

Refreshed 2019 Kia Optima SX

What first caught my eye about the new 2019 Kia Optima SX was its sleek design. On the outside, it was like a little taste of the Stinger in a midsize sedan. On the inside, the two-toned leather-trimmed seats and panoramic roof really drove the combination of sport and substance home. But aesthetics aren’t the only thing attractive about this car. New features like a number of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) have also been added. Check out a list of more exciting updates below.

  • Safety ADAS
    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
    • Forward Collision Warning System (FCW)
    • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
    • Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
    • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • LX Model
    • Stinger-inspired LED daytime running lights
    • 16-inch alloy wheel design
    • Matte gray-finish grill
  • S Model
    • Projection beam fog lamps
    • LED taillights
    • Dual Exhaust
    • Sport side sills with gloss black trim
    • Gloss-black grill
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Standard push-button start
    • Smart Key
    • Smart Trunk
  • EX Model
    • Turbocharged 178-horsepower engine
    • Seven-speed dual clutch transmission
    • Adaptive Smart Shift drive mode
    • Leather seating surfaces with front seat heaters
    • 17-inch alloy wheel design
    • Smart Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go
    • Standard fog lamps
    • LED taillights
    • Dual Exhaust
    • Ambient multicolor interior lighting
    • Heated steering wheel
  • SX & SXL Models
    • Redesigned 18-inch wheels
    • LED fog lights
    • Ambient interior lighting
    • Sport steering wheel
    • Smart Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go
    • Panoramic roof
    • Harman Kardon premium audio system with UVO link with Navigation
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Gloss black door pillars and side moldings
    • Sport bumper
    • (SX) European-styled red and black two-tone sport leather-trimmed seats
    • (SXL) Two-tone bronze and black interior with Nappa leather seating surfaces

The Reimagined 2019 Kia K900

Reimagined 2019 Kia K900

“The all-new 2019 K900 is much more than a generational redesign, as it takes on a whole new look, feel and character over its predecessor.  Only its name – K900 – is carried over.

– Orth Hedrick, vice president, Product Planning, Kia Motors America

To be completely honest, I don’t know where to start as far as telling you about what makes the new 2019 Kia K900 so great. Maybe with a sentence that includes the words “luxurious zen”? As you can see in the quote above, the car has been completely redesigned and, man, did they pull out all the stops. First of all, it’s gorgeous. The front grille was inspired by the idea of energy flowing like ripples of water, the leather seat “shoulders” invoke the spirit of Korean kings’ historical clothing, the open pore matte wood detailing is beautiful enough to obsess over—and that’s just the way it looks. Going through all of the features, it very much seems like a car of the future, but it’s implemented so that it feels completely the opposite of a sterile environment one might expect. Instead, everything comes together perfectly to make (pulling from the press release here, because it sums it up perfectly) “the K900 a rejuvenating space of inspiration rather than just an upscale mode of transportation”. See some of the features I’m talking about below:

  • Luxury Details
    • Standard UVO luxe
    • Duplex headlamps
    • Floating hood design
    • Satin chrome exterior detail
    • 19-inch wheels
    • Duplex rear combi lights
    • Wrap-around cabin
    • Uncluttered, ergonomic dash
    • Heated leather steering wheel
    • Matching center console-mounted gear shift knob
    • Leather-trimmed premium seat design or Premium Nappa leather
    • Well-contoured seats
    • Heated & intimated seats
    • 20-way adjustable driver seat with  width-adjusting bolsters and lumbar support with power air cells and shoulder adjustments
    • 12-way front passenger seat adjusters
    • 12-way driver side rear seat and 14-way passenger side rear seat adjusters with height-adjustable headrests and forward/aft til up/down cushions
    • Heat and ventilation for rear seats
    • Independent rear HVAC controls
    • Mood lighting system developed in conjunction with the Pantone Color Institute
    • Intelligent Lighting Control system
    • Analog clock specially designed and co-branded by Maurice Lacroix
  • Tech-savvy+
    • 12.3” HMI touchscreen
    • Premium Navigation system
    • Full connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Wireless cellphone charger
    • 9.7” Head Up Display (HUD)
    • Surround View Monitor (SVM)
    • Blind Spot View Monitor (BVM)
    • Haptic steering wheel
    • Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)
    • Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA)
    • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
    • Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Alert (RCAA)
    • Safe Exit Assist
    • Lane Follow Assist (LFA)
    • Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)
    • 900-watt 17-speaker Harman Kardon/Lexicon system featuring QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology and Clari-Fi technology
  • World-Class Powertrain
    • 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 (same as in the Stinger) that outputs 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque
    • Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT)
    • Robust cooling system
    • 8-speed automatic transmission
    • Shift-by-Wire gear selector
    • Full-time Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control all-wheel-drive system
  • Dynamics
    • TSP+ rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
    • Enhanced sound-absorption insulation
    • Acoustic film on windshield and front side glass
    • Four-wheel independent suspension
    • Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS)
    • Internal damper system
    • Electromechanical, rack-mounted power steering assembly
    • Front four-piston brake caliper design & rear two-piston brake caliper setup
    • Underbody cooling ducts
    • Corner Brake Control
    • Brake Fade Compensation
    • Brake drying feature

The 2019 Kia Optima and Kia K900 are scheduled to go on sale later this year and during the last quarter of 2018, respectively. Pricing for each will be announced as their dates get closer. To find out more, visit and check out #KiaNYC18 on social.