Just a couple of weeks ago, we were given a tasty appetizer in the form of the new Kia Optima/K5 (the Optima's name in South Korea). And while it showed us quite a bit, the images just released by Kia this week show off the entire exterior of the car. We have to say we're not disappointed one bit because Kia obviously did some marvelous work here that retains the Optima's overall look while venturing into new territory for family sedans. I mean, just look at this thing. 

2021 kia optima

The boldest interpretation yet of Kia's "tiger nose" grille gets built into the actual hoodline, which is fresh and eye-catching. The look is more aggressive, more refined, and also a fine example of what the brand is doing to set itself apart. The back of the car is just as bold with a huge LED strip of a taillight. Hell, the new Optima could very well pass for an Audi. It looks that upscale. For what will likely be a base price not far from the current car's $22,990 base MSRP, you'll be able to buy one of the most attractive family sedans in the business. 

2021 kia optima blue

Whereas players like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry radically redesigned their vehicles, there's just something about them that doesn't sit right with us. The Accord seems too bloated in the front, while the Camry looks almost too racy for its humble family sedan reputation. We think the new Optima strikes the right notes with a more refined look with great proportions. Its bold styling cues still sit within an overall well-proportioned body, and that's where the magic sauce lies. It doesn't try too hard to be different, but it executes a new look better than just about any new car mainstream car we've seen lately. 

kia optima teaser
This image was teased only last week, and we have to say it was spot on.

Though the engine choices haven't been revealed, it's our guess it will match the new Hyundai Sonata, another beautiful family sedan. The Optima will likely get a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 191 horsepower or a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower. Both will get an eight-speed automatic. Down the road, there will surely be a hybrid and a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. 

kia stinger gt
Kia's awesome Stinger GT was but a foretaste of great sedan designs to come.

Take a look at what the Korean brands are doing with their sedans. The Kia Stinger and Stinger GT, the new Hyundai Sonata, and now the Optima. It's encouraging to see that rather than abandoning sedans or focusing only on crossovers, the South Koreans are building some of the best sedans on earth for the price. Only Mazda can claim podium status as one of the most attractive out there. Why the Accord and Camry sell so much better remains a mystery. Those are good cars with a great reputation. We just can't get excited about their designs.

2020 hyundai sonata red
The 2020 Hyunda Sonata is the Optima's sibling, and it's also a stunner.

As details roll in about the next Optima's tech and power specs, we'll provide that information to you. Expect it to sell sometime in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model. We're thrilled to see the redesigned Optima. And while the current car is excellent, it's time for a changing of the guard, and the new model should give the Optima a much-needed sales bump.

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