2016 Kia Optima Car Features Smile-to-Start Technology, Engine to Start Only if Driver Will Smile

Kia Optima 2016

Credit: CNET

The 2016 Kia Optima sedan made its debut at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. This latest model offers new and futuristic features, including the Smile-to-Start technology. Yes, the driver should smile first. Otherwise, the engine will not start at all. This cool feature is the first of its kind in any car ever.

But that’s not all; the 2016 Kia Optima midsize car is marginally longer, wider, and taller than its predecessor. Its exterior sports an evolutionary redesign, and uses chrome trim around the grill, headlamps, wheels, as well as the windows of the SXL model. Its trademark grille treatment has been stretched a bit wider. Overall, the outside improvement made represents a 150-percent increase over the previous model, KIA said.

This fourth generation of Kia Optima is also Kia’s first car to feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, plus the standard six-speaker audio system and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier.. An 8-inch touchscreen screen will display the smartphone’s most important features, including messaging, music playing and voice calling. This comes along with two USB ports, one in front and another one at the rear seat.

Just like the previous Kia Optima car models, the 2016 version sports a rear-camera display as one of its safety features. This awesome masterpiece also has Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). The latter forces the vehicle to make a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce the damage impact.

Kia Optima car Smile to Start

The Smile-to-Start technology is a brand new way of face recognition, wherein different angles of smiles of the car owner shall be recorded and will be recalled to make the engine start. This unique, patented technology will not only serve as anti-theft feature. It also aims to bring joy to the driver as he leaves his home for work and to refresh his energy after a long tiring day at the office before he comes home.

The 2016 KIA Optima car will be available in three different engines, with two of them coming from the previous model – the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder (estimated to produce 185 hp at 6,000 rpm and and 178 lb/ft of torque at 4,000 rpm) and the 2.0-litre GDI turbo engine (estimated to produce 247 hp at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 1,350 rpm). Both engines are known for excellent performance and fuel economy.

The third engine option is totally new for any KIA car model. The 2016 KIA Optima offers a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine on the LX trim level. This new engine is estimated to produce 178 hp at 5,500 rpm and a solid 195 lb/ft of torque at 1,500 rpm only; and to be connected to an all-new seven-speed DCT transmission. This brand-new transmission type promises engine optimization with less fuel cost.

The 2016 KIA Optima car will be built at Kia’s West Point, Georgia plant. Price is yet to be announced, while its formal launch and dealership are expected in late 2015.