This week, the Auto Show is taking over New York, known as the NYIAS. Kia announced their 2016 Optima at the show this week, and of note they are putting in Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay into the car. With Kia’s infotainment system, you get both Android Auto and CarPlay. As we’ve seen with other systems, all you have to do is plug in your smartphone and it starts right up. Both Apple and Google’s vision of their infotainment systems consist of it basically acting as a second monitor for your smartphone. Which is a great way to do it, as your smartphone does all the heavy lifting basically. You’ll need Android 5.0 or higher to use Android Auto though.
The 2016 Kia Optima is one of many cars that are coming out soon with Android Auto installed. Hyundai has a few models that are already on sale that will be getting an update to feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay soon. GM and Ford has also jumped on the bandwagon. Chevy has it in their new Volt, and Ford has integrated it into their Sync system. The Kia Optima actually supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, so you’re able to charge your phone rather quickly. Which is always a good thing to have.
The 2016 Kia Optima should be available this fall at your local Kia Retailer. The Kia Optima is a slightly larger car than the 2015 model, but only by about half an inch. It’s actually a really nice looking car. It borrows the grill from the 2015 Kia K900. Those that are looking to buy the 2016 Optima have three engine choices. The holdover 2.4-liter GDI turbo engine on the SXL and SX Turbo models of the Optima. Kia says that both “engines have been returned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM.” The newest engine option is the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. Which is offer at the LX trim. This uses a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is a first for the Kia brand.
A pretty interesting and slightly powerful car here from Kia. Of course, we are more interested in the Android Auto aspect of the car. We’re working with Kia to get hands on with the Android Auto unit – to see how they’ve integrated it into their system and such – so make sure you stay tuned.