The Kia Optima will make its European debut at Paris following the world premiere of the saloon at the New York International Auto Show.

The Optima saloon will go on sale in Europe from mid-to-late 2011, with Kia looking to establish itself in the D-segment.

Since its release into the Korean market, the Optima has already claimed the ‘best seller’ award for June and July. In each of these months the Optima sold 10,000 units and Kia will look to replicate these figures in Europe.

According to the Korean firm, the new saloon is longer, lower and wider than any other saloon on the market.

The all-new saloon has received a number of styling alterations tailored to the European market. The Optima has received a pronounced shoulder line and an abundance of mesh around its front giving the vehicle a typically European, almost Saab-like look.

A special ‘Sport Package’ including a unique front mesh grille, is also available for the Optima.

Under the bonnet, there are two engine options available. The smaller of the two is a 1.7 litre VGT diesel nicknamed the “U2". Standard CO₂ emissions for the 1.7 litre will stand at 122 g/km however when the engine is coupled with Kia’s ISG Start/Stop, its emissions fall to 113 g/km.

The second engine variant is a 2.0 litre CVVL (Continuously Variable Valve Lift) petrol powertrain. The Optima will be available with either a six speed manual or a six speed automatic transmission.

The Kia saloon is available with a wide range of optional extras like Smart Parking Assist (SPA) which the manufacturers claim will automatically park a car, as well as active and passive safety features and equipment as standard.

All Kia models sold in Europe come with a generous seven year or 100,000 mile warranty.