If we had a dollar for every time we read a headline that said, "[insert automaker here] considering a diesel for U.S. market," we'd have a pretty sizable stack of Washingtons. So why, then, is this story of particular interest?
After the website Efficient Automobile wrote about the possibility of Kia offering a diesel-powered Optima here in the United States, the automaker took things a step further, addressing this on its Facebook page. Kia's North American public relations team asks its loyal followers, "Would you drive a diesel?" And from what we can tell after a quick scan of the comments, the yeses certainly seem to outweigh the nos.
In Europe, the Optima is available with a 1.7-liter turbo-diesel four, good for 134 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. The decidedly vague story from Efficient Automobile also states that the diesel Optima shares many of the visual upgrades that we have on the U.S.-spec Optima Hybrid, including a lowered ride height and special wheels.
It's worth mentioning that Kia's North American PR Facebook account is largely geared towards the U.S. media, and we have yet to meet a single member of the automotive press who wouldn't drive a diesel. But since Kia PR does not restrict its Facebook page, perhaps this is a small way for the automaker to gauge customer interest about the possibility of offering a diesel-powered car here in the United States. And to answer the question at hand, yes, Kia, we would.