Naza Kia has announced on its official website that the order books have opened for the upcoming Kia Optima K5 facelift. The local distributor has already confirmed earlier that the model will be introduced this month. Put the two and two together, plus the fact that the Chinese New Year is near, and the launch must be real soon. By the end of this week, perhaps?

The refreshed Optima K5 debuted in New York in March 2013, and since then we’ve seen it at IIMS 2013 as well as JPJ Putrajaya. On the outside, the mid-life facelift is subtle yet clearly noticeable. The DRL strips have been moved from the bumper to the top of the headlamps, mirroring those on the latest Cerato and Sorento models.

The foglamps, meanwhile, have been replaced with a grid of four LED clusters on each side. Moving to the rear, the new light units feature thick LED ‘frames’, again bringing the Optima in line with more recent Kia models. The twin five-spoke 18-inch wheels are new too, moving away from the current car’s flat dish design.

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Also part of the facelift is the inclusion of Drive Mode Select, which adjusts transmission shift points and steering weight, offering owners a customisable driving experience. Also, seeing that the smaller Cerato has a touchscreen-based multimedia system, expect the refreshed Optima to have it too. The Civic-beater‘s fantastic air ventilated seat will also make its way to the bigger car (on both front seats this time round – a first-in-class feature).

Already standard on the current car are powered front seats, Xenon headlamps, automatic wipers, panoramic glass sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, and Infinity premium sound system, so the new version should have all that and more.

As for the price, a quick look at reveals an estimated price point of RM149,000, which is more or less the same as a basic Toyota Camry 2.0E. The Kia is anything but basic though, and should come standard with a full suite of electronic safety aids (six airbags, ABS, EBD, TCS, etc.).

Kia Optima K5 facelift spied at JPJ

Kia Optima K5 facelift at IIMS 2013