Last month, Naza Kia Malaysia announced the new Kia Optima EX, which sits below the range-topping GT. At RM139,888 on-the-road without insurance, the EX – which is on display at the 2019 Malaysia Autoshow – is a full RM30,000 cheaper than the GT.

For that, you won’t get the GT’s 2.0 litre turbo engine, but a naturally aspirated motor of the same size. Paired to a six-speed torque converter automatic, the EX’s CVVL engine puts out 163 PS and 196 Nm of torque. That’s a fair bit less than the GT’s boosted output – 82 PS and 154 Nm less to be exact.

It’s easy to tell the EX from the GT. The entry variant wears a distinctive “vertical intaglio grille”, a slightly different twin projector LED headlight design, as well as a lower intake with horizontal bars instead of the GT’s mesh. The handsome D-segment sedan also comes with LED combination tail lights and 17-inch multispoke alloys (an inch smaller than the GT).

Inside, the Optima EX is equipped with a powered driver’s seat with memory function, black fabric seats, electric parking brake, smart key with push-start button, and a seven-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functions. It also comes with a 360-degree Around View Monitor, a feature that’s new to the Optima EX.

There are three colour options – Aurora Black, Snow White Pearl and this car’s Platinum Graphite.