Driven: All New Kia Optima Review

JonathanJuly 18, 2016

kia optima review front view
Grim weather up North, isn’t it?

Driven: All New Kia Optima Review

This month, we’ve been driving the all new Kia Optima. Larger than the popular Hyundai i40, this spacious saloon is Kia’s flagship model. Originally launched in 2011, the Kia Optima has been improved for 2016 with some tweaks to the interior, exterior and to the engines – which now produce lower emissions than ever before.

The Optima is only available with one engine: the 1.7 CRDi diesel that can be found in the smaller i40 and in Kia’s SUV ranges. The model we’ve been driving was the ‘2’ trim level, which was very comprehensively equipped – especially since this is the entry model in the range. Standard features include touchscreen sat-nav, a reversing camera, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17″ alloy wheels. The higher spec ‘3’ and ‘4’ models offer larger alloys, premium sound systems and leather seats.

The Optima is an attractive car with distinctive styling. It looks sleek, sporty and has Kia’s trademark grille and LED driving lights. Settling into the driver’s seat, the first impressions are that it’s very spacious with plenty of room throughout the cabin for both front and rear passengers (a 6’6 colleague could sit comfortably behind the driver with room to spare!). The driver’s seat adjusts in all directions and has electric lumbar adjustment as standard. Similarly the steering column adjusts both telescopically and for tilt. As you can imagine, it’s easy to get comfortable. The dashboard is dominated by a high resolution TFT display that houses the sat-nav, reversing camera, stereo and other functions. All in all, it’s a nice place to be.

kia optima review interior view

How does it drive? It’s a big car for a 1.7, but once moving the Optima is smooth and cruises well. As with all Kias the steering, controls and gearshift are light and precise. The Optima isn’t designed to be a sports car, but there’s plenty of grip and it’s comfortable at speed. It feels right at home on a long run where the suspension soaks up all the bumps of a long journey and the cabin is quiet and pleasant. You’ll get nicely over 40mpg on mixed driving, too.

As with all Kias, the Optima comes with a seven year/100,000 mile warranty as standard. The range starts at £21,495 for the Optima 2, up to £29,500 for the top-of-the-range Optima 4 DST Auto. Lease prices start from less than £200 + VAT per month (click here for more info) – so you get plenty of car for your money.


For: Stylish, large cabin, equipment levels

Against: Boot smaller than other cars of similar size

Verdict: Great value for money

kia optima review rear view

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