Kia Optima Review

The Korean car manufacturer Kia has turned heads in recent years, with its rise from budget-cars to business-cars now seemingly complete with the arrival of the new Kia Optima. This may well be the most exuberant, ambitious car that Kia has yet produced, and it’s one which its unsuspecting rivals in the Mondeo-sized medium range sector will have to be ready for.

Smart, quiet, excellently equipped, sleek, remarkable, efficient, value-for-money. All these words can be used to describe the Volkswagen Passat or theFord Mondeo. But they can now also be used to describe the new Kia Optima model. In fact, each word can be emphasised, because the Korean brand have seen what everyone else is doing in the medium range sector and, well, improved it all. If ever there was a thinking family’s car, the new Kia Optima might well be it. Let’s take a closer look at what the new Kia Optima offers with our Kia Optima review.


The new Kia Optima benefits from a wider platform, as well as a body shell that is lighter than before, and which helps to make the car drive much more sharply. Responsive input is also worth highlighting, owing to a hydraulic power-assisted rack. Suspension is better than before, and damping is more confident owing to the implementation of MacPherson struts which are now completely independent and which come with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. The Kia Optima 2012 also comes with rear multi-link suspension, though there is only one engine on offer, which is the 1.7-litre 136PS diesel unit.

Nice Touches

The new Kia Optima benefits from some nice exterior revisions, including sleeker headlights, rear lights, fog lamps and bumpers. The LED daytime running lights at the front have been moved to the headlight from the bumper, whilst smarter 4-point LED fog lamps serve to create a more confident look. The new Kia Optima also benefits from new alloy wheels that come with a fresh design, as well as a boot lid that is sharper and has an overall more distinctive look to it.

The cabin has also undergone some changes that include a revised steering wheel, instrument cluster and gear selector. It all adds up to a touch of elegance that was previously missing. There is more hi-tech in the instrument cluster too, as well as remote controls on the steering wheel. A seven-inch infotainment screen sits in the centre console, whilst the model you choose will either come in satin black or black high-close armrests. A nice touch for the front seats is the addition of cushions for comfort.

Prices and Figures

Kia Optima deals start at £20,000, with Kia Optima offers rising to £26,000, with the choice of three trim styles. Used Kia Optima will invariably be a little cheaper. Automatic transmission variants come with Drive-Mode-Select which allows you to switch between different driving styles, including sport and eco. Despite the Korean brand’s desire to make their cars more upmarket, running costs are still good, with figures for the automatic coming in at 47.1mpg and 158g/km. The manual achieves even better numbers – 57.6mph and 128g/km of CO2. Other options include the Kia Optima Hybrid.

Final Thoughts

One of the reasons Kia decided to go more upmarket and leave their budget roots behind was because of the emergence of budget Chinese brands which are expected to dominate the market. The Kia Optima certainly has a lot to do, but this is a start – and a very accomplished start. It looks smart, drives superbly and has oodles of practicality that all families want. Now it’s up to medium range rivals to decide how they’re going to react to this very fine upstart.

If you want to get hold of a new Kia Optima, don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact page, or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out more about our Kia Optima lease deals..

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