Kia’s new D segment offering has arrived in Ireland, the Optima is an all-new car that offers style, comfort and economy in a stylish package. It’s available in two trims, with the entry-level EX model commencing from a respectable €26,995, just some of the standard equipment includes 16” alloys, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, cooled glovebox, LED daytime running lights and electrically folding door mirrors. The Platinum variant comes complete with 17” alloys, a panoramic sunroof, leather heated seats, a reversing camera, rain sensing wipers and dual automatic air conditioning. There’s just €2,000 separating these two models, both also benefit from a large number of safety features which includes ABS with EBD, ESP, multiple airbags and HAC (hill start assist control).
I recently test drove the Optima in Platinum guise, which certainly gives an added luxurious feel to the driving experience. It’s extremely spacious for front and rear seat occupants, who are granted a vast amount of legroom. There’s a multitude of controls within easy reach of the driver, as a result of the main area of the centre console being angled towards the driver, whilst it’s extremely pleasant inside, the cabin would benefit from some colour on the dash. The rear view camera for parking is cleverly integrated into the rear view mirror and is initialised when reverse is selected. Powering both models of the Optima is a 1.7-litre diesel engine, it produces 134hp and emits just 133 g/100km of CO2 resulting in it being placed in tax band B, with an annual road tax of €225. On the move there’s no engine noise transmitted into the cabin, which enhances the luxurious feel for all occupants who relax, whilst passing motorists gaze at the Optima’s striking looks. It’s economical too, returning 4.9L/100km on a combined run.
In line with all Kia models the Optima comes as standard with Kia’s outstanding seven-year or 150,000km warranty, that’s also transferable to subsequent owners when the car is sold on. It’s been sometime since kia has had a D segment saloon capable of competing with the established marques, this new Optima will place them in a pivotal position to challenge for market share.[table “67” not found /]