2017 Kia Optima GT Road Test and Review…
There is no good reason not to buy a Kia vehicle in 2017 and the Optima is certainly one of the best models in the range.
And every model is backed by an exceptionally generous seven-year warranty.
The Kia Optima, which was a Behind the Wheel Car of the Year award winner in 2011, has been refreshed and updated in recent years and remains a must-drive if a mid-size sedan is on your agenda.
But the big Kia sedan has its own feel and certainly has a good story to tell.
Available in two specification levels – Si and GT, I had the keys to the more expensive, turbocharged, GT.
Offering 180kW/350Nm the Kia Optima is certainly no slouch.
Power is delivered through the front wheels and every Kia Optima comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission.
With plenty of responsiveness for the city and long-legs on the highway, the GT is certainly a more interesting car to drive than the Si and the previous generation models that lacked the turbocharger.
Despite the large proportions the Kia Optima is a well-balanced in the bends with suspension that delivers both nice handling and comfort.
I’m pleased to report also that the work that Kia has put into the steering weight and feel on the current-edition has been well worth it – overall the set-up is greatly improved over previous generations models.
Fuel economy though is a weak point – expect to use up to more than 12L/100km in the city.
Back on the positive side of the ledger are the amounts of cabin and boot space – even five adults won’t feel cramped for leg and shoulder room and the boot is cavernous.
The slope of the rear glass and low roofline though can make for a lack of headroom for taller passengers in the rear.
The interior noise level is minimal, and road noise is not intrusive.
Kia ensure you won’t feel letdown in the equipment department with the Kia Optima GT coming standard with electric, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, sat-nav, 18” alloys, distance control cruise control, reverse camera and front and rear parking sensors.
While safety systems include forward collision mitigation with pedestrian protection, rear cross traffic alert, active headlamps, and blind spot sensors.
And the good news is you won’t have to be paying for anything extra, the only option is premium paint and that carries a reasonable $595 price premium.
Summing it up; Times have certainly changed. Just a few years ago, buying a mid-size sedan required sacrificing style at the altar of practicality.
However, one look at the Kia Optima‘s striking body contours reveals that such a compromise is a thing of the past.
In 2017, the Kia Optima is a very pleasant car with a realistic price tag.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Kia Optima GT
Engine: 2.4 litre four-cylinder petrol producing 138kW/241Nm (Si) or 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol producing 180kW/350Nm (GT)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Seven years
Origin: South Korea
Price: Si from $34,490, GT from $43,900