2017 Kia Optima GT Road Test

Kia Optima GT Road Test, Review

kia optima gt

The 2017 Kia Optima GT is probably the best-value car on the market. Why? Because it delivers a much better than expected drive, great cabin space, good features list, great warranty, and huge boot.

And you can get into it for less than a very reasonable $44,000.

One of the Kia Optima‘s medium-sized rivals is being pushed as an SUV alternative in the latest TV ads and that holds true with the South Korean product.

The Optima GT is a great option for a primary driver who wants something with a bit of spirit, yet a car that is still pleasant to drive and sensible enough for the family.

kia optima gt interiorThe grumble of the 180kW/350Nm 2.0 litre turbo-engine is very addictive.

It not only sounds good (quite old-school V8), it also really pushes you back in your seat, especially when you get the revs up above 2,000rpm.

There’s no CVT or complicated dual-clutch transmission, just a well-sorted six-speed auto.

Fuel economy? Not bad – I averaged just over 10L/100km in my week of city driving.

There’s three drive modes too, I must admit though that I spent most of my time in the ‘Sports’ mode…why not?!

As covered in my recent review of the non-turbocharged Optima Si, the current Kia Optima is getting to the end of its life-cycle and is starting to feel just a little dated.

It’s a credit though to the designers that a car that won our Car of the Year award back in 2011 still looks so good (and still turns heads).

A couple of complaints about the Optima GT – the infotainment system, while functional, is not cutting-edge and there’s no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, or digital radio.

There’s also a little idiosyncrasy that I hadn’t noticed before – at night, a percentage of the instrument panel reflects up onto the driver’s side window and a couple of times I confused the reflection for another cars headlights.

2017 kia optima gtEverything else though is really functional and well-designed.

I particularly like the flat-bottom steering wheel in the Kia Optima GT and the performance gauges that appear on the driver info screen when you flick the car into ‘Sports’ mode.

I mentioned in the Optima Si review that you might not need the turbocharged engine, but if you can find the extra dollars then I reckon it’s the icing on the Kia cake.

As I said at the top, the Kia Optima GT is somewhat a ‘hidden gem’ and a great value car that delivers an awful lot, for not a lot of money.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Kia Optima GT

  • Engine: 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol producing 180kW/350Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Warranty: Seven years
  • Origin: South Korea
  • Price: from $43,900

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