Kia Optima Review and Specs

Kia Optima Review

Pros

  • Attractive, sporty car
  • Designed to handle Australian road conditions
  • Impressive number of safety features

Cons

  • Some steering ‘kickback’ in rough conditions
  • Interior has room for improvement
  • Lack of headroom for backseat passengers
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Overview, Look, and Feel of the Kia Optima

Kia Motors began producing the Kia Optima in 2000, and in the past decade, it has grown to become one of the best cars in the Kia line of sedans. The very first models of the Kia Optima line were produced by Hyundai; these cars were variations on the Hyundai Sonata, with just a few details changed. Because of that, there was nothing standout about the Kia Optima until Kia Motors took over as the sole producer of the car in 2005. The retooled second-generation of the car had a sleeker, sportier look and feel when compared with the earlier models, which was much more of a standard family sedan.

The company continued to head in that direction with the release of the third-generation Kia Optima in 2011, which has continued up to the present. The newest Kia Optima is even sleeker, with an attractive look that has gained them a lot of attention. It should be noted that the attractive polish of the exterior doesn’t quite hold up in the interior. The interior design is only average, and the materials look and feel a little plastic-like in a car that is attempting to draw in a crowd that wants a car with luxury style at an affordable price.

It should be noted that the Kia Optima has sometimes been sold here under the ‘Magentis’ name, even though recently the car has returned back to the Optima branding and looks to be keeping that title through the rest of its upcoming run. What seemed like a break between the older model Kia Optima and the newer one released in 2011 was actually a brief rebranding effort, so fans of the car should keep that in mind when trying to decide whether or not to purchase a Kia Optima.

Kia Optima Engine Specs and Performance

It should be noted that the Kia Optima has sometimes been sold here under the ‘Magentis’ name, even though recently the car has returned back to the Optima branding and looks to be keeping that title through the rest of its upcoming run. What seemed like a break between the older model Kia Optima and the newer one released in 2011 was actually a brief rebranding effort, so fans of the car should keep that in mind when trying to decide whether or not to purchase a Kia Optima.

All in all, the engine has enough get up and go without being terribly overwhelming, and the ability of the car to handle rough terrain is beautiful. There is a lot to be said for the impressive handling as well as the substantial power of the engine, which makes for a slick ride that matches the sleek look of the Kia Optima. It sits low to the ground, really letting the driver feel it as the car hugs turns and curves, a feat which it handles very well and which makes the car all the more impressive. Missing is the sportyfeel that the exterior seems to promise, as it doesn’t quite live up to other cars in its class.

Standard Equipment and Options for the Kia Optima

There is kit available across trim levels of the Kia Optima. The basic trim level is offered with the Kia Optima Si, which does away with some of the higher-end kit you get with the Platinum trim of the Kia Optima, to provide a more affordable option to car buyers. The difference between the two is pretty large, but nothing necessary was cut from the switch.

There is kit available across trim levels of the Kia Optima. The basic trim level is offered with the Kia Optima Si, which does away with some of the higher-end kit you get with the Platinum trim of the Kia Optima, to provide a more affordable option to car buyers. The difference between the two is pretty large, but nothing necessary was cut from the switch.

Kia Optima's Competition

The primary competition for the Kia Optima is other similarly priced mid-range sedans like the Toyota Camry. The Toyota Camry doesn’t have quite the same sport look and feel of the Kia Optima, opting instead for the efficient and standardized look and feel of most cars that come off the manufacturer’s assembly line. However, the history and heritage of the Camry make it tough to compete with.

Engines in the Camry range from a 2.5L 4-cylinder to a 3.5L V6 that provides a truly impressive 200kW and 336Nm, so car buyers who want a little more power will definitely be swayed by the Camry’s specs, as well as its wide variety of kit and trims. While the Kia Optima doesn’t offer quite as much as the Toyota Camry, it manages to do quite a lot with the standard Si trim as well as the Platinum trim, and some find it a bit more attractive.

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