All round vision is good and parking was easy.
Ride and Handling
We were pleasantly surprised by how the Kia Optima handled – even when pressed it was predictable with respectable feedback through the well weighted power steering. On ‘B’ roads it can feel a little bit soft when engaging demanding bends but then this is a ‘D’ segment saloon not a hot hatch.
Our test car was fitted with 18” alloy wheels fitted with 225/45 tyres – which does mean it can feel most imperfections in the road surface and as previously mentioned there is some road noise, although it makes a good attempt at detaching you from poor road surfaces.
Overall the ride is soft, perhaps a little too soft for our taste which is of course subjective but body roll was kept under control.
Ease of Use
The doors both front and rear open at near 90 degrees and getting in and out is an easy affair. There are fairly deep sills, so those of you with mobility issues may want to see if they will present an issue. The driving position is good and on the ‘2’ Luxe model that we tested the driver’s seat is electrically powered for adjustment, with two memory positions. The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach – although we did find if you have short legs, it was difficult to fully engage the clutch, something you need to do, to start the car and operate to the stop/start function.
As the front doors open wide, we did find it fairly hard to reach the door when fully open to shut it. There is very good leg, shoulder and head room for all occupants and despite the Optima’s coupe styling it seats four adults in comfort with a child in the middle rear seat.
All round vision is good and parking was easy – the ‘2’ Luxe model is equipped with reversing parking sensors and a reversing camera, with the display in the interior rear view mirror which we found particularly useful.
The Kia Optima has a fairly large foot print, at 4845mm it is around 76mm longer than the Volkswagen Passat and around 10mm wider at 1830mm.
The boot capacity is 505 litres (compared to 565 litres for the Passat), the rear seats fold on a 60/40 split and can be lowered from levers in the boot. The aperture between the rear seats is not particular large, so do not expect the flexibility of hatchback car such as the Ford Mondeo but it does help with the rigidity of the Kia Optima.