For The Kia Optima is a good-looking family saloon that has lots of space, loads of equipment and a long warranty.
Against The unsettled ride and poor refinement just aren’t up to muster, especially when other family cars perform so well in these key areas. The cabin could feel more sophisticated, too, and some versions look pricey.
The Kia Optima certainly has its strengths, but it also has some big weaknesses. Most rivals fulfil the family car role better, and some for less money.
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There are no engine choices for the Kia Optima – all get the 134bhp 1.7-litre turbodiesel. A six-speed manual comes as standard, but there's an optional six-speed automatic ‘box, too. This isn’t as clean or as economical as the manual, so running costs will be higher.
Trim-wise, our pick is the entry-level 1 car. It provides alloys, air-con, powered windows and mirrors, cruise control, remote locking and Bluetooth, while keeping the price reasonable.
2 models come in two flavours – both have climate control, automatic lights and wipers, part-leather upholstery, powered and heated seats and reversing camera, but 2 Tech versions have a 12-speaker stereo with sat-nav, while 2 Luxe models swap this for styling touches and a panoramic roof. Both add a considerable amount to the price, though. 3 models full leather trim and keyless entry.
Like all Kias, the Optima also comes with the reassurance of a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
The cheapest Optima is our favourite version in the range. It comes well equipped and looks great. However, we’d still point you in the direction of one of the Optima’s many family car rivals.