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The fourth-generation Kia Optima has a new look and a new impressive list of standard features in the base model Si.
With a more understated, but perhaps sophisticated, silhouette and a swag of standard features, the new fourth-generationhas made a bold entrance into the mid-sized car market.
As you may recall, the previous-generation Optima was one of the key models offered by ‘new Kia’, a company that for some time now has been making genuinely stylish offerings in multiple classes.
This new one shares its platform and engines with the It’s perhaps more subdued stylistically than before, but remains a handsome alternative to recently updated or all-new offerings such as the , and
All of these cars easily beat the Optima in the sales race last year, making the Kia something of a conquest car, or even a bit of an outsider’s choice.
When you look at it, there’s rarely been a better time to buy a mid-sized sedan — you’re so spoiled for choice with new models right now. Even with price-equivalent medium SUVs such as the stealing more and more sales, offerings such as the Optima have a lot going for them.
Some backstory: We first saw this at the Frankfurt Motor Show late last year, and it launched in Australia in November. Kia Australia has simplified the range — there are just two trim levels on offer, the Si which is our test car here, and the upper-spec GT.
The Si costs $34,490 before on-road costs and the GT is $9500 more. This positions the Optima Si about between the base Sonata Active and mid-range Elite, or between the base Mazda 6 Sport and mid-range Touring… you get the drift.
It’s impressively equipped, though, and scarcely feels like a ‘base’ car.
Standard features include a reverse-view camera with front and rear parking sensors and parking guidelines, HID automatic headlights with high beam assist, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, electric folding mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers, 17-inch Continental tyres and ample safety tech which we’ll detail a few paragraphs down.
On first impressions, the new generation styling is smoother than it used to be, less aggressive with fewer angles. The grille is lower and more streamlined across the front of the car, sweeping up into the slanted headlight housing.
Inside, it feels premium, with a seven-inch touchscreen and multimedia system with navigation. Common sense prevails when it comes to the layout of the buttons on the centre-stack — simple, clear and uncluttered.
You need to use the top line of buttons under the screen to change between radio, media, map, navigation, phone etc, given there’s no home screen or main menu on the display. This is a little unorthodox.
Phone, media and music devices are catered for with USB, auxiliary and 12V outlets in the front. Though the glove box is fairly small, the centre-console bin isn’t too badly sized and offers a comfortably padded top to rest an elbow on.
There are two cupholders (with bonus removable ashtray cup) beside the gearshift which can be hidden away under a sliding cover, there’s a flip-up cover over the nook in front of that, plus water bottle holders with an extra pocket for storage in the doors.
- Dual Front Airbag Package
- Anti-lock Braking
- Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones
- 17 Inch Alloy Wheels
- Brake Assist
- Cruise Control
- Central Locking Remote Control
- Dusk Sensing Headlights
- Electronic Brake Force Distribution
- Electronic Differential Lock
- Electronic Stability Program
- Fog Lights – Front
- Head Airbags
- Engine Immobiliser
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Leather Upholstery
- Multi Function Steering Wheel
- Parking Distance Control Rear
- Power front seats
- Power Mirrors With Indicators
- Power Steering
- Power Windows
- Radio CD with 10 Speakers
- Rain Sensing Wipers
- Seatbelts – Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Drive train: Front Wheel Drive
Air Conditioning: yes
Stock Number: D50292N
Registration Number: 7878678
Seller Licence: 366577