LeasePlan Review – Kia Optima 1.7 CRDI GT Line
- LeasePlan Special Offer: €383 P/M
- Price: €28,251 - €35,950 (Price tested €35,950)
- 0-100kph : 9.8 Seconds
- Power: 139 bhp
- Torque: 340 nm
- Top Speed: 203 km/h
- Motor Tax: A3 €190 per annum
Kia has come a long way in the past ten years offering a vehicle in almost every segment from a small hatchback to an executive saloon. Gone are the boxy superminis with grey interiors and in is a stylish design offering good value for money. Boasting an enormous Irish dealership network of thirty five, you’re never far from Kia care. For even more peace of mind, the Kia warranty is one of the best in industry offering 7 year’s or 150,000km (unlimited km’s for the first 3 years). From day one to end the parts and labour are covered by this comprehensive warranty. Rivalling long established players in the saloon segment such as the Insignia, Mondeo, Passat and Superb the Optima has its work cut out but how does it compare?
Regarding the exterior Kia are off to a good start. The Chief Design Officer is German Peter Schreyer, most famously known for his input to the original Audi TT. From the front, Kia’s signature large grille and headlights fuse together proposing an aggressive and smart front end. From the side the rounded and prominent rear door line produces a coupe like effect and masks the vehicles length very well. The vehicle tested had GT Line bumpers, side skirts and alloy wheels which definitely denote a sportier characteristic.
Moving inside the Optima, the dashboard layout is logical and very intuitive, though the sheer amount of buttons on the steering wheel took some time to get used too. Build quality is on par with rivals like the Mondeo and Passat but sometimes feels absent in design prowess. The GT Line trim is exceptionally well equipped; highlights include full leather upholstery and a 530 watt Harmon Kardon sound system offering astonishing audio quality through 10 speakers and added depth from the inbuilt subwoofer. Even in entry level EX7 trim the equipment is generous including satellite navigation, reverse camera, Bluetooth, keyless entry, push button start and USB charge points to name but a few. Rear head, shoulder and leg room was surprising. Easily on par with the class leading Skoda Superb. Boot space is impressive at 510 Litres but lesser than the Mondeo’s 550 Litres and much smaller than the Superb’s enormous 652 Litres.
To drive, the Optima is very relaxing. The suspension is well dampened without being lazy. The steering has good weight at speed but at slower speeds it feels light. The lightness makes parking extremely easy, the steering rack is electronically variable so lock to lock can be achieved in one turn of the steering wheel. The engine pulls well offering 139bhp and 340nm of torque although can become a little loud as it gets up the revs. Fuel economy was good offering 5.3L/100km on motorway/B Roads and 5.9L/100 km in town.
Good value for money and competent motorway cruiser. Exceptional warranty offers peace of mind.