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Kia Optima GT

by John Ewing,reviewed June 2017

We are looking forward to driving the 272kW, 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 rear-wheel-drive Kia Stinger when it arrives here at the end of the year.
The Optima GT is a very different animal to what the Stinger promises to be, but we were more than happy to reacquaint ourselves over a month of testing with what, arguably, is one of the benchmark medium-size cars.

A few extras – LED headlights, upgraded sports seats and an electronic sound generator (it artificially enhances the engine note and pipes the sound to the cabin) – were added for model year 2017 to Optima GT late last year.

The price also rose $500.

It’s not the cheapest car in its class, but it certainly delivers an impressively-long list of standard equipment, driver assistance technologies and safety features at an affordable price. 

There’s also the practicality of a full-size alloy spare stashed under the floor board of the capacious boot.

Our test car’s sharp looks drew compliments from several people, and inside is equally handsome with a well laid-out, user-friendly cabin.

It’s a pleasant place to be, with the comfortable leather-trimmed front seats offering good shaping and powered adjustability, plus heating and cooling.

The latter was a real boon through the long swelter we endured over summer. A handy feature is the inductive (wireless) charging pad for compatible smartphones.

There’s a high standard of finish throughout, though the interior, pleasing as it is, doesn’t quite muster the premium look of a Mazda6, with some areas of hard-looking plastic trim visible.

Kia back the car with an industry-leading, seven year/unlimited km warranty.

The 2.0-litre, turbo-charged direct-injection petrol engine not only sounds the part, courtesy of the new sound generator unit, but delivers satisfyingly solid urge through the rev range. 

It can be a bit thirsty though, especially around town or if you keep the right boot into it. 

Kia’s own six-speed auto gets the power to the front wheels. Shifts are quick, smooth and well-timed.

The Michelin Pilot Sport tyres provide good grip levels giving it a secure and planted feel, while the steering is well-weighted and faithful to driver inputs.

Through the twists and turns it feels dynamically adept. Kia has achieved a nice compromise between a firm, but still comfortable, ride and sportier handling. 

The Optima GT was easy to live with and I was a touch sad handing the key back.

Kia Optima GT


Well-equipped, excellent all-round package, styling, finish.


Fuel consumption, boot hinges intrude, rear head space.

Car Details

Vehicle make Kia
Vehicle model Optima GT
Year 2017
Current price range $44490 - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars

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Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Warranty 7yr/unlimited km
Engine 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol 4-cyl.
Max power 180kW
Max torque 350Nm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 6.9 seconds
Standing 400m 14.9 seconds
Driving wheels Front
Fuel type 91 RON ULP
Economy ADR 8.3 litres/100km
CO2 Emissions 199g/km

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.