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Kia Optima Platinum (2011)
Our Optima test car drew plenty of admiring looks and compliments for its handsome body lines, European feel and quality finish to the interior plus a standard features list that would shame many expensive prestige brands.
The fact it’s a Kia and has a sub-$37,000 price-tag caused surprise too.
The Optima Platinum shares basic platform and drivetrain with Hyundai’s i45, but undercuts the top-specification i45 Premium by $2000 and provides extra standard features.
Kia has chosen initially to offer Optima in one specification only, the premium Platinum model. A notable omission from the standard fit-out is sat nav, though the company promises one sometime in 2011.
The cabin has a pleasing ambience, controls are all nicely laid out and space is good, though headroom in the centre rear is tight. The boot has generous proportions but unfortunately the hinges intrude. The stylish 18” alloys suit the car well but their broad machined face looks vulnerable to kerbing by careless drivers.
The 2.4-litre engine mates to a six-speed auto and the combination proves smooth and capable under most conditions.
Thanks to local development work, Optima proved a substantially more accomplished handler than cousin Hyundai. Road shock intruding through the steering blotted its copybook though.
Price, standard equipment and safety features, styling, pleasant to drive
Foot operated park brake, steering road shock, currently supply limited
Dual climate control, 18” alloys (five), xenon headlamps plus cornering lamps, Infinity audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs, reversing camera, rear park sensors, heated power front seats with driver comfort access system, cooled driver’s seat, leather trim, keyless entry/starting, electro-chromatic rear vision mirror, sunroof, bluetooth
Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist (EBA), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TCS), hill-start assist control (HAC), front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, active front headrests, LED daytime running lights
||Medium Under $50,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
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||2.4-litre, DOHC petrol, 4-cyl
||148 kW @ 6300 rpm
||250 Nm @ 4250 rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||10.4 sec (average, as tested)
|Braking from 80 km/h
||26.7 m (average, as tested
||7.9 litres/100 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.