2013 Kia Optima SXL 2.4 litre petrol

Summary:

Big bang for value, and loaded with options

Faults:

Nothing, all is good so far.

General Comments:

The ride is a little firm, and as mentioned in other reviews, tyre noise intrudes into the cabin; apparently replacing the default tyres resolves this issue.

I find the steering is weighted well, but there is no center feedback. An example is when turning into a 90 degree corner and straightening on the exit, you have to correct slightly back to center, whereas on other cars the steering would return back to the center by itself.

The SLX comes with most of the fruit: daylight driving lights, fold up mirrors, light washers, fog lights front and rear, interior foot well lights, and light vanity mirrors on both sides under the sun visors.

It has a high quality Infinity sound system with decent bass, a high quality sat nav with great options (works better than my new Tom Tom), and options to play MP3s from AUX, USB, and iPhone (I have a 64 Gig with tons of MP3s). It also has Bluetooth MP3 streaming from a smartphone, and good sync to a phone for calls and phone book display on the main screen.

Great dual climate control air con front and rear.

Memory driver's seat, full electric.

All windows are electric.

Roomy cabin, with very spacious back seats.

Leather steering wheel and gear stick.

Shift paddles work to a certain extent, but no DSG.

Reversing camera is a great addition; very clear with colored guide indicators for backing up (I find that you tend to rely on the camera too much, and have to remember to use the mirrors and look around when reversing).

The instrument cluster's three dials are clear, well positioned and fuss free.

The wiper and indicator stalks are well weighted and easy to use.

The cruise control is simple to use with a great preset speed option.

A left footrest is a good addition.

The leather and cloth combination for the seats looks great, and when seated it's comfortable.

The radio has AM / FM and a CD player.

The split rear seats, both can be moved forward to increase boot space, and the boot space is quite large.

It has full sized mag spare wheel, and all alloy mag wheels.

ABS brakes, plus traction control which you can turn off - I find the traction control to be quite intrusive, sometimes actually decelerating the throttle response. When there's a truck bearing down on you when pulling out into main stream traffic, this can be a little off putting (this is in the dry). When the traction control is switched off, this is not a problem, but I am aware of this issue and drive accordingly (my Ford Mondeo was worse).

Driving offers reasonable acceleration - I believe 0-100 km in 7.6 seconds.

There is good visibility out of the front, but there is a slight blind spot towards the rear, between the rear view mirror and side mirrors (most cars have this blind spot as well).

The official fuel consumption is 7.9 L / 100 km; as I put more km on, I find I am getting better average KM (around 6.9 - 7.4 L / 100), but I do drive like a granny to get these figures (in Eco mode).

It has remote boot open and central locking.

In Australia, KIA offer 5 years full warranty, 5 years of capped servicing, and 5 years of road side assistance.

I'm very pleased with the car, It has the noisy tyres and center steering, but the options far outweigh these slight issues. I believe the 2014 models have addressed these problems.

I paid AUS $23990 ex demo; it's a lot of car for the price (5000 km).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2014

2004 Kia Optima LX V6 2.5 petrol

Summary:

True value for money

Faults:

Nothing major, the headlight (left) had a bit of moisture. The dealership replaced the whole headlight assembly free of charge as it was covered by warranty.

General Comments:

I bought this car brand new from the dealership at about two thirds the price of a Honda Accord. The car is really fantastic, the pick-up and power surge of the V6 engine is just right to get out of tight situations.

The feel inside could be improved though! It feels a bit too plastic. Driver seat is just about comfortable, not too plush. There is ample legroom in both the front and the rear seats. The boot, surprisingly is large.

Styling and body panels are obviously borrowed from Hyundai Sonata, but who cares. Interestingly the profile (especially the silver colored car) looks a wee bit like the Merc C200 Kompressor and quite often people have asked me if I own a Merc (a flattering thought)

The dealership here in NZ have been extremely helpful.

Overall a great car to own at bargain basement prices.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2005