2018 Kia Optima Review
Car Tested: 2018 Kia Optima; Road Test No. 1019 Test Location: Delhi, NCR
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 40 lakhs (est.)
The Kia Optima scores high on style, tech and space but isn’t engaging to drive
Kia Motors has been in the news ever since it bombarded the 2018 Auto Expo with an array of cars ranging from hatchbacks, SUVs, MPVs, crossovers and even sedans. While the company hasn’t yet officially confirmed the line-up for India, it isn’t a cliché to expect a compact SUV, a premium hatchback and probably a mid-size sedan because these are the hotly contested segments in the country right now. However, to build the brand image, we could see some premium (read offbeat) cars from the Korean carmaker and that is where the Optima plays a rather vital role. The Kia Optima, if launched in India, will rub its shoulders against the Germans, the Volkswagen Passat and the Skoda Superb. Is it good enough to attract Indians from the Germans? We find out.
Motor Quest: The Kia Optima has been on sale internationally since 2000 and is currently in its fourth generation avatar. Sharing its platform with the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, the saloon has sold over 3 lakh units globally.
Exteriors – The Kia Optima boasts of an understated yet clean, beautiful and an elegant design just like its rivals. Needless to say, it looks distinctive too. The signature Tiger Nose grille is flanked by large sweptback headlights with dual projectors and LED DRLs. We particularly like the shape of the LED DRLs. Move to the side and the dual-tone 18-inch alloy wheels add some bling to an otherwise plain profile. The door handles are finished in chrome and there’s some just below the doors as well. The sloping roofline (could remind you of the Jaguar XJ) neatly integrates into the rear and the slim LED tail-lights look gorgeous, to say the least. The rear bumper gets a dual-tone treatment just to cut off some visual bulk. Overall, the Kia Optima is a great looker and will definitely turn heads wherever it goes.
Interiors – The cabin of the Kia Optima is draped in all black with subtle silver accents on the steering and the centre console giving it a sporty appeal. The 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel gets a plethora of buttons and behind it is a 2-pod instrument dial with a rectangular MID display. There is a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but the screen size is small. Expect a bigger infotainment system in the India-spec model. The materials used inside are top quality and the cabin of the Optima is definitely a nice place to be in. In terms of features, you get push-button start, wireless charging, powered front seats with heating and cooling function, heated steering, heated ORVMs, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof and a 6-speaker audio system. Phew!
The Kia Optima doesn’t disappoint at all when it comes to space in the cabin
The front seats are plush and feel comfortable. At the rear, there’s acres of legroom and shoulder room. Despite the sloping roofline, there is decent headroom and the under-thigh support is good as well. To pamper the rear occupants, Kia has thrown in manual sunblinds, rear AC vent and even charging sockets. The boot is huge enough and can easily swallow more than a family’s weekend luggage.