GO
GoAutoLogo
MENU

Make / Model Search

New models - Kia - Optima - sedan range

First Oz drive: Kia Optimises its flagship sedan

Top-spec: Korea’s latest medium sedan will be in short supply in Australia.

Kia’s all-new Optima sedan arrives Down Under in one luxury specification

Gallery

Click to see larger images

22 Jan 2011

KIA’s classy new Optima is now on sale in Australia, where the burgeoning Korean brand’s all-new medium sedan is available in just one highly specified ‘Platinum’ grade priced at $36,990 plus on-road costs.

As we reported when we first drove the Optima in Dubai last October, the belated replacement for Kia’s slow-selling Magentis combines coupe-like styling and impressive refinement with top-class efficiency with Kia’s generous five-year/unlimited mileage warranty.

Representing an outstanding new alternative in Australia’s highly competitive medium sedan segment, the Optima is based on the same new Hyundai-Kia group global mid-size platform that underpins Hyundai’s i45 sedan and forthcoming i40 wagon.

The otherwise well sorted i45 was criticised after its 2010 launch for its sub-standard steering and ride/handling combination compared to accomplished rivals like the popular Mazda6, Honda Accord Euro, Ford Mondeo and even Toyota’s top-selling Camry, Hyundai responded quickly with suspension damping revisions for the MY11 version, which GoAuto is yet to drive.

While the i45 scored top marks for design, which raised the bar for Hyundai passenger cars to a surprising new level, the Optima goes one step further on both counts, offering an even sharper European-style interior and exterior design and unique steering and suspension systems developed in Australia for local conditions.

Like the i45, the Optima - sales of which will be limited to just 1000 vehicles due to strong global demand, leading to delivery delays of up to five months – is powered by the Korean auto giant’s new 2.4-litre Theta II GDI (gasoline direct injection) four-cylinder petrol engine, matched exclusively with the car-maker’s new six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters.

At less than $37,000, the Optima Platinum is priced significantly lower than similarly specified versions of its most direct rivals, including Hyundai’s own $38,990 i45 Premium flagship.

For now, all Australian Optimas come standard with 18-inch flush-faced alloy wheels, black-bezelled Xenon headlights with washers and static cornering lights, foglights, LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, wing mirror-integrated LED side repeater lights, twin chromed outboard exhaust outlets and chromed door-handles.

The luxury theme continues inside, where standard Optima Platinum features include full black leather trim, dual-zone climate-control, a reversing camera with colour interior mirrors display, rear parking sensors, speed-sensing automatic door locks, mood lighting on the centre console and doors, woodgrain gearshift and door switch surrounds, six airbags including side curtains, active front head restraints and seatbelt reminders for all five occupants.

Also standard is eight-way power seat adjustment with two memory positions and ventilation for the driver, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats, a 3.5-inch colour TFT instrument panel display for the seven-function trip computer, eight-speaker Infinity six-CD sound system with MP3, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, rear glass-mounted aerial, keyless push-button starting, remote central locking and a three-piece full-width panoramic sunroof.

Rounding out the extensive standard equipment list are illuminated door scuffs, a four-spoke leather-clad steering wheel with audio, a large cooled glovebox, cruise and phone controls, plus an ‘Eco’ button that is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by up to 7.5 per cent by optimising air-conditioning and drivetrain power use.

Metallic paint ($450) will be the only option available for the Optima Platinum, which can be had in seven exterior paint colours. Satellite-navigation is not yet available, but is expected to become an option later this year.

Motivating a new chassis that features a 75mm longer wheelbase than the Magentis’ at 2795mm but still weighs a relatively solid 1475kg, the 148kW/250Nm engine accelerates the Optima to 100km/h in nine seconds (down from 9.5 seconds for the 132kW/231Nm 2.4-litre Magentis).

Overall, the new Optima – a name used for Kia’s mid-size model in Australia between 2001 and 2006 – is also longer (4845mm), wider (1835mm), lower (1455mm) and more commodious than before, with a sizeable 505 litres of luggage space.

Despite offering more power almost all its competitors except the Accord Euro, combined fuel consumption of just 7.9L/100km (and CO2 emissions of 189g/km – the same as the i45) is down from 8.1L/100km.

As we’ve reported, the Optima’s new platform comprises larger brakes than before, along with MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension design with separate coil springs and dampers.

Kia expects the Optima, which features a sleek aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.29Cd, to receive a maximum five-star crash safety rating in Australia, the US (where it went on sale to critical acclaim last year) and Europe, where sales commence in April.

2011 Kia Optimapricing:
2.4 Platinum (a)$36,990

The Road to Recovery podcast series


Quick tests

Read more

GoAuto can help you buy a new Optima

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Kia models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here