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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Kia Optima

Overall verdict
Forget the Magentis, this is a big Kia that's actually appealing. But so too is the cheaper Hyundai i40...


Brave styling, sturdy build and a comfy nature


Ride suffers on the best-looking wheels; it's not all that swift


What is it?

Optima may not be a great name but it’s a damn sight better than what went before: Magentis. This is Kia’s replacement for the dreadfully dreary old square-edged saloon it used to peddle onto unsuspecting pensioners and minicab drivers. It was the epitome of old Kia. This is modern Kia though, and so the Optima is a different deal entirely.

For starters, this is a big Kia saloon you’ll want to be seen in. Sharp lines and an almost Jaguar XJ-ish execution for the C-pillars mean first impressions are wholly positive, and help offset the surprise of discovering this Kia opens, rather than closes, at £20,000. See it in the metal rather than on a spec sheet and you know Kia’s serious.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
1.6 CRDi ISG 2 4dr
10.6s 117g/km 62.8 134 £22,350
The cheapest
1.6 CRDi ISG 2 4dr
10.6s 117g/km 62.8 134 £22,350
The greenest
1.6 CRDi ISG 3 4dr DCT
11.2s 117g/km 64.2 134 £25,790
Continue: Driving