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Kia has always floundered in this sector, but no more. The Optima is good enough to forgive the so-so name...

Good stuff

Brave styling, sturdy build and a comfy nature

Bad stuff

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

Overview

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.

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Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

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

The Rivals

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