I’ve clocked up several hundred miles in the Optima already and have concluded that 1.7-litre diesel engine is quite capable enough of moving such a big car sufficiently well.
There is, of course, only one engine choice – no 2.0 diesel, or even a petrol. And while the Optima feels okay around town, it runs out of steam overtaking at speed. You will have to work the six-speed gearbox to achieve anything useful.
Noise levels are acceptable but once the turbo has kicked in, the Optima starts to scream when you push it along.
The answer? Do what drivers have been doing for decades in this situation, turn up the stereo. The Kia strangely boasts a heavyweight, bass-booming hi-fi that wouldn’t disgrace a supercar. Bizarre.
Remember that annoying little jingle that used to come with the Intel Pentium? Every time we had a computer advert on TV, it blurted out and became stuck in our minds.
The Kia Optima has a pointless jingle – except it’s not part of a television ad but every bloody time you put the key in the ignition. That’s right, this is a car that plays a ditty when you climb inside.
Now, perhaps if the owner could add his or her own piece of music that would be cool. I would go for Fanfare for the Common Man, by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Except my Kia in Korea has opted for a four second slice of Europop instead that is annoying the hell out of me after just two days of our test.
I have a friend who is selling Hyundai because he simple can’t cope with the electronic handbrake. I would be slapping my Optima on Autotrader tomorrow just to avoid listening to the music in my Kia saloon….