The Kia Optima executive saloon does not sell in quantity in the UK despite its pleasingly distinctive looks, but in the US this is the brand’s best-selling model, the company shifting 160,000 last year.
So replacing it is a big deal. With such a successful formula it’s not surprise to see the continuation of the same design theme, but an aura of greater quality in the detailing. That’s especially true inside, where the cabin quality takes a useful and necessary jump in materials quality.
A significantly more rigid body, reworked suspension, the addition of a downsized 1.6 turbo petrol engine and heaps of detail improvements have produced a car that certainly attracted a swarm of interest on the Kia stand, as might be expected given its popularity here. It’s not quite as strikingly distinctive as the outgoing model, but it would be a surprise if it isn’t a much better drive.