fi nd that in any car with the ambition to become a staple of the fl eet market, there is only one place to start, and that’s with the
driver’s seat. Not in the ‘let’s go for a drive context’, but in lowering yourself into it, and fi nding out how much money has been spent. Some cars have fl at, hard, bolsterless chairs that you can tell within minutes will not be a caring companion over tens of thousands of miles. In other words, the manufacturer has skimped, saving cash for fl ashier lights or more expensive alloys.
In the Optima, the driver’s seat is perfect: deep, inviting, supportive and comfortable. Attention to detail, money cleverly spent in the right areas. It’s a good start. I’ll admit, before my ergonomic exploration, I had formed some other opinions. Firstly, that this is a staggeringly attractive car. In a sector hamstrung by the proportional requirements of comfortable carriage for four or fi ve people and plenty of bootspace, the Optima’s designers have managed to accommodate these factors best without compromising on its looks.
Despite being a large, commodious car, it is sleek and athletic in profi le, and from the front bold and handsome. Even at the rear, often the aesthetic stumbling block of D-sector hatches and saloons, the coupé-esque lines sweep into elegant metal work and stylishly winged rear lights.
Numbers look good
“The Optima drives and rides very smoothly, is quiet, extremely comfortable and has a spacious boot. When you look at the prices and the specifi cation compared to its competition, the numbers do look really good.” LERATO BARRETT,
Manufacturer Account Manager, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions
Ticks the boxes
“As a business car it ticks all the boxes, and it really is very well spec’d indeed – in fact I would say it is better than any of the competition and even the premium brands, which will be an important thing for its business chances. I’m very fussy about comfort, and it is very comfortable too.” PAUL HAMMOND, Fleet Manager, Aspire Defence Services
Good build quality
“The Optima is massive inside and, with a good build quality and smooth driving experience, it really is up there with the best in the segment. What will also help it is that Kia is a fantastic fi rm to work with, meaning this car has every chance in the fl eet market.” SCOTT KENNELLY,