Kia Optima: A 'bargain' company car

  • Tax burden for a 40% payer is £138 a month
  • PCP 48-month deal will cost you around £300 month
  • Official 56.7mpg and generous kit list are attractive

You could describe the Kia Optima as ‘functional’ and although that sounds pejorative, it isn’t meant to be.

I’ve been running this car, a 1.7 CRDi 2 Tech model, since April and it’s proving to be a rather dependable and no-nonsense vehicle. It's comfortable, easy to drive and relatively frugal.

Kia, anxious to take on the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, is aiming this particular model squarely at the company car driver and it’s easy to why.

It fits the profile, if you like. It’s well kitted out and offers low emissions as well as a strong claimed average fuel economy of 57.6mpg. That makes it a good candidate for company car drivers who are thinking outside of the box and who also want to save a few pennies here and there.  

It’s practical too: you can easily get three sets of golf clubs in the boot without having to pull the rear seats down and if you do want to load longer items now and then it'll do that too.

Of course the letterbox-sized hole in the rear, and the fact that this is not a hatchback like the Mondeo, means that it’s not entirely suited for trips to the dump or small-scale removal jobs.

In terms of equipment it’s just the job. The Tech 2 trim offers part-leather upholstery, a 12-speaker Infinity sound system (which, with a centre speaker, an external 11-channel amplifier and eight-inch subwoofer, is very good by the way), a seven-inch touchscreen sat nav and integrated reversing camera.

You don’t really need much more than that. You could go for the ‘3’ trim that offers a panoramic sunroof, full-leather upholstery, parallel park assist and a few other bits and bobs but really the ‘2’ is enough.

But what’s the financial burden if you go for a Kia Optima in this trim?

The P11d value is £21,640 and with CO2 emissions of 128g/km it’s in the 19% Benefit-in-Kind tax rating. If you are a 40% tax payer you pay £137 a month into Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs account but you can halve that to £68.50 if you are on a 20% rate.

That isn’t bad at all bearing in mind you get a decently sized, stylish four-door saloon to cruise about in.

Also, when you consider that you will pay quite a lot more for a PCP deal then you have to conclude that the Optima is a bargain choice as a company car.

New car broker Broker 4 Cars, which is well known for offering decent PCP deals, is offering exactly the same car for £296 a month on a 48-month deal with a 10% deposit. Clearly then there is no point in opting out of a company car scheme on this basis.

What do you think of the Kia Optima? Get your opinions published in our Owners' Reviews section here

Current mileage: 9,450 miles

Average mpg: 47.4mpg