This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Kia Optima (16-19) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The dashboard and control layout is simple and easy to understand. Although it looks robust, however, there are a few flimsy plastics located in between the more upmarket soft-touch materials. Even the leather on the steering wheel feels hard and uninviting.

The suspension is a little too firm, and as a result the car feels unsettled on poorly surfaced roads. Other cars in this segment perform much better as far as ride quality is concerned. The seats are a little flat and there’s not much side support either. We tested the Tech and Luxe versions (see equipment) and both had electrically adjustable seats which meant it was easy to find a decent driving position.

The 1.7-litre engine is a little too vocal when accelerating hard but it’s not unbearable when you reach cruising speeds. We also tested the car on 17-inch and 18-inch alloys. We’d recommend you stick to cars with 17-inch wheels because the ride’s better and you get less road noise coming into the cabin. Wind noise, however, was very well contained in all the models we drove.