IT WAS NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN

Kia Optima 2.
Kia Optima 2.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed my first taste of Kia’s Optima before it went on sale here in February.

So I was glad to get behind the wheel of another one for a few days recently and my impressions haven’t changed – it’s a super new addition to the family saloon sector.

Kia Optima 1.

Kia Optima 1.

The Optima is as stylish as any of the opposition and company car drivers will feel good about this model sitting in their driveway.

They’ll also feel pretty smug as they cruise quietly and smoothly along the motorway in a car that has a top speed of 125mph – and returns 57.6mpg on the combined cycle.

There is no need to ponder over what size of engine you want – the Optima comes to the UK with just the one choice.

It’s a very good one at that – a 134bhp 1.7-litre turbodiesel unit that pulls away smartly with its standstill to 62mph time of 10.2 seconds and delivers the power well through a slick six-speed manual gearbox. You can also get an automatic version for an extra £500.

There are three trim levels - 1, 2, and 3 - with prices ranging from £19,595 to £25,995 and the entry level model’s standard spec is high, as it includes alloy wheels, air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, leather steering wheel, Bluetooth with voice recognition, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control and speed limiter.

It’s fair to say that you won’t have to add any options to the Optima once you decide on what spec you’re after.

The roomy interior – it will seat five adults in comfort – is just as stylish as the exterior and there’s a quality feel to it.

Road grip and handling couldn’t be faulted during another enjoyable driving experience with the Optima.

You even get a nice little musical note accompanied by a ‘welcome’ message when you switch on the engine – and a ‘thank you see you again’ when you switch off.

Kia’s new flagship is a model you will see a lot of now it’s in the showrooms.