Kia’s modern sedan, the Optima, is luxurious. How luxurious? So luxurious that when I invited a friend who owns a BMW 3 Series to check out the Optima, he lost himself feeling the fabric and leather. It is a Korean car that cocoons you in comfort.
What is the Optima?
It is one of Kia’s most successful global models, and particularly in the developed markets, where this sedan has emerged as a worthy competitor to some of the world’s most iconic cars.
Will it be launched in India?
Like the Carnival, the Optima, too, is likely to be part of the “diverse portfolio of India-made vehicles” that Kia is planning over the longer term.
Which engines power it?
Globally, it is available in many petrol powertrains—1.6-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre. I drove the one powered by the 2.0-litre petrol, which produces peak power of 205PS (202bhp) and torque of 375Nm. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
How big/plush is it?
It’s the size of Honda Accord Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and the now-discontinued Hyundai Sonata. There is enough space for five people to travel in considerable luxury. The plastic quality and the fabric used is very good.
How does it drive?
The Optima is quick. It goes from 0-100kph in just 9.4 seconds and its top speed is 192kph. NVH levels are decent.
Should it come to India?
The Accord Hybrid, because it’s imported and thus expensive, doesn’t sell much. The Sonata has been discontinued, while the made-in-India Camry Hybrid is able to find some buyers. The Optima, if launched, might be priced more than Rs 30 lakh, even if it’s made in India, thus entering a segment where a lot of people buy into a brand (BMW, Audi) rather than a product.