2007 Kia Optima | new car review

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 by

Built in Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in South Korea, this second-generation Optima sits on a unique platform, no longer shared with Hyundai’s Sonata. Kia says it took cues from European styling and lengthened the Optima’s wheelbase, although the increase is less than an inch. A sleeker design lends a more upscale line to this midsize sedan and allows for more interior space.

The all-new Optima was introduced in 2006 to the Middle East market. The biggest improvement of the new is its exterior look. The past model was too plain, but with the new one the look has been spruced up a bit. The Optima now differs more substantially from the Sonata, thanks to the use of less-expensive MacPherson struts in front, as opposed to the Sonata’s multilink suspension. Like the current Sonata, the Optima is also longer and taller than the previous model and has a longer wheelbase.

Nothing feels cheap. Knobs and dials feel substantial and the gauge cluster looks more upscale with blue and white lighting, instead of the previous yellow/green scheme. The leather is supple and even the standard seat cloth is soft and appealing. The seats are comfortable, yet look like they lack lateral support. Safety features include adjustable headrests and six airbags, including full side curtains.

Front headroom has increased by almost an inch and front legroom by about half an inch. Though the overall length of the car has only increased a notch, Kia has managed to add an inch and a half of legroom for rear passengers, enough to match the Camry and out-knee the Accord and Mazda 6.

Two trims are available, the economy-minded LX and the premium EX, each with either an inline four-cylinder or V6 engine. The absolute base model is the 2.0-litre four-cylinder LX with a five-speed manual transmission. This is the only trim level that offers a manual transmission and allows Kia to offer the Optima at well under the AED50,000 mark.

Body TypeSedan
Price (in AED)48,500-70,000
Engine Size (litre)2.02.7
Power (bhp)145188
Torque (Nm)193250
TransmissionA/MA/M

Also look at: Hyundai Sonata, Ford Mondeo, Toyota Camry

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