2010 Kia Opirus | new car review

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 by
2010 Kia Oprius









Before the likes of the Hyundai Genesis, the Korean carmakers had already tried to crack the executive car market.

And one of the attempts at wooing cash-strapped buyers away from the BMW, Mercedes and Cadillac showrooms was with this – the . Unfortunately, the original car that was launched back in the early 2000s wasn’t really that much of a compelling option – its challenging looks and modicum performance credentials didn’t really find much favour with anyone willing to part with their cash.

However, the latest version, launched in 2007 seeks to redress that problem. The styling has been overhauled with a more European feel to the design – though we expect its imminent freshening up from Kia’s designer extraordinaire Peter Schryer will help matters even further. The engine is a rather potent 3.7-litre V6 that marries well with the five-speed automatic gearbox – changes are smooth and unfussed and the Opirus has plenty of performance.

Where the Opirus really differs and shows its non-premium roots is that it’s front-wheel drive, whereas the more established executive players are rear- or four-wheel drive. It might not seem like much, but it’s enough to put many buyers off. That and the Kia badge doesn’t carry enough cachet.

Still, the Opirus remains to be a comfortable and spacious car for the family buyer who’s looking for something a little different. For its size and equipment levels, the Opirus is extremely well-priced too and while the interior might not blow you away with its equipment or fancy materials used, it has a back-to-basics honesty about it that’s severed lacking in many of its rivals.

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