After reporting a lot of love for the Optima recently, I have to announce a few minor niggles. The first – squeaky brakes – could well be specific to our car but is still tiresome and noticeable in summer when the windows are down. But the second might be a wider design flaw. No one’s ever said I have hands like a bear but on a number of occasions I’ve caught my knuckles on the manual handbrake when it’s in the fully up position trying to locate reverse gear. Were the designers expecting most models to take an electric park brake (not available in the UK) I wonder?

Kia Optima 1.7 CRDi 2 Tech (manual)
Mileage 4427
Claimed combined
Our average consumption 44.0mpg
P11D price £21,640*
Model price range £19,595-£25,995
CO2 (tax) 128g/km/18%
BIK 20/40% per month £65/£130
Service interval 12,500 or 12months
Insurance group 17
Warranty 7yrs/100,000 miles
Boot space 505 litres
Engine size/power 1685cc/134hp
Top speed/0-62mph 125mph/10.2secs
Why we’re running it To see if Kia really
can mix-it with the
fleet’s big boys
Positive Smart exterior, excellent
interior quality
Negative Small function niggles
to iron out
*Before options fitted: Metallic paint £475