Our Fleet Test Drive: Kia Optima - 9th Report
11 July 2012
Author: Guy Bird
Working out just how far Kia has come with the Optima can be tricky in isolation, so we've sampled one of its rivals - the well-regarded Peugeot 508 2.0 HDi 140 Allure - for direct comparison.
Style is a subjective matter, but parked side by side for our photoshoot I'd be happy with either. The fleet-spec diesel powertrains are remarkably similar too, Kia's 134hp 1.7 CRDi six-speed all but matching Peugeot's 140hp 2.0 HDi, although recent tweaks to the latter in view of the April 2012-13 tax year BIK changes now give it a slight edge. The Optima offers 57.6mpg and 128g/km CO2 (now 19% BIK) versus the 508's 61.4mpg and 119g/km (17%). However, to get a spec akin to the Optima's 2 Tech, you would have to spend another £2000 with Peugeot.
The 508's ride is better but its gearing is too long to be comfortable round town and the gearbox notchy with it. The Optima's box is smoother, although this car's manual handbrake has proved troublesome versus the 508's electric one. Overall, the differences are slim, but the Kia impresses for costs - the Optima scores 51.7ppm vs. the 508's 57.8ppm - which confirms that the new Korean kid on the block is a real contender from head to heart.
|Kia Optima 1.7 CRDi 2 Tech (manual)|
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||38.1mpg|
|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|
|Boot space ||505 litres|
|Why we’re running it||To see if Kia really |
can mix-it with the
fleet’s big boys
|Positive||Smart looks, spacious, |
|Negative||Small function niggles |
to iron out
|*Before options fitted: Metallic paint £475|