Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Kia Optima - 16th report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Kia Optima - 16th report

Date: 03 April 2013

In the previous report I described how I instantly warmed to the Optima's no-frills nature.

It's not only the cabin's straightforward nature that won me over, though. The day before I snatched the keys to the Kia, I had spent the night with a BMW M5. That sounds like I'm gloating and it's about to sound as though I'm complaining about access to such exotic vehicles - but hear me out. The M5 was wonderful to drive, but it's also ridiculously complicated.

When I got home, I went to move the gear selector (it's an auto) into Park, and discovered that Park did not exist. The ignition and headlights wouldn't turn off, nor would the doors lock until I found the elusive gear. What's more, it was 9pm in the evening and I was busting for the loo.

I eventually worked it out after 10 minutes thumbing through the owners' manual (just leave it in gear when you stop, don't select neutral like I did) but it was a frustrating exercise and highlights how over-complicated many modern cars have become. It's this sort of thing that makes the Kia's simplicity a pleasure to live with. It isn't short of creature comforts, and you don't need a PhD to park it.

Kia Optima 1.7 CRDi 2 Tech
Mileage 4782 miles
Our average consumption 45.1mpg
Forecast CPM 52.3p
Actual CPM 53.3p


  • Refreshingly easy to use
  • Not quite M-car levels of performance