Used Kia Optima (2012 - 2015) Review

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 02 Sep 2014
3.5
Kia has bitten the bullet by choosing to throw its hat in the four-door family saloon ring, a crowded market if ever there was one. The Korean brand has modest sales expectations though: it says it'll be happy if it sells 1,600 Optimas a year.
Kia Optima (12-15)
  • Stylish
  • Frugal
  • Good grip
  • Long warranty
  • Strong projected residuals
  • Overly firm ride
  • Poor steering feeling
  • A few cheap-looking interior plastics

New price range:

£19,595 - £27,170

Used price range:

£3,181 - £9,555

View all used prices

Summary

Parkers Rating:

3.5 out of 5

Kia has bitten the bullet by choosing to throw its hat in the four-door family saloon ring, a crowded market if ever there was one. The Korean brand has modest sales expectations though: it says it'll be happy if it sells 1,600 Optimas a year. If it does, it won't be discounting unlike Ford and Vauxhall - the giants of this particular category. At first glance, you might reason that Kia is being unnecessarily coy about its ability to shift this car in bigger numbers since it cuts an impressive dash, both when it's parked up and on the road. Even on our initial test drive, heads were regularly turned. It's only when you look a little further into the Optima's credentials that you realise that the targets set for this attractive four-door are sensible, as well as realistic. Traditionally, Kia is seen as a value brand. While you might consider that applicable for the Optima, compare its prices and specifications like-for-like with the Vauxhall Insignia, Mazda6, Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb models and it's fair to say it is in the mix, but not quite the bargain territory you’d expect. Kia isn’t likely to discount it either, so in the dealership your haggling skills will remain largely redundant. That's not the point however: about 80% of Optimas sold in the UK will go to fleets as it is available with just one engine - a frugal 1.7-litre diesel engine. Thus, the aim is clear. This is a car aimed at company car drivers sick of Ford and Vauxhalls. It's not unreasonable to expect that they might choose to defect to the Optima because, well... it looks nice. Simple tactic, but will it be effective? Read on to find out.

Parkers Ratings

Overall

3.5 out of 5

Performance

3 out of 5

Handling

3.5 out of 5

Comfort

3 out of 5

Practicality

3.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

3.5 out of 5

Safety

4 out of 5

Reliability

5 out of 5

Running costs

4 out of 5

Green credentials

4 out of 5

Buying used

3 out of 5

Selling

4 out of 5

Equipment

4 out of 5

What owners say...

 The rear legroom, I'm 6" 3' and need the seat almost as far back as possible. The rear passengers have plenty of place and I'm convinced there is more space than my old BMW 5 series.  

5 out of 5

Colin Shipton ,   17 Oct 2014    ... read more

 General space is excellent. Passengers comment about the limo like space in the rear.  

5 out of 5

Benjamin Cowell ,   22 Feb 2014    ... read more

 Ipod and phone connectivity, the ability to turn the LED screen off whilst driving at night.  

4 out of 5

Andrew Womack ,   28 Nov 2013    ... read more

See all Owners' Reviews

Next steps

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