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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, April 9, 2016
KIA Optima is a medium large four-door sedan
from South Korea. Importation had been on
and off in the Australian market for several
years from its first introduction in 2001. Then
an all-new model arrived in January 2011
sparked sales and things finally started to take
off in the sales race.
Firstly, the new shape was a work of
automotive art from the company s design
studio headed up by German Peter Schreyer.
Optima suddenly started to grab a lot of visual
attention. The domed upper surface and high
waistline are emphasised by a wide chromed
strip that runs from the base of the A-pillar,
over the upper sections of the doors and ends
at the foot of the C-pillar.
Secondly, buyers were moving away from
large cars in Australia, many to SUVs but
others wanted something that was a size down
on Commodore and Falcon. The fact that
Optima s suspension and steering were tailored
for Australia certainly helped in persuading
Holden and Ford down-sizers to consider the
There s no doubt the Korean car handles
pretty well for what it is, however, fashionably
large alloy wheels and low profile tyres can be
harsh on some rough roads and coarse-chip
surfaces can create quite a bit of tyre noise.
Build quality on these post 2011 Optimas
has improved out of sight when compared with
early Korean cars.
The introduction of Kia s seven year /
unlimited distance warranty in 2014, is
probably a third factor in the car s success.
Check with your local dealer or Kia s head office
to see if the used Optima you re considering is
covered by this.
There s room for four adults in comfort
without any real need to compromise on
legroom. Mum, Dad and three preteen kids
works very nicely.
A deep boot has the capacity to swallow 505
litres of luggage. The rear seat backs dropped
by pulling a lever in the boot.
An Optima station wagon been shown at
motor shows and may make its way downunder.
Power from most Optimas comes form a
2.4-litre four-cylinder engine. Performance is
good without being exciting as the Optima
doesn t pretend to be a sports sedan market. It
gets off the mark smartly and the engine has a
silky smooth feel that will appeal to those who
like quality cars.
Kia surprised us with the introduction of
an Optima GT grand tourer with the launch of
the new generation model range in November
2015. It has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
engine, putting out 180 kW of power and 350
Nm of torque. It s still a rarity on the used-car
market, but it may be worth keeping an eye out.
All Kia Optimas sold in Australia have a
six-speed automatic transmission with manual
overrides and the option to choose a Sport
mode. The engine and transmission work nicely
together and we find that very few owners
actually do anything but put the lever in D and
leave it there. There s no full-manual gearbox
as Australian drivers in this class have pretty
well given up on self shifters.
Though still running second fiddle to big
brother Hyundai, Kia is expanding quite rapidly
in Australia. Most dealers are in the major
cities, but some country cities and big towns
are starting to show an interest.
Servicing costs are about average for
Optima s class and we have heard of no real
complaints about availability and pricing of
There used to be differences of opinion
about insurance costs from the major
companies, but this seems to be settling and
premiums on the Optima are coming closer
to one another. It s always worth shopping
around, but keep in mind that it s smart to have
a long history with a company if you do have
a crash. As usual, make sure you re comparing
like with like when shopping for insurance.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
By this time most of the early quality control
problems had been overcome by Kia, but it s
still best to call on a professional for the final
inspection after your initial check.
Take it for a drive on a rough road and listen
for squeaks and rattles.
Look at the condition of the interior for signs
of sun fading on the exposed areas. Also for
cracks and damage, particularly in the back
seats, due to rough treatment.
Similarly, check out the condition of the
The engines should start within a second or
so even when stone cold. Ideally do this after
an overnight spot if this can be arranged with
Gear changes should be all but impossible
to feel unless the Optima is being driven really
CAR BUYING TIP
Family cars often have more wear and tear
inside than cosseted small sporty models.
Used Car Checkout
VOLKSWAGEN Australia is pleased to announce
that a special 40th anniversary edition of the
Golf GTI will arrive on Australian shores in June
this year: the Golf GTI 40 Years. This exclusive
model will be available in limited numbers and
offers a premium package over the standard
GTI.The Golf GTI 40 Years has strong performance
credentials -- it is the most powerful production
GTI to date, with an engine output of 195kW.
A new boost function gives the vehicle a
further power-up to 213kW, and also provides
380Nm of torque upon full 'kick down' of the
acceleration for around 10 seconds each time.
The Golf GTI 40 Years incorporates some of
the best technical features of the earlier Golf GTI
Performance model, including: larger brakes,
sophisticated front differential lock, 19" alloy
wheels with a unique design, and adaptive
chassis control. The new model has then
further raised the bar with a host of distinctive
A unique and purposeful styling treatment
simultaneously upholds the Golf GTI's legacy
and sets the 40 Year model apart. A bespoke
body kit including a new front bumper with
larger air intakes and a two-piece rear roof
spoiler gives the GTI an aggressive stance on
the road and significantly increases downforce.
Meanwhile, a black side stripe on the body and
the choice of a traditional tornado red and pure
white paint exterior pay tribute to the original
GTI. The interior conveys a premium sport
quality, with unique anniversary 'honeycomb'
seat upholstery (featuring the GTI logo) and
decorative inlays as well as an Alcantara-
covered steering wheel and door trim inserts.
Other specification highlights include:
• Choice of gloss paint finishes with a
contrasting black roof or Metallic paint finish
• Black door mirrors
• Revised rear bumper with new diffusor
• Large diameter exhaust tailpipes, left and
• Darkened LED tail lights, reminiscent of the
• Extended side sills
• Traditional GTI-themed red stitching on
wheel, seat belts and floor mats
• Front door sill strips with new GTI emblem
• Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
• Front Assist with City Emergency Brake (City
• Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert
This comprehensive equipment package
adds a retail price premium of just $2,500 to
the Golf GTI Performance model, arriving at a
recommended retail price of $48,990.
The Golf GTI 40 Years will initially be
available with 6-speed DSG transmission as
With such a high level of standard
specification, the only option available is a
panoramic electric glass sunroof for $1,850 RRP.
With incredible value for an extremely
compelling premium performance package, the
limited release Golf GTI 40 Years celebrates the
tremendous success of the Golf GTI range, past
and present, in style.
The model is available for customers to
order now from Volkswagen Australia's dealer
VW Australia confirms details of Golf GTI 40 years edition
2011 Kia Optima
2012 Kia Optima
2014 Kia Optima
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