Leaders of the automotive industry, look behind you. Yes, that's Kia closing in faster than Luke Perry on any type of media attention. With grand slam after grand slam (Sportage
...), there is no end in sight to the Korean maker's attack on its previously unsuspecting competitors.
I recently attended a casual dinner with members of the Canadian Kia PR team along with Miranda
. As we are all car people, the conversation inevitably hovered around the subject. I whimsically recounted my experiences from the late '90s and early 2000s about test-driving Kia and Daewoo products and thinking that Daewoo had a brighter future ahead. I could not have been more wrong.
From where I stand, Kia has, or will have very shortly, one of the most enticing lineups in the business. The new Rio is coming soon, and the regretfully mistimed Borrego had its plug pulled at the beginning of 2011.
|The new Optima is the latest welcome addition to Kia's offerings and it certainly maintains the momentum. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Auto123.com)
The new Optima is the latest welcome addition to Kia's offerings and it certainly maintains the momentum. From any angle, this car is handsome beyond reason for its category. Its shape smartly marries a distinctive roofline with strong fenders and quarters. Draped in Santorini Blue, the Optima is a knockout. Tack on some meaningful front and rear fascias with characterful lights and you've got yourself a car that will send the American and Japanese back to the drawing board, quivering and worried.
You know things are being done right when the interior impresses further. With Audi (we'll never tire of saying it) as clear inspiration for design, and as a yardstick for class, the Optima's cabin sets a standard for ergonomics and attractiveness that few manufacturers will be able to emulate any time soon. And it doesn't simply look good, it feels that way as well. Fit and finish are spot-on, there's stitched leather on the dashboard and most materials within reach are of the soft-touch type. The seats are comfortable and four passengers are well taken care of. Win.
|Fit and finish are spot-on, there's stitched leather on the dashboard and most materials within reach are of the soft-touch type. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Auto123.com)