Driving

The Kia is available with 2.0-litre or 2.7-litre V6 petrol engines, but we prefer the 2.0-litre turbodiesel. There's a fair amount of diesel clatter at idle, but once on the move it delivers power progressively, and at cruising speeds is impressive refined. It serves up its power in a progressive manner too. So it's a shame the Kia's clutch action is snappy which, combined with a less-than-slick gearbox, makes smooth progress difficult. What's more, dynamically the Magentis feels flimsy. It rolls through corners, and this increased body movement means it works its front tyres much harder. There's also a lot of dive when braking, and the middle pedal is soft under-foot too. The steering is light and vague, and never inspires confidence. Unfortunately, the soft dynamic set-up doesn't translate into a decent ride quality either, because while the Kia is cushioned over smooth surfaces, the dampers don't control suspension movement. As a result, it can become crashy over imperfections, while kickback through the wheel is a problem. Still, stability control is standard.

    See also:

    First impressions mean a lot
    At first glance, the Optima gives off more than a hint of a European vibe. A vast stylistic improvement over the namesake that it replaces, it sports larger dimensions than the outgoing model. Sur ...

    Windshield defrosting and defogging
    WARNING - Windshield heating Do not use the or position during cooling operation in extremely humid weather. The difference between the temperature of the outside air and the windshield could c ...

    Air bag - advanced supplemental restraint system
    (1) Driver’s front air bag (2) Passenger’s front air bag (3) Side air bag* (4) Curtain air bag* * : if equipped The actual air bags in the vehicle may differ from the illustration. WARNING ...