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Kia Optima '2': NI EXPLORER test drives...

Posted on 24 Feb 2019

Don’t just take our word for it! 

We’ve asked Northern Ireland’s leading road-trippers and adventure-finders NI EXPLORER to put a few of our latest Kias to the test. 

They’ll be making the most of each model’s features – from the streets of Belfast to the Mourne Mountains, the Ards Peninsula, Causeway Coast and everywhere in between.

Hello again

When we initially began our Kia adventure with Downeys Cars Newtownards, we were excited at the opportunity of test driving a diverse selection of new vehicles.

From the recently refreshed sporty Ceed to the popular Sportage and its bigger bro/sis, the Sorento; we would find out first-hand if a hatchback, SUV or estate was the ultimate car for adventures around Northern Ireland.

Absent from that list was a saloon - for no other reason than our day-to-day activities and longer road-trips required ‘open’ boot space (primarily for our canine companion).

So, with a week ‘between adventures’, for complete curiosity we gave Kia’s bold new saloon a go.


As we went about Belfast and beyond the following week, we quickly saw how the car would appeal especially to the modern business exec – comfort and efficiency wrapped up in a slick, professional exterior.

Starting at £21k, this 1.6L manual diesel Optima ‘2’, has 17” alloys, electronic parking brake, SatNav with 7” touch screen and reversing camera, plus front and rear parking sensors.

DAB Radio and Bluetooth phone connection for all your audio needs too.

For around £2k more, the Optima ‘3’ has bigger alloys and even more handy gadgets for an even more luxury drive.

Bundles of space both front and rear too, for when you need to play chauffeur.

And as said, although we personally prefer an ‘open’ boot, we were surprised at just how much the saloon boot had. Plenty of room for luggage or prams, etc. if you’re looking at family car options.

Competitors would be the likes of the VW Passat, Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia. Though with Kia chucking in lots of smart extras and a Seven Year Warranty, you need to give this one a test drive…

A big smouldering face on the Optima too...

For more info on spec and extras - plus the top end 'GT-Line S' model, click here.

Thanks for reading!

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