What is it?

Was reminded recently how handsome Kia's Optima is, inside and out. This $46,990 EX is embellished with shapely leather seats, though their supportive sculpting means the centre rear is more afterthought than regular pew. We like the well set up dash, angled towards the driver, with sockets and tray for power and music devices.

We like
The 148kW/250Nm engine and six-speed auto with sequential sportshift respond so eagerly at times it feels hyper.

We loathe
The 2.4-litre petrol engine was a tad thirsty over our admittedly hilly commute, averaging 10.1l/100km.