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Test: the Kia Optima admits its tropism American

"Great deal", "Good value", "Bargain" is in French, "Bargain" These expressions reflect exactly what the American customer research in search of an automobile, a disposable product as another Unlike the Old Europe, this way of reasoning is not that small models.

This explains the immediate success of Lexus since its introduction in the U.S. market in 1989 and that of the Hyundai Genesis today, regardless of the prestige of the emblem is first the price / equipment which has .

The Hyundai Group has taken the measure of the gulf that still separates the two continents in terms of taste is why the automobile manufacturer has developed a family to the U.S. market, the Sonata and one for the old Europe, the i40 Unlike appearances, these cars do not share the same platform and style and finish are different in every way.

Strangely, the cousin Kia was not entitled to preferential treatment for its new family With a few changes to the chassis and the adoption of a Diesel, the European Optima is identical to its American sister.

At first glance, there is no reason to complain Designed by the European manufacturer's studio, this great three-volume sedan offers a rewarding style, and even daring in a segment known for its conservatism, the expressive front face of the Optima, the balanced line and fold rear pillar feature set up to look at.

As a good American by adoption, it appears, with its 4.85 m, as the longer of the family's Citroen C5 measuring 4.78 m, 4.70 m Renault Laguna and cousin i40 4.74 m This is also no coincidence that the Opel Insignia, it also sold in the U.S., happens to be the nearest 4.83 m with its template.

Inside, the excellent impression persists. Designed by the studio this time American brand, this cozy cabin reminds Yet Saab, which is not an insult. Another good point, livability, excellent front and rear. Despite the flowing roofline, headroom is sufficient for large adults.

Alas, this first feeling can not resist examining the detail adjustments deficient, plastic foils, the average quality leather betray too many economies to achieve this is also felt at the time to slam the doors: the lightness of the opening and "clonk" do not inspire any confidence.This last detail is not by chance, be aware that some European manufacturers are willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars in acoustic study for the sound of closing the most flattering soup continues to grimace when examining the Voluminous safe thanks to its 505 liters, it reveals also guilty of misconduct.

The integrity of luggage is so threatened by the hinges, their torsion bars and the speaker rear deck, all visible and unprotected (see our photo gallery).

The Optima uses the platform of the Hyundai Sonata U.S. It is therefore not an i40 dressed and driving, it feels As usual, Kia has in fact opted for a compromise much firmer damping .Floor finish Premium Navi beautiful and vulnerable 18-inch wheels and tires 225/45/R18 Nexen low waist, the Optima reflected the irregularities of the road for passengers with little amenity Once again, the manufacturer has gone a too far in its efforts to adapt to the European market.The choice of settings and emphasizes the sporty dampers at the expense of comfort It also suffers from a perfectible soundproofing It is neither the engine nor the aerodynamic turbulence which disturb the atmosphere on board, but the noise bearing rocks and the bases and hitting the wheel.

Again, the candle-end economies will pay cash.

Fortunately, the Korean makes up for efficient road behavior, she is safe in all circumstances and the tires are very adherent The electric power steering is very accurate and informative on the winding roads of our test, the Optima has always been of great serenity.

Ultimately, it's the front that gives way first, with a great progression.

The Optima is currently proposed in the French market with the diesel engine 136 bhp 17 CRDi same as the i40 now well known, this engine is conspicuous by its elasticity and silent operation, however, it is singularly lacking in low-end torque, which is detrimental to raises even the relatively self contained (1484 kg).

It does not show an exemplary sobriety: difficult to go below 6.5 liters per 100 km, even at constant speed.

Acclaimed in the United States, where it flows to 13,000 copies per month, the Kia Optima offers services tailored to this market Unfortunately, it does not provide a sufficient level of sophistication to compete with the European family.

For finishing and quality of implementation, it reminds us even some Renault Latitude, another Korean struck by the scenery Fortunately, Kia differs from Renault's style and enhancing its price / equipment unbeatable.

Charged ? 31,990 for finishing high Navi Premium, Optima practical effect the policy of "Full Option" dear to Americans.It provides serial GPS, backup camera, leather upholstery, heated steering wheel, active parking assistance, power driver's seat, ventilated and heated rear seats, the keyless entry system, the fly Panoramic opening at the front ... Do not throw away! In this matter, no rival European, Japanese or Korean does as well.

The Yankee accent is sometimes good ....

The i40 has little do with the new Sonata. Platform, size, style and diffrent engines, even if there is a family resemblance empty. The whole stratgie diffrence between Hyundai and Kia in the European market.

Yes, you're right: the Optima is based on the Sonata platform, but we talk about the new Sonata (i40 at home). I thought you were talking about the old gnration Sonata sells home ...

The Optima has a good platform Sonata. The information comes from the project manager for the European market. The mdias amricains confirmed elsewhere.

The style of the Optima is the work of design center EUROPEN Kia.