Canadians like value. It’s why our favourite restaurants have a 99 cent menu, our favourite shoe stores frequently have a 2 for 1 sale, and why we’ll typically wait until Black Friday to rampage furiously into the nearest Wal-Mart for cheap goodies. Its’ also why the Kia Optima has become a popular pick for Canadian shoppers after a family sedan full of the little extras that help add more value to the family sedan equation.
That value comes in numerous forms with the Optima, and especially for model-year 2015, where various revisions have left the thing looking even sharper than ever, inside and out. We’re not just talking about the sort of value that comes from free floor mats and window tint: we’re talking all-out bang for the buck.
Kia’s created that value here in several ways.
First, the styling. When Optima launched, the look was a step above: full of lines and details and shapes once reserved for concept cars under the glimmering lights of the auto show floor. Now, the updates, which include quad-cluster LED fog-lamps and revised fascias, advance that even further. Where many family sedans play it safe in the looks department, this one looks daring and edgy and bold. Your neighbors will think you paid more than you did.
The second big value adder is the cabin. Few competitors use as much leather and stitching and contrast and depth to create a rich and detailed look like you’ll find on board. The new steering wheel, the shape of the dashboard and console and even the way the various switches and controls and toggles are arranged feel a bit on the upscale side, too. Little touches, but they add up. Plus, the two-tone seats and the driver-focused layout to the dash help the cabin hit a bit harder than its price suggests. A Ford Fusion looks more high-tech inside, a Honda Accord is a bit more conventional, and the new Chrysler 200’s cabin is even more gorgeous – but all said, Kia’s largely nailed this one for a look of sporty, high-tech luxury.
Rear seats on the tester were deep, pillowy, comfortable, heated, and mounted behind above-average leg-room. Headroom proved fine for those of average height, as long as they aren’t sitting on the middle-seat hump. If you’re a fan of staying recharged and plugged in on the go, you’ll love all the charge ports and hookups mounted inside of the handy centre console storage basket, too. In all, a handy, thoughtful and delightfully well thought out cabin.