2016 Kia Optima GT Road Test Wrap

Our wrap-up of the long term Kia Optima GT review

We had the new turbocharged 2016 Kia Optima GT for a month and after giving you an initial look at the new mid-size offering, this is our final wrap-up of the Kia.

Over the course of the month with the Kia Optima GT we handed the keys to Behind the Wheel’s Rachel Franco to gain her insights into the model.

Rach’s thoughts on the Kia…

The Kia Optima GT is a fantastic car for many reasons. The 2.0 litre turbo engine packs so much punch, it’s very responsive and makes it a really enjoyable and fun car to drive.

The interior is so nice, with leather trim (although I’d prefer all black rather than the two-tone black and burgundy), a really sleek and simple dashboard and console, plus a panoramic electric sunroof.

I love the fact that you can have the best of both worlds and open the roof up a little if you want to, as well as have the full glass.

It was a little thirsty, which is to be expected in a turbo and with a ‘Leadfoot Lucy’ like me behind the wheel, but the fact that it takes 91 octane ethanol blend fuel is a huge plus.

The infotainment system is easy to use, very much plug and play, so I didn’t have to waste a huge chunk of my life when I first got in pairing my phone and getting the music happening.

And with a heated steering wheel and front seats, it was like a living room on wheels during the cold weather that we had during the time I was driving it around.

Now they’re all valid and worthy reasons that I’ve just listed, but want to know the biggest reason why this is a fantastic car?

It’s what it does for the average Joe and Jane, like myself - it allows us to have all the bells and whistles of a traditional luxury brand, at a fraction of the price.

So for a smidge under $44,000, we can enjoy all of these features, plus the tonne of safety features and more that are all standard, that we otherwise would be missing out on because of price.

It’s champagne motoring on a beer budget, and you can’t beat that!


The wrap-up, what can I add? It’s a roomy, easy to live with and comfortable offering that is easy to drive and much more refined than the price tag might indicate.

The mid-size car market is keenly contested and with a dominant player like the Toyota Camry eating up a lot of the sales, it doesn’t mean the Kia Optima is any less of a car.

For the money, with the Kia seven-year warranty, sleek styling and plenty of standard features, take the Optima for a drive and see if it fits.

About Joel Helmes 2640 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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