KIA’s Euro-spec Optima is coming to Europe at a time when the non-premium mid-size segment is transitioning from old generation models to new ones.
Come to think of it, there aren’t a lot of models in this class that could be considered outdated, by design. Certainly, there’s the Citroen C5, but other than that, everything is either brand new, still somewhat new or recently facelifted, not more than 1-2 years ago.
KIA made sure that come Frankfurt, their Optima would look its best for the European crowd, and so they also sent a sporty GT version to make sure that both the media and future/potential customers took notice. But don’t worry, regardless of how good or not so good you may think the all-new Optima looks, it will probably have a hard time battling the likes of the VW Passat and Ford Mondeo – both models still reasonably new.
Of course, if you’re thinking about buying into the segment, you have to consider other newcomers such as the Skoda Superb and Renault Talisman, and getting past them in terms of sales will be extremely difficult, especially with the Superb.
Oh and the Insignia, as old as it may be, is still selling like hot cakes. It’s just really hard to break through in this segment, especially if you’re not ready – as KIA weren’t with the previous generation Optima, which failed in Europe.
The new Optima does have a few tricks up its sleeve that should help it be more successful, such as the 2.0 liter 245 PS turbocharged petrol unit. We’ll just have to wait and see if people will be swayed by this or if they’ll simply stick to what they know.
Which Euro mid-size saloon would you buy right now/next year?