Home' Open Road North Shore : OR0716 Contents Kia Optima GT | Mercedes-Benz C200
The Kia has the
handling, ride comfort,
space and ergonomics
WANT A SECOND OPINION?
The NRMA’s online motoring editor, Jaedene
Hudson, also spent some time comparing and
contrasting these cars. See her video review at
It’s in the details that Mercedes
takes the prize for this category.
The engine is a little smoother and
quieter (especially when you put
your foot down), the window
switches are nicer to operate, the
seat belts have a silkier feel when
they extend or retract, and the click
of the lid on the armrest storage box
feels and sounds more premium.
Such attributes make a difference
at any price point, but when a buyer
is forking over $50,000, he or she
has certain expectations. And while
the Optima doesn’t feel cheap, it
does feel cheaper.
This comparison shows that badge
snobbery is becoming less and less
justified. While there’s no doubt the
Mercedes has a small edge in quality of
materials, mechanical refinement and
technology, the Kia has the German’s
measure in performance, handling,
ride comfort, space and ergonomics.
It also has a seven-year warranty
compared to the Merc’s measly three,
and the indicator stalk is on the
‘correct’ side – which, to this Australian
at least, is hugely desirable.
During our photo shoot, someone
asked me what my overall choice would
be. I answered, “For the money, the
Kia.” My interrogator shook his head
dismissively and said, “Forget about
the money. Which car would you buy?”
I paused to consult both my head
and my heart. They offered the same
answer: “I ’d still have the Kia.”
Hard to believe, but true.
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The Kia Optima GT leads the
way on highway performance.
OR0716_MOTOR_Kia vs Merc.indd 38
14/06/2016 2:40 pm
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