“While driving the i45, I didn’t get one mention about its looks, except a family friend who said “Boy, Hyundai has come a long way.” Amen to that. But while driving the Optima, several people walked over to comment on how “smart” it looked, and how “aggressive” it is.
Haha That about sums it up. Not one look for the i45. You can talk about ‘design language’ and ‘flow’, but it is just ugly. Of course there will be those Hyundai reps on here that vote down my comments. It is truly an american inspired design. The optima, on the other hand was designed by a German! What a difference.
I used to think the i45 looked ugly. The more I looked at it and thought about it, I had to change my opinion. I don’t think “ugly” is an adequate description. You need more than one word to describe how horrid the design actually is (or lack of design really!).
Unco-ordinated, incoherent, messy, overdone, creased and crumple, cut and hacked, immature, glitzy, bashed with an ugly stick and so on are just some of the descriptions you could give it. You really need a thesaurus to do it justice. It’s a pity really, because as the review says, the interior design, fit and finish and room is quite good. As are the engine and gearbox.
To cap it off, the i45 is a rubbish drive compared to the competition.
Really, can someone tell me why you would buy an i45 in preference to a Mazda6, Mondeo, Kasashi or even the much maligned Camry? The market seems to agree with me, judging by the sales to date.
looks are subjective,
after i finish class and wait at the crossing lights, there\’s always a i45 at the same time,
every single head at the crossing lights turns around, followed by their body turning to see what car it is.
happens at sydney town hall station crossing as well.
every fking head turned. its the i45.
definitely looks ugly in photos and paper though for some reason…
Based on that, you’d be mad to buy the i45.
Well I would buy the i45, I’m not mad anyway. I do like the optima though!
From the front the hyundai is so freekin ugly!
Can’t see any significant market win for both in this tough medium size car competion. There are so many choices , and so many great cars that make you wonder which is really the best one and right one to pick.
Toyota camry is fleet and governments favorite, no doubt Camry is not a bad car, reliable , good value, but yet outdated both in the way of technology and design.
Commerdo and Falcon are consider a large car if you want, they have big engines , comfort spacy seats, and it’s locally built , always can get massive discount from dealer. And no matter if you are a ford fan or holden’s supporter, these two amercian car companies have big issues globally , GM already bankrupted once, Ford is picking up some market shares but yet to provide a bright future. These two cars don’t have good reliability and reputation compare to big T , and if you compare their engin design powertrain technology , gearbox
to VW or Honda, they are in trouble . Nevertheless, i have to say, you won’t go wrong if you still buy a Comm or Folcon, however you should look around and test around.
Mazda6, one of the most successful medium car , good driving expercince , handling and gearbox are amazing , interior quality are good, and have strong reputation from owners. But since ford sold all the shares of Mazda, it has trouble to provide a future commitment. Mazda is one of The few Japanese car manufactory that still can’t delivery a production hybrid or all elec car globally. But Mazda 6 offer us great choice from wagon to desiel auto , if you are not concern of it’s company’s future , but focus on the current car itself , Mazda 6 definitely worth a test drive.
Honda Accort euro, arguably the best among all. I personally love it despite it’s new modle’s fuel
consuption is still disappointed . Everything about Accort Euro is well designed. Driving it , you will love it, but Honda pricing it a liltle bit to dear if you look at it’s price in Amercia and China. And also most of dealer won’t give you a good bargain and service parts can be very expensive.
Nissan Maxima, an underachiever here in Australia consider it some times oversell Camry and Accort in us and china. Good value, but it’s a standard car, very roomy inside, but driving it won’t give u a wooo feeling. Preimum modle is over price , don’t go for it.
Mitsubishi currently don’t offer any medium size car in our market since 308 ,which is a strange thing consider most of car company can’t wait to get into this market, but I believe in less thantwo years they will , if you check their webside about the concept car, that one is surely gonna be a killer.
VW’ Jetta , I consider it’s a small car, rather go for the Passat if you comaper it with I45. New one is coming Next months , will see . As far as I know passat america is only $20000 , I am waiting for a double price here in Australia , let’s see what’s happening ,why we always have to
Pay good thing a ungood price.
There are so many choices around , personally , before I won’t choose korean car, I know they are getting better, but a car comapny should have great history to devlople a passionate future , and if you really believe only buy a good car not the badge , then go for korean .but don’t forget that they coming cheap for a reason , if you dig deeper , you will turn to others
Mazda do not currently offer a diesel/auto Mazda6. It will come with the new SkyActive range.
Mazda have spent development money on the new SkyActive engines and transmissions which will supposedly reduce fuel consumption and emissions but will not be hampered by a high pricetag.
Also the Mitsubishi 380 was closer to the large car class, as it was comparable on size, power, interior space and economy.
Spell check is your friend! I would have read your comment, if I could make sense of it.
I’m guessing that English is not Lester’s first language. Depending on when he started, he’s probably doing spectacularly well!
Breathe when you write, Lester, breathe. Leave gaps!
wow nice essay 16/20, nice work, keep it up Jack,
Just read the Optima has been listed in Ward’s 10 Best Interiors. Other winners include the BMW X3, Audi A8 and the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The US Optima model with the Sav Nav has a much better looking centre console with a large screen and decent graphics. The model sold here at the moment is a rung or 2 below that with the yellow on red graphics and nothing special controls.
It‘ll be a big improvement when Sat Nav becomes available here.
i 45 Hyundai has no sat navigation, it is not compatable, they tried but failed.
Were did you find that information? Would you ask Caradvice for my e mail to let me know?
‘Mitsubishi currently don’t offer any medium size car in our market since 308′ I think you meant the 380.
I have seen VERY FEW I45 models on the road,and think they are very Asian looking.
Not seen 1 Optima,but it looks good in the photos.
My favorites are the Honda Accord Euro,as this car is brilliant,from the way its built,to the comfort,looks,and way it drives,and the VW Jetta,as its a truly European,veey solid car.
I have owned both,and both were excellent,with the Euro slightly better IMHO.
I like both of them… I actually like the i45 overall, but the Optima is more European. The problem I have with both of them is no diesel and wagon variants. If this product planning issue is resolved the established players would be seriously challenged.
Yes i mean 380
the i40 wagon is coming and it should be a corker…
Lester, all of the spelling and grammar aside (which really no one expects to be perfect anyway), what the hell is Manufactory? Manufactory ??? = Manufacturer, Manufacturer’s, Manufacturing? Pick one. Ungood price? Seriously ? ESL or what?
Karl, the i45 doesn’t come with bi-xenon lighting on the Premium model, nor is it offered. As far as I know the only Hyundai to ever have it was the Grandeur.
In Australia, all new cars that offer the xenon lighting option or have it standard must be self-leveling and have headlight washers – i45 has neither.
Great review, none-the-less, but personally I like the Optima. There is a black one in my local showroom and it just looks schmick!
I don’t like the interior of these 2 cars, they’re very cheap and not very logical..
my pick would be the Accord Euro Luxury, for the way it
DRIVES and steers/handles, the quality interior and finish, the understated good looks and lines.
plus is good value at the moment $42,990 DRIVE AWAY..
Not to mention the better resale!
or could save $2k and buy the Brilliant 6sp manual.
not even an option on these two!!!!
Why all the thumbs down?
is everyone to lazy to drive a proper manual these days??
especially when it is as good as the 6sp in the Euro!!!
These two cars are serious players in this market segment IMHO. I like the look of both of them and will be looking at them when the lease runs out on my Commodore. I set out to buy a Accord Euro last time but was turned off it by the space in the boot – especially the depth, it is appalling for a car it’s size!
check out the luxury version, has a HUGE boot, because it has a space saver spare instead of the full size in the std..
The KIA looks fantastic on the outside with its modern, agressive yet understated european styling, however, and I should say that in uppercase, HOWEVER! the interior, especially the dash, looks like it was pulled out of a car from the early 90\’s…i just down understand the mess of vents and angles that contradict the outside styling completely…you can tell two design teams failed to communicate their aesthetic to each other. So disappointing, considering you spend all of your time as a driver, infront of the dash.
ohh well…maybe they will update it in a couple years with a design thats more this decade.
Those photos don’t do it justice and trust me when I say I have looked at the interior in the flesh at least 2 dozen times. It’s much classier than the pics reveal so I’d say go pop your head inside one and then judge. The one thing I don’t like is the red backlighting (but even that looks better in the flesh than in the photo). The blue in the Hyundai works far better at night.
Karl, any word on when the Optima turbo is arriving here?
The Optima is one great looking car, I wish there wasn’t a supply liimit so we could see lots of them on the road. But personally I would wait for the turbo version.
I would always buy a Hyundai Over A KIA I do like the i45 better than the optima and its design is aiming at young people and im 13, I like the i45 better and yeahh that comment about you havent seen any optimas on the road IT’S Beacuse no one really wants one from the test drive and people have purchased the i45 cause it looks alot better and that famos person that just died OWNED ONE, So for me I45’s The Go!! GO Hyundai
So, it seems that the i45 styling appeals to 13 year old boys, who don’t pay attention in English classes.
I rest my case.
That’s b/c there’s only a 1,000 Optimas allotted for the Australian market for the year due to demand in Korea and the US/Canada.
Kia wins on looks
Both are good cars and for different reasons. The soft ride of the i45 will appeal to the conservative motorists that also don’t want people looking at them. The Optima with its firmer ride will appeal more to enthusiasts and it’s styling will appear to those that like the constant comments. Persnally I’d take the Optima but not everyone will.
Bring a performance version of the Optima and i will buy one the day it comes out.
There aren’t many Optimas on the road because there is a huge demand in North America and Asia. Kia can’t manufacturer enough to keep up with demand. They even had to delay the launch in Europe because of the high demand.
Hence why Australia was only allocated 1000 models this year…
just went to the kia usa website to look at the better speced version and saw it was being sold for 18 grand… “or less now with our dollar” and a hybrid version on the way
.. australia.. WE SUCK!!… its just a total rip of now
Cars I would buy in the medium segment between $35 – 40,000 before the Kia and Hyundai:
– Honda Accord Euro
– Volkswagen Passat 118tsi
– Mazda 6
– Subaru Liberty
All those models mentioned within that price range are all entry level models compared to the top of the range Kia and Hyundai.
Your comparing apples with pineapples. When you walk into a Kia dealer to buy an Optima the only question you\’re asked is what colour. Everything else is standard. I\’ve just bought one as my Jetta\’s lease is up in a month or so. Can\’t wait to get my hands on it.
Hyundai i45 Premium – The 2011 model does come with Sat-Nav, the only problem is that at the moment they have a problem with the local model to be fitted and the whole program is on hold with no information on when problem willbe fixed. For Fleet buyers – Kia Optima does not have a fleet discount, so end of day is cheaper than Optima. Accord & Camry – Well compare prices once you add sunroof, sat-Nav & Bluetooth. It is hard to go past the i45 Premium.
This is right. Had mine ordered since November last year.
Am about to cancel the order and get a Subaru liberty premium with satnav.
Pretty bad for their ‘top of the range’ flagship model to be having such problems and them taking so long to rectify it is unbelievable. If I took that long to fix a problem I would be out of a job.
What a pity about the Sat Nav, i45 is such a beautiful car, waited 10 months for the Sat Nav, and now am informed it won’t work properly so Hyundai are not installing it,; at least the company is honest in that area, but woeful in their information and supposed “compensation” ; they offer $1000 off and a couple of free services! The after market Sat/Nav (Pioneer) can be fitted by a firm in Dandenong that has done it on last years model, the price-$4500, Hyundai can save face by offering a genuine alternative by paying for the after market unit and installation,
The frustrating thing about all this is the lack of genuine interest that the sales people have shown, they don’t know and seem to not care!, No real delving into the issue and offering of solutions and information.
There is always an odd one out and one person at Melbourne put me on to the firm that deals with after market Sat/Nav, that has given me the true financial perspective of not having the Sat/Nav. +
Hey Jimmy you should add Skoda Octavia to that list as well…
Well definitely wouldn’t buy an i45. I thought it only had single zone climate control anyway. Optima is nice but as a few have mentioned above there would be plenty of other mid-size cars I would buy before these two including the Mazda6, Ford Mondeo and Honda Accord Euro and perhaps a Skoda.
Well since I see as much i45 as the Lexus LS460, I’m gonna assume it’s a flop, from a sales perspective..
What about warranty. The Kia has 5 years UNLIMITED K’s. In the States I believe it’s 7 years. I have driven both these cars … a lot. The Kia out handles and definitely out brakes the Hyundai. The Kia has bigger rotors both front and back and has German Sachs dampers.
I was lucky enough to drive the new VW Passat recently and depending on the price it raises the bar to a whole new level when it come to handling. I still prefer the look of Optima over all of them although I would like to see it with some after market wheels.
Very pleased with my Optima Platinum which I’ve had for about five weeks. Just one criticism….noisy tyres.
Haven’t seen another one on the road as yet so happy to savour the exclusivity for as long as I can.
There is so little space between the Hyundai and Kia brands I struggle to see Hyundai\’s rationale for actually having both brands. I guess that it is a quiestion of getting your your generic Hyundai in either Old man or Funky flavour. I guess that makes the Kia the pick
I don’t know, but I personally don’t think the Kia looks that great from the outside.
The main issue I have with it is the wheels. In my opinion, and I know some people will disagree, they look like cheap aftermarket wheels. They are too flat, so they just look like plates.
The reason I’ve bought an Optima comes down to one main thing. Value for money. I spent weeks looking at cars within the $30-$40k segment and in the end the Optima was simply too hard to pass up. If brands are not that important to you the Optima is seriously worth looking at. The lack of supply will be an issue with wait times of 2-3 mths.
Compared Optima,Honda,Nissan,Toyota,VW,Holden,Ford and Lexus models in the same price range as the i45. Considered a Toyota Sportivo with all inclusions except Sat nav.but warranty only 3 years as was most others.
The i45 won out overall and no Sat Nav required.
If you don\’t treat the highways as a racetrack, the ride and handling is great. Excellent braking and safety inclusions. 60/40 Split rear seats, BIG boot (unlike other makes) and full size alloy spare. Dual zone A/Con.,auto lights and W/Wipers and all leather seats are winners. Shape is appealing, and strikingly like a Merc. But who cares? Very nice car that will look after you if you look after it.
I also considered a Lancer at one stage , but the road noise was deafening.(It was not the tyres).
Kia Optima Sx is my baby here,made by Peter Schreyer previously made audi TT,A6.Volkswagen beetle,golf. Their target is first to topple toyota,honda & the rest till 2014 january which they will by 2012 december & then within 2017 german cars which they will by 2015 because they are gonna come up with with luxury sedans/4×4/hatchback/sports that will blow your mind away, there wont be any match to their features quality price & long warranties,service & low maintainence costs because when they make the cars in south korea, they all r united all big brands samsung,lg, rubber companies, i mean everything is manufactured locally & its cheaper, kia will be number one by 2020 & peter schreyer will be richest, trust me check out the r&d factory in korea
Seen a black optima. Parents went “that is a Kia, that thing is sexy! Not as sexy as the IS Lexus tho”
If the optima came in rear wheel drive with that turbo 2lt and that 6 speed manual…. I wouldnt think twic about buying one.
i45 is nice but it’s not as in your face or have the road holding like the optima
I happen to own an I45 and I did simply because of waiting time and the fact that I don’t like the prospect of a messy car with hard suspension and very aggressive looks. To top it all up, the central console is not functional at all. To me, the K5 is just a wannabe BMW. My 2011 i45 doesn’t come with them but the running LED day lights are in the wrong place for the K5. It looks like they thought about them after building the car.
In Singapore both come with 5 years warranty but not satnav/bluetooth.
Both these cars look fantastic inside and out in the flesh… The Optima supposedly drives better and it’s design is aimed to appeal more at younger people, however, Hyundai is a more established brand, and Hyundai have made strong efforts to tweak the i45 for our roads, Kia on the other hand are improving but on brand name the i45 will sell more, also the fact that the i45 is offered with 3 variants. All that aside these cars are perfectly adequate for the way the average person drives, and they are still better value over all their competitors, and with the i45 premium and the optima Platinum it all comes down to which one you prefer.
I just brought a Kia Optima and i think they got the design of this car right. It looks so slick and have had a lot of people come up to look and comment. Drove from Blenheim to christchurch which is a good winding road to test on, and found this cars handling was superb. Can’t wait for next years model.
I am interested in the Kia Optima but unsure how it compares with ford monreo with ecoboost engine and mazda 6. Any comments now that u have driven the Optima for a year?
I have had the optima (black) for 3 weeks and could not be happier. I do 60 thousand k’s/ year and wanted a car that was comfortable and had all the bells and whistles. This cars boot is amazing and much bigger than the XR6 I rented while waiting for delivery. Not being a brand snob I believe value for money, this car is hard to beat 38,000 on road. It puts a smile on my dial every time I drive it. Sun roof open, air conditioned seat cooling my nether regions and a car that handles really well. Life is good. Lack of Sat Nav is not a problem as I need a unit I can take with me on interstate business trips because I dont like paying rental companies $15/day for something that should be standard.
Hyundai ugly? mazda 3 = UGLY
the hyundai is classy, it looks like it should have a lexus badge. The optima and the i45 are head turners, they both have a PRESENCE that a falcon, commonbore or granary lacks.
both great cars!!
Just bought the entry Kia Optima Si here in Australia, for just under $30,000 Australian dollars it’s great value for money. It hasn’t got all the tech bling of the Platinum; but if you want very high spec with the ride handling of 17″ wheels(18′ Platinum wheels to jidery ) and a large family saloon it is impossible to beat in this market,also it does look good. My credentials – well ex carsalesman selling everything from BMW VW Honda Landrover Citroen Toyota Benz etc and I’ve driven most albe the Lamborgini!!!!!! . for a car that is as good you would have to spend closer to $40,000 Australian. – So if you are reading this and looking for a new family sedan that looks European and actually does handle then do yourself a favour and test drive this humble entry model here in Oz.
Honda Accord euro made in japan is the best.
I got a real good deal on a demo KIA Optima Platinum Black. I was looking at i45 because it looked like a Mercedes. But when I seen and test drive the Optima it had everything I wanted in a car at a great value price. I got rid of my Honda it rusted badly after 5 years. I would not buy a Honda again though I loved my Odyssey. What the KIA has was Style , Luxury, lots of features and extras and in black is a stunner on the road. The quality build and finish is quite high. When my Honda was getting repaired by Honda Australia they gave me a loan Honda Accord Euro. My wife and I hated driving it. Its was boring to drive and dated. You see Toyota and Honda and other manufactures have been around and yes they sell a lot of cars because they built a reputation. They know they got our loyalties so they just come out with safe looking overprice for featured cars.
We forget when Honda’s,Toyotas Datsuns and Suzuki came out how tiny they where. Kia wants our business its wants bigger market share. They have come along way my brother who owns a very expensive Audi (he got rid of his BMW which was a lemon) loves my new KIA and scratching his head why he has paid $40,000 more and his car has less features. I think KIA starting price is a bit rich but us savy buyers know they want more market share so dealers will do good deals. In Sydney I got my optima platinum for just over $31K drive away yes it was a demo but who cares.
I think if you never test drive it you cant put it down, Its up there in prestige European makes. One thing id like to say KIA has surprised us.Good on them for making the Giant leap with Optima Platinum more car manufactures should try to give us more value and inspire us.
The knockers and brand snobs can keep saying its made in Korea but I’m driving around in Style and plenty of change in the bank. And as far as resell value any car you drive out of showroom looses the minute you drive out of it. In more expensive cars like Audi and Mercedes you lose more value. I change my car every 3 years and dealers try to give you nothing for it. But i always haggle and get best change over deal. I end up paying $18K change over. My Honda was going to loose $16+K in value over next 5 years. So it made allot of sense to do the deal.
From a new owner I’m very happy with my purchase, and I know the knockers will say wait in 5 or 6 years. But all cars 5 and 6 years worth allot less so its all relative. IN 5 years time because i got a great deal on the KIA I can afford a new car with new design with new features. Its a wonderful car and I take my hat off to KIA being so bold with this quality high featured luxury sports sedan.People non stop comment about the car and looks fantastic in Black. The other thing is this car suits both male and female drivers. In me I love the Luxury and sports my wife loves the style and boot space. It is the right car at the right time. Id like to see more car manufactures bring out exciting cars and dealers doing great value deals.
The KIA was the right decision for us! But like I said don’t knock it till you drive it! It does represent great looks and fantastic value.
Rob Sydney Australia
I brought a Santorini Blue Kia Optima nearly a year ago (the Platinum model sans hot/cold seats). I looked at a LOT of cars before I brought it and it won in almost every category (for my preferences at least).
God it looks AMAZING! I get people (strangers on the street even) telling me what a fantastic looking car it is, all the time. However, I did get rid of those horrible stock “plate” wheels and traded up to a sexy pair of other wheels as part of the deal (the car yard “traded in” the Kia wheels for the other ones as part of the deal) and it looks even better with them.
I started out looking at the i45. Everytime I saw a TV commercial for it, I thought it looked cool – like a Mercedes – so I went for a test drive.
Once around the block and I took it back to the dealer and said yuck!
It felt very confined & restrictive to me and the view through the back window is terrible (mind u, I had a big boat Ford Falcon station wagon before, which might have biased me ). I didn’t particularly love the dash and that silly looking person “button” you use to change where the aircon comes out of just looked tacky IMO!
Next, I tried the Hyundai i40 wagon (first person to ever test drive one at the dealer – it had arrived the day before) and my partner & I loved it! We were wowed with it.
HOWEVER, the price was RIDICULOUS! I just couldn’t justify that price when compared to a big Ford or Holden 6 wagon, even though the finish was pretty schmik.
Looked at a few other cars, but once I saw the Optima, I just fell in love. It is such a fabulous looking car – makes me proud to own and drive it – even today 11 months later!
The test drive went well. The brakes are awesome! Did a couple of high speed stops that probably freaked out the car salesman with us, but it stops very well.
Comfortable, lots of great bells & whistles and honestly, who gives a toss about not having Sat Nav built in, when you can buy a quality GPS from Harvey Norman for under $200. It would have added $2-4K to have a Kia model built in, which is a huge waste of money IMO.
The dash could be a little slicker. That red on red (brown?) colouring of the radio & aircon screens is a little average but honestly, I still think it looks nicer than the i45 (and a brand new Falcon XR6 I took for a test drive 2 weeks later – talk about cheap plastic fantastic!).
1 wish – actually, 2 – parking sensors on the front (really slopes down low – I cannot judge how far away the nose is from things) and a front/side-mounted cameras (to help judge how far from raised curbs you are in parking areas – have scraped my lovely wheels 3-4 times due to inability to judge distance from things!)
Otherwise, I still believe it’s a fantastic car – kills almost everything else on the road looks-wise and very nice inside and lovely to drive.
OK, It’s not a BMW 7-series, but then it only cost me $35K, which was an absolute bargain for what I got. Holden & Ford, be scared – be VERY scared!
Oh – last comment. Much as I would have LOVED the 2L Turbo version (which we are unlikely to get down under), the 2.4 is surprisingly pokey! Give it a bit of stick and at about 2-2.5K RPM it gets up and goes very nicely thankyou! No slouch (and that’s coming from the guy with a 4L 6 cylinder b4) in the power dept.
BTW: anyone who thinks Kia is not a power to now be reckoned with in the car industry, go Google the Kia K9. That car will BLOW YOU AWAY! And yes, it IS a Kia!
Thanks for the review – it & most of the comments were a good read.