Cars & AutoReviews

Test Drive: Here’s Why We Love The 2017 Updates Of These Major Kia Cars

We took the 2017 Sorento, Sportage and Optima on the open road.

I’m a big fan of road trips. There’s nothing quite like breezing through highways out of KL and taking in the sights while heading to a sleepy town for the weekend. So when Naza Kia Malaysia sent us an invite for a test-drive from Petaling Jaya to Johor Bahru and vice versa, we naturally jumped at the opportunity!

Naza Kia Malaysia is the official distributor of Kia vehicles in Malaysia. Ever since it’s appointment as the nation’s official distributor, Naza Kia has received many accolades by Kia, with the Malaysian service centres rated as “Among the Best” by American-based global marketing information services company J.D. Power. Recently, we took a few Kia cars on the road to Johor Bahru and back, namely the 2017 updates of the Kia Sorento, Sportage and Optima.

Kia Sorento HS Turbo Diesel

The first car we drove out of Naza Kia’s Red Cube in Petaling Jaya with is the Sorento HS Turbo Diesel SUV. Dubbed as “The Perfect Getaway Vehicle”, the Sorento HS Turbo Diesel looks somewhat like a more exclusive and sleeker version of Kia’s Carnival and is powered by a 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, capable of going as fast as 200 PS at 3800 rpm and a torque of 441 Nm from 1750 and 2750 rpm. It also comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The interior of the Sorento is decked in leather, though the fittings for stuff like where the gear and infotainment system is. Starting the vehicle is easy with its keyless entry and push-start system. There’s also an 8-way electric power seat and a 2-way lumbar support for the driver’s seat that you can adjust with a simple tug and push on the button, and it’s got enough space to fit 7 people and then some more luggage in the back. #convenient

I have to admit that I was quite wary as driving SUVs or big cars in general just isn’t my thing. But driving the Sorento HS Turbo Diesel through the highway on “Sport” mode did make the ride breezier, in comparison to the other 2 driving modes (Eco, Normal). However, the brakes may take some getting used to as they feel a little grabby even as you slowly place pressure on them.

Besides that, definitely loved how this 7-seater runs on Diesel and our fuel meter barely moved from Petaling Jaya – Melaka. The 2017 Kia Sorento HS Turbo Diesel is available in 4 colours and is all yours at RM191,888 (OTR with insurance) and comes with a five-year/ unlimited mileage warranty.

Kia Sportage GT Turbo Diesel

From Melaka to Johor Bahru, we switched to the all-new Kia Sportage GT Turbo Diesel. Power comes from a turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine that goes 185 PS at 4000 rpm and a maximum torque of 400 Nm from 1750 and 2750 rpm.

The Sportage is among the slickest SUVs out there. It’s got unusually cool headlights and a blackened exterior that gives off a significantly different presence among most SUVs. The interior of the Sportage is a lot nicer – everything is glossy and bound in leather and satin chrome finishes that give off a very exclusive and sporty vibe.

TBH, the Sportage GT Turbo Diesel was a way more easier drive for me as opposed to the Sorento HS Turbo Diesel. The brakes were a lot more manageable and easy to get used to though it does take a little while to pick up speed. I was also told that the Kia Sportage GT Turbo Diesel weighs over 1400 kgs – an information I found daunting at first but soon came to realise that it helped a lot with balancing the car when you’re unleashing your inner speed demon.

The drive from Melaka-Johor Bahru was a smooth sailing one, and we’re big fans of how this runs on Diesel. Get the Kia Sportage GT Turbo Diesel for RM159,888 together with insurance and the Naza Kia Motors warranty of 5 years with unlimited mileage.

Kia Optima GT

We drove the Optima GT Sedan on our way back to Petaling Jaya and if I’m being honest, I was thoroughly surprised for what I was in for. The Kia Optima is a well equipped four-door family sedan with a sophisticated cabin that cares for passengers very well. It’s got a luxurious feel on the inside while being incredibly spacious and looks just as spectacular on the outside.

Sport leather, suede and aluminium is the theme of the Optima’s luxurious and elegant interior. It’s also got the same infotainment system in the previous two cars that runs MP3, MP4, Radio, Bluetooth and MirrorLink with 6 speakers for your entertainment needs.

The Optima GT Sedan is Kia’s take on the European saloon, and runs fast at 242 PS at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 350 Nm from just 1400 to 4000 rpm. The Optima features a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine that starts at the push of a button and smooths in quietly, but raises its voice as it revs up.

Personally, I do love the Optima because it not only looks good, but it was also a smooth drive and its feel gave me the confidence I needed to take on the open road. The Optima GT is all yours at a cool RM179,888 and comes with a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty. Buyers will get to choose from three different body colours for the Optima GT – Gravity Blue, Aurora Black and Snow White Pearl.

For more on Kia Motors Malaysia, access here.

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Nad Dardin
Writer by day, pseudo Disney princess by night. Loves food, makeup and knows The Godfather trilogy by heart. Follow her on Instagram (@nadardin) or get in touch with her at nadhirah@lipstiq.com.