The past few weeks have been a relative voyage of discovery for our long-term Kia Optima.
One of the voyages included the ‘can you go camping in a Kia’ challenge, which involved pressing our fleet workhorse into service to see if its 505 litre boot could cope with everything a weekend in a field could throw at it.
Although there is less air space to play with than a Volkswagen Passat (565 litres), it still performed very well, swallowing everything from a tent, to chairs, kitchen unit, beds and bags.
The discoveries didn’t stop there, as I discovered a new benefit of Bluetooth technology on the way to a weekend of changeable weather and poor food hygiene.
My phone wirelessly links to the Optima through Bluetooth technology and I have discovered that it doesn’t just provide hands-free conversation, it also encourages safe texts.
When an SMS message reaches the phone, the in-car system’s voice tells you who is texting and offers the choice of ‘read it’ or ‘end’.
If you say ‘read it’, the car then reads out the text. It struggles with some words, but overall it is brilliant. You can then tell the car to ‘call’ or ‘end’.
A few years ago, this would have been technology solely for the use of prestige saloon drivers, but Kia is bringing this safe technology to the masses.
However, while modern technology is brilliant, sometimes it is important to pay attention to the basics too, as I have discovered with the Kia’s handbrake.
There is very little movement to engage it and it requires a lot of strength to ensure it is sufficiently secure to stop the car rolling away on hills. If there was one improvement to be made the Kia, in my view I would choose this one.