The last month or so has seen me sat in the Optima and noticing little things about it. No matter who you are or what you drive, there are these little ëthingsí that both annoy and please. I know we have the monthly ëWhatís Hotí and ëWhatís Notí boxes, but we donít always have the space to elaborate, so instead of my usual passage, this month Iíve decided to do a bullet point summary instead.
The good bits:
- Automatic wipers. As a rule, automatic windscreen wipers frustrate me, as theyíre too keen to switch to the maximum speed, despite the sensitivity being switched to the lowest setting, if theyíre adjustable at all. But in the Optima, I can honestly say it is the only car Iíve experienced where the wipers work perfectly, intermittently clearing the screen at just the right time without the need to switch it up to max with the smallest amount of precipitation on the screen.
- Electronic Handbrake. Yes, this featured in the ëWhatís Notí last month, and while it is odd that the handbrake doesnít engage when the car is put in Park and switched off, it is totally logical when releasing. Every other car Iíve driven with an electronic handbrake doesnít engage until you accelerate, which can sometimes make the car a little jerky when it doesnít release. The Optima, though, disengages the handbrake the moment the car is put in drive or reverse, making everything feel much smoother.
- Folding rear seat release. Thereís no need to climb into the boot or walk around to the back seat and twist your wrist getting the seats folded. Thereís a release handle in the boot as standard ñ you pay extra for that in a Skoda Superb.
Not so great:
- Temperature control knobs. The haptic feedback is pretty poor, as thereís no defining click of the rotary dial to let you know that the temperature has increased and by how much. Instead, you have to glance at the infotainment screen where the temperature display is far too small.
- Stop-start. It is beyond me why the car does this, but when parking the Optima and you come to a stop, the stop-start will switch the engine off, as it should. However, put the car into park and the engine starts back up again, meaning you have to switch the car off yourself, as well as engage the handbrake. It is very strange indeed!
- The beeping. Okay, so Iíve noticed this for a lot longer than the last month, but now is the time to vent about the beeping. From the moment you enter the car and press the start button, the car will beep at you whilst it performs system checks. And it does so right up to the moment when you switch the car off and open the door, a reminder to take the key with you. The car will beep if you start it without the wheels being straight, beep if you switch it off with a window or sunroof still open. Itís all unnecessary, and more importantly, annoying.
Date arrived 9th December 2016
Fuel economy 61.4mpg (combined) 42.8mpg (on test)
There’s a handy space for the parcel shelf to fit into, without having to leave it at home.
Oddly, the front parking sensors only switch on automatically when reverse is engaged.