SOUTH KOREAN manufacturer Kia has all the bases covered when it comes to choice.

The wide model-range runs from a characterful city car, the Picanto, to an imposing large SUV, the Sorento, and the family-favourite SUV-crossover, the Sportage.

You want a coupe? Kia has the stylish pro-cee’d GT. Or an executive express? That area of the market is covered, too – with the Optima, a comfortable four-door saloon now in its second generation. Weekend Wheels tried out a 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S model, with automatic transmission.

The latest car has more modern, bolder exterior styling, a welcoming cabin sporting high quality materials, some cutting-edge technologies, including wireless phone-charging, and new powertrains which cut CO2 emissions by 25 per cent.

I attended the UK launch of the first Optima in the south east a few years ago, and have driven the model on road test previously for this column.

Then I wrote: ‘The inside story brings a cabin that is spacious and well-appointed, with all the bells and whistles equipment-wise.

There are even more of those bells and whistles in the new car, with an absolute wealth of equipment.

Here is just a taste: Leather-upholstered seats, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated/cooled front seats, outer rear heated seats, heated leather-trimmed steering wheel with reach and range adjustment, dual automatic air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel-mounted controls, satnav with 8in screen, reversing camera system, Bluetooth, cruise control and speed limiter, sun-blinds for rear side passenger windows, privacy glass, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers and welcome and follow-me-home function for headlights.

There is great and thoughtful attention to detail, with convenient features including ignition/steering lock illumination, dash illumination dimmer switch, front and rear 12-volt sockets, rear LED reading lights and front door courtesy lights.

On the safety front, features include ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist system, lane-keep assist system, and hill-start assist control. There are airbags aplenty, speed-sensing auto door-locking and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

With a top speed of 126mph and a 0-60mph time of 10.6 seconds (returning 55mpg, combined) the Optima is certainly no slouch and the seven-speed automatic transmission lays down the power in smooth fashion. I found the 139bhp, 1.7-litre four-cylinder, 16-valve diesel engine a touch gruff-sounding on start-up and under heavy acceleration, but fine once the revs settle down.

With a seven-year warranty, and a price tag of £29,395 the Optima represents serious value for money.