Our schedule for the day included soccer in the morning and various taxi runs with the kids in the afternoon.
Dressed in Aurora Black and sitting on sharp-looking 18-inch rims, our Optima GT cut quite a sporty figure. There are a few cosmetic changes for the face-lifted Optima, starting up front with redesigned LED headlights and honeycomb grill perched above a new bumper. But it's side-on where the Optima looks best, providing the clearest hint of its performance credentials with gloss-black sills and red brake calipers.
The kids and I pile into a cabin that is decorated in a two-tone grey-and-red palette, accompanied by a GT logo stitched onto the front seats. While the seat styling is not my cup of tea, you can't argue with the sportiness of their look and, more importantly, the comfort and support they offer.
There was plenty of space in the back for the kids to spread out, with ample leg and headroom for adult passengers back there, too. Interior space in this car is impressive.
It's in the cabin where the reasons for the $1200 price reduction for this new model become evident. The front passenger seat is now manually operated (previously electric), the cooling/ventilation of the front seats has been deleted, and the panoramic sunroof of the previous model is gone, too.
The GT comes with an 8.0-inch media screen with smartphone connectivity and navigation (with 10 years of maps included) and live traffic updates. While the traffic updates are great in theory, it quickly became an unwelcome irritant - particularly when trying to enjoy the music coming from the 10-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo. And there appeared to be no getting rid of the spoken updates, even after trawling the settings to turn off every alert option I could find.
Our GT displayed impeccable road manners throughout the day, providing a comfortable ride even on some of the nastier suburban roads, and with cabin noise kept to a minimum. Steering is reasonably light and responsive, which is useful for around town.
Parking at our local supermarket was a simple exercise, with good visibility front and rear, plus a reversing camera and parking sensors to help you squeeze into any tight spot.