All-New Kia Optima Sportswagon Review

Kia Optima Sportswagon.

The Kia Optima Sportswagon is the estate version of the Optima saloon – and as our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, discovered at the model’s launch in Munich, it looks set for success.

New Models

Kia’s Optima Sportswagon is just one of many new cars the South Korean car maker has introduced recently. The latest incarnation of the Kia Sportage was launched in February 2016 and only a couple of weeks ago, the all-new Kia Niro went on sale. Kia’s first ever plug-in hybrid model, the Kia Optima PHEV has also been launched in saloon-only guise. Along with the Kia Optima Sportswagon, it’ll be in Perrys’ showrooms from September.


The Kia Optima Sportswagon is pretty special because Kia has never made a family estate this size before. It goes up against strong opponents such as Vauxhall’s Insignia estate and Ford’s Mondeo estate – and it’s just as good looking.


But it’s not just about keeping up appearances; the Kia Optima Sportswagon will seat four adults and it’ll get three kids’ booster seats across the rear bench. Legroom is good – and headroom is excellent due to the Sportwagon’s lofty roofline. It has a load space of 552 litres, which swells to 1,686 litres with the rear seats folded. There are some useful oddment nets and a fake boot floor that can be lifted to make extra room, too. This makes the Kia Optima Sportswagon a very practical estate car.


Behind the wheel, things are very comfortable. The pedals aren’t offset, instantly making the driving position a pleasing one. The clutch is light and the gearshifts slick – although the manual gearbox has quite a long throw. The steering wheel is thick and pleasant to grip, lending further to driver contentment.


The Kia Optima Sportswagon is only available in Britain with a 1.7-litre diesel power unit, but it’s punchy enough, with 0-60mph arriving in 9.8 seconds on its way to 124mph. It has lots of low down shove for overtakes and the ride is smooth. The steering is precise, too, albeit slightly artificial in feel. This doesn’t stop the car being entertainingly quick to respond in corners, though – even if body roll does kick in when driving enthusiastically.


Fuel efficiency is an important factor for new car-buying families – and the Optima Sportswagon, as tested here in high spec ‘3’ trim with the manual transmission doesn’t disappoint. 64.2mpg is achievable on average and CO2 emissions are 113g/km. An automatic DCT ‘box is available on the Kia as well – and this returns 61.4mpg and emits 120g/km of CO2. It’s more lethargic, though – with a 0-60 time of 10.7 seconds. The top speed remains the same.


At the end of the day, the Kia Optima Sportswagon is a handsome, comfy, practical, efficient and pithy performer. In ‘3’ trim, you get lots of standard kit for the car’s £24,495 price-tag. It rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and, inside, there’s sat-nav, a high spec audio system and an electrically-alterable driver’s seat. It’s a great alternative to a Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia and definitely worth test driving if you need a family-sized estate car.

Why not pop into one of Perrys Kia dealerships and check the all-new Kia Optima Sportswagon out for yourself?

Pros ‘n’ Cons

  • Looks √
  • Performance √
  • Practicality √
  • Equipment √
  • Steering feel X

Fast Facts (Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi 3 driven)

  • Max speed: 124 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 9.8 secs
  • Combined mpg: 64.2
  • Engine layout: 1685cc 4-cylinder 16 valve, turbo diesel
  • Max. power (PS): 141
  • CO2: 113 g/km
  • Price: £24,495