Major revamp dramatically improves its appeal
- Added practicality
- Smart looks
- Solid cabin
- Loads of kit
- Expensive upper grades
- Auto is slower
- Only one engine (for now)
The most surprising thing about the new Kia Optima Sportswagon is that the Korean manufacturer hasn’t made one before.
With its sights set firmly on the company car market, Kia is hoping to find new customers for this pragmatic and smartly styled estate.
Similar trim levels to saloon with lots of kit
Even entry-level 2 cars come packed-out with equipment, including a seven-inch sat-nav system, reversing camera, air-con and cruise control.
From there you can upgrade to 3 spec and finally a sporty-looking GT Line S, distinguished by a subtle bodykit and larger alloy wheels.
Top-spec cars enjoy a generous equipment list including things like wireless phone charging, 360-degree camera, automatic parking, adaptive cruise control and bright LED headlights.
Diesel engine with low CO2
For the time being there is only one engine, a 1.7-litre diesel, until the performance-biased petrol GT comes along in 2017.
The standard unit should appeal to fleet drivers though with 113g/km of CO2, just three grams more than the saloon. In fact Kia reckons three-quarters of Optima Sportswagons will go to company car drivers.
Manual cars also crack the 0-62mph sprint in less than 10 seconds, with the diesel motor providing suitable mid-range punch for overtaking.
The most obvious benefit of the new estate is its larger boot - you get 552 litres with the rear seats up, and 1,686 litres with them down.
There are all manner of tie-down options available to help you make the most of the space out back, plus a couple of under-floor trays for keeping valuable items out of sight.