Currently reading: 2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon begins winter testing
Estate version of the fourth-gen Kia Optima arrives in the UK late this year, with styling inspired by the Sportspace concept
Darren Moss
2 mins read
19 January 2016

The new Kia Optima Sportswagon has been spotted winter testing ahead of its planned launch later this year.

Read our review of the Kia Optima Sportswagon here

The new estate, which is heavily based on the Optima saloon, itself due to come to the UK this year, has been subjected to the harsh climate inside the Artic Circle.

The Optima Sportswagon has been previously spotted benchmark testing against estate versions of rivals including the Hyundai i40Vauxhall InsigniaFord Mondeo and Mazda 6.

Although the test mules photographed here are heavily disguised, the styling of the Optima Sportswagon was closely previewed by the Sportspace concept at last year's Geneva motor show.

The Sportspace featured ‘ice cube’ quad headlights, distinctive bonnet bulges and the company’s latest ‘tiger nose’ grille. Kia described the rear as having a 'latin’ flavour, with the D-pillar pushed forwards compared with those of other estates.

Power for the concept came from a derivative of Kia’s T-hybrid 1.7-litre diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, which was first showcased at last year’s Paris motor show. The engine was mated to a sequential automatic shift-by-wire transmission, with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

Elements of the concept's radical interior styling are also expected to carry over to the production estate.

Speaking to Autocar at the 2015 Geneva show, Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s chief designer in Europe, said: “Looking at this car, it’s not the type of show car that looks like it’s not going to make it to a showroom. It looks like a very realistic proposal.”

Engine options for the Sportswagon are likely to be shared directly with the fourth-generation Optima saloon. In the UK, the sole engine on offer will be a 139bhp 1.7-litre CRDi diesel. A high-performance Optima GT version is set to be launched later, as is a plug-in hybrid variant.

Read Autocar's drive of the Kia Optima PHEV here


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Kia Optima

The Kia Optima has looks, practicality and value on its side. But in a class of talented models, it is an also-ran.

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17 February 2015
The front end could do with some work, it looks like it was ripped off the current optima rather than designed with the rest of the car, but that's a common complaint with car designer's current obsession with corporate identity.

Other than that and a few impractical touches (boot rollers, funny door handles) I think they've judged it just about correctly. The interior is modern without being silly and the back and side exterior views work well.

It's a shame Kia don't sound that convinced about it themselves, especially the interior.

17 February 2015
I like the overall shape,the interior?,well,it's a bit sore on the Eye,tone it down,get the point of entry price right,and, hey presto!, a great car!

17 February 2015
Ten years ago it would have been considered heretic to compare a Kia with the mainstream so-called premium brands but with each new design, it reveals Kia moves a steady step forward/upward.

17 February 2015
fadyady wrote:

Ten years ago it would have been considered heretic to compare a Kia with the mainstream so-called premium brands but with each new design, it reveals Kia moves a steady step forward/upward.

True. Their designs have improved quite a bit since they pinched that Audi head of design fellow, Peter somebody or another...

17 February 2015
It looks a bit, err, squashed!

17 February 2015
If this is the new Optima then I'm going to have a to decide weather I go for the new Sorento or the new Optima estate. My Optima 3 that I have now has been great but its 3 years old now and I'm ready for a change. Can't wait to see it in the flesh when it comes over here.

17 February 2015
VW scirrco front, seat Leon rear... Bored!

17 February 2015
A nice looking car from a mainstream maker - shades of Ferrari FF but affordable without a Swiss bank account!

30 November 2015
Looking at the rear 3/4s I see hints of the 159, the wheel design helps too. Regardless of inspiration, this is impressive.

1 December 2015
It is an impressive car that makes the new Audi A4 look ridiculously old fashioned and the BMW 3 series as dull and uninspiring as a £100 fridge. What a change in design inspiration when you think of the clunky Korean designs of only 8/10 years they are well in front and heading off into the distance. The dull Jaguar XE, the hideous Lexus 200NH and the oversized Mondeo need to look again and have a think about their ideas...mainly clearing out the grey haired old men and wierd "designers". Few of us would have bought a Kia just a few years ago but could be the smart choice! The ONLY thread of hope though is that this Kia needs some work on the interior....rather a lot in fact but my guess is that they are three steps in front on that and when launched, many people will be pleasantly surprised!

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