Currently reading: New Kia Optima Sportswagon estate revealed
Sportspace-inspired estate version of the new Kia Optima will go on sale in the UK this autumn

Kia has expanded its Kia Optima range with the launch of a new estate model, the Optima Sportswagon (SW), at Geneva.

Read our review of the Kia Optima Sportswagon here

Inspired by the Kia Sportspace concept from the 2015 Geneva motor show, the Optima SW is Kia's first rival to the likes of the estate versions of the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Mazda 6, the latter of which Kia says is the chief rival for the SW.

Kia says the model represents a significant growth opportunity in Europe, as two thirds of all models sold in the class are estates, rising to three quarters when looking purely at fleet sales. In its case, Kia says the estate could outsell the saloon six to one.

The Optima SW was designed and conceived alongside the saloon, both models being led by Kia's European design team.

Kia optima estate 040

The Optima SW is based on the latest version of the Optima saloon. The estate has the same 4855mm length and 1860mm width of the saloon, although it grows 5mm in height to 1470mm. Its wheelbase is 2805mm.

Boot capacity is 553 litres with the rear seats up, which is a 48-litre increase over the saloon. Kia has yet to confirm a figure for the maximum capacity with the rear seats folded down. In comparison the Mondeo estate offers 500-1605 litres of space (rear seats up and down), the Insignia estate offers 540-1530 litres and the Mazda 6 estate 506-1648 litres.

The rear seats split 40:20:40 as standard, alongside several convenience features. Included is a pop-up sliding metal luggage rack to secure single items, a powered tailgate that opens automatically when the key is in close proximity to the boot, and a low, flat boot lip.

Kia optima estate 044


Read our review

Car review

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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The interior is based on that of the Optima saloon, and is offered with a 7.0in or 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. The Optima SW is offered with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration systems, alongside a wireless charging mat and two USB charging points, one of which is located in the rear.

The Optima SW is set to be offered with two engines in the UK, including a range-topping GT version with a turbocharged 242bhp, 260lb ft 2.0-litre petrol engine hooked up to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Performance figures have yet to be revealed.

The other engine in the line-up is the 139bhp, 251lb ft 1.7-litre turbodiesel. This can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Economy and CO2 figures have yet to be revealed. In the Optima saloon, the 1.7 manual has CO2 emissions of 110g/km and 56mpg combined economy.

Kia also has plans to equip the Optima SW with the same plug-in hybrid drivetrain that is being introduced in the saloon. An all-road version has been ruled out, however.

Kia claims to have tuned the Optima SW’s independent suspension to improve agility and offer better protection from bumps and poor road surfaces. There are also bespoke spring and damper settings for the estate.

An electronically controlled adaptive suspension system is offered on the Optima SW, which includes Normal and Sport modes and is tuned specifically for European driving tastes. This is optional on the diesel version and standard on the petrol-powered GT model.

Kia optima estate 041

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The GT model, which will also be offered on the saloon, includes a bodykit with a more aggressive front bumper, new air intakes, different 18in alloys, a tweaked rear bumper, twin exhausts, pseudo diffuser and new interior detailing and trim. Work has been done at the Nürburgring to tune it as a sporty model.

Kia will offer the Optima SW with a whole host of safety and convenience features. These include a self-parking function for both parallel and perpendicular spaces, headlights that move in line with the steering wheel, radar cruise control, and an autonomous emergency braking that has a radar that can detect collisions at both short and medium ranges and low and medium speeds.

Commenting on the design and market positioning of the new Optima SW, the car’s exterior design chief David Hart said: “It's a very stylish wagon. We didn't just want to make another wagon, we wanted something as stylish as the saloon so you don't have to make a choice between style and practicality.”

European marketing director Artur Martins said the Optima SW was important as it gave Kia, which is still growing its range in Europe, a presence in a “mature” market segment in Europe, and one that is stable for estates at present.

The Optima SW will go on sale in the UK in the autumn. It is tipped to command a price premium of a few hundred pounds over the saloon model, which starts at £21,495.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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gazza5 18 February 2016

Yay! Turbo petrol engine

The petrol engine has been in USA for years - its about time they bought it here - the 1.7 diesel in my opinion doesn't cut it and ruins a very good car. Now just need to decide estate or saloon - I assume the petrol 2.0 will be in the saloon also.
MrJ 18 February 2016

Rising rear window line and

Rising rear window line and wide c-pillar = pain to park in tight spots. *Sigh*
bol 17 February 2016

Mmm, enticingly reminiscent of a classic Toyota Camry

In side profile at least.