Kia Optima Sportswagon

Kia Optima Sportswagon review

Driving
Manufacturer price from:£23,100
What Car? Target Price:£21,710
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In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

We’re yet to drive the 2.0-litre petrol engine, but the 1.6-litre diesel is generally fine for a car of this size. Sure, 134bhp looks modest next to an equivalent Superb or Mondeo, but while it’s not as quick as its rivals away from the lights, it’s flexible enough during normal driving, picking up smartly from around 2000rpm. The problem is that flexibility is short-lived: it runs out of puff by 4000rpm.

On a cold start, it grumbles away, and it still sounds a bit strained even when warm – especially if you stretch it beyond the mid-range. Even though a Superb 2.0 TDI 150 isn’t whisper-quiet either, it’s less raucous than the Optima.

The Optima's manual gearshift has a long throw, but it's light and fairly precise. The optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic 'box is clunky at low speed, but once you're in the flow of things, it changes smoothly.

But the Sportswagon isn't as engaging to drive as its rivals. Its steering is vague along the straight-ahead, before gaining weight suddenly and unnaturally as you turn the wheel. Both the Superb and Mondeo are less wallowy, steer more intuitively and, as a consequence, are easier to drive over a distance.

Ride quality is more of a mixed bag. At low speeds across broken town roads, the Sportwagon can be a bit lumpy, but it works better on the motorway, feeling rather more settled and comfortable.

Trims
There are 6 trims available for the Optima estate. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
2
It may be the entry-point to the range, but you get 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climat...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£21,710
Average Saving £1,390
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3
Well worth looking at if you like your toys. It adds 18in alloy wheels, privacy glass...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£23,772
Average Saving £1,528
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GT-Line S
Adds LED headlights, wireless phone charging, a panoramic glass sunroof, powered tailga...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£29,491
Average Saving £1,909
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GT
This top-spec model comes with the 2.0-litre petrol engine, some upgraded design detail...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£31,384
Average Saving £1,966
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OPTIMA
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£35,005
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Plus
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£39,005
View Trim