Kia Optima Sportswagon long-term review

Korean-car convert and What Car? photographer Will Williams needs something that's spacious, economical and comfortable for long trips. Will a Kia Optima estate fit the bill?

Words ByWill Williams

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  • The car Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi β€˜3’ 7-speed DCT auto ISG
  • Run by Will Williams, photographer
  • Why it’s here As one of the newer estates out there, we want to see if it makes more sense than the ubiquitous SUV
  • Needs to Sip fuel, have a flexible and commodious load area and be comfortable on long journeys

Price Β£26,055 Price as tested Β£26,600 Miles covered 19,958 Official combined MPG 64.2mpg True MPG na Test economy 41.6mpg CO2 120g/km Options Temptation Red paint (premium) Β£545

10 January 2018 - time for new tyres

Regular readers of my long-term updates will know that I do a lot of miles, and that this has been taking its toll on the tyres on my Kia Optima Sportswagon. So, I decided to bite the bullet and get them changed.

I was interested to find out that the Optima SW runs on Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres as standard, which is quite sporty rubber that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see on a 130bhp diesel family estate.

I shopped around for some tyre prices and then took the car down to Micheldever Tyre Services in Hampshire. To replace my Pilot Sport 3s with an identical set would cost Β£357.

That was a bit more than I was hoping to spend, and since the Optima SW isn't a performance car, I thought I’d maybe opt for something a bit cheaper. In the end I went for Michelin Primacys, the next option down on the price list at Β£310.

I’ve now done a few hundred miles on the fresh set and the differences are very slight but just about noticeable. The ride feels a tiny bit stiffer and tyre noise – particularly over motorway expansion joints – seems to be a bit louder, but other than that, it’s business as usual.

Would I recommend other Optima Sportswagon owners downgrade on their first tyre change? Well, I think it’s great that Kia provides Pilot Sports 3s as standard. Although it’s not by a hugely noticeable amount, the Pilot Sport 3s are better in every respect than the Primacys, so really it’s up to you whether you want to save Β£50 or not.

It’s early days, but personally, if I were to change again, I’d fork out the extra Β£50 to get the better tyres.

I’m interested to hear if anyone else has changed their tyres from Pilot Sport 3 to Primacy, so please do let us know if you have.

I’m still enjoying running this car and racking up the miles, and because it's approaching the 20,000-mile mark, I've booked it in for a service. I’ll update you on how that goes in my next report.

More on our long-term Kia Optima Sportswagon >

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Kia Optima

What Car? SaysRated 3 out of 5
Owners sayNot yet rated

The Kia Optima Sportswagon has plenty of passenger space and a good-sized boot, but it’s neither as comfortable nor as sharp to drive as the class best.