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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Kia Optima Sportswagon
  • 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 24,555 Official combined MPG 64.2mpg Test economy 41.6mpg CO2 120g/km Options Temptation Red paint (premium) Β£545

15 February 2018 – servicing satisfaction

In my last report I was on the fence about my new tyres. I’d opted for a cheaper set and wasn’t quite sure if they had made the ride worse. Now I’ve covered quite a lot of miles in the new set, I’ve fallen off the fence onto the rocks below.

I am now really noticing that they have given the car a firmer ride, and I wish I had gone for a straight replacement of the more expensive tyres that the car got as standard. I’ve made worse mistakes in my life – I do own a mark one Mazda MX-5 after all – but in hindsight, I should’ve forked out some extra cash for the excellent Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres that it came with as standard.

In the last month, though, the odometer ticked towards the 20,000-mile mark, so I booked it in for a service.

I went to Snows of Guildford and they carried it out for a reasonable Β£225. I generally think most car services are overpriced and expensive, but at least with the Sportswagon it wasn’t needed until 20,000 miles. In the Hyundai Ioniq I used to run – and many other cars – it was 10,000 miles.

The staff at Snows were very friendly and kept me posted on progress throughout the process. I was also interested to receive a video report from the technicians, showing an inspection of the underside of the car. Getting a video as part of a service is not something I’ve personally experienced before, but having spoken to other people it seems as though this is a growing trend. I think it’s a pretty good idea. You can see them checking items and if there are any issues it makes it easy to highlight – luckily there wasn’t anything to see on the Sportswagon.

It was all very uneventful, in the end, which is the best outcome in this situation. It was a smooth and professional experience; there had been no recalls, I’d recently changed the tyres, and the brakes still have a lot of wear left. Top marks all round, then.

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.