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?...

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Will Williams
12 Apr 2018 13:00 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

  • The car Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi ‘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 £26,055 Price as tested £26,600 Miles covered 29,200 Official combined MPG 64.2mpg Test economy 41.6mpg CO2 120g/km Options Temptation Red paint (premium) £545


12 April 2018 – space to spare

You’ll remember from my previous update that the Optima has suffered some cosmetic damage.

I was driving on the motorway and went to overtake a white van that was cruising in the middle lane – and they say stereotypes don’t exist – however, as I manoeuvred around the van I noticed a bit of its bodywork around the A-pillar was flailing around. Sure enough, as soon as I noticed it, it fell off and landed in my path.

I thought I’d done enough to avoid hitting it, but when I was cleaning the car later on I noticed it had almost pierced the front bumper, and left some other scrapes for good measure. The damage wasn’t severe, but my sensitive photographer’s eye for detail meant it was annoying me enough to at least get a quote for the repair work.

I took it to Snows in Guildford, where I’d had a service done previously. They have a place in Southampton that can fix more substantial bodywork issues, but if you take your car to Guildford the usual protocol is that they take pictures of the damage and send it to Southampton for further assessment, and provide a quote.

Kia Optima Sportswagon long-term review

My luck was in, however, as there was an engineer on hand to take a look there and then.

By the time I got home I had a quote waiting for me. To fix it would cost £210 and it’d be completed in one day. Not half bad, as I'd been expecting more. Still, I'm yet to decide whether I'll go through with the repair – stay tuned on that front.

It’s also annoying because, since I thought I’d missed the flying bodywork, I didn’t bother to stop and try to get insurance details from the van driver. Lesson learnt.

In other news, while my colleagues are suffering early mid-life crises and buying old bangers of extremely questionable road-worthiness, they are often turning to my trusty Korean workhorse to jump start them. Another sign of its solid reliability.

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