Kia might be a Korean company, but the Kia Optima Sportwagon is a Europe product. It’s sold in the Europe with only one engine, a ki mated to a choice of six-speed manual and seven-speed auto boxes.
Said rear car seats are short on headroom for tall passengers, but there is a lot of legroom up front and the driving place is spot-on. The driving by itself, however, is less than amazing, with a mixture of road and engine noise meaning it’s a less than refined business.
Making noise is about all the engine is any kind of use for when you rev it, so the solution is to keep it in mid-range and lean on the turbo to make the most of its torque. It’s laggy at the low end, even though, so you will need to keep it from dropping off.
The dual-clutch auto must assist with this, and most of the time it really does its job just good. It’s not very sleek at low speeds, however, and each now and again we flicked the straight down paddle and absolutely nothing happened. That was irritating and so was the Optima’s steering, which is over-light around the straight-ahead position and, instead than gaining level of resistance progressively, dumps it all on you in one go.
This goes with its lack of improvement, which begins the time you fire it up and the diesel noise and vibrations start. And that is a shame, simply because inside and out the Optima looks like a slick, elegant, even high quality wagon.
There are persons who’ll buy one for that reason only. But while its equipment list is outstanding, its materials are more mass-market than premium. And if you value comfort and refinement, it’s adequately lacking in both equally to put you right off.
If Kia can address these is important, it will have a quite decent estate car on its hands. Even then, although, the similar Skoda Superb just costs £1300 more and is better in practically every way. Unless you’re swayed by Kia’s design – and of course its seven-year guarantee – the Optima has the opportunity to be a fine wagon but, thus far,certainly is not.
Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S DCT
Engine 4 cyls, 1685cc, diesel; Power 139bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 251lb ft at 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch auto; Kerb weight 1770kg; 0-60mph 10.7sec; Top speed 124mph; Economy 61.4mpg (combined);