Ever since Peter Schreyer took the wheel as chief designer for Hyundai-Kia, the brand has been churning out some stunning, stylish vehicles, the Optima included. Knowing well that in Europe, two-thirds of D-segment sales are of the wagon body, Kia jumped on the bandwagon and introduced the Europe-only Optima Sportswagon.

After revealing pictures of the D-segment wagon early this year, the Optima Sportswagon is now officially on sale in the UK.2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon GT Line - AutoBuzz.my

On the outside, the wagon is based on the fourth generation Euro-spec Optima sedan. Therefore, it shares the same dimensions; 4,855mm in length and 1,860mm in width. However, the Sportswagon is slightly taller than the sedan at 1,470mm (5mm taller) due to the added roof rails. Although with the same length, Kia has managed to expand the rear boot space from 510 litres to 552 litres. With the rear seats folded, 1,686 litres of cargo space becomes available.

In the UK, the Sportswagon is offered in three different variants. Namely Optima Sportswagon 2, 3 and GT-Line S. A hotter GT version will sit on the top of the line-up when it hits the showroom floors early 2017. A quick glance at the spec sheet, the car comes with ample kit to match even more upmarket car makers.2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi - AutoBuzz.my

Even for the base Sportswagon 2, it comes with a seven-inch touch screen satellite navigation infotainment, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, reverse camera, leather wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, dual zone automatic climate control with ioniser, cruise control, two-way powered seats for the driver, tyre pressure monitoring, and electronic parking brake as standard. Standard safety equipment includes ABS, EBD, BA, ESC, VSM, hill-start assist and six airbags. The base trim is distinguished by its 17-inch alloys, body-coloured door handles and wing mirrors as well as projector headlamps with LED DRLs.

Moving up the range, the Sportswagon 3 trim ups the infotainment screen to eight-inches, adds eight-way powered memory seats with heated functions, premium vision instrument cluster and a 490-watt eight-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system. The mid-spec wagon comes with 18-inch alloys, chrome and body colour door handles, LED front fog lamps and LED rear combination taillights. Additionally, lane keep assist and speed limit warning is thrown in the mix.2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi - AutoBuzz.my

Sitting at the top of the range before the GT-version finds its way to the line-up, is the GT-Line S which adds even more premium goodies to the already loaded wagon. Additional creature comforts include a wireless charging tray, ventilated front seats, heated rear outer seats, LED ambient lighting, 360-degree around view monitor, parking assist, blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, autonomous braking, powered boot and electronic panoramic sunroof. The GT-Line S can be differentiated with its different 18-inch alloys and LED headlamps and a leather upholstery interior.

Powering the wagon is a sole 1.7-litre CRDI turbodiesel that produces 141 hp and 340 Nm of torque mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that is standard on the top variant and an option for the mid-spec variant. Opt for the manual and expect to get a return of 4.4 litres per 100km while the slightly thirstier DCT will return 4.6 litres per 100km.2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon GT Line - AutoBuzz.my

In the UK, the Optima Sports wagon retails from £22,295 (approximately RM117k based on today’s exchange rate) all the way up to £30,595 (approximately RM162k) depending on trim levels. Seems that Kia UK adopts a similar pricing strategy as Naza Kia Malaysia by offering a whole lot of kit for not a whole lot of money.

Estate body styles has received a lukewarm response here in Malaysia where SUVs and crossovers are getting the lion’s share of attention. It will be challenging to sway Malaysian buyers to getting an estate car because, why would you spend more for a sedan with extra space when you can get a cheaper SUV with raised ride height and more space? Guess the chances of us catching this stylish wagon on Malaysian soil is close to nil. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, though.


IMAGE GALLERY

Kia Optima Sportswagon GT Line

Kia Optima Sportswagon CRDi


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Adrian Chia
He believes that the perfect remedy to Monday blues is a mixture of 4 wheels, clear roads and a pinch of twisty tarmac. A hot hatch is the icing on the cake.