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Optima 1.7 CRDi 3 Sportswagon

  • List price now: £24,655
  • Five-door estate
  • 2017 BIK / CO2:  24% /113g/km
  • 139bhp 1.7-litre turbo diesel /6-speed manual
  • Performance: 9.8 secs/124mph
  • Economy (official) /ours: 64.2mpg/43mpg




WE are over two months into our time with the Kia Optima Sportswagon and I’m pleased to report that after a mammoth month of driving, with over 1,000 miles added, that in general the Kia continues to impress.

Whether it’s just me on my own, or accompanied by my family, the Optima’s interior and bootspace have been a pleasant surprise in comparison to the cars I own. Plus, even with the standard 18-inch alloy wheels, the ride remains impressively comfortable.

Although I’ve not yet been able to test the limit of 552-litre boot, a family holiday beckons and it will be the Optima’s duty to get us to Gatwick airport and back. So 10 days of family luggage will be a perfect boot test, more on this in the next report.

Long drives have also given me the chance to give the Kia’s standard touchscreen navigation system a workout. Get past the dated graphics and I reckon this is a good set-up, being easy to operate. However, it has let me down once and it was a biggie, as it was unable to find an address for some parking at Heathrow – which sadly almost led me to missing my flight!

Still, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt, as it’s also hooked up to the punchy, 490-watt Harmon/Kardon sound system, that’s certainly kept me entertained this month. I’ve been making the most of the connectivity, with the choice of my old iPod, iPhone via the Bluetooth and the DAB radio providing the tunes and shortening the longest trips.

One of the most memorable trips in the Optima this month, was a late night drive from Heathrow to the Cotswolds over twisty country roads. Although a comfortable, enjoyable drive, I was left with the feeling that the Optima SW could be more fun.

The biggest issue for me is the lack of feel from the steering, it’s overlight too. Although Kia are aware of this problem and one of the jobs of ex-BMW M Engineering Vice President, Albert Biermann, is to tweak the dynamics of the whole model range.

Sadly, despite all the miles, I’ve not had the chance to give the Satin Silver paintwork the wash it deserves, like I did at the end of the first month. Still it wears the squashed flies on the front bumper and bonnet with pride, plus the silver paintwork does a great job of hiding the rest.

Also, despite the MPG improving, we’re still not close to the official 60+ mpg fuel figure, but hopefully I’ll be able to report an improvement next month.

Optima 1.7 CRDi 3 Sportswagon


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