2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Mid-range station wagons have gone a little out of fashion in times of the SUV boom. Wrongly, as the Kia Optima proves.
Many manufacturers have therefore completely deleted mid-range station wagons in this country or offer less attractive compromise models. At the same time, the best cars in their class are currently better than they have been for a long time. The Kia Optima wants to be one of them.
The core competence of a station wagon is its space. The large suitcase behind the passenger compartment, however, often conflicts with an attractive silhouette. Even the Optima does not rely uncompromisingly on maximum built-up space, but it does find a good compromise between appearance and utility. Almost 1,700 liters are sufficient for family vacations as well as for the sample suitcase collection for business travelers.
Kia Optima with high practicality
The Kia also scores well in the B rating, with a multitude of mounting options, remote unlocking of the rear seat backrests and a small item compartment under the trunk floor, which also holds the luggage compartment blind, enough options to use the lush space comfortably. It has a low loading sill ahead of common SUV models, which is easy on your back when loading.
The passengers are also airy, and even tall people can comfortably find space in the back. However, they are relatively low, which can make getting out of the car difficult.
In addition, a cardan tunnel and the console of the driver's armrest that protrudes to the rear disturb the passenger in the middle seat. The interior design is definitely pleasing, but the operating concept with its myriad of buttons and switches seems slightly outdated just a few years after its introduction. In particular, the buttons around the gear selector lever and on the steering wheel are cluttered. On the other hand, the choice of materials and workmanship are absolutely on par - the interior exudes quality and durability.
Top model with 238 hp
When it comes to drive, Kia largely relies on home cooking - apart from the top-of-the-line petrol model Optima GT with 238 hp, which is as fast as it is fuel-efficient. In the case of diesel, however, the power range ends at 136 hp. A value that will hardly tear the upscale company car driver off his feet, but is completely sufficient in everyday life. The slight starting weakness of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder cannot cover the seven-speed dual clutch transmission, but once in motion it allows brisk swimming on the motorway and seamless overtaking.
Consumption is barely okay: the station wagon consumes around six liters on average, and sometimes over seven at motorway speeds. Because the standard tank holds a generous 70 liters, you can drive almost 1,200 kilometers without refueling. That fits well, because long distances are a pleasure to drive with the Optima thanks to the neat seats and the well-balanced, comfortable chassis. All that is missing for full travel enjoyment is a more effective noise reduction on the body.
The coherent package of long-distance comfort, space and superior drive is complemented by extensive equipment. Even the basic model (gasoline engine with 163 hp, from 26,500 euros) comes with cruise control, navigation, automatic air conditioning and a reversing camera - almost everything you need on a company car tour or a family outing.
The diesel is available in the same equipment from 28,800 euros, but if you want the automatic version, you have to choose a higher trim line and pay at least 32,990 euros. The majority of the available assistance systems are always extra - even in the higher equipment lines, only a few are part of the helper series. After all, the surcharge policy is reasonably fair. Compared to its strongest competitors VW Passat Variant, Peugeot 508 SW and Opel Insignia Sports Tourer, the Optima Sportswagon is not a bargain, but not only a worth considering alternative in view of the seven-year guarantee. (SP-X)
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