Kia will unveil its first large family car estate at the Geneva motor show, in the shape of the Optima Sportswagon.
Evolved from the Sportspace concept shown by Kia at the 2015 Geneva event, the Optima Sportswagon will go on sale late in 2016 as a rival to the likes of the Ford Mondeo Estate.
It is expected to find the major part of its sales in the fleet sector, Kia regarding the new Optima as its main fleet contender. It is also a sector where estate models sell significantly more than saloon variants.
The Optima Sportswagon replicates the saloon’s dimensions in both the 1,860mm width and 4,855mm length, but is 5mm higher, at 1,470mm, due to the enlarged boot which offers 553 litres of space, 48 litres more than the saloon. This is more than direct estate rivals the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Mazda 6.
Kia says that a number of features built into the car make it a more practical proposition than rival estates. The rear seats as standard are split-folding to a 40:20:40 ratio, which allows long items such as skis to be accommodated in the middle while still allowing two occupants to sit on the outer rear seats.
A safety barrier net is built into the backs of the rear seats while pop-up sliding luggage rails help secure items in the boot. A power tailgate can open the rear of the car automatically when the key is in proximity.
European engine options will range across 2-litre petrol units of 160bhp and 241bhp, and the likely biggest-selling diesel of 1.7 litres and 139bhp. The less-powerful petrol engine will be six-speed manual and six-speed auto transmission options, its larger sister with the six-speed auto only, and the diesel with the manual or a seven-speed DCT auto ‘box.
In other aspects the Optima Sportswagon will replicate the saloon version, notably its connectivity options – the infotainment system including compatibility with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone systems.