KIA are getting serious about their Business Specialist Dealer network and one of the first new models sure to appeal to business buyers is the company’s first large car segment estate – the Kia Optima Sportswagon.
Launched last summer, we’ve got this Satin Silver 1.7 CRDi 3 for six months.
To learn more about Kia’s hopes for the Business Specialist Dealer network, see what UK president and CEO Paul Philpott revealed in an interview with Business Car Manager’s sister title Car & Van Funding recently.
We’ve had this Optima roughly a month already and first impressions are good. For a start, just look at it. In our opinion, the latest Optima has always been a sharp-looker, but the fact it’s previously only been available as a saloon has impacted on its popularity with business buyers.
The sharp-looking SW estate is designed to change all that and despite the extended dimensions, we reckon the new estate, which has been inspired by the 2015 Sportspace concept, could be the best-looking in its class. Highlights from the side include the upswept roofline with distinctive chrome detailing, plus the neatly integrated silver metal roof bars.
Move inside our Optima SW and it continues to impress, first with the quality feel to the plastics and trim. Then, the amount of standard kit.
Our car has no extras, but we can’t think of anything we’d add with an 8-inch colour infotainment screen with sat-nav, eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat and the punchy Harmon Kardon sound system all included in this 3 trim level.
After admiring the Optima’s standard kit, we dare business buyers not to be surprised at the amount of interior and boot space.
Okay, at 552litres the boot isn’t quite as big as the mammoth Skoda Superb, but with its low-loading lip, even in the short time it’s been with us, it has proved to be as practical with everything from kids’ scooters to big boxes of car parts fitting without issue.
It is clever too, with features including a false floor, for even more space, plus nets on each side of the load area for smaller items. Fold that split/fold rear seat down and space jumps to a Mazda6-beating 1,686-litres. The 3 trim is also fitted with the useful Audi-like luggage rail system.
This Optima arrived just run in at around 500 miles, but with a steady stream of press cars over the last month we’ve still only just broken the 1,000-mile mark.
We’ve used the Optima on a couple of long-trips and although not as dynamically gifted as the Ford Mondeo estate we previously ran, the Optima shows promise.
The ride is generally very comfortable despite the standard 18-inch alloy wheels, the steering is sharp and the big Kia has plenty of grip. The Business Car Manager team are looking forward to put more miles under this Kia’s wheels in its second month with us.