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Driving to Wales with the Kia Optima Sportswagon (AD – Loan)

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We were loaned the use of this car for a week, in exchange for coverage. Recently we were heading off on a family trip, to visit Bluestone Wales. This was a 300 mile trip from our home so this seemed like the perfect time to test drive a new car. The good people at Kia lent us the Kia Optima Sportswagon, to ensure that we had a wonderfully smooth ride to Wales, and got great fuel efficiency too. My husband Thomas drove himself, and Daisy, all the way to Wales, where I met them at the train station, and then we used this lovely car to drive around and visit local places, such as Tenby. We spent 10 days driving around in the Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi 3 DCT 7 and this is what we thought of it.

Kia Optima Sportswagon

Our time driving the Kia Optima Sportswagon

As you can see this car is HUGE! It has so much space it is unbelievable. This is a D-segment estate car and is the ideal car for families who want to take lots of luggage on holidays, pack well for trips to the beach or for businessmen who want a comfortable ride while on the road frequently.

Kia Optima Sportswagon - Steering column

The Kia Optima Sportswagon comes with a vast array of amazing features. These include Android Auto, Apple Carplay and connected services from TomTom. The TomTom provides live traffic updates, speed camera alerts, local point-of-interest and weather reports too. This is provided for FREE for the first 7 years.

The perfect fascia for drivers

The fascia is driver-focused and angled towards the driver, which means minimal time glancing at the screen while driving, for improved information absorption times. As I’m a nervous passenger I’m really happy that Thomas needed minimal time glancing at the screen and it was well thought out.

This car comes with air conditioning, a choice of drive modes, automatic controls and manual gears on the steering wheel. The controls on the steering wheel and the central console are well laid out, simple to understand and responsive. Also, there are central console armrests for increased comfort.

Kia Optima Sportswagon - Drivers Dash

A simple to read dashboard

You can see from the dash that we were able to drive 299.9 miles and still had just over half a tank of diesel, with no top ups required. The 1.7l diesel engine provides up to 64.2mpg and the fuel efficiency was absolutely fantastic. Much, much better than our older car that we usually drive. We got fantastic mpg from this while driving on the motorway and down lots of country roads in Wales.

This car has an idle stop/start system that cuts carbon emissions, and avoid fuel wastage. It does 0-60 in 9.8 seconds, which was great when entering the motorway from sliproads. The top speed of this model is 124mph, not that we went anywhere near this fast of course! 

Multiple drive modes

With drive mode selected it is possible to choose from normal, eco and sports modes. Each mode makes alterations to the transmission shift timing, throttle mapping and the steering wheel is weighted accordingly. Also, the paddles on the steering wheel allow the driver to change gear if they wish to.

Kia Optima Sportswagon - Glovebox

Kia Optima Sportswagon - Drivers door

Kia Optima Sportswagon - Passengers door

Kia Optima Sportswagon - lighted mirror

The features within this car are fantastic, really smooth and sleek. There are USB charging points in the front and rear of all models, which is fantastic. This means that Daisy was able to use her tablet while in the car and it kept her occupied for ages! The interior can be trimmed with black cloth, black cloth with faux leather or black leather, depending on your chosen model.

A plush interior

The interior of the Kia Optima Sportswagon is absolutely lush. I felt really relaxed, comfortable and happy while sitting inside the car, despite my travel anxiety. The air conditioning kept us cool on hot days and made long journeys in the car to be comfortable. With powerful brakes, we were kept safe on the busier roads, and Thomas had no problems driving for almost 300 miles with just ONE stop! He felt happy and he wasn’t exhausted when he arrived in Wales either, which was absolutely fantastic.

Back view of the Kia Optima Sportswagon

As you can see the rear windows are tinted, which is a great feature. Daisy was able to sleep comfortably on the road with no worries about the sun causing glare. Also, the back of the car is fitted with a camera, which makes parking an absolute breeze. I was really impressed to see markings to show where the car would end up while parking. This was perfect when squeezing into smaller spaces, and given the larger size of this car.

A massive amount of boot space

The boot space is phenomenal. The rear seats have a 40:40:20 split, which is great if you need extra space. There are 550+ litres of cargo space, with luggage rails and a smart power tailgate. With the seats folded there are almost 1,700 litres of space. This is insane! We loved having the extra space in the boot and it made packing for our holiday a breeze. We were able to put our suitcases, toys, a pushchair and more in the boot, without even having to put the seats down. Also, there is a built-in harness for securing items as well as hidden boot storage boxes.

Thomas driving the Kia Optima Sportswagon

This is Thomas after driving 299.9 miles! He looks a little on the tired side but he was thrilled with the car. I personally felt that the suspension was crisp and the braking was really smooth. My anxiety was really low while travelling around the windy lanes of Wales. The huge rolling hills were no problem at all for this car. It was really comfortable, low on noise and I didn’t feel that speed-bumps and potholes were as big of a concern as they are in our own car. Thomas particularly loved the Harman/Kardon eight-speaker sound system. This car also features smart cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.

We loved the Kia Optima Sportswagon

I love that the Kia Optima Sportswagon, and other Kia models, comes with a 7-year, or 100,000 miles, warranty (whichever comes first). Also, if you sell the car on within 18 months, or with fewer than 18,000 miles on the clock, that the warranty is topped up to match that of a new model. I love this, as it is a great feature for re-selling and perfect if you like to change your car frequently. Also, if you want to keep your car long term you can be sure of good service and a reliable warranty.

Overall we have been thrilled with this car. The only niggles we had were small ones. The sound of the handbrake (a bit odd!). The camera was slightly overcautious and beeped before we reached things. Like the garage door. This may have been to allow room for the boot to open. Also, the sat-nav took us down some really tiny country roads. There was no sign this was going to happen. We loved our time using the Kia Optima Sportswagon. We feel that it is an absolutely fantastic family car, ideal for busy families like ours.

Looking to learn more about Kias? Be sure to check out this great review of the Kia Sportage which even has a handy video!

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