Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi 3 ISG

Price: £24,495 as tested

If you are looking for a decent estate car that has everything thrown in for a decent price – then look no further than the Optima Sportswagon.

What Kia has done here is made the perfect estate car that has a minimum of 552 litres of cargo space – plus the added option of dropping the rear seats to increase this to 1,686 litres. This also gives Kia the perfect opportunity to break into that important D-segment where they hope the Optima Sportswagon will grab a slice of the business and fleet sales market.

Power and Efficiency: The version I tested is powered by a1.7 litre turbocharged diesel engine with 139bhp and 340 Ib/ft of torque which makes the Optima move along at a decent pace, considering its size. Fuel economy figures are also good and you can expect to achieve around 60.0mpg (combined) plus a decent top speed of 124mph.

On the road: The Optima feels pretty good on our roads – and there are no dramas to talk about here because it’s well balanced and settled, even on some of our most demanding roads – meaning you will have less to worry about if you decide to start planting the Optima briskly into the corners.

I know I have said this before, but the Kia engineers really do put a lot of effort into making their cars handle well and you can feel that in the way the Optima tells you exactly what’s going on beneath you – while Kia’s onboard safety features do their job by keeping everything present and correct, even in the event that you do go and get it all a bit wrong.

Safety and Technology: Trim levels inside the Optima don’t feel as good as they do inside the Sportage, but this is a load lugger and a car that is able to accommodate a large family and pretty much everything you can throw at it. So, when you think about it, the interior is actually well thought out with modern hard-wearing materials that will be very good at resisting wear for many years.

With technology now being one of the most important factors most people look for when buying a new car, the Optima needed to offer a lot toys for not much money. Well, I can happily report that the Optima does not fall short here – and comes with a whole array of features such as: front and rear parking sensors; auto-dimming rear-view mirror; 8” touchscreen satellite navigation; dual automatic air conditioning with an automatic windscreen de-fog system; 18” alloy wheels; LED front fogs, LED rear lights; blind spot detection; ABD with EBD and more.

To sum up: Go out right now and see for yourself what the Optima Sportswagon has to offer.