We know full well that Kia, like nearly every other automaker, is banking on crossovers like the Sportage and Sorento to boost sales numbers and profitability. But even though this new Kia Optima Sportswagon seems a sure bet to join the ranks of forbidden-fruit Euro wagons, we can still dream about it coming to the States.
Don’t just write off our love for wagons as frivolous fanboyism, either. The Optima Sportswagon is stylish, practical, and offers plenty of advantages over a crossover like the Sportage. We, for one, vastly prefer its looks. The Optima’s clean, flowing lines translate perfectly onto the long-roof bodystyle, and the nicely-finished interior is just as appealing in this wagon as it is in the pleasant Optima sedan. The Optima Sportswagon also offers even more space than the Sportage—19.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, compared to 17.7 cubic feet in the Sportage (as per European measurements)—and has split-folding rear seats in a 40-20-40 arrangement for enhanced practicality.
The Optima Sportswagon uses the same powertrains as the Optima sedan, and the minimal added weight of the wagon bodystyle will likely mean that it shouldn’t lose much in terms of fuel economy—in the U.S.-market Optima, that means up to 32 mpg combined, while the Sportage can only manage 26 mpg. All this, plus the Optima wagon’s lower center of gravity means it’s bound to have better handling than the lifted Sportage SUV.
Are you convinced yet? We can only hope Kia is, though we’re not holding our breath. In the meantime, we’ll pine away at these photos of the Kia Optima Sportswagon before it makes its official debut at the upcoming Geneva auto show.