Not for the US: New Kia Optima Sportswagon

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Station wagons have withered on the vine in the US, but they’re still hot in other markets, as the neat new Kia Optima Sportswagon shows.


We’re learning about the Optima Sportswagon prior to its March 1 debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and we sure do wish that we in the States could have a crack at it.

Instead, the Sportswagon is destined for European markets, as well as Russia and Australia.

Related: Review – 2016 Kia Optima Has Less Power, But a Better Interior

The Sportswagon is based on the Sportspace concept, which debut at Geneva in 2015.


The Sportspace’s aggressive stance ran against the practical rep of the typical wagon.


Nothing says “driver’s wagon” like four high-backed bucket seats. Alas, they undoubtedly would not fold down to make a flat cargo floor.


Wagon proportions are a good fit for the Optima; the sedan’s somewhat fussy C-pillar loosens up on the Sportswagon. And without the burden the burden of US-required protective bumpers, the tailgate is stylishly flush with its surroundings.


You might wish for a protruding bumper after a simple parking-lot pole tap requires a tailgate rebuild, but you’d look pretty chic until that happens.


The front end has complex detailing, with honeycombed fog lights.


Roof rails double as thick and curvy accents…


…and they resolve at the pointy rear end.


The tail lights share the shape of those found on the sedan, and they look cleaner without the sedan’s center lines tying them together.


Engines can be gas or diesel, and there’s a “high-powered” GT model, which promises to further flesh out the Sportswagon’s identity.


The interior would be familiar to US Optima buyers, with a shared control interface. White and light gray trim keeps it feeling bright…


…as does the panoramic roof.


The cargo area expands with a rear seat that folds in three sections. The tie-down tracks and rear skid plate are nice touches.


The cargo floor hides cubbies behind the rear seatbacks…


…and there’s another set of them further back.


What a shame we in the US won’t see Optima Sportswagon; as a whole, we’re just not that into wagons. The small percentage of us who are would surely like to see one at our local Kia dealer.

Tell us in the comments – what do YOU think of the Optima Sportswagon?