Kia's latest debut is one that we all saw this one coming from a mile away, but that doesn't make it any less exciting...and just a bit frustrating.
Around this time last year, we got a look at the-- Kia's thinly veiled vision for a potential wagon variant of the Korean automaker's sedan. Today, that vision becomes a reality with the official unveiling of the 2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon at the . It's a great looking wagon and the Optima sedan's design cues translate nicely onto its elongated proportions and simplified, strong horizontal roofline.
Wagons (also known as estates) are an important segment for European markets, which is why it's important that Kia make its first ever D-segment tourer a good one. Being largely identical to an already well-received sedan gives it a pretty good starting point.
Obviously, the Sportswagon has an interior volume advantage over the sedan, boasting about 20 cubic feet (553 liters) of cargo capacity behind its 40/20/40 split-fold rear seats. A power opening and closing liftgate gives you access to that storage space.
When it hits European roads in Q4 2016, the Optima Sportswagon will be available with a range of diesel and gasoline engines. At the top of that range is the 2.0-liter turbocharged Sportwagon GT model that I expect will reach 241 horsepower based on what we already know of the sedan. For those who want a dose of sport handling for their Sportwagon, there's the optional electronic adaptive suspension.
The Kia will also make the automaker's latest generation UVO infotainment system available. It will come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionalities at launch and optional wireless inductive charging.
Here's the frustrating bit: The Kia Optima Sportswagon will launch later this year in European markets but Kia has announced no plans to bring the handsome estate to the States. Of course, I'm not surprised by that either.