2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon
Two new engines, updated appearances, and updated safety tech for 2019by Mark McNabb, on
Kia Motors Europe is giving the Optima and Optima Sportswagon a mild mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year. The cars will go on display at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show March 6 and will go on sale in Europe starting in the third quarter of 2018.
While the visual modifications are light, the 2019 Optima Sportswagon adds two new engines to its current lineup. These are designed to expand the Optima’s range and appeal, on top of the current plug-in hybrid powertrain and the sporty GT variant.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon.
2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon
2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon Exterior
- Updated grille design
- New wheel options
- New LED headlights & taillights
- New “Runway Red” body color
The front fascia receives a slightly updated Tiger Nose grille, a new lower fascia updated LED headlights, and new LED fog lights
Kia has kept the visual updates rather light for 2019. The front fascia receives a slightly updated Tiger Nose grille, a new lower fascia updated LED headlights, and new LED fog lights. New LED taillights join the fray, as do new wheel options ranging from 16-, 17,- and 18-inches. The rear bumper is updated, too, but only on the Optima Sedan.
The sporty GT model gets two-toned, multi-spoke 18-inch wheels with gloss black accents on the grille, mirror caps, and side sills. The GT’s rear bumper has a faux air diffuser with a handsome dual exhaust tip with chrome finishers.
2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon Interior
- New steering wheel design
- New satin chrome trim on dash
- New Ambient lighting package with six colors
- 19 cubic feet of space in trunk
- 60/40-split folding second-row bench
Customers can choose between cloth and leather upholstery, with colors including black, a two-tone black and gray, and a new brown leather
Kia didn’t pony up some fancy interior renovations for 2019 but rather is kept the status quo – at least for the most part. The interior’s overall design doesn’t change, though a new steering wheel and satin chrome trim are added, with the trim extending from the dash to the center console.
Customers can choose between cloth and leather upholstery, with colors including black, a two-tone black and gray, and a new brown leather. Ambient mood lighting is also new for 2019, with six colors to toggle through. The driver can also assign colors to the different drive modes. For example, the car comes pre-programmed to glow green in Eco mode, red in Sport mode, and blue in Normal mode.
The GT trim offers up two-tone black and red leather seats or black leather seats with red contrast stitching. The seats come with the GT logo embroidered into the seatbacks with either black or gray stitching, depending on the base seat color. GT models also have the GT logo at the six O’clock position on the new flat-bottom steering wheel.
2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon Performance
- New 1.6-liter diesel
- New 1.6-liter turbo-four gasoline
- New Drive Modes
- Two carryover 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines
- Plug-in Hybrid powertrain
- Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
- Front-wheel drive
Two new engines join alongside two 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines and a plug-in hybrid powertrain for a more well-rounded powertrain lineup.
The 2019 Kia Optima’s biggest updates happen under its hood. Two new engines join alongside two 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines and a plug-in hybrid powertrain for a more well-rounded powertrain lineup.
The first new engine is the “U3” 1.6-liter CRDi, or common-rail direct injection, diesel engine. This non-turbo diesel is designed to be cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing 1.7-liter CRDi. It does this with a Selective Catalytic Reduction system that reduces tailpipe emissions of C02, particulate matter, and NOx. The engine makes a humble 134 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.
The second new mill is also a 1.6-liter, though this one runs on gasoline and uses a turbo to generate boost for an output of 178 horsepower. It’s called the 1.6 T-GDi, which stands for turbocharged gasoline direct injection. The turbo-four slots between the naturally aspirated 161-horsepower 2.0-liter CVVL four-cylinder and the 242-horsepower 2.0-liter T-GDi found in the Optima GT. Regardless of the powertrain, Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is the standard transmission. It includes paddle shifters for manual control, too.
Adding to the driving fun is a new Drive Mode Selector, which gives drivers a say in how the Optima Sportswagon performs. The modes include Eco, Comfort, Sport, and “Smart Mode,” which is basically an automatic mode that allows the computer to determine the driver’s current driving style. The 2019 Optima Sportswagon comes only in front-wheel drive.
Fuel economy figures have not been announced, but count on improvements from the two new engines.
|Engine||‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi||1.6-litre T-GDi||2.0-litre CVVL||2.0-litre T-GDi|
|Horsepower||134 HP||178 HP||161 HP||242 HP|
|Torque||236 LB-FT @ 2,000-2,500 RPM|
2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon Pricing
Kia has not released pricing for the 2019 Optima and Optima Sportswagon models. For the 2018 model year, the Optima Sportswagon starts at £22,455, or roughly $31,200 U.S. dollars at current exchange rates. The Optima Sportswagon GT starts at £30,755, which converts to roughly $42,700.
We expect these figures to slightly increase for two reasons: one, to keep up with inflation, and two, to explore a slightly higher price range since Optima Sportswagon sales rose by 9,600 examples in 2017, totaling more than 16,800 units sold.
2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon Competition
Like the Kia Optima Sportswagon, the Modeo Estate is the wagon version of the Mondeo. Ford offers the Mondeo Estate in five trim levels, including the base Zetec Edition, Titanium Edition, ST-Line, ST-Line Edition, and the range-topping Vignale. Ford does have a gasoline hybrid model of the Modeo, but isn’t offered with the Estate, meaning Ford can’t directly compete with the Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV.
The Mondeo Estate is offered with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder making 237 horsepower and a 2.0-liter Duratorq turbodiesel four-cylinder with a choice of 148, 178, or 207 horsepower. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. AWD is available with the 178-horsepower tune.
Prices range from £19,445 ($27,000) for the Zetec Edition to £27,545 ($38,000) for the Vignale trim.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mondeo Estate.
An ever-popular option in Europe is the Volkswagen Passat Estate. This five-door wagon offers room for five and plenty of stuff. Fold the rear seats down and the wagon will compete with any crossover for cargo room. The Passat Estate comes in eight trim levels ranging from the humble S to the GTE Advance. Prices swing just as wildly, too, with the S starting at £23,625 ($32,800) and surpassing £42,685 ($60,000) with all the options ordered.
Power comes from two engines: a 1.6-liter TDI four-cylinder making 118 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque and a 1.4-liter TSI gasoline four-cylinder with two tuning versions. The base tune makes 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque while the upper tune makes 148 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Both manual and automatic gearboxes are offered.
Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Estate
Kia’s changes to the 2019 Optima Sportswagon are minimal on the outside but important and in-depth under the hood. The new engine lineup gives Kia customers plenty of options and a good chance they’ll find something that suits their individual needs.
Sadly, Kia won’t offer the Optima Sportswagon in North America – but not because it isn’t acting wisely. Americans just don’t buy wagons like they used to. While we’ve seen a slight resurgence thanks to models from Buick and others, the new car market is too infatuated with crossovers to concern itself with wagons. That’s a shame, of course, since these sedan-based wagons offer more comfort, more room, better fuel economy, less chance of roll-over, and easy entry and exiting than high-riding crossovers.
Wagons don’t pretend to be off-road capable, either, saving weight by foregoing skid plates, and fancy 4WD systems that 90 percent of crossover and SUV owners won’t ever use. The practicality level is simply higher than most crossovers for most people. Our European neighbors know this and automakers cater to them. Here in America, the car-buying public can’t get enough of the high-riding posers.
Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Optima.
Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon.
Read more Geneva Motor Show news.
Read more Kia news.