Geneva: 2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon

Geneva: 2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon

Eager to grab a bigger slice of the European new car market, Kia has announced it will take on rivals Volkswagen, Renault, and Mazda with a station wagon version of the new Optima. The 2016 Optima Sportswagon will be presented to the public next month at the Geneva Auto Show.

The Sportswagon is heavily inspired by the Sportspace concept that was revealed at last year’s edition of the Geneva show. It’s nearly identical to the Optima sedan from the front bumper to the B-pillar, but beyond that it gets a longer roof line, a rakish D-pillar, and horizontal tail lamps. It’s as wide, as long, and about as tall as its sedan counterpart.

The extra sheet metal frees up nearly 20 cubic feet of trunk space behind the rear seats. The 40/20/40-split rear bench folds flat for trips to Ikea.

The Sportswagon’s infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, features that are still relatively rare in Europe. Additionally, tech-minded buyers can order the Sportswagon with a wireless phone charger, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, a 360-degree camera, and an electronically-controlled suspension with “sport” and “normal” modes.

The Optima wagon’s volume engine is a 1.7-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that makes 141 horsepower and 251 lb-ft. of torque. It’s offered with a six-speed manual transmission and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch unit. A pair of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines rated at 163 and 245 horsepower, respectively, are also available.

Look for the Kia Optima Sportswagon to go on sale across the Old Continent in the fourth quarter of this year. Kia hasn’t talked about availability yet, but we’d be surprised if the wagon makes the trip across the Atlantic.

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