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Kia Optima Sportswagon vs rivals - cost analysis

Date: 15 November 2016   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Kia would be the first to admit it missed a trick when the previous Optima was launched back in 2012 as a saloon only. The new 2016 range now features an estate model, the Sportswagon, which is predicted to account for 70% of sales versus its saloon sibling.

Expected to do especially well in fleet, the new Optima Sportswagon is one of the most striking estates on the market, and the car's sleek lines and sharp front end with trademark tiger nose grille certainly makes a statement. Only the Mazda 6 Tourer beats the Optima Sportswagon on kerb appeal, and it trumps its saloon counterpart in the looks department too, not something you could usually say about an estate car. 

The Optima Sportswagon is more than just a pretty face though - it's also good to drive with neat handling and plenty of grip when tackling corners at speed.

Engine choice is restricted at the moment - there's just one diesel, a 1.7-litre unit with 141hp, although a plug-in hybrid and a higher-performance petrol are expected to join the line-up next year.


Despite the engine being smaller and less powerful than its rivals here, 0-60mph is achieved just a fraction slower in 9.8 seconds. At home on the motorway, the car is comfortable too, the engine refined and the steering well weighted, although it lacks any real feel.

It's versatile enough for everyday life and when equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox the car officially achieves 64.2mpg on the combined cycle and emits 113g/km of CO2, placing it into a 22% BIK band for the current 2016/17 tax year.

These figures are competitive rather than class-leading, with the comparable (and slightly more powerful) VW Passat and Skoda Superb estate models both bettering the Kia. The shortfall won't be enough to deter most drivers, though, and whole-life costs, although not able to compete with the Superb, are among the best in class. It's the same story with RVs, with the Optima Sportswagon we've picked here achieving 34.5%.

There are three trims to choose from - 2, 3 and GT-Line S - and a sporty GT will join the line-up in early 2017.


The 3 trim is likely to be the most popular fleet choice and it offers a host of kit as standard including an eight-inch infotainment system with satnav, a lane-keeping aid, reversing camera, front electronic memory seats that are also heated, a speed limit warning system, 18-inch alloys, a premium sound system, dual-zone aircon, roof rails and LED fog lights.

That's a serious amount of kit for the £24,440 P11D price and something that makes the Kia stand head and shoulders above its main rivals.

The cabin is also well-built and offers a mix of high-quality materials throughout. It's not quite as sophisticated as VW's Passat, but it offers plenty of space and is loaded with storage features.

As a standalone car, the Sportswagon's practicality is very good, but compare it to the sector's best, the Superb, and it falls down somewhat, with a 552-litre boot that's significantly smaller than the Skoda's cavernous 660 litres.

The Optima Sportswagon may not be the last word in luxury, engine refinement, or running costs, or the biggest or best to drive of the cars here, but its good running costs, excellent equipment levels and stylish design are likely to attract many user-choosers.

Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7CRDi 139 3 - 53.2p

P11D: £24,440
Vehicle excise duty: £60
National insurance: £2,428
Fuel consumption: 64.2mpg
CO2 (tax): 113g/km (22%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £90/£179
Warranty: 7yrs/100,000mls
Boot space: 522 litres
Engine size/power: 1685cc/141hp

Residual value: 34.47%/£8,425

Middle of the class for residual values

Fuel costs: £4,815

Matching the Ford on fuel costs, the Kia cannot quite compete with te Superb and Passat

SMR: £2,125

One of the cheapest of our list, plus there's the excellent seven-year warranty on offer

Read our review of the Kia Optima Sportswagon.

Ford Mondeo - 58.4p


Offering practical features, a roomy interior and economical engines, the Ford Mondeo Estate is a solid all-round choice for many business drivers, and its comfort levels and neat handling make it one of the most accomplished of our list out on the road.

Although you could never call the estate small, its 500-litre boot space is eclipsed by its rivals here, and whole-life costs look pretty weak in comparison - not helped by a low residual value of 31.7%.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine offers some competitive running costs, but to match its rivals for standard kit, you need to move up to Titanium trim, which makes the Mondeo Estate the most expensive of our list.

Ford Mondeo Estate 2.0TDCi 150 Titanium

P11D: £26,540
Vehicle excise duty: £60
National insurance: £2,747
Fuel consumption: 64.2mpg
CO2 (tax): 115g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £102/£203
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 500 litres
Engine size/power: 1997cc/150hp

 Residual value: 31.65%/£8,400

One of the weakest residual values of our list here

Fuel costs: £4,815

On a par with the Kia esate here

SMR: £2,184

The second most expensive for SMR costs

Read our review of the Ford Mondeo estate.

Mazda 6 - 53.9p

2017 Mazda 6_WGN_Action (7)

Refreshed for 2016, the 6 Tourer offers great value for money and competitive whole-life costs.

The excellent 2.2-litre diesel gets the balance right between running costs and outright power, largely due to the firm's SkyActiv technology.

Diesel makes up 75% of sales in the UK for the 6 and this 150hp version is impeccably smooth and versatile. The Mazda is also one of the best in its class to drive with grippy handling and precise steering, and thanks to a new G-Vectoring Control system, requires minimal corrective steering by the driver.

Although not as spacious as the Skoda Superb, the boot is larger than the Ford's and practical at 522 litres, and there's plenty of rear leg and headroom on offer.

Mazda 6 Tourer 2.2d SkyActiv 150 SE-L Nav

P11D: £24,740
Vehicle excise duty: £40
National insurance: £2,458
Fuel consumption: 67.3mpg
CO2 (tax): 110g/km (22%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £91/£181
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 522 litres
Engine size/power: 2191cc/150hp

Residual value: 33.25%/£8,225

Not the best here for residual values

Fuel costs: £4,593

Better than the Mondeo and Optima but can't quite match the others

SMR: £2,310

Here the 6 Tourer is let down, proving more expensive than rivals

Read our review of the Mazda 6 Tourer here.

Skoda Superb - 47.9p


The words practicality and Skoda go together like fish and chips, and the Czech firm's flagship car, the Superb, majors in space in every way.

With a huge boot, acres of interior room and littered with useful practical features and storage options, the Superb Estate also benefits from sharing its underpinnings with the excellent VW Passat, meaning comfort levels are excellent. This smooth and refined 2.0-litre diesel offers some impressive running costs too.

It doesn't have the same premium appeal as the Kia or Volkswagen, or the eye-catching style of the Mazda, but value for money gets a big tick - the Superb is the cheapest in price and for whole-life costs, plus offers the best RVs of the bunch here by some margin

Skoda Superb Estate 2.0TDi 150 SE Tech

P11D: £23,700
Vehicle excise duty: £40
National insurance: £2,257
Fuel consumption: 68.9mpg
CO2 (tax): 109g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £83/£166
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 660 litres
Engine size/power: 1968cc/150hp

Residual value: 42.19%/£10,000

An excellent figure and the best of the cars here.

Fuel costs: £4,486

The cheapest of our cars alongside the Passat

SMR: £2,117

The Skoda takes the hat trick; it's also the cheapest on SMR too

Read our review of the Skoda Superb Estate

Volkswagen Passat - 55.4p


 Exceptional comfort, faultless motorway cruising and a high-quality interior are just some of the reasons fleet drivers flock to the Passat Estate.

The 2.0-litre diesel offers some strong running costs and the lowest CO2 of the cars here. It's also smooth, superbly refined and has enough power to accelerate quickly on the slip road or away from traffic lights. That extra quality is felt in the P11D - it's the priciest of our list alongside the Mondeo - and, unfortunately, mid-spec cars are not as generous with standard kit either, with the likes of a reversing camera and heated seats missing from the equipment. 

Practicality-wise, the Passat is cut from the same cloth as the Superb, so offers plenty of storage and a big 650-litre boot, but with fewer clever features.

Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0TDi BMT SE Business

P11D: £26,540
Vehicle excise duty: £40
National insurance: £2,527
Fuel consumption: 68.9mpg
CO2 (tax): 107g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £93/£186
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 650 litres
Engine size/power: 1968cc/150hp

Residual value: 34.48%/£9,150

Competitive with rivals but cannot match it's Skoda sibling

Fuel costs: £4,486

Joint top of the class with the Superb

SMR: £2,163

The Passat ranks middle of the pack for SMR costs

Read our review of the VW Passat Estate here.

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