Kia has added a plug-in hybrid version of the stylish and spacious Optima Sportswagon to its growing fleet of alternative-powertrain models. It will be sold as a single, highly specified stand-alone model priced at £32,645 after the Government’s plug-in car grant of £2,500.
The Optima Sportswagon PHEV joins the Optima saloon PHEV, all-electric Soul EV, Niro dedicated hybrid crossover and Niro PHEV in helping to drive Kia towards its goal of a 25 per cent reduction in fleet average CO2 emissions by 2020, based on 2014 figures.
Thanks to increased storage capacity in its lithium-ion polymer batteries, the Optima Sportswagon PHEV has a longer all-electric range, lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy than the plug-in hybrid saloon. The increased storage capacity of 11.26kWh (saloon 9.8kWh) takes into account that the Sportswagon is likely to carry heavier loads than the saloon.
The Sportswagon PHEV can travel up to 38 miles in all-electric mode (saloon 33 miles), so it is able to complete many regular urban commuter runs with no tailpipe emissions. Its CO2 figure of just 33g/km (saloon 37g/km) means company car users pay just 9 per cent benefit-in-kind taxation in 2017-18, the same as with the saloon. The Sportswagon’s combined fuel economy figure is 201.8mpg (saloon 176.6mpg).
Ingenious packaging of the batteries in the boot floor, plus a 15-litre reduction in fuel tank capacity, ensures the Sportswagon PHEV is as practical and versatile as it is efficient and clean. It can carry 440 litres of cargo with the 40:20:40 split rear seats upright, or 1,574 litres when they are folded, and it has a payload of 390kg.
A harmonious blend of petrol and electric power
As with the Optima saloon PHEV, the Sportswagon PHEV combines a 154bhp 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine with a 50kW (67bhp) electric motor. The motor replaces the torque converter in the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. When working together, the combustion engine and electric motor generate 202bhp and 375Nm of torque.
Distinguishing features of the PHEV are blue-tinted headlights and chrome enhancements with a metallic blue finish on the lower front air grille, the ‘tiger-nose’ main grille and the side sills. There are ‘ECO plug-in’ badges on the front wings, while the recharging port for the batteries is housed in the left front wing.
Fully connected with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
The Optima Sportswagon PHEV is available with a comprehensive suite of connectivity features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. At the heart of it is the latest Kia audio-visual navigation (AVN) system, operated via the 8.0-inch touchscreen and featuring Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is linked to a rear parking camera.
The Sportswagon PHEV is fitted with the full Kia Connected Services package powered by TomTom. This provides live traffic updates, speed camera alerts and local point-of-interest and weather reports. It is provided free for seven years.
The AVN system is linked to a DAB digital radio as part of a 490-watt harman/kardon eight-speaker Premium Sound system, which includes an external amplifier and sub-woofer plus Clari-Fi technology, which restores the sound usually lost when digital music files are heavily compressed.
There are USB sockets in the front and rear, and a wireless smartphone charger is standard.
Market, warranty and after-care
In keeping with every Kia, the Optima Sportswagon PHEV comes with the company’s unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.
It is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using Kia replacement parts and specified oils. These packages cover the car, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.